FACO, Final Assembly Check Out

Unread postPosted: 03 Jun 2016, 15:29
by neptune
Now that the Cameri FACO has delivered three "A"s (as of Jun16), I wonder how similar (99%??) it is of Fort Worth and how comparable will the Nagoya FACO be, also 99%??

Are there "good" references for their production schedules?

What are the 2016/ 17 delivery schedules for Cameri (Italy 60-A, 30-B/ RNAF 85-A) and Nagoya (Japan 38-A) FACOs?

Cameri is to deliver a F-35A to Amendola AB in 2016.


Re: FACO, Final Assembly Check Out

Unread postPosted: 10 Feb 2017, 21:24
by spazsinbad
Italy's defense-industry chief attacks F-35 'broken promises'
10 Feb 2017 Tom Kington

"ROME — The head of Italy’s association of defense firms has launched a blistering attack on the U.S. and Lockheed Martin, accusing them of breaking promises made to Italy about workshare on the F-35 program.

Guido Crosetto, the head of Italian aerospace and defense industry association AIAD, said the U.S. “had not honored promises” made since Italy joined the program, hurting Italian firms as well as threatening the livelihood of Italy’s fledgling F-35 maintenance center.

In June 2002, Italy became a Level 2 JSF partner by committing to invest $1 billion in the program’s system development and demonstration stage.

Rome currently plans to buy 90 aircraft. In return, Italy was told its workshare would likely reach around 65 percent of its investment. “Today we are at less than 20 percent,” said Crosetto.

Crosetto, who was a government defense ministry undersecretary between 2008 and 2011, said if Italy falls behind on F-35 workshare, political consequences would follow....

...Work on the two hubs follows on the heels of Italy’s decision to open its own maintenance hub at Cameri in nothern Italy, on the site of the final assembly line where it is turning out F-35s for its own air force.

Italy has to date rolled out six F-35s at Cameri, with the first four flying to Luke Air Force Base in Arizona to take part in pilot training and two deploying in December to its Amendola Air Base — the first Joint Strike Fighters built outside the US to become operational.

In 2014, Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan, the F-35 program head, designated Cameri as a center for heavy airframe maintenance, meaning changes or repair to the body of the aircraft, including replacement of a bulkhead or the fixing of a wing.

“Italy was chosen from among many countries as a maintenance hub for all the F-35s flying in Europe, including the US aircraft flying here,” said Italian defense minister Roberta Pinotti at the time, adding that the decision was an “extraordinary result.”

Cameri has been tasked with airframe maintenance, while the UK is touting its North Wales hub as an avionics and components repair center, suggesting UK work will not overlap with work at Cameri.

But Crosetto disagreed, claiming the ramping-up of maintenance work in the UK could damage Cameri and represent a broken promise by the U.S.

“The original idea was to offer all types of maintenance at Cameri, that was the proposal made by the U.S. government and Lockheed Martin to me when I was in office,” he said. “To me the UK and Israel hubs are a violation of that,” he added.

Carlo Festucci, the general-secretary of AIAD, added, “Italy invested in Cameri with the idea it would do everything and was given the idea by Lockheed Martin that it would be the only hub in Europe.”

Source: http://www.defensenews.com/articles/ita ... n-promises

Re: FACO, Final Assembly Check Out

Unread postPosted: 10 Feb 2017, 22:34
by neptune
Sorry Guido,

...but the Brits are the Brits....Brexit and all that....and the Israelis, you were "never" getting that, so all else is the same; much ado about nothing..... :wink:

Re: FACO, Final Assembly Check Out

Unread postPosted: 11 Feb 2017, 17:31
by steve2267
What was agreed to in contracts and put on paper? Is LM and the US JPO living up to what was contracted? They're at 20% now, and they were "pledged" (?) 65%? The program is still young...

Re: FACO, Final Assembly Check Out

Unread postPosted: 11 Feb 2017, 18:06
by smsgtmac
i'm placing this comment here so I can search my posts years from now and expand on it beyond "Guido and Carlo are FOS" and the following:
1) Italy invested in Cameri to get the FACO facility for 'European finished' F-35s for partners wanting it. They gambled that it would get them a leg up in the Airframe Depot (A Modification and not Repair depot BTW) and it did--even though they had significantly reduced their planned initial aircraft buy shortly before. FACO was a smart investment on their part. As a reminder to myself to expand on it in the far, far future, they almost 'clever'-ed themselves out of the running right at the end.
2) All partners in the F-35 Program, and anyone who would have asked about it at the time were and are aware that the European Airframe Depot selection explicitly excluded Component and Propulsion repair depot work.
3) At the end of the day, most of the Partners don't care as much about lowest overall costs nearly as much as getting the most cost incurred in their country. Quite natural, but it's quite hypocritical to deny or ignore same.
What we are seeing is the repeat of the early F-16 days with country-specific commercial and government interests trying to maximize their workload participation via politics. They can pound sand as far as I'm concerned. If they are 'best athlete' they'll get the work. Guido's group needs to put their 'big boy' pants on if they want to play.

Re: FACO, Final Assembly Check Out

Unread postPosted: 14 Feb 2017, 22:47
by nutshell
Its corposates' greed all over.

Cameri is still a good deal for us, just not as lucrative as the chiefs of Gruppo Leonardo expected.

Next time, they are better off backing themselves up with some solid pieces of paper before committing so lany resources and efforts.
C'mon now, "vocal agreements" with britz, israelis and LM !? That's a rookie mistake.

Re: FACO, Final Assembly Check Out

Unread postPosted: 15 Mar 2017, 10:56
by jacarlsen
Does anyone know how much maintenance the UK and tha Netherlands are keeping "in country"? Airframe, engine, components???

Re: FACO, Final Assembly Check Out

Unread postPosted: 22 Mar 2017, 17:38
by botsing
jacarlsen wrote:Does anyone know how much maintenance the UK and tha Netherlands are keeping "in country"? Airframe, engine, components???

For The Netherlands:

Fokker: landing gear maintenance

Aeronamic: Power & Thermal Management System sustainment (The PTMS is an ultra-power-dense on-board system that manages main engine start, (emergency) power generation, cabin pressurization and cooling)

Re: FACO, Final Assembly Check Out

Unread postPosted: 08 May 2018, 12:04
by spazsinbad
Japan FACO Completes Two Acceptance Flights in One Day
03 May 2018 Greg Ulmer LM GM F-35 Program

"As part of all F-35 delivery operations, government pilots fly two acceptance flights to implement all required performance checks. Recently, the combined Japan Final Assembly and Check Out (FACO) team of Mitsubishi Heavy
Industries (MHI), Lockheed Martin, DCMA and the Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) successfully completed both government flights in less than a seven-hour period.

Both flights, for F-35 aircraft AX-8, landed Code 1 after the pilot completed all of the required checks, as one of the final steps in the delivery process. This is an outstanding achievement and the Japan FACO team did a fantastic job from start to finish....."

Source: https://a855196877272cb14560-2a4fa819a6 ... 5_3_18.pdf (0.2Mb)

Re: FACO, Final Assembly Check Out

Unread postPosted: 17 Jul 2018, 22:38
by spazsinbad
FARNBOROUGH: Japan F-35 production headed to max capacity next year
17 Jul 2018 Garrett Reim

"Japan’s F-35 final assembly and check-out facility, run by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Nagoya, is on track to hit peak production next year when the country’s stealth fighter production tops out at six aircraft per year.

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is contracted to deliver four F-35C fighters by the end of 2018, but may be able to deliver one of next year’s aircraft early, bringing the total to five, said Greg Ulmer, Vice President and General Manager of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 programme at the Farnborough Airshow. “We just completed what we call company flight acceptance of the ninth Japan airplane,” he says. “And we’ve seen very strong performance from Mitsubishi Heavy Industries on the performance in the program.”

Local production of the aircraft’s engine [I DID NOT KNOW THIS] – the Pratt & Whitney F135 – by Japan’s IHI will hit peak production this year at six turbines per year, says Matthew Bromberg, president of Pratt & Whitney Military Engines. “They’ve produced three engines that will go to the Japanese Air Force,” he adds. “That facility will also be their depot. It will support not only the Japanese Air Force, but other regional requirements in the sustainment network.”

Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney emphasise that final assembly and check out (FACO) facilities in Japan and Italy do not differ from their core facilities in the US in performance and automation.

“Jet engines are entirely complex. There are 10,000 different parts, clearances that are finer than a strand of hair, finishes that are finer than a mirror. We spin at 10,000 revolutions per minute. We operate at 2,000° plus – so you can’t get anything wrong,” says Bromberg. “When we automate in one of our primary assembly facilities in Middletown, Connecticut or West Palm Beach, [Florida] we will automate in each one of the FACOs as well. We use identical processes to ensure identical performance.”

Source: https://www.flightglobal.com/news/artic ... ap-450395/

Re: FACO, Final Assembly Check Out

Unread postPosted: 18 Jul 2018, 03:53
by Corsair1963
You can see why Japanese produced F-35's are so expensive! Plus, why Japan is entertaining the though of acquiring at least some F-35 directly from the US.....

Re: FACO, Final Assembly Check Out

Unread postPosted: 18 Jul 2018, 04:45
by viper12
I don't get it ; Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is gonna deliver 4 F-35C's at the end of the year, but I only see the US Navy and the USMC being the only variant's customers.

Does that mean MHI is assembling F-35's for the U.S., or there's a typo in the article ?

Re: FACO, Final Assembly Check Out

Unread postPosted: 18 Jul 2018, 05:56
by spazsinbad
Just another typo from the usual 'devil may care' suspects. These retorters are on the piss so plenty of typo/howlers....

Re: FACO, Final Assembly Check Out

Unread postPosted: 18 Jul 2018, 07:06
by Corsair1963
Japan is expect to order additional F-35's........So, I assume production number will also increase?

I've read numbers from ~ 20 to 100.

Re: FACO, Final Assembly Check Out

Unread postPosted: 18 Jul 2018, 07:28
by Corsair1963
Exclusive: Japan to buy at least 20 more F-35A stealth fighters - sources

Tim Kelly, Nobuhiro Kubo

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan plans to buy at least 20 additional F-35A stealth fighters over the next six years, some or all of which it may purchase directly from Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) in the United States rather than assemble locally, three sources said............

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-japa ... SKCN1G507W

Re: FACO, Final Assembly Check Out

Unread postPosted: 19 Jul 2018, 07:44
by nutshell
Fantastic article (translate it with google) about what really happend with the FACO deal.

General Pasquale Preziosa (air force) explained how we managed to loose 4B euros with the cut of 40 F35.

http://www.difesaonline.it/evidenza/int ... 35-litalia

The initial part is a bait watch out

Re: FACO, Final Assembly Check Out

Unread postPosted: 19 Jul 2018, 07:59
by SpudmanWP
Imagine how much they will lose if they cancel the rest.. ouch.

Re: FACO, Final Assembly Check Out

Unread postPosted: 19 Jul 2018, 09:32
by spazsinbad
https://translate.google.com.au/transla ... edit-text=
The real F-35 scandal: Italy
18 Jul 2018 Andrea Cucco

...we interviewed the former Chief of Staff of the Air Force, General Pasquale Preziosa. Accomplice a moment of relaxation in the quiet company of the grandchildren, the general has provided with the already proverbial sincereness some data that we lacked ...

General Precious, what happened with the 2012 cut to the quota of F-35?

Our convenience would have been not to go below one hundred aircraft: we would have, as it has been, lost a 30% share in the production of wingbars of the aircraft.

What was the value of every wing box and how many would we have to produce?

The value was around 10 million each. We should have produced over 1280, if I remember correctly. We have lost 400.

So getting off at 90 has made us lose ...

Let's talk, with the penalties, of the beauty of 4-5 billion! This happens when the analyzes target the System-government (not the "Country System", nda) .

A reduction was "politically" required, even if the government was then "technical" (Monti government, ed . ) .

What would have been the greatest convenience? Contract the purchase to 101 F-35, avoiding to lose the industry and ultimately Italy that mountain of money.

Someone claims that the program represented a rip off for our country ...

The reality is the opposite: the Americans had ONLY allowed Italy to produce the wingbars and to assemble the aircraft outside the United States! A technological advantage evident to those entering the Camaro FACO.

If we compare the sum of the investments in the program (about a billion), the cost of the aircraft and the 12-13 billion of the industrial return, the "Sistema Paese Italia" aircraft were supplied almost free!

We were the country elected by the United States in Europe for maximum benefit. Each of us can then make their own calculations to reduce this privilege ... In Italy we managed to compromise a unique opportunity: the cut made did not entail a saving, it will cost billions: those compromised with the loss of production.

Can things change?

In Italy, those who sit on the "papal throne" always repeat the same things, as if there were only Ustica and the F-35 ... I do not expect great changes.

At the time did not anyone fight to avoid cutting?

The letters sent advised against all the reduction under quota 100 ... Also because we are replacing DUECENTOQUARANTA aircraft - between Tornado (photo) and AMX - with, now, 90!

Operationally I do not know if the reduction will be sustainable: already the original number of 131 F-35 was just enough. But whoever is called to perform operational tasks is never the same who decides to reduce.

If we are called to support a task will we be able to fulfill it in these conditions?

Italy is today one of the few countries to have 5 - generation technology to enter a future that has been outlined. We do not decide the future, we are "followers", the United States, Russia and China establish it. These protagonists are beyond the fourth generation, some even beyond the fifth. Italy, with a few other European countries was ahead of this trail. I had hair when I was already talking about F-35 ... today it is a reality.

How many years will the F-35 serve?

We are talking at least for the next twenty years. Period in which an adequate mitigation of the risk can not be provided by fourth generation aircraft.

In international politics we need firm points: I have made a decision and I keep it. Compliance with commitments represents the reliability of a country. If, every time, a signed contract is questioned the credibility of the contractors is less.

If today we renegotiate the share of F-35 to return to quota 101 that would not have affected the industrial production originally assigned ... would they send us to that country?

We should renegotiate it ... In a world that still goes ahead, Italy, given its low reliability, a country of long discussions, will not have an easy life. Maintenance was assigned to England: a patient nation that had suffered the failure of FACO's assignment to Italy.

In the past, thanks to the commissions of the Chamber and the Senate, we set the Final Assembly and Check Out as a condition for the purchase of the F-35s: a technological paradise for those who have the opportunity to visit it. If such excellences are not appreciated, after being requested , the Americans will make it a reason ...

The United States assign FACO to Italy and what do we do? We still discuss whether to take the F-35, if not take it or in what number? !!!

Recall that the Americans do not care about a few dozen aircraft. They will buy thousands of them. We have lost an opportunity!

Someone then speaks of "sovereignty" ... But why does the Eurofighter give us sovereignty? It is shared in Europe (and England is out today ...). Many parts are made in the UK, has a "security of supply" been made? When we speak of "sovereignty" or make sure we can conceive and implement all the technology present in an industrial field, otherwise it does not exist.

An example?

Motor technology. Italy makes the cells of the aircraft but we do not design and realize engines.

The avionics? We are mostly systems "integrators", not so much producers.

So "sovereignty" of what ...? If the Rolls Royce gives us no more spare parts for the 339 Viper (photo) , the planes remain on the ground!

Someone emphasizes the dependence of US comparisons with the F-35 ...

We are in NATO. There is no operation that is carried out without the United States or the consent of others. We are not able to conduct operations independently, without an older brother.

With the future 150,000 men ... How many operations? The half? Divided over three turns ... what can we do without the Alliance? It is NATO that guarantees our security.

The Air Force, with half of the aircraft in line today, will not be oversized as an organic?

Aeronautics without means is of little use. Even with the F-35, without the AMX, it will need a range of low-intensity conflict aircraft. The Eurofighter will not serve.

We need an analysis and a strategic plan in relation to the international scenario. The politician will then evaluate. However - I repeat - once the decision has been taken, we must keep our word.

Another white paper?

Even with an "important" left majority and with a supreme defense council that seemed to have shared everything ... it remained "white".

For four years they brought it to us with the white paper ... ( v.articolo ) Without being able to approve it!

Probably there was no conviction. It was an expression of a part of the majority that wanted to go over the top.

I remember when there was doubt whether the president of the board had signed or not the text ... When one of the PD does not countersign an initiative of another of the PD that means? Which is not shared! Or that it was an internal struggle between party currents ...

If you really want, a white paper is written in three months and in other three it is approved ...

In reality they needed - and need - funds for the defense budget. A white book you can not even write it but implement it. Let's think about the reduction made by Minister Di Paola that will bring the armed forces to 150,000 from 190,000. He did it during the single year of the technical government.

The white paper? For three years a mockery.

After a year spent inviting anyone - including children - to write down what our defense should have been ...

A mockery. Today the urgency is the budget! We have a few platforms in all the Armed Forces. The cost of the Personnel is incompressible immediately, it needs time to reduce. Investments and Exercise can be cut. The latter is the one that suffers most today .

In Germany, the chief of staff indicated to the Germans that the F-35 will be acquired as fifth generation aircraft and then moved to the sixth.

Why have we not moved from the current generation of the fourth generation Eurofighter to a fifth generation Eurofighter? Because the Eurofighter cost A TOMBOLA, almost two and a half times a F-35 !!! After that experience, Europe actually stopped at the fourth generation and there was not enough money left to develop the fifth.

Italy, Holland and England have invested in the American project to obtain the F-35. The proposal was "technical" but at the time it was completed by politics ... After twenty years we can not continue to discuss cuts.

Today the F-35 is the aircraft necessary for the new scenarios. I want to see who has the courage to tell a hospital's primary type of scalpel to use for a given operation! Can it be an administrative one to decide? The "technician" (the Aeronautica Militare) has already expressed himself by giving his own assessment to parliament and government. The other political "superstructures" have only created damage.

The first reduction from 131 to 90 aircraft has already produced 4-5 billion damage! If certain people were called to answer for losses to the "Italian System", I believe that decisions would be taken more wisely. The operational requirement of the first cut at the F-35 was not there: 130 aircraft were the MINIMUM indispensable to replace 240."

Source: http://www.difesaonline.it/evidenza/int ... 35-litalia

Re: FACO, Final Assembly Check Out

Unread postPosted: 14 Aug 2018, 02:53
by steve2267
Mama mia...