Wednesday, February 04, 2015

F-35 News. Approaching 200 mill per copy...

via Defense Industry Daily...
The F-35, meanwhile would get additional funds to produce more units (up to 57 from 38), reportedly to help bring down the per-unit cost, which is rapidly gaining ground on the all-important $200 million-per-copy figure that effectively blew up the now-defunct F-22 program production.

The price is coming down all right.

Tell me again how crazy I am to believe that this airplane is tip toeing on the edge of the dreaded death spiral!


  1. But its still getting ordered en masse and LRIPs are continously rolling.

    Dont think you know what death spiral means - if anything,despite everything that one would think should kill the program, its getting an adrenaline shot every single time.

    1. adrenaline is usually administered to the medically ill right? so your description is right on target. they're fighting hard to keep it above water but the facts are the facts.

      the price is rising and they're fighting to keep it from doing so.

  2. Pick any cost model, be it UFC, FUC, WSC, etc for the F-35A.

    Every one of them has been dropping over the years, not going up.

    Take the WSC (Weapon System Cost, the highest annual cost model possible) for 2014-2016.
    They went from $167 to $143 to $126 in 2016.

    DID's (and your) mistake is including R&D costs into the "per F-35" cost and comparing that to the F-22's cost which DID NOT include R&D.

    btw, the F-22's lifetime average WSC was $189.

    1. are you also including repair cost or upgrade cost to get the airplanes to correct for mistakes made? anyway you counti it the plane has been going up in cost. thats a fact.

      you can play all the accounting gimicks you want but the news media is onto it and so are the partners. no one is buying the plane. everyone is in a wait and see mode.

      its unaffordable. the death spiral is here. this plane is about to price itself out of the market. even the USMC won't be able to justify one airplane EATING UP its entire procurement plans for much longer. this turkey is dead.

      your last hope was for Amos to get two terms as Commandant. that was the only thing that could keep it going. he didn't and the future is written. Sequestration will continue and this plane will die.

    2. It's not a gimmick but a straight Apples to Oranges argument that invalidates the DID article's assertion.

      They are reporting that the cost to buy an F-35 is going up when in reality it's going down. It's as simple as that.

  3. Increased production? The Pentagon is anxious to modify a sensible 'fly before buy' schedule so they conjure up a 'Magic F-35' where the laws of system acquisition don't exist, they say in effect. What law? 10 USC § 2399 - Operational test and evaluation of defense acquisition programs

    "The Secretary of Defense shall provide that a covered major defense acquisition program or a covered designated major subprogram may not proceed beyond low-rate initial production until initial operational test and evaluation of the program or subprogram is completed. "

    Never mind the law, the Pentagon now plans to procure 301 F-35 prototypes, 2016-2019, prior to an April 2019 Milestone C full production decision. This in addition to the 208 aircraft already procured through FY2014 and 38 in FY2015, for a total of 547 aircraft before the plane's final design has been established, which will necessitate a huge retrofit program. They are projecting $1.2 billion retrofit cost for the STOVL alone through 2019, to upgrade the computers and to apply 146 high-priority engineering changes to correct deficiencies found during testing to date as seen here. That doesn't include any deficiencies found in the more rigorous development testing to come, not the operational test and evaluation through 2018 (and probably longer, given F-35 history).

    1. The retrofit document lists nineteen (or more) STOVL structural/body deficiencies

      TI-0000-0561 CR-019683E A01 22 STOVL FS-496 Bulkhead
      TI-0000-0566 CR-021194 A01 32 STOVL Station 3/9 Aft Pylon Rib
      TI-0000-0559 CR-021194 A01 32 STOVL NLG Drag Brace Fitting
      TI-0000-0558 CR-021194 A01 32 STOVL Fwd Fuselage Keel Beam, RH
      TI-0000-0617 CR-021194 A01 32 STOVL Station 2 Outboard, LH (Force Life Management)
      TI-0000-0544 CR-021194 A01 TBD STOVL Longeron, Support, Mid Fairing LH/RH Life Limit
      TI-0000-0564 CR-021217 A01 32 STOVL Forward Root Rib
      TI-0000-0545 CR-021217 A01 25 STOVL Longeron, Support, Mid Fairing, LH/RH
      TI-0000-0906 CR-TBD A01 TBD Nose Landing Gear Lug Inspection
      #N/A CR-TBD A01 TBD Vertical Tail 575 fitting
      #N/A CR-TBD A01 TBD Production Thrust Recovery
      TI-0000-0375 CR-019979 A02 15 STOVL IRCM Door Hinges
      #N/A CR-TBD A02 TBD DVP Pressure Snubber (retrofit only)
      TI-0000-0373 CR-015026B A03 32 AAID Mech Failure Redesign (Hooks)
      TI-0000-1089 CR-021694 A03 TBD LRIP 3 Aux Air Inlet (AAI) Door Install-IR Not Maintained
      #N/A CR-022656 A03 TBD Aft Main Landing gear door Cracking
      TI-0000-0377 CR-021694 A03 35 STOVL Aux Air Inlet Door System Redesign
      TI-0000-0781 CR-TBD A03 35 3BSM Door Hinges (Door Flutter)

  4. It isn't like keeping two sets of books on F-35 cost hasn't been done before, as in Canada, reported by CBC in 2012.

    parliamentary budget officer Kevin Page--
    ...what bothered his office was that one set of books was available inside DND, while another "for communication purposes" was presented publicly, in which he said the government was "low-balling" the numbers. "You do get the sense there were different books being kept."

  5. and even at 200m it still cheaper than F22 assuming the production lines are opened again..


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