F-35 - is it worth the cost

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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irshlad321

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Unread post16 Apr 2011, 23:03

This may seem a little off topic but i was just run some figures through my head,here it is
The F-35 costs about $150 million per airframe
the eurofighter thyphoon costs 58 million per airframe
the rafale costs 65 million per airframe
the gripen costs 50 million per airframe
And with the apparently questionable performance is it really worth the buy?
F-35 info-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_Martin_F-35_Lightning_II#JSF_Program_requirements_and_selection
european jets-http://defensetech.org/2007/08/20/the-f-35-is-worth-the-cash/
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Unread post18 Apr 2011, 09:00

Split from the "Test flight" topic

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lb

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Unread post18 Apr 2011, 12:57

Those numbers are mostly incorrect. The Typhoon is closer to $100 million as is the Rafale. The Gripen is a lightweight single engine fighter not in the same class as the rest. Nobody knows what an F-35 is going to cost. Citing the cost of low rate initial aircraft is misleading. The F-35 will probably cost north of $100 million. For some nations and requirements it might not be "worth the buy" and for others it might be essential. One buys a fighter to meet a given set of requirements. If the only aircraft listed above that meets those requirements is the F-35 then the real question is it worth spending a bit less for an aircraft that does not do what is required? It's also worth noting the article you cited is almost 4 years old.
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sferrin

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Unread post18 Apr 2011, 13:37

irshlad321 wrote:And with the apparently questionable performance is it really worth the buy?


Pretty much the main people who are questioning its performance are those with questionable motivations and objectivity and those who don't know any better i.e., those worshipping at the feet of the former. Does it have issues? Sure, name an aircraft that didn't have issues in it's development phase. That's WHY we have a development phase - to work through the issues (Flanker fans should take note that it's first itteration sucked so bad they had to go back to the drawing board and do a complete redesign.) Is it the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, cancer, AIDS, and satan rolled into one? Not by a long shot.
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strykerxo

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Unread post18 Apr 2011, 20:39

Teething problems are typical, think of any project you work on at home or work, and more often then not it is over budget and time.

If the F-35 is as advertised:
Good questions to ask?

How survivable are these 4+ AC?
What are the alternatives?
What is the cost of an alternative?
What other AC has all the charactoristics as the F-35?
If I spend a little more I can get a lot more?

The F-22 if I am not mistaken has a stellar kill ratio, and according to pilots flying against, can not find a way to kill it. If the F-22 stats are to believed, then why would we expect less from the F-35. Apart from super-cruise and TV, the F-22/35 should be roughly comparable.
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underhill

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Unread post18 Apr 2011, 21:36

"Pretty much the main people who are questioning its performance are those with questionable motivations and objectivity and those who don't know any better i.e., those worshipping at the feet of the former."

Yes, those people! The people who have predicted the program's progress better than its managers, let alone the fans?

Also, they were the people who were pointing out long ago that flight testing was going to disclose issues, while the program insiders and the fankiddies were rabbiting on about how modeling and simulation were making flight test a formality.

Those people...
Last edited by underhill on 18 Apr 2011, 21:46, edited 1 time in total.
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wrightwing

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Unread post18 Apr 2011, 21:46

underhill wrote: You mean also the people who have predicted the program's progress better than its managers, let alone the fans?


Nah, the people who know better than the pilots that have flown the plane, and spoken highly of it.
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underhill

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Unread post18 Apr 2011, 21:53

When a company test pilot gets out of the company's airplane and promptly tells the media and the public that it is a load of rubbish and a freaking deathtrap, let me know.

I don't think that's happened in 108 years of aviation and I'm not holding my breath now.

And before you pile on with more tendentious cliches, that has nothing to do with whether a pilot as an individual is honest or not, it's about what happens in the real world, and it's why there are ironclad "what is said here, stays here" rules on SETP meetings.
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wrightwing

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Unread post18 Apr 2011, 22:21

irshlad321 wrote:This may seem a little off topic but i was just run some figures through my head,here it is
The F-35 costs about $150 million per airframe
the eurofighter thyphoon costs 58 million per airframe
the rafale costs 65 million per airframe
the gripen costs 50 million per airframe
And with the apparently questionable performance is it really worth the buy?
F-35 info-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_Martin_F-35_Lightning_II#JSF_Program_requirements_and_selection
european jets-http://defensetech.org/2007/08/20/the-f-35-is-worth-the-cash/
fill free to message me


First of all, the latest LRIP aircraft(F-35A) cost ~$125m. FRP aircraft, whether the production numbers are optimistic or pessimistic, will cost considerably less than this.

The Eurofighter, according to latest reports costs ~£170 million/aircraft.

The Rafale is likely >$100m/aircraft.

As for questionable performance, I submit that the only thing questionable are the sources making the unfounded claims.
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wrightwing

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Unread post18 Apr 2011, 22:23

underhill wrote:When a company test pilot gets out of the company's airplane and promptly tells the media and the public that it is a load of rubbish and a freaking deathtrap, let me know.

I don't think that's happened in 108 years of aviation and I'm not holding my breath now.

And before you pile on with more tendentious cliches, that has nothing to do with whether a pilot as an individual is honest or not, it's about what happens in the real world, and it's why there are ironclad "what is said here, stays here" rules on SETP meetings.


Well that's awfully convenient isn't it. Are the military pilots who speak well of the plane bought off too? What's the standard for accepting the critiques of performance, by those who haven't flown the plane(or aren't involved with the program)?
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m

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Unread post18 Apr 2011, 23:05

Using these figures is absurd. Absolute bullshit!!
Offer GripenNG (all in) to Denmark €120 million, Brazil €118 million per gripen! In euro`s!!!
A Typhoon $58!? Not even in your dreams! The Austrians would have liked this a lot!!
For $58 a Typhoon a lot of countries would want to buy this plane in stead of the jets you mention
$150 for a F35!? Even the Dutch did not pay this for a test F35!
And testplanes are always higher prized then production jets will be.

Better use correct figures, then you have a point for discussion
Last edited by m on 18 Apr 2011, 23:19, edited 2 times in total.
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Unread post18 Apr 2011, 23:06

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cafpilot

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Unread post18 Apr 2011, 23:41

Well that's awfully convenient isn't it. Are the military pilots who speak well of the plane bought off too? What's the standard for accepting the critiques of performance, by those who haven't flown the plane(or aren't involved with the program)?


I have used that same logic before in a discussion and here are some of the responses.

- doesn't matter if they are military they still work for Lockheed, and the only way to verify the testing is for a third party to conduct the testing (aka a selection). - arrow

- there are no F-35s flying yet, its only a paper aircraft - no joke a response in the Toronto Star

- they are all part of the military industrial complex, so they all work together

- I usually respond by saying, "hey if you already have your mind made up why let the facts bother you?"
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popcorn

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Unread post19 Apr 2011, 01:28

wrightwing wrote:
underhill wrote:When a company test pilot gets out of the company's airplane and promptly tells the media and the public that it is a load of rubbish and a freaking deathtrap, let me know.

I don't think that's happened in 108 years of aviation and I'm not holding my breath now.

And before you pile on with more tendentious cliches, that has nothing to do with whether a pilot as an individual is honest or not, it's about what happens in the real world, and it's why there are ironclad "what is said here, stays here" rules on SETP meetings.


Well that's awfully convenient isn't it. Are the military pilots who speak well of the plane bought off too? What's the standard for accepting the critiques of performance, by those who haven't flown the plane(or aren't involved with the program)?


My feelings too WW. Skepticism is fine,but cynicism w/c imputes financial or some ulterior motive drives any favorable feedback from test pilots, civilian and military, in particular.
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sferrin

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Unread post19 Apr 2011, 01:33

underhill wrote:When a company test pilot gets out of the company's airplane and promptly tells the media and the public that it is a load of rubbish and a freaking deathtrap, let me know.


So let's see. If the test pilot said it was garbage you'd believe it but if they said it was great you wouldn't. Yep, I can see you are completely objective on the matter.

:roll:
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