Saturday, November 1, 2014

Hope

Latest from broken defense.

These aircraft will fly the last portion of their trip and are expected to execute the carrier version’s very first landing on a carrier with a small group of reporters *fans* watching.

F-35 program credibility -- continued, downward trend

The F-35--by requirement--requires less maintenance people than the aircraft it is to replace.


Bogdan and friends are grasping at straws.


One should sit down with him and use this 2003 PDF on F-35 sustainment and ask: "How many of these items are in-place in a complete good-to-go status to support F-35 IOC in 2015 and 2016?"

The answer is many are not.

From that 2003 brief:

"Autonomic Logistics Provides Order of Magnitude O&S Savings"

Time and again, many do not know the definition of "order of magnitude."

Today, ALIS doesn't actually work very well.

Until ALIS is up and running properly, Bogdan will not know how many maintainers he needs. That also requires a fully developed aircraft.

IOC cannot be declared when those things are far from working.

Add to that, the F-35 concept provides no value to the way the U.S. will fight its wars.

From big threat, to small threat.

Friday, October 31, 2014

"If it bleeds, we can kill it..."

$21.8M per F-35 motor for F-35 LRIP 8.

A few points.

PW is the only vendor. So any platitude they state on lowering costs is just that.

The idea that you can get an F-35 for $85M in the future is fuzzy because the article talks specifically about seperate orders for the airframe and the motor.

The other part of that is besides the current roll-away price, the aircraft has to actually...work...in a reliable fashion.

It also has to have affordable sustainment.

13 years after being awarded the JSF contract, LM is nowhere near having a finished jet that someone would want to buy besides the current loss-leader of a few prototype aircraft. This is also applies to foreign orders. What has been ordered thus far is mostly: prisoner's dilemma.

Seven years ago, Operation: LIGHTNING STRIKE was launched. What was it?

Block buys for foreign F-35s at an alleged, reduced price.

Talks on a coalition buy modeled on the original European-US commitment for almost 700 F-16s has begun with the JSF partners. Lightning Strike would combine US and international purchases planned for the seven years from 2012 to 2018 into a fixed-price coalition buy potentially totaling more than 1,300 aircraft.

The economies of a coalition buy would avoid the disincentive to purchase aircraft early, he says, but would require the US government to commit to multi-year procurement in 2012. This is two years earlier than planned and before the F-35 has completed operational testing. “The F-16 found a way, and it worked,” he says.

2007 was an amazing time. So, so long ago.

“Flight testing is the last and most expensive way to find and retire risk.”

Then, the jet was even more in question. Just like today, would you spend money on a product that is nowhere near finished? Operation:LIGHTNING STRIKE was a failure.

None of the eight countries that committed $4.5 billion to F-35 development has placed an order for production jets, although Australia and Canada have said they plan to.

The U.S. and Lockheed would like to secure orders to help lower the production costs of new airplanes. Israel will buy 20, but those will be paid for with U.S. military aid.

So today, dusting off that plan from 2007 isn't original thinking. It is unlikely to work. Various F-35 customers at the beginning of the year were supposed to sign up for F-35 orders of greater number. For the UK that was 14. Today it is 4. There are other partner countries that the cow town intelligentsia like Tom Dunson would call "quiters." Hint: Dunson was a far better program manager.

What else was going on in 2007? Plenty. From DID:

--March 22/07: The US military is trying to end the GE/Rolls Royce F136 engine program again in FY 2008, leaving Pratt & Whitney’s F135 as the only engine option for the aircraft (see Feb 10/07 entry). The US Government Accountability Office is asked to examine the issue, and releases report #GAO-07-656T: “Analysis of Costs for the Joint Strike Fighter Engine Program external link.” An excerpt:

“Continuing the alternate engine program for the Joint Strike Fighter would cost significantly more than a sole-source program but could, in the long run, reduce costs and bring other benefits. The current estimated life cycle cost for the JSF engine program under a sole-source scenario is $53.4 billion. To ensure competition by continuing to implement the JSF alternate engine program, an additional investment of $3.6 billion to $4.5 billion may be required. However, the associated competitive pressures from this strategy could result in savings equal to or exceeding that amount. The cost analysis we performed suggests that a savings of 10.3 to 12.3 percent would recoup that investment, and actual experience from past engine competitions suggests that it is reasonable to assume that competition on the JSF engine program could yield savings of at least that much. In addition, DOD-commissioned reports and other officials have said that nonfinancial benefits in terms of better engine performance and reliability, improved industrial base stability, and more responsive contractors are more likely outcomes under a competitive environment than under a sole-source strategy. DOD experience with other aircraft engine programs, including the F-16 fighter in the 1980s, has shown competitive pressures can generate financial benefits of up to 20 percent during the life cycle of an engine program and/or improved quality and other benefits. The potential for cost savings and performance improvements, along with the impact the engine program could have on the industrial base, underscores the importance and long-term implications of DOD decision making with regard to the final acquisition strategy solution.”--


Emphasis added:

Read everything at this link for a 2007 review. Shocked that Operation:LIGHTNING STRIKE didn't work out then? Hard to have confidence in the program today--as a buyer--when you still do not have a finished, combat-ready jet.

November is the first shot of the F-35C to land aboard the boat. I suspect they will find a way for that to happen.

Because any other result would be a disaster for the program. November is also one of those calendar events that if it doesn't happen, LM doesn't get paid as much. The F-35 program is just as much a stockholder LM KPI as anything else.

No one has demonstrated how to change an F-35B or F-35C engine while at sea. The F-35C is 15 percent overweight compared to its 2002 design configuration. And so many more issues.

All that and the F-35C doesn't bring anything to the carrier air wing that the Super Hornet already handles well and in most cases...better.

For less money.

If you want a shorter version of ALL of the F-35 issues as a rolling history, this clip is from the whole story (no sequels need). All the players are included. Yes it does take some thinking to stitch up that analogy. Beginning, middle and end.

You can read the how the F-35 fan-base media reports current events here.

H/T-Solomon


---

-Time's Battleland - 5 Part series on F-35 procurement - 2013 
-Summary of Air Power Australia F-35 points
-Bill Sweetman, Aviation Week and the F-35
-U.S. Government Accounting Office (GAO) F-35 reports
-F-35 JSF: Cold War Anachronism Without a Mission
-History of F-35 Production Cuts
-Looking at the three Japan contenders (maneuverability)
-How the Canadian DND misleads the public about the F-35
-Value of STOVL F-35B over-hyped
-Cuckoo in the nest--U.S. DOD DOT&E F-35 report is out
-6 Feb 2012 Letter from SASC to DOD boss Panetta questioning the decision to lift probation on the F-35B STOVL.
-USAFs F-35 procurement plan is not believable
-December 2011 Australia/Canada Brief
-F-35 Key Performance Perimeters (KPP) and Feb 2012 CRS report
-F-35 DOD Select Acquisition Report (SAR) FY2012
-Release of F-35 2012 test report card shows continued waste on a dud program
-Australian Defence answers serious F-35 project concerns with "so what?"
-Land of the Lost (production cut history update March 2013)
-Outgoing LM F-35 program boss admits to flawed weight assumptions (March 2013)
-A look at the F-35 program's astro-turfing
-F-35 and F-16 cost per flying hour
-Is this aircraft worth over $51B of USMC tac-air funding?
-Combat radius and altitude, A model
-F-35A, noise abatement and airfields and the USAF
-Deceptive marketing practice: F-35 blocks
-The concurrency fraud
-The dung beetle's "it's known" lie
-F-35's air-to-air ability limited
-F-35 Blocks--2006 and today
-The F-35B design is leaking fuel
-F-35 deliveries
-ADF's wacky F-35 assumptions
-Gauging performance, the 2008 F-35, Davis dream brief
-Aboriginal brought out as a prop
-Super Kendall's F-35 problem
-LM sales force in pre-Internet era
-History of F-35 engine problems
-Compare
-JSF hopes and dreams...early days of the Ponzi Scheme
-The Prognostics
-2002--Australia joins the F-35 program

US DOD F-35 buy plan missing lots of jets

I did a post not too long ago. US DOD F-35 buys have been flat for 5 years not 4 years.

Below is a comparison to today's F-35 progress with DOD annual airframe buys vs. a 2003 plan.








"FRP" means "full-rate-production". The old plan only had 6 LRIP batches.


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LO/CLOEXCOM

Always a good read.

Had the authors of the article in question delved into the LO/CLOEXCOM subject from a positive, rather than a denigrating and defensive, perspective, they would have seen that LO/CLOEXCOM exists to address the concerns of the Obey amendment, and does not contravene it.

USMC F-35 IOC in 2015 is such a good idea

Oh dear...


The heat created micro fractures that propagated and ultimately caused the rotor “to liberate from the airplane,” Bogdan said. “The fire was caused not by the engine but by the pieces of the engine that flew out through the aft upper fuselage fuel tank.”


---


-Time's Battleland - 5 Part series on F-35 procurement - 2013 
-Summary of Air Power Australia F-35 points
-Bill Sweetman, Aviation Week and the F-35
-U.S. Government Accounting Office (GAO) F-35 reports
-F-35 JSF: Cold War Anachronism Without a Mission
-History of F-35 Production Cuts
-Looking at the three Japan contenders (maneuverability)
-How the Canadian DND misleads the public about the F-35
-Value of STOVL F-35B over-hyped
-Cuckoo in the nest--U.S. DOD DOT&E F-35 report is out
-6 Feb 2012 Letter from SASC to DOD boss Panetta questioning the decision to lift probation on the F-35B STOVL.
-USAFs F-35 procurement plan is not believable
-December 2011 Australia/Canada Brief
-F-35 Key Performance Perimeters (KPP) and Feb 2012 CRS report
-F-35 DOD Select Acquisition Report (SAR) FY2012
-Release of F-35 2012 test report card shows continued waste on a dud program
-Australian Defence answers serious F-35 project concerns with "so what?"
-Land of the Lost (production cut history update March 2013)
-Outgoing LM F-35 program boss admits to flawed weight assumptions (March 2013)
-A look at the F-35 program's astro-turfing
-F-35 and F-16 cost per flying hour
-Is this aircraft worth over $51B of USMC tac-air funding?
-Combat radius and altitude, A model
-F-35A, noise abatement and airfields and the USAF
-Deceptive marketing practice: F-35 blocks
-The concurrency fraud
-The dung beetle's "it's known" lie
-F-35's air-to-air ability limited
-F-35 Blocks--2006 and today
-The F-35B design is leaking fuel
-F-35 deliveries
-ADF's wacky F-35 assumptions
-Gauging performance, the 2008 F-35, Davis dream brief
-Aboriginal brought out as a prop
-Super Kendall's F-35 problem
-LM sales force in pre-Internet era
-History of F-35 engine problems
-Compare
-JSF hopes and dreams...early days of the Ponzi Scheme
-The Prognostics
-2002--Australia joins the F-35 program


Defence program management -- Reader comment

From the Tiger-death-watch post below... a good comment from one of the readers...


Bushranger 71

Hi Johnno. Methinks Australian has caused own problems through allowing foreign ownership/control of defence industry related assets, like Government Aircraft Factories, Australian Aviation, shipbuilding infrastructure, ammunition production. Who really knows the detail of contractual arrangements cooked up between the influential big players in defence industry and the Defence Material Organization, which seemingly has too much authority with lack of adequate governmental oversight?

A more appropriate course for successive Federal Governments would have been to reta in outright ownership/control over defence support facilities. It might surprise to ascertain just how much defence funding is being siphoned offshore via multinational corporation profits.


.

Retiring the A-10 is .... still a bad idea

Just a few notes on E/O pods.

In regard to this article and some other things...



"The pod is not capable of detecting infrared strobes worn by U.S. troops. Inexplicably, the crew thought it could — with tragic results.'

Interesting because the B-1 carries the SNIPER pod on the forward right-side of the fuselage (photo link below). This is the exact same sensor technology that will be used by the F-35 in that forward bump under the nose. Renamed EOTS. (electro-optical, targeting system). However I suspect the way the SNIPER is mounted on the B-1, has a better field of view than the F-35 EOTS. So when the USMC declares IOC with their faulty F-35s in 2015, they not only won't have a gun, they will be very crippled trying to do any close air support...the bread and butter purpose of USMC tac-air. Also as we know the helmet for the F-35 is very faulty. Jury is still out if they will be able to graft on the same capability as night-vision goggles...that is reliable in a real mission. So... today's USMC Harrier (not my fav weapon system (I don't like STOVL fast jets)... brings more capability to a joint operational commander than the Just So Farcical.


Photo B-1 and SNIPER Pod....

Note also that article saying the B-1 had to make a lot of right turns. Well yes, note how the SNIPER pod is mounted on ...the right of the airframe....Left turns would give you less field of view for the pod. Super Hornets with ATFLIR and classic Hornets with LITENING (Canada: SNIPER/Pantera) have a similar problem....left turns. Notice this is why they don't carry a fuel tank on the left wing (asymmetric config) because it blocks the view of the pod for CAS missions. Photo - Super Hornet, ATFLIR on left waist... no left drop tank.... lots of left turns when using the pod to support CAS


.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Marine makin' hot-cakes

LOL !!!!

This Marine...

Has ensured that the spirit of The Corps... will live another 100 years.

Short video.

Secret Service Agent: "What kind of art do you do?"

Sabo: "Oh, political art, like right here, I'm doin' a toilet seat, so that when I need to take a shit, I do it in a proper place. They sell like hot-cakes. They're goin' out for Christmas."

Secret Service Agent: "Sure, I bet."


.

Home-made S-2

S-2 the hard way... and other failures.


The 1-17's soldiers said their train-up was also marked by an absence of good intelligence on what they would be facing in the Arghandab. In their zeal to give their men some insight into their future area of operations, noncommissioned officers such as Staff Sgt. Matthew T. Sanders, 1st Squad leader in Charlie Company's 1st Platoon, resorted to printing out information on the Arghandab region from the Long War Journal, a respected non-Defense Department Web site, and posting it on bulletin boards.

"We made our own little S-2 because we weren't getting anything from the S-2 [intelligence directorate]," Sanders said.


USMC F-35B IOC...

The Marine's 2015 IOC for the F-35 may see delay.

Surprised?

Defense Industry Daily has an opinion on it too.

Recent discoveries of structural cracking, and GAO reports re: software development, suggest that even using the new jets for full-scale training by then could be a challenge. Limited-capability Block 2B software is the best they can hope for, and it’s already significantly behind. The F-35B’s “combat capability” at IOC may end up being flatly untrue, and its best realistic case might be as a mere paper tiger. Korean-War vintage F-9 Cougar jets would be “combat capable,” too, in the sense that they could take off, land, and fire weapons. That isn’t an adequate standard for entrusting them with the safety of an MEU in 2016.


---

-Time's Battleland - 5 Part series on F-35 procurement - 2013 
-Summary of Air Power Australia F-35 points
-Bill Sweetman, Aviation Week and the F-35
-U.S. Government Accounting Office (GAO) F-35 reports
-F-35 JSF: Cold War Anachronism Without a Mission
-History of F-35 Production Cuts
-Looking at the three Japan contenders (maneuverability)
-How the Canadian DND misleads the public about the F-35
-Value of STOVL F-35B over-hyped
-Cuckoo in the nest--U.S. DOD DOT&E F-35 report is out
-6 Feb 2012 Letter from SASC to DOD boss Panetta questioning the decision to lift probation on the F-35B STOVL.
-USAFs F-35 procurement plan is not believable
-December 2011 Australia/Canada Brief
-F-35 Key Performance Perimeters (KPP) and Feb 2012 CRS report
-F-35 DOD Select Acquisition Report (SAR) FY2012
-Release of F-35 2012 test report card shows continued waste on a dud program
-Australian Defence answers serious F-35 project concerns with "so what?"
-Land of the Lost (production cut history update March 2013)
-Outgoing LM F-35 program boss admits to flawed weight assumptions (March 2013)
-A look at the F-35 program's astro-turfing
-F-35 and F-16 cost per flying hour
-Is this aircraft worth over $51B of USMC tac-air funding?
-Combat radius and altitude, A model
-F-35A, noise abatement and airfields and the USAF
-Deceptive marketing practice: F-35 blocks
-The concurrency fraud
-The dung beetle's "it's known" lie
-F-35's air-to-air ability limited
-F-35 Blocks--2006 and today
-The F-35B design is leaking fuel
-F-35 deliveries
-ADF's wacky F-35 assumptions
-Gauging performance, the 2008 F-35, Davis dream brief
-Aboriginal brought out as a prop
-Super Kendall's F-35 problem
-LM sales force in pre-Internet era
-History of F-35 engine problems
-Compare
-JSF hopes and dreams...early days of the Ponzi Scheme
-The Prognostics
-2002--Australia joins the F-35 program

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Dare to Compare --- M1A2 Abrams SEP versus Vickers Mk.VII!

Very informative....


Dare to Compare --- M1A2 Abrams SEP versus Vickers Mk.VII!


Tiger helicopter on death watch?




Asia Pacific Defence Reporter (APDR) has an interesting scoop on the defective Tiger helicopter program.

"While the Department of Defence is a long way from deciding to get rid of their Tiger Armed Reconnaissance Helicopters, this is now a possibility unless their availability is dramatically improved."


Consider those words as you see fit. "Availability" and the Tiger helicopter have been, to-date, incompatible.

Or as a an observer of these kinds of things emailed me:

"Have a look at this , it appears the Tiger will never work."


H/T-SR


---

-2014-15 ADF budget shocker - cost per flying hour over the last budget year
-Tiger savaged by Navy League of Australia
-Tiger helicopter update


---

-New Defence White Paper fails to address Australia's core security needs
-2009 Defence White Paper Fantasy
-Analysing "The ADF Air Combat Capability- On the Record"
-Find out who is responsible for the Air Warfare Destroyer mess
-Analysis of Defence Materiel Organisation Major Projects Management and What Needs to be Fixed
-New DMO Boss warns the staff that business as usual is over
-How dangerous is the Defence Material Organisation to our Defence Industry?
-Australia's Failing Defence Structure and Management Methodology
-More on the dud-jamming gear Defence wants to buy
-ADF cost per flying hour
-I will wipe out bullying vows new Defence chief (Houston 2005)
-Vacancy
-Put Vol 2 Report of DLA Piper Review into the light of day
-Rory and Jim
-Parasitism as an Abstraction for Organizational Dysfunctions
-Hobart-class "Air Warfare Destroyer" to be fielded with obsolete radar guidance technology
-The Decay Of Critical Military Thinking And Writing-With Particular Reference To The RAAF
-Newspaper guy gets it right about sub project.... big time
-The great M-1 tank myth
-*UPDATE* Fear and loathing in Canberra - Audit released on MRH-90 helicopter project 
-RAN bullies contractor over Collins sub replacement
-2014-15 ADF budget shocker - Star-ranks
-Air Warfare Destroyer -- Billions, not millions over budget
-Australia's M-1 tanks are... a downgrade compared to what it had
-Weak links put on rubber-stamp Defence panel
-Stop the nonsense (Collins-class submarine replacement)
-Insert Joke Here
-Tyranny of distance--Long, drawn out helicopter projects are unsustainable