Congressional Testamony that covers Multiple Topics

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post02 May 2019, 20:05

There is a House Subcommittee hearing on Tactical Air going on right now and it looks like it will have a bunch of info. I'll post links to specific time-frames of relevant information. I will edit this post with links to new info as I hear given that the video is about 2 hours in length.

The F-35 to A-10 comparison was just completed in March of 2019. 2/3rds of the testing was done in the spring of 2018 with the final 1/3rd done in March of 2019. Final report will be ready by the end of the year.
https://youtu.be/7du-vfIWl2A?t=4065 (1:07:45 --> 1:12)


CPFH for F-35A: $44k in FY2018 with a plan for $34K by 2024. The "target" is still $25k by 2025.
https://youtu.be/7du-vfIWl2A?t=4660 (1:17:40 --> 1:20:45)


Early LRIP Jet Upgrades: The plan and budget is in place to have all early (ie TR1) F-35s upgraded to TR2 (Tech Refresh) config within 13 months (June of 2020). TR1 Jets are the main driver that is keeping the fleet-wide MC Rates low.
https://youtu.be/7du-vfIWl2A?t=5140 (1:25:40 --> 1:26:25)

Bio's and statements are HERE (Lots):
https://docs.house.gov/Committee/Calend ... tID=109348

Committee page HERE:
https://armedservices.house.gov/hearing ... 9A3354EC05
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Unread post02 May 2019, 23:43

Thanks for all the info 'SWP' (I'll get to it all soonish).
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Unread post03 May 2019, 07:49

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon’s cost assessment office doesn’t believe the F-35 program office can achieve a “stretch goal” of getting the "A" model’s cost per flying hour to $25,000 by fiscal 2025, its director said Thursday.



Seems 25,000 by 2025 is a "stretch target" and not really a "target"...

Both CAPE and the F-35 Joint Program Office arrived at similar projections for the F-35A conventional takeoff and landing variant’s cost per flying hour in FY24, with CAPE estimating $36,000 per hour and the JPO pegging costs at $34,000 per hour, said Daigle, who is stepping down later this month. (The two organizations did not provide an estimate for FY25, which is outside of the regular five-year budget cycle.)



So the "average estimate" for 2024 would then be 35,000USD for 2024. It is highly unlikely they will get anywhere near 25k in the following year. Seems impossible.

What is the corresponding CPFH for the F-16?

If the CPFH does not go down significantly it is going to be a challenge for small countries like Norway to fund other parts of the defence forces, the Navy and Army are already suffering....


Perhaps even the USAF will struggle to afford the large number of F-35 they are aiming for.
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Unread post03 May 2019, 09:31

The F-35 Selected Acquisition Reports over the past several years have put the F-16C/D's antecedent (historic average) CPFH as $25,541 in 2012 dollars, which would translate to around $28,300/hr in 2019 (though actual CPFH figures today may be higher or lower depending on aircraft aging, changes in operational pace, etc).

By the time the F-35A reaches ~$35K/hr in 2024 an F-16C would likely cost around $30K/hr (making the F-35A only 16.7% more expensive per flight hour).
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Unread post03 May 2019, 18:59

loke wrote:
If the CPFH does not go down significantly it is going to be a challenge for small countries like Norway to fund other parts of the defence forces, the Navy and Army are already suffering....


Perhaps even the USAF will struggle to afford the large number of F-35 they are aiming for.


The idea is less actual flight time and more simulator time, so the fleet will average a few less flight hours per year at a slightly higher cost but the pilots will get more overall training with the new simulators and actual flight time at a cheaper / similar cost to now.
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Unread post03 May 2019, 19:29

loke wrote:What is the corresponding CPFH for the F-16?


If the program can get to $34k by 2024 then they will actually be under the SAR estimation.

$25k by 2025 will actuly come under teh equivilent F-16 CPFH.

Here are the SAR numbers adjusted for inflation.

2019-05-03 11_27_23-Book1 - Excel.png
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Unread post18 Jun 2019, 23:11

Lockheed WILL Force Down F-35 Flight Costs: Ulmer
18 Jun 2019 Colin Clark

"PARIS AIR SHOW: It’s a mantra: 25 by 25. [In the year 2525 is a song also: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7VqsONNvIs ] Lockheed Martin recites it to ward off the criticism that the F-35 is too expensive to operate.

What’s it mean? That the costs of operating the F-35 each hour will fall to $25,000 per hour from its current $44,000. The JSF Joint Program Office is targeting $34,000 in 2024. The Pentagon’s powerful Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE) office estimate is about $36,000 in 2024, pretty close to the JPO’s estimate. But CAPE does not believe that the program can get to $25,000 by 2025. In fact, CAPE’s estimate is that flying costs will start to increase again by then because more aircraft will be in need of expensive major depot work.

Asked during his briefing here whether 25 by 25 was achievable, Greg Ulmer, head of the program for Lockheed Martin, said the company would prove itself just as it had by lowering the cost of an F-35A to below $80 million one year early...."

Source: https://breakingdefense.com/2019/06/loc ... sts-ulmer/

Lockheed pledges F-35 flight hour costs WILL come down https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6Uy6AKlGYo

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doge

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Unread post19 Jun 2019, 08:02

Similar articles from janes.
https://www.janes.com/article/89314/par ... ting-costs
Paris Air Show 2019: Lockheed Martin touts ‘25 by 25’ initiative to drive down F-35 operating costs
Gareth Jennings, Paris - Jane's Defence Weekly 17 June 2019
Lockheed Martin plans to dramatically reduce through-life operating and sustainment costs of the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) combat aircraft through, what it calls, its '25 by 25' initiative.

Geared at reducing the F-35's costs to USD25,000 per flight hour by 2025, this '25 by 25' initiative is a company-launched effort that aims to mirror the success that Lockheed Martin has had in its goal of bringing the aircraft's procurement costs down to below USD80 million (for the F-35A-model) by 2020.

"Over the last three years we have already seen a 15% reduction in the cost per flight hour of the F-35, and through discrete actions - management of the supply chain and logistical footprint, for example - we aim to get the current USD35,000 per flight hour down to USD25,000 by 2025," Greg Ulmer, vice-president and general manager, F-35 programme, said at the Paris Air Show on 17 June. As noted by Ulmer, about 40% of the F-35's operating costs are owned by Lockheed Martin, with the remainder being the responsibility of the operator.

With Lockheed Martin actually tracking ahead of its 2020 goal for a USD80 million-unit price - this target is now set to be achieved with Lot 13 of low-rate initial production (LRIP) later this year - the '25 by 25' initiative should help solve the aircraft's very high operating costs, which are seen as an Achilles' heel for the F-35 in the international market place.

Responding to suggestions that this operating cost reduction goal might be too ambitious for the programme, Ulmer noted, "Many said we couldn't get to an USD80 million aircraft, but we did it. We haven't committed to something that we don't think we can achieve."
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Unread post19 Jun 2019, 13:03

In addition to the perpetual problem of inconsistency in cost methodologies, I wonder which individual cost elements reside within LM’s wherewithal to affect (and which fall under the USG).
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Unread post21 Jun 2019, 19:47

geforcerfx wrote: The idea is less actual flight time and more simulator time, so the fleet will average a few less flight hours per year at a slightly higher cost but the pilots will get more overall training with the new simulators and actual flight time at a cheaper / similar cost to now.

Your observation is outstanding, geforcerfx. Your comment demonstrates complete comprehension of how CPFH relates to operating cost. Very well said.

loke wrote: If the CPFH does not go down significantly it is going to be a challenge for small countries like Norway to fund other parts of the defence forces, the Navy and Army are already suffering....

Actually, small countries like Norway will do better to see its CPFH increase instead of falling, as geforcer observes above. His "slightly higher cost" refers to CPFH, but he is correct that total operating costs would decline due to reduction in the number of flight hours.

This case is an ideal example of how the media, whether knowingly or not, can mislead the public about how CPFH can behave relative to operating cost.
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Unread post21 Jun 2019, 21:19

There are certain skills for which there is no substitute for flight time in real aircraft. However, I think that leaders are also starting to better understand that the cost of developing skill in a given mission is realistically unattainable absent modern high fidelity simulation. When we start thinking about the range(s) at which modern fighters ‘see’ the battlespace, the ability of simulation to repetitively present training scenarios in relatively short time segments is unmatched. In real jets, lotsa JP and time gets spent driving back to one’s CAP or push point during each reset; not so in simulation — just press ‘reset.’
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Unread post19 Dec 2019, 07:10

LM has made a proposal/commits! :doh: All right !? :roll:
https://aviationweek.com/defense-space/ ... pment-work
Lockheed Looks To More F-35 Development Work
Michael Bruno December 09, 2019
Lockheed Martin is looking to new government interest in follow-on modernization (FOM) upgrades of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to drive future business returns on top of what could be ballooning sustainment revenue, according to the company’s chief financial officer (CFO).
CFO Ken Possenriede told a Credit Suisse investor conference this month that FOM and sustainment will drive business growth out of the F-35 for Lockheed and its shareholders as production returns shrink with unit price reductions and maturing production.
“We ended the SDD [system design and development] program, but the customer still is looking at capability that they want,” he told financial analysts and investors. “So you’ll see growth there and in sustainment.”
Lockheed Martin expects to deliver 131 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters this year, compared with 91 in 2018, and should deliver 140 in 2020. Over the next few years, Lockheed expects total international demand for the F-35 to drive production to about 175 a year, most of which will be built in Fort Worth, but with some finished in Japan or Italy.
But because the price per aircraft has been reduced 13% over low-rate production lots 11-14, to below $80 million per jet for the A variant, that part of the program–“the lion’s share” now–is increasingly becoming minimized as a moneymaker.
“The reduction in price has been faster than the ramp-up in quantity,” Possenriede said. “So it’s going to be, at least in the short term, [that] you’ll probably see modest growth in production revenue.”
Lockheed won the original $19 billion SDD contract in 2001, but spending on the FOM, also called Block 4 improvements, could reach an additional $16 billion under Pentagon plans discussed last year.
At the same time, the F-35 fleet is expected to more than double from about 400 aircraft to 1,000 in the next couple of years.
“You’ll have more sparing, some more repairing,” he said. “But then you’ll see a larger influx of the modification work that will get done, and you’ll see sustainment over the next couple of years double. So that will be a faster piece of the revenue.”
The company is about one-third complete in standing up repair base facilities now.
Lockheed also continues to promote a performance-based logistics contract for the F-35, the CFO noted.

“We provided a white paper, call it an unsolicited proposal, that basically commits to the 80% availability and it commits to the $25,000 per flight hour, which we think is the right number to get to,” he said Dec. 5.
The F-35 currently costs $35,000 a flight hour.
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Unread post13 Apr 2020, 18:07

CPFH $ 29,000 !?!? :shock:
What kind of magic did LM use !? :doh:
https://www.defenseone.com/business/202 ... ef=d-river
USN: send money; Changes coming to F-35 logistics; NG’s new logo; and more…
BY MARCUS WEISGERBER GLOBAL BUSINESS EDITOR JANUARY 16, 2020
Not So Fast on F-35 Logistics Deal
Lord also threw some cold water on Lockheed Martin's proposed five-year, $ 15 billion F-35 maintenance deal.``At this point, I don't know whether a [performance-based logistics deal] makes sense or not because I have not seen all the elements of cost and what the burn down is, '' Lord said.Right now, the Pentagon awards annual contracts to manage F-35 logistics.The most recent one of those deals (for $ 1.9 billion) was announced on Dec. 31.

The Pentagon wants to lower the price of flying an F-35.It costs more than $ 30,000 per hour now and Pentagon officials have data showing that figure coming down to about $ 29,000, Lord said. “By 2025, we'd really like to be to $ 25,000 per flight hour. "

But defense leaders say they want more data from Lockheed. “The initial proposal that Lockheed put in was extremely high level,” Lord said. “We have been working since last fall to… generate the dataset to understand the performance of the aircraft, all the elements of cost that go into maintaining it whether that be material, whether that be labor. ”
The Pentagon has hired an outside consultant “to make sure that we have independent points of view,” Lord said.
“I've seen PBLs be very efficient and effective when it's a win for industry and a win for the government,” Lord said. “Right now, we need some clarity around cost.We need some clarity around intellectual property issues in order to understand all the elements of cost and make the best decision in terms of the value for the taxpayer and to make sure the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps has the best service delivery possible. "
If not a so-called performance-based logistics deal, then what? “We're looking at everything from the way we're doing things now to a full PBL to something in between like we've done on other programs,” Geurts , the Navy's top acquisition official, said Wednesday.
Speaking of F-35 Logistics: The military will replace the Autonomic Logistics Information System, known as ALIS, with a new system called the Operational Data Integrated Network, or ODIN.More on that here.
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Unread post15 Apr 2020, 16:43

My thoughts: If LM is professing 25 by 25 so loudly and publicly, they probably have good reason to do so. Meaning they must have a very high confidence level it's achievable. And that has to stem from data, not just wishful thinking.

I'm not sure where it's going to come from. I'd imagine savings might be seen in fuel savings, the cost to train pilots or efficiency improvements in terms of avionics and/or engines. That's really where the majority of your costs come from anyway, engine and avionics. But I am admittedly no expert on the matter. I have every confidence LM can do this, and just hope they'll elaborate as to how.

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