F-35 Early Deploy & Shining USAF mag'n

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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Unread post25 May 2011, 09:46

An Early Jolt of Lightning, Maybe: Wednesday May 25, 2011


"The Air Force could be in a position to deploy some of its F-35A strike fighters to combat even before the new stealth aircraft is formally declared ready for operations, Lt. Gen. Herbert Carlisle, Air Staff lead for operations, plans, and requirements, told lawmakers Tuesday. "If the combatant commanders said, 'We need this capability,' then we would clearly provide it," he told the Senate Armed Services Committee's airland panel. The Air Force anticipates reaching initial operational capability with the F-35A in late 2017 or sometime in 2018. Combat-ready F-35As are planned to have the Block 3 software and hardware suite, said Carlisle. Before that milestone, however, the Air Force expects to have "on the order of a hundred airplanes" in the earlier Block 2B configuration delivered to operational units, he explained. Those aircraft will still possess "a lot of capability . . . that is very impressive," he said. Plus, those units will be training and developing tactics, techniques, and procedures, and the logistics infrastructure will be maturing, he said. Depending on the circumstances, "we would, with all the safety considerations, be ready to go," said Carlisle. (Carlisle's prepared testimony)

Lockheed Martin's Time to Shine:
Lockheed Martin is 20 percent ahead of it's flight plan for all three variants of the F-35 strike fighter and 33 percent ahead of planned test points, Bob Stevens, company chairman and CEO, told reporters Tuesday. "There will not be another rebaseline of this program. There will not be. We understand that," said Stevens during a briefing at the company's offices in Arlington, Va. He said the company is committed to working with the Defense Department to get the F-35 program back on track. "There are early signs that the program is stabilizing," he noted. Last week, Senate Armed Services Committee leadership expressed concern over the F-35 program's estimated $1 trillion price tag (in inflation-adjusted dollars). That estimate is based on 2,443 airplanes flown over the course of 52 years with more than 50 basing locations, said Steve O'Bryan, Lockheed vice president for F-35 business development. O'Bryan said the company does not believe that the cost figure is realistic and is dedicated to proving the aircraft's reliability—better reliability would mean less lifecycle costs. "Let's see how we perform. I will feel more confident [citing a figure] once we have more than 10 percent of all testing behind us," said O'Bryan.
—Amy McCullough"
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Unread post25 May 2011, 16:32

Sounds of music..


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Unread post25 May 2011, 23:50

Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future. ~Attributed to Mark Twain, Neils Bohr, Casey Stengel, Yogi Berra, and others.

Since when are aircraft program costs estimated out 50 years? An estimate like that smacks of a political agenda designed to make the aircraft seem outrageously expensive. Combine this with earlier predictions that the F-35 was going to cost $150 million each and disperse these "estimates" across a gullible media and you have the makings of a campaign designed to kill this project.


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