JSF JayPO Deputy PEO speaks at AFA

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maus92

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Unread post17 Sep 2012, 20:19

Just got back from the AFA at National Harbor. Gen Bogdan seems like the right guy to pick up where VAdm Venlet leaves off - he seems to be a straight shooter, tell it like is type who promises transparency and to answer questions forthrightly. He gave about a 30 minute PPT prepared for the event which contained a lot of info. The most striking thing he said was near the end, when he stated that he has never seen such a poor relationship between the contractor (Lockheed Martin,) the stakeholders, and the JPO in his 22 years of acquisition experience. One of his goals is to change the culture of all the players, and foster compromise to help move the project forward.

He also wants to rework how progress is measured within the program, moving away from "test-points," "flight hours," and "sortie" rates. He did not detail what the new system metrics will be, but he did say that the current system really does not accurately reflect what the program has accomplished, where it is now, and where it needs to be in the future.

He said that the Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) is what is holding up the delivery of jets that are sitting on the ramp in Fort Worth. The Pentagon will not accept delivery (and pay the final installment) on these jets until a stable version (1.03?) of the system is up and running. If it isn't ready by November, USMC jets bound for Yuma will be parked in a hanger until it is ready, seriously jeopardizing plans for F-35Bs becoming operational in 2015 (w/ Block 2B sw.)

Lots of other stuff that I cannot remember at the moment, but I'm sure there will be reporting on it later today or tomorrow.
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neptune

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Unread post17 Sep 2012, 20:27

http://www.aviationweek.com/Blogs.aspx? ... 9f3abaf493

Same Story Second Verse

The New Sheriff Ain't Happy

Posted by Bill Sweetman
Sep 17, 2012

Maj Gen Christopher Bogdan, deputy director of the Joint Strike Fighter program office for the past five weeks, and designated successor to VAdm Dave Venlet, took the stage at the Air Force Association's conference near Washington today with the demeanor of a man ready to kick posterior and chew gum.

But he was all out of gum.

The relationship among Lockheed Martin, the JSFPO and other stakeholders "is the worst I have ever seen. And I have been in some bad ones," Bogdan told the AFA audience. "I can guarantee that we will not succeed in the program if we cannot get over that. It shouldn't take 11-12 months to negotiate a contract with someone we've been doing business with for ten or 11 years."

Bogdan threatened the industrial team with a drop-kick to the pocketbook. Dealing with the contentious issue of operating costs, he said that competing estimates were so sensitive to assumptions that "they can't inform any of us about what to do and what not to do. I'm not listening to any of them. I'm looking at what we have in front of us today - and the strategy is wrong and it needs to be changed."

So far, JSF support has been planned on the assumption that Lockheed Martin will be the prime support contractor, managing the sustainment of the worldwide fleet - a potentially vast, single-source business for Lockheed Martin that could last for most of this century.. "Competition is a really good thing," Bogdan said, "and I'm going to inject some competition into this process." The JSFPO will also "look at what governments and partners can do organically."

..The admiral (Venlet) got a great gift - billions of dollars and 30 more months. We can't ask for more." ...- but he indicated that if it came to that choice, if the Pentagon's current direction holds, the capabilities would have to be deferred.

..The fighter's Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) - "if we don't get ALIS, we don't fly airplanes" - is also critical: there are aircraft sitting on the ramp at Fort Worth, awaiting delivery, because they can't fly without ALIS version 1.0.3, which is still under test.

... We have the right people. Whether they want to be on the bus is up to them." .

Wow!, I'm glad to see he is strong on ALIS, I see it as a ground changer for the maintenance and reliability guys, which always leads to more "UP" time for the flight line. :)

more at the jump!
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Unread post17 Sep 2012, 20:27

Pentagon official says relationship with Lockheed on F-35 poor Mon Sep 17, 2012

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/ ... logySector

"Reuters) - The Pentagon and Lockheed Martin Corp must improve their relationship on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, the program's deputy director said on Monday, calling the current state of ties the worst he's ever seen on a host of many different programs.

Major General Christopher Bogdan, who will take over as program manager when the current head retires later this year, said the state of the relationship was the biggest threat to the program's success.

"We will not succeed on this program until we get past that," Bogdan said at the annual meeting of the Air Force Association."

That's it.
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Unread post17 Sep 2012, 20:30

Getting away from test points and flight hours make a whole lot of sense because the F-35A and F-35B are a lot farther a long in flight test then the F-35C. Really each aircraft needs to be track individually as does logistical support systems and other stuff that really doesn't have any thing to do with flight test.
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Unread post17 Sep 2012, 21:02

Who are the "other stakeholders" exactly? Partner nations?
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neptune

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Unread post17 Sep 2012, 21:48

aceshigh wrote:Who are the "other stakeholders" exactly? Partner nations?


Yes, ......but the "stakeholders" are all the owner/ operators. The stakeholders defined the "scope of work" for the program.

The JPO is similar to a project management group, who is responsible for execution (not their own! :lol:)... but the project schedule and budget).
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Unread post17 Sep 2012, 22:42

Incoming JSF Chief Targets Bad Relationship With Lockheed, Partners By Amy Butler 17 Sep 2012

http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.asp ... 496707.xml

"...Meanwhile, Bogdan is looking to revamp plans down the road for the F-35 sustainment program. He opens the door to competing all or part of the sustainment of the massive aircraft program in the hopes of introducing innovation and affordability. It has largely been assumed that Lockheed Martin would have a virtual monopoly on contractor sustainment activities. “The basic strategy on the way we are going to sustain this program has got to change,” he says.

The latest software release on ALIS, Block 1.3, has been late because security vulnerabilities were discovered. They are being fixed and Bogdan says the problems should be validated by the middle of November, just as the U.S. Marine Corps plans to stand up its first F-35B squadron at Yuma, Ariz. Without the software improvement, the Marine jets will be grounded there, which would be a “tragedy,” Bogdan says.

Furthermore, the problems with the 1.3 software also have held up delivery and payment of the latest aircraft out of the F-35 final assembly line at Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth plant.

For example, Lockheed Martin produced the Autonomic Logistics and Information System (ALIS), a comprehensive system that manages everything from mission planning to aircraft diagnostics and parts supply. “It is so crucial to operating this [aircraft] that it is frightening a little bit, because if it doesn’t work, this airplane doesn’t work,” Bogdan says. He intends to see if there are ways to introduce competition into the sustainment — from opening up work to contractors or allowing for more activity from the Pentagon’s depot system...."

MORE at the JUmp.
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Unread post17 Sep 2012, 22:57

One URL to check back on over the next few days.

Daily Report Tuesday September 18, 2012 and onwards

http://www.airforce-magazine.com/Pages/HomePage.aspx
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Unread post18 Sep 2012, 00:27

Gen Bogdan opened his briefing with his view of the aircraft being developed in the JSF program. He said that there are not three variants of the same aircraft, but three different aircraft that share the same avionics platform and engine....

He also made it clear that the government is not happy with LM's management of the program so far on multiple fronts, but there is a "glimmer" of better performance of late.

As far as software goes, LM is behind by 3 months or so, but they are making progress. One example is the development of a common desktop/operating environment for the software engineers. He said that the aircraft itself has about 10M lines of code, and the ALIS sustainment system has a similar number of lines in its software.

Gen Bogdan expects that expanded flight testing will reveal further problems with the aircraft - which is fine with him. He would be suspicious of the flight test program design if no new issues surface.

In the post brief questions, he was asked about the DOT&Es recent refusal to sign off on the program. Gen Bogdan said that there was room for compromise between the different entities within the DoD to move forward with the program.
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Unread post18 Sep 2012, 01:04

maus92 wrote:Gen Bogdan...said that there are not three variants of the same aircraft, but three different aircraft that share the same avionics platform and engine....

As a lesson learned here, in the future it may be a better approach to develop a common engine and avionics package, then let the services drive their own aircraft designs utilizing those as building blocks. You'll have more competition, a healthier aerospace industry, more innovation and probably lower prices and shorter schedules. Too big to fail is a bad plan.
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Unread post18 Sep 2012, 01:35

F-35's biggest problems: software and bad relationships
Posted By John Reed / Foreign Policy

"The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is a "monster" of a program and some of its toughest developmental challenges may still be ahead of it, said deputy JSF program manager Air Force Maj. Gen. Christopher Bogdan today, in refreshingly frank discussion of the biggest weapons buy in Pentagon history. In particular, those challenges revolve around software delays, a glitchy helmet, and fixing a toxic relationship between the Pentagon and F-35 maker Lockheed Martin.

Comparing the troubled F-35 program to a massive aircraft carrier that two years ago "was gonna run aground," Bogdan said that F-35 program manager Vice Adm. David Venlet and his team, with Lockheed Martin and with the help of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, "has steered that ship...away from the shoals so it won't run aground." The F-35 office finally "has a plan in place today that is, potentially achievable. I'm not sure I could have said that" two years ago, said Bogdan during a speech at an Air Force Association-sponsored conference in Maryland. "What I can tell you today is, at least we can see the light at the end of the tunnel and at least we have reasonable confidence that [with] what we have in place today, we can get there...." "

http://killerapps.foreignpolicy.com/pos ... ationships
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Unread post18 Sep 2012, 01:56

F-35 Program's Relationship With Lockheed 'Worst I've Ever Seen,' Says Gen. Bogdan
Colin Clark / AOL Defense

Bogdan:

""Today, I am going to manage this program as if there is no more time and no more money."

The Joint Program Office will "have to fundamentally change the way we do business with Lockheed Martin."

"Lockheed Martin is showing some improvements in producing this aircraft. Is it coming fast enough for us? No."

"Would we expect them to be a little head of the learning curve on their fifth lot of aircraft? Yes.
Are costs coming down as fast as we want them to? No."

"We have an awful lot of software on this program. It scares me."

"You cannot go to war unless you have a helmet that works... Today we have a helmet that works in a rudimentary way."

Concurrency "makes it [program management] so much harder than it needs to be."

"What I would tell you is, just because you have a lot of actual costs [data] about how much it costs to produce the airplane, that doesn't mean that's how much you want to pay for the airplane.""

http://defense.aol.com/2012/09/17/f-35- ... ever-seen/
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Unread post18 Sep 2012, 19:00

stereospace wrote:
maus92 wrote:Gen Bogdan...said that there are not three variants of the same aircraft, but three different aircraft that share the same avionics platform and engine....

As a lesson learned here, in the future it may be a better approach to develop a common engine and avionics package, then let the services drive their own aircraft designs utilizing those as building blocks. You'll have more competition, a healthier aerospace industry, more innovation and probably lower prices and shorter schedules. Too big to fail is a bad plan.


+1
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Unread post18 Sep 2012, 19:46

stereospace wrote:
maus92 wrote:Gen Bogdan...said that there are not three variants of the same aircraft, but three different aircraft that share the same avionics platform and engine....

As a lesson learned here, in the future it may be a better approach to develop a common engine and avionics package, then let the services drive their own aircraft designs utilizing those as building blocks. You'll have more competition, a healthier aerospace industry, more innovation and probably lower prices and shorter schedules. Too big to fail is a bad plan.


Frankly, that won't drive very much at all. Engines and Avionics account for 75 to 85% of a unit's cost and I'd suspect that will continue to increase in the future as we add in stuff like greater autonomy and more sensor fusion. Designing aerostructures on its own would not create more innovation.

Moreover as the failure of the effort to port the F-35's avionics over to the F-22 illustrates, this approach can be extremely costly which may eliminate any potential cost savings that you might be able to derive. In reality its a straight recipe to drive up costs immensely as companies would charge immense amounts for altering avionics packages to meet their "Specific" requirements.

That was one of the key reasons behind a joint program. By maintaining commonality of design, they could streamline costs effectively. Having three services drive their requirements through different manufacturers, then forcing them to use a single avionics platform and engine would be nearly impossible. In the Case of the navy, they would just argue that the single engine is insufficient, and push for a F119 follow-on for their own purposes. With a program the size of the F-35, they were able to keep the service in line with the others design.

So while this might look like an attractive approach, in the end it would probably end very very badly and not meet any of the advantages you initially outlined.
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Unread post19 Sep 2012, 02:06

What it all boils down to is Gen. Bogdan doing a "Good Cop/Bad Cop" routine depending on the situation and the intended audience. Adm. Venlett has his style, Ge. Bogdan has his.
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