Romney's Guy Talks about F-35 (Among Other Things)

Program progress, politics, orders, and speculation
  • Author
  • Message
Offline

1st503rdsgt

Banned

  • Posts: 1547
  • Joined: 23 Jan 2011, 01:23

Unread post07 Oct 2012, 20:04

Here's some highlights from an interview with John Lehman, Romney's handler for all things defense related. A lot besides the F-35 is mentioned at the jump... not really certain how they plan to pay for this have-it-all approach.

Q. Are you committed to retaining 11 aircraft carriers?
A. Right now, 11 carriers is part of the plan, but also with 11 air wings. We’d have an air wing for every carrier.

And we would almost immediately reverse the Obama decision to stop production of the F/A-18 Super Hornet in 2014. We think it’s essential to keep the F-18s in production, as well as the F-35.

The actual mix of F-35s and F-18s on the air wings is something that will be looked at carefully...

Q. Would you bring forward the fighter replacement programmed now in the late 2020s?
A. One of the top priorities of the Romney program is to fundamentally change and fix the procurement mess. We used to be able to bring complex systems from initiation to deployment in seven years. Essentially, the F-16 only took about seven years. Polaris and Minuteman only took four years. And in those days, with comparatively primitive technology, there were far more complex challenges to integrate systems than even the F-22 today. F-22 took 22 years. In fact, according to the Defense Business Board, the average for the Department of Defense is 22 years. Well that’s crazy.

Part of it is the lack of discipline in requirements; requirements are being added all the time.

After the first ship [of the DDG 51 Arleigh Burke class] we froze the design, and there were no more change orders unless it was life-threatening. There were constant attempts by DoD and parts of the Navy to add new bells and whistles and capabilities, more new systems. Part of the Navy really wanted hangars on them, and we said no, we’re not going to do any changes.

At that time, every F-14 in the fleet was different. Change orders flowed in to the production without discipline. Every single F-14 had to have its own full record of its systems. No two were alike. That’s the extreme of the indiscipline if you don’t have a real firm grip on basic changes. And all that has been lost in the last 20 years or so. So that can bring the prices way down.

It’s the same on airplanes. The number of changes on the F-35 design is beyond belief. There are so many entities in the joint requirements committees, in the defense establishment. They’re all empowered to write requirement changes, that it’s impossible to do a program at any affordable rate the way the system operates now.

Q. Would you make any changes in the procurement of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter?
A. At this point, it’s not possible to say. A lot is going to depend on whether they get the costs under control, particularly the flyaway costs. Until you know how much it’s going to cost, you don’t know how many you’re going to fit into the program. That’s why it’s so essential to keep the Super Hornets in production so the mix can be flexed depending on how the F-35 actually pans out.


http://www.defensenews.com/article/2012 ... |FRONTPAGE
The sky is blue because God loves the Infantry.
Offline

SpudmanWP

Elite 3K

Elite 3K

  • Posts: 4794
  • Joined: 12 Oct 2006, 19:18
  • Location: California

Unread post07 Oct 2012, 20:41

And we would almost immediately reverse the Obama decision to stop production of the F/A-18 Super Hornet in 2014. We think it’s essential to keep the F-18s in production, as well as the F-35.
I see this in the similar light as the "I'll restart F-22 production" line, a vote getter that will be "adjusted" when he gets in office and starts talking to the DoD about their real needs and the reason for going all F-35.
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."
Offline

sferrin

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1944
  • Joined: 22 Jul 2005, 03:23

Unread post07 Oct 2012, 21:01

"One of the top priorities of the Romney program is to fundamentally change and fix the procurement mess. We used to be able to bring complex systems from initiation to deployment in seven years. Essentially, the F-16 only took about seven years. Polaris and Minuteman only took four years. And in those days, with comparatively primitive technology, there were far more complex challenges to integrate systems than even the F-22 today. F-22 took 22 years. In fact, according to the Defense Business Board, the average for the Department of Defense is 22 years. Well that’s crazy."

He's 100% correct here. What they were able to accomplish "back in the day" with far more primitive tools is absolutely mind boggling. We can't even make an off the shelf 30 year old goddamn ramjet work without being scared away by risk. See LRASM-B
"There I was. . ."
Offline
User avatar

neptune

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1389
  • Joined: 24 Oct 2008, 00:03
  • Location: Houston

Unread post07 Oct 2012, 21:37

If his lips are moving, "He's Lying!" :cry:
Offline

alloycowboy

Forum Veteran

Forum Veteran

  • Posts: 651
  • Joined: 26 Oct 2010, 08:28
  • Location: Canada

Unread post07 Oct 2012, 21:39

If the plan is to kill the F-18 in the year 2014 that would explain the delay the Canadian Government put on the F-35 purchase.
Offline

SpudmanWP

Elite 3K

Elite 3K

  • Posts: 4794
  • Joined: 12 Oct 2006, 19:18
  • Location: California

Unread post07 Oct 2012, 21:41

Primitive tools, low capabilities, no sensor fusion, and loss of training pilots as an acceptable risk.

That is no longer the case, especially for sensor fusion and pilot loss.

This is not just a DoD phenomenon as the Rafale & Eurofighter took just as long (longer if you look at how they went IOC and with what capabilities). The Rafale went straight to IOC with it's first production run before they even had a training or OT&E sqdn.

The F-35 is going IOC with what is essentially the F-16C Blk30+ (in terms of structural & avionics changes). The DoD decided to look at what it wanted the F-35 to do, what it needed, and went directly to Blk3 instead of a stripped down Blk1 (ala F-16A). This will obviously take longer but will save money in the long run due to not having the need to upgrade all those Blk1/2 airframes.
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."
Offline

SpudmanWP

Elite 3K

Elite 3K

  • Posts: 4794
  • Joined: 12 Oct 2006, 19:18
  • Location: California

Unread post07 Oct 2012, 21:42

The delay in the Canadian purchase is due to the delays in F-35 SDD.
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."
Offline

maus92

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1663
  • Joined: 21 May 2010, 17:50
  • Location: Annapolis, MD

Unread post07 Oct 2012, 21:57

F/A-18E/F production will not end in 2014.
Last edited by maus92 on 07 Oct 2012, 22:35, edited 1 time in total.
Offline

1st503rdsgt

Banned

  • Posts: 1547
  • Joined: 23 Jan 2011, 01:23

Unread post07 Oct 2012, 21:57

SpudmanWP wrote:The F-35 is going IOC with what is essentially the F-16C Blk30+ (in terms of structural & avionics changes). The DoD decided to look at what it wanted the F-35 to do, what it needed, and went directly to Blk3 instead of a stripped down Blk1 (ala F-16A). This will obviously take longer but will save money in the long run due to not having the need to upgrade all those Blk1/2 airframes.


My understanding is that the IOC F-35s will be effective but rather limited (basic JADAM and AMRAAM capability only). Of course, reaching its full potential will be a mere matter of software updates instead of drilling holes and running wire, but it'll still take time.
The sky is blue because God loves the Infantry.
Offline

maus92

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1663
  • Joined: 21 May 2010, 17:50
  • Location: Annapolis, MD

Unread post07 Oct 2012, 22:46

1st503rdsgt wrote:
SpudmanWP wrote:The F-35 is going IOC with what is essentially the F-16C Blk30+ (in terms of structural & avionics changes). The DoD decided to look at what it wanted the F-35 to do, what it needed, and went directly to Blk3 instead of a stripped down Blk1 (ala F-16A). This will obviously take longer but will save money in the long run due to not having the need to upgrade all those Blk1/2 airframes.


My understanding is that the IOC F-35s will be effective but rather limited (basic JADAM and AMRAAM capability only). Of course, reaching its full potential will be a mere matter of software updates instead of drilling holes and running wire, but it'll still take time.


"Mere" software aka capability upgrades are not uncomplicated or inexpensive, nor will it negate further hardware upgrades to processing silicon. Seems conceptually easy, but hardware architecture does evolve faster than roadmaps.
Offline

neurotech

Elite 1K

Elite 1K

  • Posts: 1999
  • Joined: 09 May 2012, 21:34

Unread post07 Oct 2012, 23:08

maus92 wrote:F/A-18E/F production will not end in 2014.

With the MYP contracts, stopping production in 2014 wouldn't really save money, not to mention the F-35 production rate won't be able to replace all the USN jets that are retiring before 2020.
Offline

SpudmanWP

Elite 3K

Elite 3K

  • Posts: 4794
  • Joined: 12 Oct 2006, 19:18
  • Location: California

Unread post07 Oct 2012, 23:12

That is true for the F-35B only which is going IOC with Blk2B rather than waiting for full Blk3 capability.

Look at the weapon charts for the F-35 and everything in purple is Blk3. UAI will also expand the weapons beyond the stated scope.

Image
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."
Offline

1st503rdsgt

Banned

  • Posts: 1547
  • Joined: 23 Jan 2011, 01:23

Unread post07 Oct 2012, 23:15

maus92 wrote:
1st503rdsgt wrote:
SpudmanWP wrote:The F-35 is going IOC with what is essentially the F-16C Blk30+ (in terms of structural & avionics changes). The DoD decided to look at what it wanted the F-35 to do, what it needed, and went directly to Blk3 instead of a stripped down Blk1 (ala F-16A). This will obviously take longer but will save money in the long run due to not having the need to upgrade all those Blk1/2 airframes.


My understanding is that the IOC F-35s will be effective but rather limited (basic JADAM and AMRAAM capability only). Of course, reaching its full potential will be a mere matter of software updates instead of drilling holes and running wire, but it'll still take time.


"Mere" software aka capability upgrades are not uncomplicated or inexpensive, nor will it negate further hardware upgrades to processing silicon. Seems conceptually easy, but hardware architecture does evolve faster than roadmaps.


Either way, with the F-35, it's easier to upgrade the aircraft one already has as opposed to the parking old ones in the desert as B/C/D/E/F/G variants come off the line.
The sky is blue because God loves the Infantry.
Offline

1st503rdsgt

Banned

  • Posts: 1547
  • Joined: 23 Jan 2011, 01:23

Unread post07 Oct 2012, 23:17

SpudmanWP wrote:That is true for the F-35B only which is going IOC with Blk2B rather than waiting for full Blk3 capability.

Look at the weapon charts for the F-35 and everything in purple is Blk3. UAI will also expand the weapons beyond the stated scope.

Image


Done. I stand corrected.
The sky is blue because God loves the Infantry.
Offline

SpudmanWP

Elite 3K

Elite 3K

  • Posts: 4794
  • Joined: 12 Oct 2006, 19:18
  • Location: California

Unread post07 Oct 2012, 23:22

@Maus92: The plan for the F-35 is Hardware upgrades every two Blocks (starting with Blk2). These are called tech refreshes (TRs). So Even Blks comprise a TR & Software and Odd Blks are Software only (with small hardware upgrades where needed).

@neurotech: MYP contracts are not indefinite and have an ending. The current F-18E/F contracts ends in 2014 and a new one would have to be negotiated at that time. As to whether F-35B/Cs can be built fast enough: Considering that the F-18E/F is only being built at a rate of~ 28 per year (13 in FY2014), the F-35 line can handle this with ease (if Congress grows a pair).
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."
Next

Return to Program and politics

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests