RAAF-35A /USN F-35B/C Operating Cost Estimates - Jane's

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spazsinbad

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Unread post07 Jul 2012, 03:30

Gripen operational cost lowest of all western fighters: Jane’s
"The study conducted by IHS Jane's Aerospace and Defense Consulting, compared the operational costs of the Gripen, Lockheed Martin F-16, Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet, Dassault’s Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon and the F-35 aircraft."

http://www.stratpost.com/gripen-operati ... ters-janes

"...The study, conducted by Edward Hunt, Senior Consultant, at IHS Jane’s Aerospace and Defense Consulting, compared the operational costs of the Gripen, Lockheed Martin F-16, Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet, Dassault’s Rafale, Eurofighter Typhoon and the F-35 aircraft....

...The cost of operation of the F-35 appears to be in a whole other league. Jane’s cites Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) estimates for the conventional F-35 A, assuming operational service over 30 years with 200 hours per year for each aircraft, to amount to USD 21000 per hour of flight. The paper also sources US Navy projections of the cost of operation of the F-35 B & C variants until the year 2029, which come to USD 31000 per flight hour.

The report says the figures were based on data sourced from the respective operating militaries and governments, disclosed international fighter competition cost figures (Rafale, F-18 E / F, Gripen), manufacturer-stated figures (F-35, Rafale, F-18 E / F, Gripen) and IHS Jane’s estimates for all aircraft.

There are several caveats to this assessment....

...The research and the model digress in the case of the F-35 and the F/A-18.

In the case of the F-35, the study says the different ‘costs arise from the differing power and specific fuel consumptions of the A / C and B models. The B model is the top figure in both cases’. The study says, “The single P&W F-135 engine is relatively fuel efficient for its power, resulting in a lower fuel burn at maximum dry thrust than might be expected.” It adds that, although obviously, ‘accurate CPFH for in-service aircraft does not exist’, ‘the US and Australian forecast costs both suggest it will not offer lower CPFH than current aircraft’, considering ‘the aircraft itself is an extremely sophisticated design carrying a large number of new and unproven onboard systems’.

The report thinks the digression with respect to the Super Hornet is ‘due to the size of the fleet and the experience the US Navy has in operating’ it, compared to the ‘small fleet of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) that has yet to reach Full Operational Capability’. It points out that ‘RAAF CPFH has fallen significantly as familiarity with the aircraft has grown, and is likely to fall further as this continues to improve’....

Complicated article with many graphics. A must read article at source for those interested.

http://www.stratpost.com/wp-content/upl ... -x-331.jpg

POST above may be downloaded in PDF format here: http://www.stratpost.com/wp-content/plu ... hp?id=6342 (136Kb)
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JanesVariousAircraft+F-35opCosts.gif
RAN FAA A4G: http://tinyurl.com/ctfwb3t http://tinyurl.com/ccmlenr http://www.youtube.com/user/bengello/videos
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bumtish

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Unread post14 Jul 2012, 00:03

The "basic CPFH" used by Jane's IHS seems quite similar to the "variable CPFH" used by the USAF.

Since the variable CPFH for a F-22A was $19,750 in 2008 and has probably come down since then, how can Jane's arrive at $21k-$31k for the single engined and more maintenance-friendly JSF's?

Puzzled.

http://hatch.senate.gov/public/_files/USAFResponse.pdf
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hb_pencil

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Unread post14 Jul 2012, 02:27

bumtish wrote:The "basic CPFH" used by Jane's IHS seems quite similar to the "variable CPFH" used by the USAF.

Since the variable CPFH for a F-22A was $19,750 in 2008 and has probably come down since then, how can Jane's arrive at $21k-$31k for the single engined and more maintenance-friendly JSF's?

Puzzled.

http://hatch.senate.gov/public/_files/USAFResponse.pdf


I agree... two things are apparent to me. First is that the F-35's fuel costs are actually one of the lowest. This is probably the area that the analysis of the F-35 can be reliably predicted, based on extrapolating data from the -229 program and information released by PW. The second part is just how unknown the F-35's avionics and maintenance costs are. If they based their predictions current data on maintenance per hour, its certainly skewed given the project's immaturity.
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jeffb

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Unread post14 Jul 2012, 06:56

The two figures provided for the F-18E/F reflect estimates and initial costs prior to reaching full operating capability calculated by the RAAF and the current operating costs experienced by the USN.
The RAAF has already said that their figure is falling as a result of increasing experience with operating the type. Possibly the F-35A figure represents a similarly conservative figure for its operational costs which will also fall once some experience of operating that type is gained.

On the other hand, the RAAF could only base those figures on information coming from Lockheed, the GAO and CAPE which would also be the most likely source of the numbers for the F-35B/C. Possibly a better comparison could be made if someone could dig up the projected operating costs calculated for the F-18E/F prior to its entry into service and then compare those numbers to the USN's current super hornet operating costs. It wouldn't necessarily be a very good comparison because, as others have pointed out, the F-35 is a very large and very complex aircraft, but it would give us a feel for how 'conservative' the CAPE estimate calculations are.
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stereospace

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Unread post14 Jul 2012, 22:12

I'm a little confused and surprised by this. Aren't the line replaceable modules (LRUs) mostly only one level deep for ease of maintenance? Isn't there a high degree of self diagnostics? Won't the logistics costs be substantially less due to the high degree of commonality?

If yes to all that, what's driving these high cost estimates? Is it political hyperbole designed to kill the project or are they extrapolating from actual data?
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Unread post14 Jul 2012, 23:33

..
Last edited by popcorn on 15 Jul 2012, 05:22, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post14 Jul 2012, 23:34

The JPO needs,a couple of years worth of experience operating a number of aircraft in order to get a better estimate. We'll have a better idea then how they compare to current projections which likely draw heavily on legacy jet experience and early F-35 feedback so accuracy is questionable.
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Unread post15 Jul 2012, 11:17

A better graphic from this very grippen PDF (2.1Mb): http://www.saabgroup.com/Global/Documen ... orough.pdf
Attachments
FltHrCostJANES.gif
RAN FAA A4G: http://tinyurl.com/ctfwb3t http://tinyurl.com/ccmlenr http://www.youtube.com/user/bengello/videos
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Unread post15 Jul 2012, 17:06

"DoN" F-35 estimates are politically compromised at the source, and of questionable veracity.
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jeffb

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Unread post16 Jul 2012, 00:27

stereospace wrote:I'm a little confused and surprised by this. Aren't the line replaceable modules (LRUs) mostly only one level deep for ease of maintenance? Isn't there a high degree of self diagnostics? Won't the logistics costs be substantially less due to the high degree of commonality?

If yes to all that, what's driving these high cost estimates? Is it political hyperbole designed to kill the project or are they extrapolating from actual data?


The modules are easy to pull and replace but they still need to be repaired. Unless they just throw them away and get another from the manufacturer (which doesn't seem like the cheaper option).

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