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Senate wants assurance that F-35 will cost no more than stated  (Source: Lockheed Martin)
any cost overruns would be paid by contractor

The cost of the F-35 JSF continues to soar and delays continue to mount though the aircraft is now finally in production in some variants. As the aircraft stat to roll of the production assembly line, the Senate is taking steps to control the price of the fighter as the next low-rate initial procurement (LRIP) is set to enter negotiations.

The U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee has passed a bill on June 16 that required the LRIP-5 purchase set for 2012 to be at a fixed price. That means that any cost overruns in the development or production of the F-35 purchase will be absorbed totally by suppliers.

An emailed statement from the committee said, "The bill contains a unique requirement that the low-rate initial procurement contract for the FY11 lot of the Joint Strike Fighter (LRIP-5) program must be a fixed-price contract and the contract must require the contractor to absorb 100 percent of costs above the target cost." 

The previous LRIP-4 purchase uses a cost-plus award fee plan.

If the full Senate passes the bill, it will be legally binding. Defense News reports that the bill fully supports the Pentagon budget request for the F-35. The budget allots $3.2 billion to purchase Navy versions of the F-35 and $3.7 billion for the USAF version of the fighter. In total, the Pentagon wants 32 F-35 fighters in 2012 with 19 going to the USAF, seven for the Navy and six for the Marine Corps.

Defense News adds that a Defense Acquisition Board review to establish a new cost baseline for the F-35 has been postponed until this fall. The review has been rescheduled for late May before being reset to mid-June and the rescheduled again.

The effort to control the price of the F-35 program comes in part from the estimate that the F-35 program could cost as much as $1 trillion in operating costs.

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By Mudhen6 on 6/20/2011 5:50:10 PM , Rating: 3
A good rule of thumb is that a missile has to be 4 times more maneuverable than a non-cooperative* target it is trying to hit. *aware of and actively maneuvering to avoid.

That's no longer true. Missile autopilots that incorporate proportional navigation to fly to their targets (read: ALL modern missiles) do not have to pull such high G's intercept maneuvers, which are severely energy depleting (= very bad).

Also, for the record, the max G of HOBS missiles like AIM-9X and Python 5 is something in the region of 60-100Gs, which is at least 6 times greater than the G-limit of any human (which dictates the G-limit of fighter aircraft).

By Amiga500 on 6/20/2011 6:10:54 PM , Rating: 2
4x is true. I could show it mathematically... but I couldn't be bothered.

Proportional navigation has been in use since the 50s! It is not a new approach to the problem!!

I have seen talk of 60 g max for the box-office - I've never seen talk of 100 (not saying its not true; just never seen those numbers).

But, as you know, the maneuvering of a short ranged AAM is not the same as a longer ranged AAM, such as the slammer or adder. Here, we are principally talking about long ranged engagement... which precludes the AIM-9X, Python, Mica-IR, R-77 and their new RVV-whateveritis.

By Bad-Karma on 6/21/2011 4:38:24 AM , Rating: 2

You need to point out to the community that the missile requires a much higher G tolerance due to the missiles much higher intercept velocity. Anything going at mach+ speeds can experience significant G loading with course corrections.

The missile not only has to overtake the aircraft (rear-aspect) but then has to compensate for the aircraft's maneuvering while its trying to get close enough for the proximity charge to be effective.

Unlike Hollywood's version, most missiles have a very short boost or thrust phase which is usually measured in seconds not minutes. Once the motor burns out the missile is left only with it's acquired speed to complete the intercept. Every maneuver the missile has to make eats up its' available energy needed to continue the engagement.

Does Mudhen6 = lawn dart driver?

By Mudhen6 on 6/21/2011 5:21:23 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, of course a missile needs to pull more G's than its target to intercept it. I just disagree with Amiga's "4 times" rule. In any case, you have missiles like the AIM-9X, Python 5 and the IRIS-T that are (rumored) to be capable of pulling something stupid, like 100Gs.

Given that the pilot is going for the kill shot and launches the missile within its no-escape envelope, which by its very definition is the part of the missile's employment envelope where it is impossible to run/maneuver the missile out of kinetic energy, I fail to see why energy is a problem.

Furthermore, none of this changes my point - the point that WVR is a technological equalizer and should be avoided whenever possible. An old MiG-21 with one of these next-gen SRAAMs will still be able to look through the canopy, acquire the target visually and launch his missile. At the very least, this first missile forces the target defensive, allowing the MiG pilot (or the MiG's wingmen) to position himself for a kill shot.

By Bad-Karma on 6/21/2011 5:55:05 AM , Rating: 2
I mentioned the loss of energy without the context (it's just after 0500 here)my apologies I should have elaborated.

Most countries that employ FSU equipment are also still on the same doctrine. We're constantly seeing BV max-range shots when they go into engagements and practice.

A lot of the time their fighters will line up on a target and fire as soon as they are close enough for the missile to acquire. wash-rinse-repeat.......

The Iraqis used to do this with their M-25s against our ISR and AWACs assets constantly throughout the 90s. If you get an early enough launch detection even slow moving HVAA can maneuver enough to cause the missile to exceed its flight envelope.

Medium to short range engagements are a different story and there I agree with you completely.

By Mudhen6 on 6/21/2011 6:17:05 AM , Rating: 2
No apologies necessary. And as for your earlier question, no, I'm not a Viper pilot. I didn't miss your question on purpose, I'm actually rather sleep deprived as well.

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