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F-22 upgrade is over budget and behind schedule

F-35 operating costs will reach $1T
Officials think management will get the operating costs of the F-35 down

Any time the USAF or other branches of the armed service need a replacement for an aging aircraft, the cost of the development and maintenance are a huge budgetary issue for the military and lawmakers in Washington. Two of the most expensive weapons programs in the last several decades have been the F-22 Raptor and the F-35 Lightning II.

The F-22 is due for an incremental upgrade to its hardware and software that some officials say is already behind on delivery and over its cost projections. The update in question is called Increment 3.2.

Air Force procurement Chief David Van Buren told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, "The Increment 3.2 that we're currently working on for the F-22 for our war-fighting customer is taking too long to implement. We are working with the company [Lockheed Martin] to try to speed that up and make it more affordable."

The cause of the delay in delivery stems from the programming language used called Ada. The Ada language was once a DoD standard, but the use of the language has waned in the last 15 years. Analyst Loren Thompson from the Lexington Institute said, "It tends to impede quick upgrades to the system to which it is the base software." Thompson also said, "The affordability of any upgrade becomes debatable when you purchase a relatively small number of upgrades."

The new upgrade is being applied to the 187 Raptors built by Lockheed, two of which have been lost to accidents. The upgrade will allow the F-22 to carry the AIM-9x infrared-guided air-to-air missile and the AIM 120D medium-range Air-to-Air missile and attack up to eight different targets with the 250-pound Small Diameter Bombs. Lockheed is looking for ways to reduce the cost of the upgrade right now.

The F-35 program is also again the center of focus on costs. This time lawmakers and military commanders are looking at the long-term costs of maintaining and operating the F-35 fleet. The Pentagon has estimated that the cost to operate the F-35 fighters through 2065 will be more than $1 trillion.

Procurement Chief Ashton Carter said, "Over the lifetime of this program, the decade or so, the per-aircraft cost of the 2,443 aircraft has doubled in real terms. That's what it's going to cost if we keep doing what we're doing. That's unacceptable. That's unaffordable."

However, he noted that the massive $1 trillion number can’t be taken at face value because management steps over the life of the aircraft will bring costs down. Carter said, "I truly believe that we can manage out a substantial number of the production and sustainment costs."

There has been technology sharing between the F-22 and the F-35 with some stealth coatings developed for the F-35 being applied to the older F-22 aircraft. The F-35 fleet was grounded in March when an in-flight failure of the generator aboard a test aircraft occurred.

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This is so ridiculous???
By mandoman on 5/20/2011 7:32:23 PM , Rating: 2
I love it when a bunch of green gilled, tree hugging, idealists get to talking -- almost nothing that makes any sense comes out!!

What happens when China takes a liking to Hawaii, or Japan etc. or one of those 3rd world countries lusts after the Chicago (sears) tower with one of the soon to be stolen Pakistani nukes??

You'll all be saying "This is so ridiculous -- why can't our government protect us?" and of course y'all won't be talking about the $1T price tag then. But guess what ---- TO LATE THEN

Go to school and get an education, wake up and get into the REAL world folks!

RE: This is so ridiculous???
By Skywalker123 on 5/20/11, Rating: 0
By inperfectdarkness on 5/21/2011 2:24:28 AM , Rating: 2
if china invades tiawan, that's bad enough. i don't suppose it's occured to you what might happen if china decides it doesn't want to "play nice" with the USA any longer? overnight, our debts are called in...and we're powerless to stop them, for fear of having no more lead-painted toys.

RE: This is so ridiculous???
By Reclaimer77 on 5/20/2011 11:05:12 PM , Rating: 2
What happens when China takes a liking to Hawaii, or Japan

Well...China does owe Japan payback for invading and raping their country. Matter of fact, so does Korea.

"When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song." -- Sony BMG attorney Jennifer Pariser
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