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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 Noya on 6/20/2011 6:20:12 PM , Rating: 1
What about IR tracking? Isn't that why all the revamped Russian jets have a HUGE optical sensor mounted to their nose?

I've just always read that it's easier (cheaper) to counter stealth technology than to invest billions to compete with it.


By Noya on 6/20/2011 6:24:18 PM , Rating: 1
And in WVR fighting, don't Migs easily take everything aside from an F22?

I recall a video with Superhornets vs a couple (East) German Mig 29's (from the Cold War no less) doing mock dogfights and the Migs kinetic performance destroys the F-18s.


By Mudhen6 on 6/20/2011 6:44:22 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And in WVR fighting, don't Migs easily take everything aside from an F22?


No. This is fanboi bs. There is no fighter out there in existence that is superior to its contemporaries in every single portion of the flight envelope. For example, an F-15C may have a better turn rate than a Su-27 at 450 mph, while the Su-27 may have a better turn rate at 350 mph. The key to winning dogfights is "max-performing" your jet while coaxing the enemy to not do the same - e.g. if your fighter jet flies better at slower speeds, try to engage/bait your enemy into a slow speed dogfight.

Furthermore, it gets more complicated with weapons and fuel load. For every second of a sortie, a fighter jet has a different weight which affects its dogfighting performance.

quote:
What about IR tracking? Isn't that why all the revamped Russian jets have a HUGE optical sensor mounted to their nose?


Russian fighters have been sporting IRSTs since the days of the Soviet Union. And fighters like the F-22 and F-35 are designed so that it will be detected by any type of enemy sensor, whether IR, visual or radar, at about the same range.

Stealth features that counter IR may not be as effective as radar-defeating features, but then again, IR sensors have a much shorter range than radar sensors. Furthermore, IR sensors are passive - on their own, they cannot derive ranging information, which is important in optimizing the flight profiles of BVR missiles.

To derive range information from an IRST, you will need a laser-rangefinder (can be detected) or a datalink for target triangulation.


By yxalitis on 6/21/2011 1:03:14 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Russian fighters have been sporting IRSTs since the days of the Soviet Union. And fighters like the F-22 and F-35 are designed so that it will be detected by any type of enemy sensor, whether IR, visual or radar, at about the same range.

On this you are dead wrong, IR sensors are PASSIVE, you cannot tell if an aircraft is tracking you, as there are no emissions to detect.


By Mudhen6 on 6/21/2011 2:18:50 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
On this you are dead wrong, IR sensors are PASSIVE, you cannot tell if an aircraft is tracking you, as there are no emissions to detect.


RTFQ. I said that IRSTs are passive sensors in the next line. Furthermore, the IRST being passive does not make it any less susceptible to IR stealth measures - nothing you said contradicts my statement.

However, IRSTs may have laser-rangefinders, and these are considered active, not passive.


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