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The government and Lockheed Martin are scrambling to get back on schedule while fixing the overbudget project

The Pentagon confirmed a one-year delay of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, with Deputy Defense Secretary Bill Lynn facing increased pressure to get spending under control on the project.

"The development was originally projected to last an additional 30 months; we think with the additional test aircraft it will be closer to a delay of about 12 or 13 months, but I can't give you the cost numbers," according to Lynn's statement to the media.

Pentagon officials didn't say if this one-year delay will push back final release dates, but it likely will, military experts have noted. 

The Marine Corps is expected to receive the first batch of F-35s in two years, while the Air Force and Navy are expected to receive the next-generation fighter aircraft in 2013 and 2014.  Prior to Lynn's recent announcement, Lockheed Martin officials noted they were about six months behind schedule, but still expect to be able to meet the USMC release date.

Last November, a report said the program is drastically overbudget and behind schedule, which led the government to rethink its strategy moving forward.  Actual demand for the aircraft remains unknown, but there have been at least 2,500 orders placed for the U.S. military branches, with several other nations also expected to receive the aircraft in years to come.

Due to costly delays and budget miscues, the DOD will also withhold $614 million that will eventually be paid to Lockheed Martin.



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RE: A Lost Cause
By Reclaimer77 on 2/19/2010 11:27:16 AM , Rating: -1
22 F-29 Fulcrums were shot down in the first gulf war.

Allied losses = 0

'nuff said


RE: A Lost Cause
By gamerk2 on 2/19/2010 11:51:17 AM , Rating: 5
Because the Mig-29 was essentially obsolete by that point in time; when they came out, they were far better then the F-4 Phantoms the US still had in active service...

The SU-27 and Mig-29 were great planes when they came out. But they belong in the same generation as the F-14. Capable, sturdy, but old. Also remember, export varients are stripped of a lot of ECM equipment and other capability.

But after all, Russian workmanship is SOOO shoddy, then why did Grunman go to Yak to study the design of their lift system which was used in the F-35? Fact is, the lift system we use in our next-gen aircraft is of Russian origin.


RE: A Lost Cause
By jonmcc33 on 2/19/2010 1:03:04 PM , Rating: 2
It's not the plane, it's the pilot. Iraqi pilots were idiots with very little air-to-air experience.


RE: A Lost Cause
By ipay on 2/19/2010 2:57:35 PM , Rating: 3
Exactly - the best military hardware in the world is worth nothing if you don't have people who can operate it correctly. It's hardly Russia's fault that the Iraqi pilots lacked the experience and flight hours of their American counterparts.

Also, I find this article depressing and amusing at the same time, considering that the F-22 program - which is IMO a far superior platform to the F-35 - was effectively halted for the same reasons as stated in this article.


RE: A Lost Cause
By bigdawg1988 on 2/21/2010 8:50:41 PM , Rating: 2
The F35 is not a replacement for the F22, it's basically a cheaper version, sort of like the F16 is a cheaper version of the F15, not a replacement.
Piloting is nothing if you can't see what you're shooting at. Our pilots are guided by AWACS controllers who can vector them in to the best route to minimize detection and maximize kill capability.
Instead of the F35 though we ought to be developing remote controlled missile carriers. Make them VERY stealthy and high flying and use the radar from AWACS to guide the missiles. Sort of like a predator with AA missiles. The F22s will still be around just in case.


RE: A Lost Cause
By Reclaimer77 on 2/19/2010 3:15:41 PM , Rating: 1
They weren't all Iraqi pilots.


RE: A Lost Cause
By MrBlastman on 2/19/2010 3:16:36 PM , Rating: 2
If they weren't Iraqi, who were they? Osama's crew?

Pilot training is paramount to success in any modern fighter. The amount of auditory, visual and tactile input a pilot has to process is staggering. Only the genetically perfect can even hope to be a fighter pilot and succeed at it. I have utmost respect for any man or woman who can become one of these pilots.

Speaking of pilots, I'd wager a dollar that the Israeli Airforce could trounce ours if pitted head to head versus each other in equal aircraft. Those guys are hardcore.


RE: A Lost Cause
By monomer on 2/19/2010 3:11:55 PM , Rating: 2
I agree completely. I seem to remember a story from over a decade ago where a Canadian pilot won a Top-Gun competition in his CF-18, against Americans in F-15's and F-16's.


RE: A Lost Cause
By Amiga500 on 2/19/2010 3:18:37 PM , Rating: 3
22?

You mean 5 shot down (as acknowledged by the USAF) and 11 defected?

Destroyed on the ground is not the same as shot down.

BTW, a Foxbat downed a Hornet in GW1.

A better idea would be to consider the performance of the (derated) Luftwaffe Fulcrums in post Cold War exersizes against F-15s and F-16s.

Basically, in those exersizes the MiG ruled below ~300 kts, but if a viper keeps its speed up it has an advantage in both energy bleed and roll rate. The F-15 isn't maneuverable enough to stick with, so needs to make it a fight of engine power (vertical plane), but thats very messy. All of that was done without the HMS. I think the general thought of USAF pilots coming out (in the early 90s) of it was don't go into a furball with a fulcrum, if you do, odds are, you die.


RE: A Lost Cause
By MrBlastman on 2/19/2010 3:48:07 PM , Rating: 2
If you get stuck in the mud while going slow vs. a German 29, you're toast (unless you're in an F-18 but that's it). The funny thing though, about the German 29's is they push their engines so hard to get the power output higher in them that they have to be overhauled very frequently. It would be interesting to see the long-term viability of their airforce if pushed hard in a true wartime situation.


RE: A Lost Cause
By Amiga500 on 2/19/2010 4:15:09 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
The funny thing though, about the German 29's is they push their engines so hard to get the power output higher in them that they have to be overhauled very frequently.


Two points on that.

(1) The east-German MiG-29s were de-rated versions of the Russians.

(2) The Soviets had a profoundly different approach to maintenance than NATO. Basically, you'd carry out less small fixes, but send the engine back to the factory more often for a full refit. I am of the opinion that it was actually the better system, as in a proper (cold war gone hot) war environment, relatively untrained personnel could sling a broken engine out and a new one in, then send the broken one off to be fixed in the relative calm of the factory.

It reduces the exposure of highly trained personnel, and reduces the maintenance between day-to-day missions.

The Fulcrum also had a rough field capability that virtually none of their NATO equivalents had - that alone is worth its weight in gold. How do you effectively crater hundreds of acres of fields as opposed to a 20 metre wide runway?


RE: A Lost Cause
By MrBlastman on 2/19/2010 4:28:04 PM , Rating: 2
Not even a neat row of BLU-107's down the line can fix that. :P

The Fulcrum really is an amazing aircraft. Despite its crude avionics (as far as modern jets are concerned), they got the airframe right and it is quite the deadly aircraft (up until the F-22).


RE: A Lost Cause
By SandmanWN on 2/19/2010 8:30:44 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The Soviets had a profoundly different approach to maintenance than NATO. Basically, you'd carry out less small fixes, but send the engine back to the factory more often for a full refit. I am of the opinion that it was actually the better system, as in a proper (cold war gone hot) war environment, relatively untrained personnel could sling a broken engine out and a new one in, then send the broken one off to be fixed in the relative calm of the factory.

LOL, well I am certainly glad you weren't a military commander during the cold war. If I were opposing you, I would simply set my cruise missiles to take out your single point of failure, aka your few factories. Then send out evasive squadron groups to draw out your forces and retreat when they came into contact. Just going out to put strain on all your air frames until they fail and you are left with a worthless air group. Then blow them up while they are grounded.

The NATO way is obviously correct. Yes, it does cost more but any war of attrition would be won by the NATO group because they can service their own aircraft and keep them in the battle longer. You as the opposition are forced to take out every single squadron to gain air superiority, a mush more daunting task compared to me only have to take out a few stationary targets like a factory.
quote:
How do you effectively crater hundreds of acres of fields as opposed to a 20 metre wide runway?

I believe its called a B-52...


RE: A Lost Cause
By Amiga500 on 2/20/2010 7:18:36 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
I would simply set my cruise missiles to take out your single point of failure, aka your few factories


The factories located the far side of Moscow some even over the Urals?

Good man. Please at least try to gain a rudimentary understanding of what you are talking about before trying to make authoritative posts!

quote:
Then send out evasive squadron groups to draw out your forces and retreat when they came into contact.


WTF?

Are all these evasive squadrons drawn from the fighters and fighter-bombers that would otherwise have been concentrating on the numerous Soviet divisions rumbling through the Fulda gap, and breaking any beach-heads the Soviets had established over the Rhine?

Would these evasive squadrons deliberately choose not to engage the Soviet CAS (and their associated fighter cover) that was bombing the sh!t out of the NATO formations opposite these Soviet divisions?

... this coming from the man that states he is "certainly glad you weren't a military commander during the cold war"...

quote:
Yes, it does cost more but any war of attrition would be won by the NATO group because they can service their own aircraft and keep them in the battle longer. You as the opposition are forced to take out every single squadron to gain air superiority


Erm, if the NATO airpower could not deliver a decisive victory, allowing the A-10s and AH-1/AH-64s to engage the ground forces below, then your airbases would have been "moved" to the UK and the continental USA. Also, many of your spares would now be behind enemy lines... forcing more pressure on the NATO navies to keep the Atlantic corridor open.

By the way, just to be clear, a maintenance factory (as the Soviets envisaged) does not have to be a big massive facility. It can be numerous small distributed facilities, the distinction is more in the technical skill of, and equipment available to, the the people working in it than its size (compared to an airfield maintenance facility).

quote:
I believe its called a B-52...


I believe you don't have the slightest clue what you are talking about. You are gonna send BUFFS to carpet bomb in the coverage of what was then probably the most concentrated and complex air-defense network in the world?

You are UTTERLY CLUELESS.


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