F-35 Lifetime Cost Estimates DROP 22%

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SpudmanWP

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Unread post21 Aug 2013, 19:32

A fleet of Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT)’s F-35 fighters will cost $857 billion over 55 years to operate and support, 22 percent less than previously estimated, according to the head of the Pentagon office developing the plane.

The new estimate reflects the aircraft’s performance in 5,000 test flights over 7,000 hours, Air Force Lieutenant General Christopher Bogdan, the Defense Department’s program manager for the F-35, told the Senate Armed Services Committee in written answers last month that haven’t been made public until now.

“The previous cost estimate did not factor in this new knowledge,” Bogdan said.

Operating costs include expenses from spare parts to repairs and fuel. Officially, the Pentagon’s estimate remains $1.1 trillion, a two-year-old projection developed by the Pentagon’s independent cost-assessment office.


http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-08-2 ... mates.html
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shingen

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Unread post21 Aug 2013, 19:48

I thought we had it on good authority from Typhoon and Rafale fanboys that the F-35 would be more expensive than those superior aircraft.

Perhaps they were wrong.
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rotosequence

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Unread post21 Aug 2013, 20:00

shingen wrote:I thought we had it on good authority from Typhoon and Rafale fanboys that the F-35 would be more expensive than those superior aircraft.

Perhaps they were wrong.


It's entirely possible that Lockheed Martin or The Pentagon (or both) are lying through their teeth in an effort to protect a program that they see to be at real risk from the FY2014 cuts to military spending ($40 billion).

It's possible that they're truly getting the F-35's costs under control, but historical precedent suggests other, less positive possibilities.
Last edited by rotosequence on 21 Aug 2013, 20:01, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post21 Aug 2013, 20:01

I wonder if the Canadian ~$40 Billion lifetime cost took these new numbers into account?
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lookieloo

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Unread post21 Aug 2013, 20:39

Trying to predict costs over a 50-year period is idiotic whether the numbers or good or bad. One can simply make up any figures depending on agendas in a given place at a given time.
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XanderCrews

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Unread post21 Aug 2013, 20:52

rotosequence wrote:
shingen wrote:I thought we had it on good authority from Typhoon and Rafale fanboys that the F-35 would be more expensive than those superior aircraft.

Perhaps they were wrong.


It's entirely possible that Lockheed Martin or The Pentagon (or both) are lying through their teeth in an effort to protect a program that they see to be at real risk from the FY2014 cuts to military spending ($40 billion).

It's possible that they're truly getting the F-35's costs under control, but historical precedent suggests other, less positive possibilities.


We have also seen LRIP and concurrency retrofit costs being lowered as well though... Costs are lowering.
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Prinz_Eugn

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Unread post21 Aug 2013, 21:20

lookieloo wrote:Trying to predict costs over a 50-year period is idiotic whether the numbers or good or bad. One can simply make up any figures depending on agendas in a given place at a given time.


Are you saying predicting the future fifty years from now isn't a realistic goal?

Excuse me, I have go dispute all those psychic hotline charges on my phone bill.
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Unread post21 Aug 2013, 21:46

F-35 operating cost drops below $1 trillion -source 21 Aug 2013
"Aug 21 (Reuters) - The U.S. government now estimates it will cost $857 billion to operate and maintain a fleet of more than 2,000 Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jets over 55 years, a drop of more than 20 percent from the previous estimate of more than $1 trillion, according to a senior defense official.

The new estimate reflects actual data about the airplane's performance and revised assumptions about how it will be used in combat...."

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/ ... OP20130821
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Unread post21 Aug 2013, 22:01

spazsinbad wrote:F-35 operating cost drops below $1 trillion -source 21 Aug 2013
"Aug 21 (Reuters) - The U.S. government now estimates it will cost $857 billion to operate and maintain a fleet of more than 2,000 Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jets over 55 years, a drop of more than 20 percent from the previous estimate of more than $1 trillion, according to a senior defense official.

The new estimate reflects actual data about the airplane's performance and revised assumptions about how it will be used in combat...."

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/ ... OP20130821
Key phrase being "revised assumptions," because 50-year guesses were never based on anything more than vague assumptions. I could assume that the airframes will disintegrate after 5000 hrs and dare anyone to prove me wrong, seeing as no F-35 has reached that milestone yet.
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Unread post21 Aug 2013, 22:50

More to the above story perhaps in some minor detail otherwise....

Marines Put F-35B Flight Costs 17 Percent Lower Than OSD 21 Aug 2013 Colin Clark
"PENTAGON: By combing through the assumptions — some of them deeply questionable — undergirding the Defense Department’s official cost estimates for the F-35B and refining them, the Marines say the plane should cost 16.6 percent less per flight hour than the current estimate. Since the F-35B is the most expensive plane to operate, lowering these cost estimates for the Joint Strike Fighter’s Marine version would have a substantial impact on the program’s overall costs.

“We believe we are going to achieve much greater savings than we are currently being credited for,” Marine Lt. Gen. Robert Schmidle, deputy commandant for aviation, told me in an interview here.

Among the questionable assumptions Schmidle highlighted is this whopper: the Office of Secretary Defense estimate developed by the Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation office (CAPE) predicted that the F-35B would be flown at full throttle in STOVL mode — which uses enormous amounts of fuel and utilizes the highly sophisticated lift fan system at much greater rates than the Marines project — about 80 percent of its time in the air.

...The great majority of the plane’s flight time — ... — would be spent flying without using the lift fan and STOVL.

The current CAPE estimate assumes $41,000 an hour for the F-35B. a senior defense official said they will eventually bring the costs down to $30,000 per hour, with an interim figure of about $37,000. Schmidle also notes that the F-35B’s cost figures were extrapolated from the costs of the much older AV-8B Harrier.

Overall, once the F-35 replaces the three Marine aircraft — F-18, EA-6B, Harrier — it is designed to supplant the Marines will save an estimated $520 million a year in operations and maintenance costs in 2012 dollars, Schmidle says...."

http://breakingdefense.com/2013/08/21/m ... -than-osd/
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hb_pencil

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Unread post22 Aug 2013, 00:13

SpudmanWP wrote:I wonder if the Canadian ~$40 Billion lifetime cost took these new numbers into account?


No, they did not. They used the old CAPE numbers, which will be revised when the official numbers actually are released.
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Unread post22 Aug 2013, 00:29

lookieloo wrote:Trying to predict costs over a 50-year period is idiotic whether the numbers or good or bad. One can simply make up any figures depending on agendas in a given place at a given time.


Exactly. Thanks for that valid input.

Also, the article specifically notes the 55-year cost for "a fleet" will be $857B.

Well, what is the exact numeric size of 'this fleet' being estimated cost-wise??

Perhaps also, how many annual flight hours are being calculated into this 'latest' revised cost estimate?

I mean c'mon, let's please be out in the open and honest in a little more detail about these fairly significant claims so one can put an actual finger on them?
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Unread post22 Aug 2013, 00:49

spazsinbad wrote:Among the questionable assumptions Schmidle highlighted is this whopper: the Office of Secretary Defense estimate developed by the Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation office (CAPE) predicted that the F-35B would be flown at full throttle in STOVL mode — which uses enormous amounts of fuel and utilizes the highly sophisticated lift fan system at much greater rates than the Marines project — about 80 percent of its time in the air.
OMFG!!! You've gotta be $hitting me! :lmao: I mean... I knew CAPE's figure was vague speculation at best, but what the hell? Did they hire Boeing to do their work, or are they really just that stupid?
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Unread post22 Aug 2013, 00:53

geogen wrote:
lookieloo wrote:Trying to predict costs over a 50-year period is idiotic whether the numbers or good or bad. One can simply make up any figures depending on agendas in a given place at a given time.


Exactly. Thanks for that valid input.

Also, the article specifically notes the 55-year cost for "a fleet" will be $857B.

Well, what is the exact numeric size of 'this fleet' being estimated cost-wise??

Perhaps also, how many annual flight hours are being calculated into this 'latest' revised cost estimate?

I mean c'mon, let's please be out in the open and honest in a little more detail about these fairly significant claims so one can put an actual finger on them?


And we can assume you were asking the same thing when the $1T+ numbers were being thrown around, right?
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Unread post22 Aug 2013, 01:15

Funny how the anti-JSF crowd never thought estimating 50 years into the future was stupid when the figure was higher. Bottom line is that experience with the actual jet has taught them that it costs less to operate than they previously thought when they wrote up the trillion dollar estimate.
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