Hit Piece on the F-35 in TIME

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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stereospace

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Unread post18 May 2012, 18:46

Here's a sample of the rhetoric:

It’s not just technical problems that plague the plane. A couple months ago, the Department of Defense released new estimates for how much the F-35 will cost over its lifetime, and the price tag is staggering. The entire program is now expected to cost taxpayers nearly $1.51 trillion, more than any weapon in history. Those costs grew by more than $100 billion from last year’s estimate.

Each individual plane now is estimated to cost $160 million – more than double the $74.5 million the DoD initially estimated they’d cost — and four times the price tag on the F-14 Tomcat

Read more: http://battleland.blogs.time.com/2012/0 ... z1vF9EKFPy


The author:
Ben Freeman is a National Security Investigator at the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) http://www.pogo.org/about/

When I first saw the total cost of ownership over 50 years estimates - $1 trillion, $2 trillion, etc. - I knew the leftist media would grab those numbers and run with them. No one cares a hoot whether they're accurate or how they compare with 50 year costs of anything else, those trillion dollar estimates just SOUND staggering. Which is their whole point.

Someone should do 50 year cost estimates of congressional mismanagement, or the cost of medicaid, or the cost of the highway system, or the loss of economic activity due to higher tax rates and lower productivity, just for comparison.

I also like the $160 million fly away cost per aircraft. Classic.
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Unread post18 May 2012, 23:01

New fighter planes don't allow the socialists to farm votes. So they attack a program as wasteful or too costly so they can promise the people who typically vote for them more free handouts.
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Unread post18 May 2012, 23:17

I liked this quote - amongst many others: "...Combine this with the fact that the Pentagon can buy three Super Hornets for the price of one F-35 Navy or Marine variant — and that these variants cost six times as much to fly as a Super Hornet..."
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Unread post18 May 2012, 23:28

math fail :lmao:
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Unread post18 May 2012, 23:33

SpudmanWP wrote:math fail :lmao:


Yes but that doesn't matter. What matters is that LM is behind in the PR game. They have always been behind in this project. It's unbelievable! :?
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Unread post18 May 2012, 23:44

I don't know - that same article mentions the forthcoming Tom Cruise epic TOPGUN 2. For other folks (as long as the F-35 is shown to do the job required) that movie will likely do wonders for the F-35 despite any obvious errors in it. Should be a PR coup same way TOPGUN was wayback for USN NavAv. I see that good news about F-35 is not reported. 'Bad news always sells' is a newspaper maxim - no?

There are always exceptions of course and this is what is refreshing about this author.

Panetta reiterates support for F-35B and MV-22 by Dave Majumdar 17 May 2012

http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articl ... 22-371994/

"US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta strongly endorsed US Marine Corps aviation and voiced his continued support for the stealthy Lockheed Martin F-35B jump-jet and Bell-Boeing MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft on 17 May.

"Marine air is what we need for the future," Panetta told a crowd of marines during a commemoration ceremony marking a century of USMC aviation. He praised the USMC's air arm for its flexibility and adaptability.

"There is no force in the world that can match the Marine Corps' ability to conduct agile and flexible expeditionary operations," he says.

Moreover, the USMC can conduct those operations on short notice and with overwhelming force.

It is because of those reasons that the USMC needs the short take-off vertical landing (STOVL) F-35B version of the tri-service Joint Strike Fighter, Panetta says. He notes that earlier in the year he cleared the variant from "probation" because the once-troubled F-35B is "meeting requirements."

"The Marines need a fifth-generation fighter for the future, and they will have it," Panetta declares.

The secretary also praised the MV-22 tilt-rotor. The tilt-rotor affords the USMC agility and flexibility, he says."

Short and Sweet. :D AND a pic to boot: http://www.flightglobal.com/assets/geta ... emid=45746
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Unread post19 May 2012, 01:23

If you think any publicity is good publicity, you haven't seen what the latest "Die Hard" movie did to F-35B. That scene starts with a Marine pilot taking orders to destroy a civilian truck on a busy highway in a dense American city, from an unfamiliar voice, without the slightest sign that he might have noticed anything seeming a bit wrong here. Then he switches the plane into hover mode for no reason, which is not only tactically wrong but also a wasted special-effects opportunity because the "camera" (presumably the virtual camera in a CGI rendering program) is in too close and not at a good angle to show half of what's happening while the real world's closest thing to a Transformer transforms. Then the plane sneaks up to within about a hundred yards of the target instead of nailing it from miles away, fires a couple of missiles that hit bridges instead of the truck, squats on the road right in front of the truck so it has to lift out of the way again to avoid getting rammed, fires a pair of invisible guns located under the air intakes twice with no effect on the first try, and flies under a collapsing bridge in order to get hit by debris.

One of the possible plots that have been mentioned for the new movie is that there will be little flying because the plane(s) will spend most of the movie broken down, while the characters try to deal with the problems resulting from being stuck with planes that don't work. Also, he's a test pilot now, not on active duty in potential combat situations, so any flying that there is is likely to be pretty tame compared to air combat scenes, even if the planes actually work throughout the whole movie. And a lot more people in the last few years have come to consider Tom Cruise annoying and/or creepy.
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Unread post19 May 2012, 03:23

'delvo' I am older than a 6th grader so you don't need to recount fillum plots to me thanks. You and I can only guess about the TOPGUN 2 story. If anyone believes anything was real in the 'Die Hard' movie then they must be younger than a 6th grader. And show me where I said: '...think any publicity is good publicity...".
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Unread post19 May 2012, 04:17

The movie may showcase the F-35 and possibly the X-47B,as well.,There is speculation that the plot will explore the transition from to unmanned combat platforms.The X-47B is slated for,ship trials in 2013 so it would be a opportune time for the Navy to capture the imagination of the public and legislators once again.
Which begs the question.. why can't the AF getin on the Hollywood action?
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Unread post19 May 2012, 04:29

The movie may showcase the F-35 and possibly the X-47B,as well.,There is speculation that the plot will explore the transition to unmanned combat platforms.The X-47B is slated for,ship trials in 2013 so it would be a opportune time for the Navy to capture the imagination of the public and legislators once again.
Which begs the question.. why can't the AF getin on the Hollywood action?
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Unread post19 May 2012, 04:45

How do you double-post 12 minutes later? ;)
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Unread post19 May 2012, 05:28

Did anyone catch the F-35s in "The Avengers"?

Nick Fury can take one out with an RPG!

I'm sure every terrorist in the world is stocking up on them now....

:lmao: TEG
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Unread post19 May 2012, 06:23

spazsinbad wrote:I liked this quote - amongst many others: "...Combine this with the fact that the Pentagon can buy three Super Hornets for the price of one F-35 Navy or Marine variant — and that these variants cost six times as much to fly as a Super Hornet..."

An F/A-18E/F has a contract unit price of $49m with extended MYP contract ($687m for 16 jets) I think that excludes engines, certain add-on avionics, and radar.

Looks like they are mixing F-35 LRIP IV numbers with F/A-18E/F MYP cost.
The line budgeted unit cost for a F/A-18E/F is $80m. The F-35s are not in full rate production, and the CV is the least produced variant at this point in the test program, and has a line budget unit cost of $300m. The F-35B line budget cost is $237m.

The FY2017 budget cost of a F-35C is $125m. Taking a F/A-18E/F, allowing for inflation (& no further discount from Boeing) is ~$95m. The F/A-18E/F is cheaper in MYP, but unless the F-35C has a major increase in costs, it wont be half the cost.
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Unread post19 May 2012, 06:43

There was a cameo of a F-35B at the end of a recent "Bones" TV episode. They got the body structure down pretty good but put twin cannons in the upper nose (not wing root), put 3 AAMs in each bay, and rail-launched an AMRAAM in A2G instead of via ejection.
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Unread post19 May 2012, 06:43

Sounds like boring ops for a fillum unless the X-47B goes ROGUE! :D

X-47B Advances To Anechoic Testing By David Fulghum 14 May 2012

http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.asp ... 30.xml&p=2

"...Right now, the Navy's unmanned strike aircraft program is proceeding with two Northrop Grumman X-47B test aircraft. One (AV-1) is at NAS Patuxent River for the autonomous aircraft carrier landing program. It is slated to demonstrate the first carrier-based catapults and arrested landings in 2014.

The other aircraft (AV-2) is undergoing flight testing at Edwards AFB, Calif., and will be used eventually to autonomously find and rendezvous with two tankers, says Capt. Jaime Engdahl. That evaluation will be followed by an approach, a plug-in and the receipt of 3,000 lb. of fuel. One tanker will have a Navy probe-and-drogue refueling system; the other will have an Air Force-type boom refueling system. The transfer of fuel will be followed by a disconnect, detachment and flight away from the tanker using all the onboard sensors and software.

“All of that will have to be done in a closed loop,” says Engdahl. “There are phases that drive the program. For the carrier [demonstration], it's the final approach, the last half-mile before landing. You need to do that autonomously.

“You also need to hit the basket on a Navy-style [probe-and-drogue] tanker autonomously instead of it being remotely piloted,” he adds. “The air vehicles can't be commanded by operators on the ground, the carrier or another aircraft.

“We're taking the exact same software and processors and putting them on the the tankers and using GPS algorithms for both carrier landings and autonomous aerial refueling.”
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