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LRIP5 purchase may be smaller than wanted  (Source: Lockheed)
The Pentagon is asking for $151 million to cover cost overages

The F-35 is the most expensive acquisition program in the history of the U.S. armed forces. The overall price tag for the program is pegged at somewhere in the $380 billion range and the costs keep moving upward. The Pentagon is making moves to cut the costs of the program and that means that fewer aircraft will be purchased as a result.

The Pentagon has asked congress to approve a $151 million funding transfer to cover the increased development costs that were associated with the program before most of the new cost cutting measures were in place. The cost overruns were incurred with the first 31 of the aircraft to be built and purchased over the last five years. The aircraft were part of the first three low-rate initial production (LRIP) buys.

The Pentagon made the request for the funding transfer to Congress in a 91-page document dated June 30. The document stated, "If the reprogramming request is not approved, additional funding within the JSF program will be diverted to cover these costs." That diversion could result in fewer of the jets being purchased in the coming LRIP 5 contract.

The document also notes that the funding transfer of $151 million would cover additional costs to develop both the airframe and the propulsion system. Defense News points out that the cost increase came before the F-35 plan was restructured by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

The document presented to Congress also noted, "The JSF program is already working to cover most of the cost overruns internally."

The Pentagon expects to publish an updates cost estimate for the program this fall. While costs are still a concern for the F-35 Program things have been moving forward with flight tests being completed. This is despite some other issues with the program that have surfaced recently.

Earlier this month the F-35 fleet was grounded due to a failure of the aircraft's integrated power supply. The Pentagon is also pushing hard to further reduce the costs of the program and is seeking to cut the costs of subcontractors.

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RE: Summed up for me...
By inperfectdarkness on 8/9/2011 11:03:31 PM , Rating: 2
the damn thing isn't at operational status yet, and STILL you people keep spouting off bullcrap about its performance being "tepid".

really? based off what? hours of ace-combat-6? i suppose everything you believe you know about cars is based off grand-turismo.

how about you just stop now. let's make the judgment calls after we start using the f-35 for combat missions. it would NEVER have gone this far into the program if it didn't have the capabilities we stated as requirements.

RE: Summed up for me...
By Mudhen6 on 8/10/2011 2:42:41 AM , Rating: 2
TL;DR - Anything the Super Hornet can do, the F-35 can do better, yet the F/A-18E/F is no where near as hated as the F-35.

I honestly don't understand why people like Amiga and Reclaimer hate on the F-35 so much. It's like the F-35 program insulted their mother, or something...

Anyway, from what I gather, the F-35's performance is, for the most part, greater than (and at worst, equal to) the F/A-18A/C Hornet and F-16C, which it was meant to replace. The F-35 is kinematically superior to the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet (or Super Slow Hornet, as it is sometimes derided as); the Super Hornet is actually notably less agile than the legacy F/A-18 Hornet.*

In fact, in the air-to-air configuration, the F-35's thrust-to-weight ratio is comparable to the F-15C Eagle (0.9-1.05 versus 1.1). Despite the fact that the F-15C is kinematically superior to the F-35, the fact that the latter is stealthy and the former is not should (in theory) be more than enough to swing BVR engagements in favor of the F-35 due to "first look, first shot."

Going back to the F-35 vs. Super Hornet comparison, the F-35 is far stealthier than the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, and can fly much further (~600 nm combat radius vs. ~400 nm for a typical A/G mission). It can also carry the same types of stand-off, stealthy weapons, like the JSOW stand-off munition.


RE: Summed up for me...
By Mudhen6 on 8/10/2011 2:57:24 AM , Rating: 2
Other References:

The F-35 program is also making headway in clearing the flight envelope to begin training at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. There have been few surprises, Kelly said.

Operational pilots should be thrilled with the F-35's performance, Kelly said. The F-35 Energy-Management diagrams, which display an aircraft's energy and maneuvering performance within its airspeed range and for different load factors, are similar to the F/A-18 but the F-35 offers better acceleration at certain points of the flight envelope.

"The E-M diagrams are very similar between the F-35B, F-35C and the F/A-18. There are some subtle differences in maximum turn rates and some slight differences in where corner airspeeds are exactly," Kelly said.

Thomas, who is also an F/A-18 pilot and a graduate of the Navy's Top Gun program and the Marines' Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course, agreed that all three variants should be lethal in the within-visual-range fight.

RE: Summed up for me...
By Amiga500 on 8/10/2011 3:32:42 AM , Rating: 2
Anything the Super Hornet can do, the F-35 can do better, yet the F/A-18E/F is no where near as hated as the F-35.

Do you have any idea just how useless the Super Hornet is as an airframe? Be under no illusions; I am no fan of the Subpar Hornet. Great electronics, good engine, terrible airframe.

You also realise the competition has moved on, and that merely equalling the legacy hornet or viper in kinematics will mean the F-35 is an 'also-ran' in comparison to the Rafale/Eurofighter/PAK-FA?

You are also being very.... economical with the truth when claiming the Eagle's T:W is only around 1.1 - in average loading, its nearer 1.3-1.4.

I honestly don't understand why people like Amiga and Reclaimer hate on the F-35 so much.

Because it is a textbook example of what Eisenhower was warning you people about in his farewell address; the undue influence of the military-industrial complex.

But hey, I'm not an American, its not my taxes - maybe I should just sit back, say nothing, and let you folks be f**ked over by Lockheed without you even knowing what they are doing.

RE: Summed up for me...
By Mudhen6 on 8/10/2011 11:56:12 AM , Rating: 2
Economical? I'm not a huge fan of T/W figures because they are useless for anything but the most general comparisons, but the T/W ratio for the F-15C with 8 AAMs and a full load of fuel is ~47 000lbs of thrust for ~43 000lbs of weight (~28K lbs empty + 13.5K lbs fuel + 2.5K lbs AAMs). Mathematically, that's a greater than 1 T/W ratio, which is fantastic considering it's at 100% fuel and payload (the ratio can only increase).

With regards to the F/A-18-like performance of the F-35, the bottom-line is that the JSF is stealthy and its opponents are not. You do realize that the outcome of a BVR fight is decided long before the first missile is shot, right? Whoever has first look gets to accelerate/climb first and thus get first shot.

Even if it has sh*ttiest stealth ever and is detected 30-50 nm away, the F-35 will be at a supreme advantage because it would've detected its opponents at 50-70nm and would be setting up its long range AMRAAM shots at Mach 1+ and >40 000ft. That is ultimately the point of stealth - if your opponent has a bigger radar/bigger engines (for an F-35-sized fighter there will always be somebody out there with both a bigger radar and a bigger engine) you neutralize that advantage BVR with stealth.

The Eurocanards also incorporate this philosophy in that, although they are not stealthy, they incorporate numerous RCS reducing features that presumably decrease/slightly decrease the detection range of enemy radars. Every little bit helps.

In WVR...well, with the advent of missiles like Python 4/5, AIM-9X and the next generation Archer, nobody wants to be WVR. Not even the F-22. But should the fight progress to WVR, the idea is that the F-35 would be at a numerical advantage by that point, having won BVR.

RE: Summed up for me...
By Mudhen6 on 8/10/2011 12:03:31 PM , Rating: 2
For the record, the Eurofighter has not been demonstrated to supercruise with a combat relevant and defined payload/fuel fraction, to the best of my knowledge.

Thus far, only the F-22 has demonstrated the ability to supercruise with a combat relevant payload configuration (at Mach 1.7+, no less).

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