The F-35 is not dead

This forum has been developed to discuss aviation related topics.

Moderators: lilfssister, North Shore, ahramin, sky's the limit, sepia, Sulako, I WAS Birddog

Post Reply
teacher
Rank 10
Rank 10
Posts: 2400
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2004 3:25 pm

The F-35 is not dead

Post by teacher »

I walked away from the last thread because of the tone and drift it took. On a factual basis are these numbers accurate for the other aircraft types? I must say I sill agree that saying the costs have quadrupled when comparing the released purchase price with a 42 year life cycle but I digress.

The F-35 fighter jet is not dead.

Fevered reports to the contrary, there is every chance that when a review of the options is probably completed by Public Works Canada by next fall, the F-35 stealth fighter may still be at the top of the shopping list.

Following the F-35 fracas from Egypt, where truly momentous political events are being debated, the hysteria in Canada over the F-35 seems rather quaint. Most of what critics have written and said about the Joint Strike Fighter has been just as confusing and misleading as what the Harper government has had to say about it since a Liberal government got Canada involved in the project.

Although already nearly 15 years old, Boeing's fourth generation F-18 Super Hornet is the only serious rival to Lockheed Martin's fifth generation F-35 Lightning. But as argued by the National Post's John Ivison, the clear leader on the F-35 story for months, the Super Hornet has far less of a cost advantage than the JSF's critics have led the public to believe. In fact if Canada were to buy the two-seat electronic warfare variant of the Super Hornet or a mix of that model and the attack version, it might not be cheaper at all.

The "life cycle costs" of the F-35 - development, acquisition, sustainment, operations, attrition and disposal, including fuel and air and ground crew - have been described in Canada in apocalyptic terms. Here, the analogy to a car purchase is apt. When you buy a car for $30,000, you're paying for the development of that car, a profit for those making it, and for the car itself. Few people budget for the fuel, maintenance or insurance costs over the vehicle's "life cycle." But they know keeping the car on the road for 10 years will cost roughly double the purchase price. Since we buy military equipment for longer life cycles - in this case 42 years from 2010, although the international standard for measuring this has usually been 20 years - those costs increase in step. Hence misleading headlines such as that the "F-35 costs five times original estimates."

Nor have fair cost comparisons been done with other big government-funded enterprises such as the CBC, which as Sun Media has noted, will have cost taxpayers more by 2052 than whatever new fighter jets Canada eventually purchases.

Also lost in the hullabaloo over life cycle costs was that number crunching by KPMG that was presented to Parliament last week indicated that cost estimates prepared several years ago by National Defence were accurate.

If opponents of the F-35 had examined the cost of the alternatives - as they should have and as the government should have - they would have long ago realized that there are no "cheap" options. The four other frequently mentioned contenders have list prices equal to or greater than the F-35 - and none of them is classified as a "stealth" aircraft. According the U.S. Department of Defense, Boeing's Super Hornet costs $88 million per aircraft, which is identical to KPMG's estimate for a F-35. According to Australian reports, the latest batch of Super Hornets that Canberra may buy will cost more than $100 million each.

Britain's Ministry of Defence lists the Eurofighter Typhoon at $115 million per aircraft. France's Rafale costs from $80 to $120 million each depending on the model. Sweden's Gripen E was just purchased by the Swiss air force for $100 million per plane.

It is not hard to find critics of the F-35 outside Canada. There have been doubts about its stealth technologies, its computer coding, assembly line delays and cost overruns. However, only in Canada has the debate over the potential purchase of 65 fighters been so out of whack.

With far less noise, Australia, which still intends to acquire as many as 100 F-35s, has purchased a couple of dozen Super Hornets to make up for F-35 delays and is considering buying a couple of dozen more.

The difference in Oz, which has a smaller economy than Canada's, is that there has long been all-party and media maturity about defence procurement issues. Nor has there been much bombast over F-35 costs in tiny Norway, Denmark or Singapore, just gritty acceptance that this has become the cost of doing national defence.

The frenzy over the F-35 is reminiscent of the attention that Afghan torture allegations got several years ago. Remember those charges that Canadian soldiers were complicit in war crimes? The Red Cross, which is responsible for such matters, never found evidence to warrant even beginning an investigation. But critics have never set the record straight, nor will they.

Critics had insisted that Canada's allegedly criminal behaviour in Afghanistan would cost the Tories dearly at the polls. As it turned out, this issue only excited Parliament Hill. Through two federal election campaigns the alleged mistreatment of Afghan detainees on Canada's watch was never raised by voters.

There are similarly dire predictions today about the political consequences that will result from how the government has handled the F-35 file. Well, good luck with that.

© Copyright (c) The StarPhoenix

http://www.thestarphoenix.com/story_pri ... 5&sponsor=
---------- ADS -----------
  

Rockie
Top Poster
Top Poster
Posts: 7699
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2005 7:10 am

Re: The F-35 is not dead

Post by Rockie »

Did they put another engine on it yet?
---------- ADS -----------
  

frosti
Rank 6
Rank 6
Posts: 424
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:25 pm

Re: The F-35 is not dead

Post by frosti »

That didn't take long. First reply and we are already re-hashing the same ol' garbage.
---------- ADS -----------
  

Rockie
Top Poster
Top Poster
Posts: 7699
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2005 7:10 am

Re: The F-35 is not dead

Post by Rockie »

Relax...it was a joke.
---------- ADS -----------
  

Diadem
Rank 8
Rank 8
Posts: 897
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:16 pm
Location: A sigma left of the top of the bell curve

Re: The F-35 is not dead

Post by Diadem »

Something I don't understand from those who want think the F-35 is too expensive and want to buy Super Hornets instead is what they think the cost of purchasing another replacement fighter in 20 years will be. Even if they are cheaper in the short term, which doesn't appear to be the case from the article posted above, they won't last nearly as long as the F-35. Sure, I could buy a $20000 car instead of one for $30000, but if the one that costs $20000 lasts half as long, I'm going to end up spending another $20000 down the road. The US Navy is taking the Super Hornet out of service in 2017, so if we still have them well into the 2030s that would be like having upgraded F-5s in the RCAF today. Any of the aircraft we purchase is going to cost money year-over-year, so why not get the one that will last the longest without becoming obsolete? It seems to me that it's the cheaper option in the long run.
---------- ADS -----------
  

DonutHole
Rank 7
Rank 7
Posts: 734
Joined: Thu Sep 13, 2012 7:36 pm

Re: The F-35 is not dead

Post by DonutHole »

to me, the problem is two fold, but surprisingly cost is not an issue

First off, Is this edsel even going to work? It's been such a rocky road of development it's a question worth examining. Will it do what it says? How can we be sure it will? There is nobody here that can answer this with any degree of certainty because the production has not been completed, and that is when all of the REAL bugs come to light, when the things actually become operational. My fear is that the zealots that support this thing do not realize that the actual development of the platform isn't going on right now, it will be going on for the first ten years of operation and probably even longer as the technologies it is offered with at the start become obsolete.

Which leads me to number two, how do we know if this thing meets our needs? I mean, communism looks good on paper but does it work in practice? Until these things are operationally tested they are an unknown quantity, no matter how loudly the supporters chest thump about its perfect suitability and reliability... they can't know this because it has not been proven.

Now, the cost, for me isn't an issue. It is in reality a token purchase, I think we should buy 500 of the things if we actually want to take the rhetoric of an effective military and turn it into a reality, sixty isn't going to do it. But, why not the f22? Why not something else that is more expensive and better? the thing is, we don't know if this is the best tool for the job, and we won't know until it has actually been used for its intended purpose. the edsel was going to revolutionize automobiles, and I'm hearing the same hype around this fighter.

Now, frosti is complaining about rehasing the same old tired arguments, this thread, in its entirety is more of the same. There is nothing new to say about this, you're either gonna love it or hate it. I'm reserving my judgment until these things are proven, and I hope that the right decision is made, because if this thing isn't the golden freaking goose the warmongers are making it out to be then they've effectively screwed the military into an edsel when they should have had a rolls royce.
---------- ADS -----------
  

tailgunner
Rank 6
Rank 6
Posts: 450
Joined: Mon May 17, 2004 4:03 pm

Re: The F-35 is not dead

Post by tailgunner »

Donut,
The F 22 production line is closed. Japan also tried to buy some and the US said no. Even the USAF would find it nearly impossible to get more, the costs of reestablishing the production line would be huge.
---------- ADS -----------
  

Mig29
Rank (9)
Rank (9)
Posts: 1213
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2004 7:47 pm

Re: The F-35 is not dead

Post by Mig29 »

What's wrong with some Euro options? Or are neighbors down south just better at lobbying our government? Half of our national airline is comprised of Airbuses :lol:
---------- ADS -----------
  

North Shore
Rank Moderator
Rank Moderator
Posts: 5392
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2004 3:47 pm
Location: Straight outta Dundarave...

Re: The F-35 is not dead

Post by North Shore »

Teach, it's not dead...it's just resting!

---------- ADS -----------
  

Mach1
Rank 6
Rank 6
Posts: 491
Joined: Wed Mar 03, 2004 9:04 am

Re: The F-35 is not dead

Post by Mach1 »

---------- ADS -----------
  

Spokes
Rank (9)
Rank (9)
Posts: 1056
Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2006 9:22 pm
Location: Toronto, On

Re: The F-35 is not dead

Post by Spokes »

DonutHole wrote:to me, the problem is two fold, but surprisingly cost is not an issue

...

Which leads me to number two, how do we know if this thing meets our needs? I mean, communism looks good on paper but does it work in practice? Until these things are operationally tested they are an unknown quantity, no matter how loudly the supporters chest thump about its perfect suitability and reliability... they can't know this because it has not been proven.

...
The same could be said of any aircraft. This is not an argument for or agains the F35 so much as an argument for/against even having a fighter/bomber in our airforce.
---------- ADS -----------
  

ragbagflyer
Rank 7
Rank 7
Posts: 711
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2006 10:45 pm
Location: Somewhere rocky or salty.

Re: The F-35 is not dead

Post by ragbagflyer »

I take issue with any claim that a piece of current technology will be effective in 40 years. It totally ignores the accelerating rate of technological advances. Manned fighters in 40 years? I don't think so. F-35 technology could be replicated in somebodies garage by that point.
---------- ADS -----------
  

frosti
Rank 6
Rank 6
Posts: 424
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:25 pm

Re: The F-35 is not dead

Post by frosti »

ragbagflyer wrote:I take issue with any claim that a piece of current technology will be effective in 40 years. It totally ignores the accelerating rate of technological advances. Manned fighters in 40 years? I don't think so. F-35 technology could be replicated in somebodies garage by that point.
I want to see you build an F-14 in your garage, its been 43 years since it was first flown. So go on, build!

:roll:
---------- ADS -----------
  

ragbagflyer
Rank 7
Rank 7
Posts: 711
Joined: Wed Feb 01, 2006 10:45 pm
Location: Somewhere rocky or salty.

Re: The F-35 is not dead

Post by ragbagflyer »

frosti wrote:
I want to see you build an F-14 in your garage, its been 43 years since it was first flown. So go on, build!

:roll:
A classic but inherently flawed argument. We're talking about an increase in the rate of technological change. For example, ount from 1 to 31 in a linear fashion and you end up at 31. Start at 1 and double it 30 times and you end up at a billion.

Also, there's probably quite a few people on this forum (AME's, engineers), that given a set up plans and an engine could actually replicate an F-4.

Don't make the mistake of thinking the last 40 years will be predictor of the next 40.
---------- ADS -----------
  

User avatar
Colonel Sanders
Top Poster
Top Poster
Posts: 7512
Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2009 5:17 pm
Location: Over Macho Grande

Re: The F-35 is not dead

Post by Colonel Sanders »

Not sure anyone here is aware that the tiny nation
of Israel stole the plans to the Mirage fighter and
built their own version.

http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/co ... overt.html

I really wish that Canada was half as capable.
---------- ADS -----------
  

Rockie
Top Poster
Top Poster
Posts: 7699
Joined: Sat Oct 08, 2005 7:10 am

Re: The F-35 is not dead

Post by Rockie »

Colonel Sanders wrote:I really wish that Canada was half as capable.
I'm sure we would be if we were surrounded by nations continually trying to kill us. Hardly a fair comparison. Besides, you wouldn't be willing to pay the taxes that it takes.
---------- ADS -----------
  

esp803

Re: The F-35 is not dead

Post by esp803 »

ragbagflyer wrote: Start at 1 and double it 30 times and you end up at a billion.
You are of course assuming that technology will continue to advance at an exponential rate, I do not think it will. I would expect it to take a more serpentine curve shape, I suspect we are hovering around the peak climb give or take a hundred years.
ragbagflyer wrote:Don't make the mistake of thinking the last 40 years will be predictor of the next 40.
I do agree with this, who would have thought Pink Floyd would have led to Justin Bieber...
frosti wrote:I want to see you build an F-14 in your garage, its been 43 years since it was first flown. So go on, build!
I will pitch for gas, assuming of course it can take-off form YMA...

I say go Sukhoi, I am basing this decision purely on looks, and the fact that an SU-27 gives me a hard on, thus the PAK must be that much better!

E
---------- ADS -----------
  

azimuthaviation
Rank (9)
Rank (9)
Posts: 1409
Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 9:34 pm

Re: The F-35 is not dead

Post by azimuthaviation »

Colonel Sanders wrote:Not sure anyone here is aware that the tiny nation
of Israel
Israel is not that tiny compared to Canada and the US, in quality in if not quantity. Jews make 1.7% of the US population but hold 35% of the nobel prizes awarded to the US, as well as 33% of supreme court justices and 50% of Harvard graduates. In Canada the proportion of Jewish population is even lower, less than a percentage but hold an equally disproportionate representation in fields that require intelligence to excell in. I calculate about one Jew is worth twenty to twenty-five of the white anglo saxon christians who make up the majority of Canada and the US so using that formula, Israel is not smaller than USA or Canada and we seem to be observing that.
Colonel Sanders wrote: I really wish that Canada was half as capable.
Haha, who among you thinks he is??
---------- ADS -----------
  

Diadem
Rank 8
Rank 8
Posts: 897
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:16 pm
Location: A sigma left of the top of the bell curve

Re: The F-35 is not dead

Post by Diadem »

ragbagflyer wrote:I take issue with any claim that a piece of current technology will be effective in 40 years. It totally ignores the accelerating rate of technological advances. Manned fighters in 40 years? I don't think so. F-35 technology could be replicated in somebodies garage by that point.
But by that logic, a fourth generation fighter such as the Super Hornet would be even more outdated. I don't think we'll have manned fighters in 40 years either, but in the meantime wouldn't it make sense to get the technology that lasts the longest? I'm quite sure the pilots who took part in the operations in Kosovo and Libya are glad they had the F-18 rather than a Starfighter.
---------- ADS -----------
  

xysn
Rank 3
Rank 3
Posts: 160
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2010 1:49 pm

Re: The F-35 is not dead

Post by xysn »

It would be interesting to find out how accurate estimates are. For example - how much did the CF-188 cost to fly as compared to how much it was predicted to cost to fly?

Super Hornet costs at least are based on people who have flown them. The F-35 costs are educated guesses.

Also the US may buy fewer F-35s, especially if they go over this "fiscal cliff" - making the acquisition cost go up for everybody ...
---------- ADS -----------
  

frosti
Rank 6
Rank 6
Posts: 424
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:25 pm

Re: The F-35 is not dead

Post by frosti »

esp803 wrote: say go Sukhoi, I am basing this decision purely on looks, and the fact that an SU-27 gives me a hard on, thus the PAK must be that much better!
I'm sure we can buy one or two, throw on a maple leaf and call it good for the airshow going crowd. Then we can buy the F-35 for operational, people-killing use.
Super Hornet costs at least are based on people who have flown them. The F-35 costs are educated guesses.
When it will come down to signing the contracts the US would already have flown the F-35 in operational environments for a few years, costs would be easier to calculate. If we were to buy the Super Hornet, we'd effectively be buying an aircraft that is already over 20 years old and limited in technology. It would be stupid to buy something already that old and outdated when you have a brand-new fighter like the F35 for only marginally more money. Canada isn't in the position where we have to nickle and dime an important purchase like this.
---------- ADS -----------
  

loopy
Rank 8
Rank 8
Posts: 766
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2004 7:59 am

Re: The F-35 is not dead

Post by loopy »

Stealth technology and leading edge technology is only a part of the equation. It still needs to fly and perform well. I recall a link on here at one point that had the lead designer of both the A-10 and F-16. He seemed to think that the F-35 did not have a big enough wing to enable it to perform and do the various roles it is meant to fill. Does it have the range and payload to do what the RCAF requires? Can it do the intercept, air to air combat, anti-ship and ground attack roles it may be required to take on?
---------- ADS -----------
  

AuxBatOn
Rank 11
Rank 11
Posts: 3110
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 6:13 pm
Location: North America, sometimes

Re: The F-35 is not dead

Post by AuxBatOn »

Yes to all questions... Better than any other aircraft... 1v1 dogfight doesnt happen very much anymore....
---------- ADS -----------
  

esp803

Re: The F-35 is not dead

Post by esp803 »

frosti wrote:Then we can buy the F-35 for operational, people-killing use.
I suspect the PAK FA will out perform the F-35 in almost all respects, and cost less...
---------- ADS -----------
  

AuxBatOn
Rank 11
Rank 11
Posts: 3110
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2008 6:13 pm
Location: North America, sometimes

Re: The F-35 is not dead

Post by AuxBatOn »

And the PAK-FA is really further in its development than the JSF. And How do you explain the deal politically?
---------- ADS -----------
  

Post Reply

Return to “General Comments”