IOC or else

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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popcorn

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Unread post09 May 2012, 06:32

Boeing is getting desperate
Are the Marines pushing through with plans to declare IOC ahead of Blk.3 software?


http://defense.aol.com/2012/05/08/rep-a ... -procurem/

Rep. Akin Loses Patience With F-35, Wants To Fence Half Procurement Dough

CAPITOL HILL: One of the staunchest supporters of Boeing's F-18, Rep. Todd Akin, will introduce tomorrow an amendment putting a fence around half of Lockheed Martin's F-35's procurement spending.

Akin, who pushed hard last year to win Boeing multiyear procurement authority for the F-18, slammed the F-35 program, saying it must tell Congress when it expects to meet Initial Operating Capability, the point at which pilots get a plane they can expect to take to war..

In his letter, Akin said his amendment "will not harm the development of the program, but will only slow the actual buying of airframes if the DOD does not establish an IOC date."

We understand Lockheed Martin lobbyists are already swarming Capitol Hill to kibosh Akin's amendment.
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geogen

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Unread post09 May 2012, 07:07

Rather, is this not a when things are most ugly, simply point fingers at Boeing bash? Where is the accountability and seriousness?

Forget Boeing already. This is about the F-35 and it's acute and sincere viability issues including unacceptable IOC date slippage. Deal with those (eg, the unit Gross weapon system price when produced under significantly reduced LRIP and FRP rates) and then one can make a more honest evaluation and assessment of what fundamental factors to make forward looking decisions on.
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archeman

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Unread post09 May 2012, 07:38

So what is so critical about asking for, or giving an IOC date?
There must be a master schedule somewhere right and on that schedule is an IOC?

There must be some other binding language in that amendment that the primary contractor wants to avoid.
Is it just that the goal of asking for the IOC date is so that you can later say that they slipped AGAIN?
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cywolf32

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Unread post09 May 2012, 09:13

Acute and Sincere viability issues? Are you serious? I see nothing but dramatic posturing here. Boeing knows as well as you there is nothing catastrophic going forward regarding the F-35. It's pure drama. The YF-17 was a prime example of engineering going forward to produce its cousins even though IT LOST to the F-16. And why is it that the only acft arguing it's case here is the F-18? No one talks about future F-16/15 procurement. Boeing knows going forward that the USAF and USMC is committed to the F-35. That's why it's pushing in the direction it is regarding the F-18 for the Navy. This totally disregards USMC and USAF requirements and costs.
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twintwinsingle

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Unread post09 May 2012, 15:40

I think the point here is not that Boeing or MO politicians have an agenda...of course they do. Just as Lockheed and politicians from TX and GA have an agenda. Businesses (all of them) are around to make MONEY. That isn't a bad thing and it doesn't make the people that work there sinister or diabolical. Part of making money is getting the customer (in this case the US DoD) to want to buy your stuff and not want to buy the stuff from your competitor. Politicians are around to get re-elected...period. Part of that is brining money and jobs to your constituants. That means getting anyone who will listen to you to believe that the stuff made in your district/state is better than the stuff made in somebody elses. This is just the way it is. It doesn't make the Boeing/MO people short-sighted, vengeful or evil anymore than it makes the LM/GA/TX people that way for supporting the F-35. If this were an F-18 website we'd be deriding the LM folks for slipping their timeline 10 years and tripling their price and mocking the TX politicians for still championing the jet.

I've flown product from both of the companies in question and they both build a good jet. No question. However, to be fair, the last 3 projects that McD/Boeing had (F-15E, F-18 and F-18E/F) were delivered on time or early and at or under budget. Even the F-15A/C, which did have a significant price increase during its procurement was delivered on time. The F-4 was on-time and under budget as well. So we have a 50 year history of on time products within the constraints of the original budget. So, I really don't think we can fault the Boeing Co. or the MO politicians from trying to highlight the fact that in less than a decade, one of the most reliable producers of airplanes in US history will be out of the fighter business and they shouldn't be. LM/GD has a tremendous success with the F-16 line. Superb jet delivered on time and at or under budget for its 35+ year history. However, going back as far as I did with Boeing: B-58 was over budget, F-111 late and over budget by a lot, F-22 way late and way over budget, F-35 way late and way over budget. Lockheed does make a fine airplane, but with the exception of the F-16 they seem to be much better at making money than they are at sticking to budget or timeline. So, again, I don't think we can fault the MO contingent for trying to highlight this fact...LM would do the exact same if the shoe were on the other foot. Boeing lost, plain and simple, in a fairly contested competition. The F-35 will not be cancelled, that's safe to say. But it's the American way to have open debate about the choices the govt makes and this is one choice where I think there is a lot to discuss...even if the outcome won't change.
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archeman

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Unread post09 May 2012, 16:17

Acute and Sincere viability issues? Are you serious?


I am serious. And I don't have an agenda, don't work for the enemy or ally.
There MUST be a schedule for all versions, and those schedules must have IOC and support phases on them.
Why are those schedules not available for the congressman to read? They should be.

My point here is that the schedules probably ARE available for the congressman to read, so their must be an agenda here beyond the IOC date itself. What is that exactly?

I don't spend a lot of time mucking about in Washington .gov websites, does anyone have a copy of the actual text of the amendment?
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Unread post09 May 2012, 16:20

twintwinsingle-

Say what?

F-15E, F-18C/D/E/F, all progressive work on already established designs, similar to the F-16 C/D/E/F.

B-58, F-111, F-22 and F-35, all revolutionary work. Clean sheet work. Similar to the C-17, B-787, B-777 all of which have had budget and schedule issues.

The B-58 and F-111 were designed before the F-15A/B or F-18A/B, so no it's not the same time frame comparison.

Please compare apples-to-apples

Additionally, the F-22 is the LM-Boeing Raptor, not the LM only Raptor.

I hear what you are saying regarding congressmen and companies doing what they do to get elected and make money, but please compare apples-to-apples.

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Unread post09 May 2012, 16:23

However, to be fair, the last 3 projects that McD/Boeing had (F-15E, F-18 and F-18E/F) were delivered on time or early and at or under budget.


All three of those were developed from previous fighters, so this is not a good apples-to-apples comparison.

btw, Did you forget about the most resent McD fighter/bomber project failure, aka the "A-12 Avenger 2".
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handyman

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Unread post09 May 2012, 17:09

The real problem is the ability of lobbyists to influence legislation. It extends to everything congress does not just this issue. The best government money can buy.
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twintwinsingle

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Unread post09 May 2012, 17:37

Spudman, correct, I did not include projects that got cancelled, so no I didn't include the A-12. However, good point, that was a total failure. The F-18 in my comment referred to the F-18 A-D (I seperated the E/F). Unless you count the YF-17 as a previous fighter, and I don't, it was a clean sheet design...no comonality with the YF. If you count the YF-17, then Lockheed is simply revising the X-35 jets, so they are not clean sheet either, despite zero commonality with the X jets. In addition, the F-18E/F is almost a completely new design, with flight control and weapons software being pretty much the only thing common.

Sufa, I did not include heavy's (tanker/transport), but correct, the C-17 etc. have had their issues. So, let's talk L-1011 and C-5A/B...not so bueno either. As I said above, the F-18A-D was not an evolutionary project. I had the F-4 (1st flight in 1958) as my B-58/F-111-vintage comparison. F-4 was multi-service, multi-role, CV and CTOL and had truly revolutionary capabilities for its time. On time and on/under budget. True, it wasn't much compared to the teenagers that replaced it, but it did what the services asked for, delivered on time and it did so for the agreed upon price. So at the same time as the F-4 (+/- 5 years) the also revolutionary F-111 and B-58 were not nearly as successful at meeting the contract obligations.


Look, I don't have stock in either company, so I really don't care either way. I'm just telling you that as a guy who has been a user of these products for a few years now, that rightly or wrongly, LM has a decided reputation as a company that over promises and under-delivers (F-16 aside).
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SpudmanWP

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Unread post09 May 2012, 17:55

The F-18A had more in common with the YF-17 than the F-35 has to the X-35.

The X-35 had no avionics (besides flight control) and no weapons bay (which by adding would require a massive redesign).
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twintwinsingle

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Unread post09 May 2012, 18:24

YF's did have avionics but not the type that they used in the F-18. Different engines, flight control system, wing, fuselage, tail section, you name it. Nothing was the same. I don't dispute that the X-35's are 100% different than the F-35's...I totally agree. LM started from a blank sheet, with the X-35 design concepts as a base for their new design. I'd say that McD did the same with the F-18.
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Unread post09 May 2012, 18:37

There is also the question as to whether the F-18A/B was truly multi-role or did it have to wait for C/D.

IF so, then the development time & money to get all the way to F-18C is closer to what the F-35 will be at IOC than looking at the F-18A.
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Unread post09 May 2012, 18:46

Well, Boeing and Lockheed just inherited the Eagle, Viper, Hornet and SuperHornet platforms anyway when they acquired the original manufacturers. At least LM can claim the F-22 and F-35 as original designs. iirc the last original Boeing fighter was the P-26.
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Unread post09 May 2012, 18:52

There's a similar question for the F-16A/B. The pre-ADF A-models were basically day-only heat/guns fighters. They could fly and attack ground targets in all WX, but A-A they were not going to kill squat with the AIM-9 in the clouds. So, F-16 was not truly "IOC" until the Block 25 in 1984 if we use that logic.
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