Saturday, February 18, 2017

F-18XT set to take a big bite out of the Navy F-35 order! President's chief of staff seen with Boeing brochure!

via DoD Buzz
President Donald Trump on Friday announced he’s considering a “big order” of advanced Super Hornet fighter jets designated F/A-18XT and made by Boeing Co.
“We are looking seriously at a big order,” he told the audience at Boeing’s South Carolina facility during the unveiling of the company’s 787 Dreamliner. “Do you care if we use the F-18 Super Hornets?”
The comments came less than a month after Defense Secretary Jim Mattis ordered a review of the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, a fourth-generation fighter, as a potential lower-cost alternative to the F-35C Joint Strike Fighter, the carrier version of a fifth-generation fighter made by Lockheed Martin Corp.
The remarks also came a day after Robert Harward, a retired vice admiral and former Navy SEAL who went on to become an executive at Lockheed, declined an offer to succeed Michael Flynn as national security adviser.
According to White House pool reports from the Trump event, Reince Priebus, Trump’s chief of staff, was spotted holding a brochure for the “F/A-18 XT.” The XT is the Advanced Super Hornet, or the Block III fighter jet concept for the Navy, a Boeing spokesman confirmed to
“While Boeing demonstrated advanced Super Hornet capabilities in flight in 2013, the package of upgrades has evolved to best complement F-35, EA-18G and E-2D as they will be operating together in the air wing well into the 2040s,” Boeing said in a description of the XT/Block III aircraft.
Boeing developed the Block III jet concept to “address the strike fighter shortfall as well as to ensure the air wing has the capabilities needed to win in the 2020s and beyond,” the description said.
The new variant will feature an enhanced network capability to allow large amounts of data on and off the airplane, which would increase the ability to receive targeting information from aircraft like the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, EA-18G Growler and the E-2D Hawkeye, according to Boeing.
Story here. 

Interesting.  Time to explore the "death spiral".  Remember the F-35C is the most EXPENSIVE version!
To keep the cost per airplane low, you need to build and sell a lot of planes. But if the plane in question is delayed or new planes needed immediately, governments cut orders to buy planes available now to fulfill that need. That pushes up the cost per plane, leading to more cancellations, pushing up the cost, leading to more cancellations. And so on.
We are inches away from the F-35C being the first version of the F-35 to be canned!

Sidenote:  Notice the emphasis for the Navy is on networking.  Remember Greenert...everything a sensor, everything a shooter....also remember his other mantra...payloads over platforms...the Super Hornet is perfectly placed to carry the load until the F/A-XX hits deck in a little over a decade!  Lockheed took too damn long and failed to have a corporate sense of urgency.  Now its too late!

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