F-35 News, Multimedia & Discussion thread (2)

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Lets carry over from the last thread !
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South Korea backs down from F-15 Silent Eagle selection: report
outh Korea appears set to re-tender its F-X III competition for 60 fighter aircraft after deciding against the selection of the Boeing F-15 Silent Eagle, which had been tipped to win the competition. Although the F-15SE was the only aircraft to come in below the Defense Acquisition Program Administration’s (DAPA) budget of 8.3 trillion won ($7.2 billion), concerns about its stealth characteristics have apparently prompted the decision to re-start the acquisition process, according to a report by Seoul’s official Yonhap news agency, citing a DAPA statement. The decision was reportedly made today at a DAPA meeting presided over by defence minister Kim Kwan-Jin. The three contenders for the requirement were the F-15SE, Lockheed Martin F-35, and Eurofighter Typhoon. Industry observers have consistently viewed the competition as a two way battle between the two American aircraft given Seoul’s extremely close ties to Washington. Moreover, observers close to the South Korean defence establishment have observed the air force’s preference for the F-35. A re-tendering of the competition could prove challenging for Seoul. Industry sources have said that DAPA loosened the stealth requirement of F-X III to allow fairer competition between the three aircraft. Placing too high an emphasis on stealth in a new competition, however, could be seen as undermining a fair competition.
http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/south-korea-backs-down-from-f-15-silent-eagle-selection-report-390879/

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If VLO is what they wanted all along, I'm curious as to how the Koreans ever expected to have any competition in the first place. It was a idiotically contrived effort to haggle the F-35's price that, predictably, exploded in their faces. And so it begins... the sad realization by most free-world airforces that the F-35 has no real competition in the long-term.

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It is indeed interesting, I wonder if this will have any impact on a Canadian competition? Most likely not.
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The Phase III Was probably always going to be about 5th gen technology. Like most air forces the technical side of the program has to compete (and rightly so) with the financing side of the program (Your accountants/auditors)...What we are seeing here is a constant battle for power between the ROKAF and DAPA...

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What I don't understand is how they formulated the requirements. My point is this: IF the Air Force is adament that they need a VLO fighter then they SHOULD formulate the requirements to reflect this. Or did they do that but were ignored? Of course formulating such requirements is very tricky because if you do it in a manner that upfront excludes e.g. the F-15SE then you end up with no competition....
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I have not heard or read anything on formal documents for RFP's, but one would imagine that any requirement that solely stipulates Full stealth would be counter productive given that with such a requirement only one jet could potentially be offered. That's never good for competition. South Korea voted against Boeing's (BA.N) F-15 Silent Eagle in its 8.3 trillion won ($7.7 billion) tender for 60 fighter jets, the country's arms procurement agency said on Tuesday, saying it will restart the project
DAPA...will swiftly pursue the program again in order to minimize the vacuum in combat capabilities," South Korea's Defense Acquistion Program Administration (DAPA) said in a statement. Boeing's F-15 had been the only bid out of three that was under-budget and eligible to win the country's largest-ever defense import deal under South Korean law.
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/09/24/us-korea-fighter-decision-idUSBRE98N07C20130924

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Or purely on politic gains ? Remember US backed F35, not F15... Everyone thought since the beginning it was a fake competition, (as was FX1 btw...)
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Why would it be for political gains? Politics will surely be a part of it to the extent that the US will seek and lobby for work for its industry given that it heavily invests in the security of South Korea and the alligned interests in the region. The F-15SE is also a US built fighter and its success along with that the SH_International/Advanced (or whatever boeing is calling it today :) ) ensures Boeing's survival in the fighter jet business (A key strategic advantage going into future fighter competitions). The Drive has apparently come from the ROKAF itself, as article after article (Posted by me over the last few months) seems to suggest that many in the ROKAF seem to prefer the 5th gen solution here (F-35)...The unanimous support for stealth demonstrated by 15 Ex-ROKAF Air Chiefs probably drove home the point (I'm guessing here)...In a constant tug-of war between services and the auditor (Procurement agency in this case) its entirely possible that the service's view gets the nod (or at least a second look)...This is not much different from what goes on between the US DOD and the GAO on many programs. While the GAO's views are accepted on some programs they are sidelined for others, where the technical view (coming from the services) is held to be superior and strategically more important.

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It is possible, but it wouldnt be the first time we'd see a competition biased by US authorities (FX1 in Korea, some P3 in south east asia, KCX etc. etc.), and pentagon was backing F35. In fact a victory of F15 would have been catastrophic in terms of image (with many possible consequencies) for F35 program, no? I have no clue, but that announcement , after ROKAF accepted 3 tpes as compliant to their own RFP is really weird! Btw, didnt they eliminate Typhoon due to a lack of "B" numbers? F35 has NO B version.
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I think you are making a bit too much of the entire decision. Plenty of articles in the media have highlighted that quite a sizeable group of pilots and administrators within the ROKAF have a preference for the F-35 (This was before it failed to match the lowest price)...add to that historical articles which seemed to suggest that the original plan for this round of purchases was to pick 5th gen technology (Ive posted those reports in the older thread)...It could well be that the F-15SE was picked because DAPA DID ITS JOB i.e. to pick a fighter (and send it for approval) that meets the price target mandated for the program. Politics is always going to be there in a program of such proportions due to the fact that the US invests quite a bit in the region as far as national security is concerned, but to suggest that the pentagon and the US politicians stepped in on behalf lockheed to get the koreans to reverse the decision is a bit of a biased and totally unsubstantiated statement. As if Boeing does not have its share of lobbyists and politicians batting for it (full time)...I do not think the DOD wants to end up with FUNDING boeing just to have a fighter manufacturing base as we head into 6th generation, they'd rather let boeing sustain itself through international sales. Northrop already is out of the fighter jet manufacturing business and to leave Lockheed in a monopoly position is not good for the industry and future strategic concerns.. The ROKAF decision is/was a purely technical one made by DAPA based on things it was mandated to decide upon. They were given a mandate to pick the bidder that matched or came lower than the maximum allotted price for the project. They did their job...It is then up to the political establishment and the ministry to decide. Because of this reason, the ROKAF decision to go for the SE in place of the F-35 will have not any significant impact on the long term JSF program in terms of future programs for which Lockheed may bid with the F-35. SKorea Rejects Boeing, Says F-15 Not Good Enough
He said South Korea must have better air power in line with an international trend to develop "fifth generation" fighters, and said the rejection of Boeing's bid was made in consideration of North Korea's nuclear weapons program and other factors. Ministry officials said he was referring to a warplane with cutting-edge radar-evading stealth functions which Boeing's plane does not have. n recent days, South Korean media, retired generals and weapons experts had pressed the government not to pick the F-15 Silent Eagle, arguing better stealth capabilities were needed. "Only with stealth capabilities can (warplanes) covertly infiltrate North Korea and get rid of its nuclear threats," a group of 15 former air force chiefs of staff said in a recent letter addressed to President Park Geun-hye.
http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/skorea-rejects-boeing-15-good-20353896

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As you said, suggest, not claim. I have no clue, but why qualify F15SE after tech eval if it is not compliant? Why eliminate Typhoon on a number of B versions if they wanted F35 with no B version? What would have been the thunderous result if F35 had lost to a steroid 30 years old design? Imagine the reactions in the congress??? Finally US Government backpacked F35, as Boeing was going there as a private company. No clue at all, but smelly.
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As you said, suggest, not claim. I have no clue, but why qualify F15SE after tech eval if it is not compliant?
Qualified does not automatically translate to the best solution - technically. Yes the F-15SE was supposed to be the best product as per the DAPA criteria because it was deemed technically capable and came in under the budget. However, many urged the program to change the budget to better reflect a greater capability. This is of course a double edged sword because this brings down affordabiliy and trades it for greater risk and capability. The idea that the FXIII should have been just about 5th gen was never going to work for that would have meant that the ROKAF would have found itself in a single vendor position, and that is never a good thing for the sake of getting the lowest possible price.
What would have been the thunderous result if F35 had lost to a steroid 30 years old design? Imagine the reactions in the congress???
Why would it be a thunderous result? And why would congress be shocked? When clearly the reson for the F-35's loss would have been the inability to meet cost targets due to FMS nature of the deal LIMITING/PROHIBITING Lockheed martin from offering a FIXED price for a jet it is yet to fully test? The F-35 would not have lost out due to capability, but due to being an in development program unable to field a working (IOC) jet before 2016-2017 and unable to deliver on a fixed cost for the bid. The Loss would have been to a competitor (s) that would have been able to offer a fixed price and guarantee delivery due to a lower risk program that is completely in house (SE) or a jet that is in service (Typhoon)...
Finally US Government backpacked F35, as Boeing was going there as a private company.
Thats something someone totally ignorant of Boeing's PR and lobbying efforts would say. Trust me as the Largest Aviation Defense contractor in the Department of Defense (Boeing is ahead of Lockheed Martin), Boeing has plenty of ways to push the DOD and the Political establishment in favour of their product especially considering that Boeing has a very good recent relationship with ROKAF with the F-15K deal. Who lobbied for greater stealth? ALL of the ex-Air cheifs of ROKAF that were able to voice an opinon. Call a PR and lobbying slam dunk...Its nearly imposible to win such unanimous support by a program-team unless you actually have something to offer in terms of superior capability. I see where you are getting at, your argument is akin to me saying that the Dassault win in MRCA was suspicious based on what has been said in the Indian parliament by the Opposition...You are constantly trying to find reasons to bring down the F-35...So if ROKAF officials favour the F-35, it must be because the US government has pushed them to do so..without any evidence to support your claim and despite of the open comments by ex-air force heads claiming that STEALTH should be treated as a strategic investment to overcome key future missions. The Most logic thing should have been ROKAF's involvement in the JSF program..They have plenty of bomb truck ability from the F-15K and legacy fleet to pound the living daylights out of NOKO, what they should have gone in for should have been stealth for penetrating, tactical-surprise (Surgical attacks) against threats and to counter stealth buildup in their vicinity. Of course being tactically aligned with the capability of the USMC, USAF, USN in the region (Data linking with the entire fleet, AEGIS etc using common IRS sensors) does not hurt. "A majority of the committee members agreed to reject (F-15 SE) and restart the project, taking into consideration the recent security situation including North Korea's third nuclear test and latest aerospace technology development," defense ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said. "They agreed that South Korean Air Force needs fifth-generation combat jets to keep pace with the latest trend and to deter provocations by North Korea. It is expected to take about one year to select the next fighter jet, he added, without giving details on a specific timeframe. Their rejection on the verge of the final selection illustrates pressure felt by the military and the government to buy 60 jets from the F-15 family with improved features as experts and former Air Force chiefs have expressed concern over the jet's stealth capabilities. http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/national/2013/09/24/15/0301000000AEN20130924005551315F.html After the F-15SE was selected as the only candidate in August, experts and retired air force generals have argued that the fighter, first produced in the 1960s, is not fully capable of coping with increasingly complicated aerial threats in the coming decades. Critics, in particular, say the South will end up falling behind regional powers including China and Japan in terms of aerial capabilities given that they have stepped up efforts to procure stealth aircraft. China is striving to develop radar-evading aircraft such as the J-20 and J-31 while Japan has signed a contract with Lockheed Martin to purchase 42 F-35 jets. Russia is working on building its own T-50 stealth fighter. Experts also say that Seoul should have procured asymmetric weapons systems such as stealth warplanes to better handle continuing nuclear threats posed by the unpredictable leadership in Pyongyang. Some industry watchers expressed concerns over Boeing “dominating” Korea’s defense deals. Boeing won the first two FX projects in 2002 and 2007 and sold 60 F-15s ― worth 8.3 trillion won in total. From 2006 through 2012, the firm also sold four E-737 Peace Eyes ― an early warning and control aircraft ― for around 2 trillion won. http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20130924000960 So Boeing has been the POWER HORSE as far as the US defense industry presence in the recent ROKAF procurement decisions is concerned...

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First i made no claim! I constantly stated i had no clue. And what i said is not, in any manner, related to MMRCA. If i was lobbying for Dassault, i would have talked 1bout previous rigged contract... I only raised some questions. Why did Korea want B versions for ewample? I1 seriously doubt about the stealthiness of F15 SE, d3spite F15 being beloved. 1nd i dont doubt either boeing lobbying capabilities, see KCX for ex... This 15 former (from how long?) heads of Rokaf unanimity is very inter3sting. How did they organize themselves? Just questioning. Im not bashing e erything in F35 plane, sensor suite etc. should be great, but i am sorry, it seems to me a wrongly born baby.
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How did they organize themselves? Because they had a cause which they gathered support for and wrote to the SOKO Prime Minister. This has happened in the US as well...Retired chiefs and senior military leaders still interact with each other and reflect upon policy and the future..This happens in most nations, and most nations do provide a forum for them to do these interactions...
Im not bashing e erything in F35 plane, sensor suite etc. should be great, but i am sorry, it seems to me a wrongly born baby.
Wrongly born baby? It does exactly what is asked of it, i.e. replace the F-16Block 50/F-18 Hornet/Harrier mission set and do it many times better...It provides survivability to the strike fighter fleet and does so fleet wide. It gives you exactly the CAPABILITY YOU NEED. What do you think the US Tactical strike fighter fleet is going to be doing in the next decades? Its goint to be functioning in the integrated network and conduct strike missions along side of the F-22's, B-2's , UCLASS, LRS-B (future) and F-XX/NGAD (Future)..This is precicely the capability that is emphasized with the F-35. A stealth platform, with a top notch multi sensor/360 degrees sensor coverage all networked with various data links and capabilities. It integrates the figher force with the EW role, Links it with the AEGIS fleet , and provides stealth to the tactical strike level (Stealth which was only available to the larger strategic bomber fleet - that too in a very small ammount)...What does it bring to the Air warfare capability? A stealth platform for one..Unmatched (In the services) Situational awareness and networking and of course it will be carrying the best in Air to Air missiles (Aim-9xBlkIII in development, T-3 set for live fire shortly)..IRST+EODAS+HMD combo for close in dog fighting...It also carries plenty of growth prospects. In short - Exactly what the USAF/USN is looking for in a multi role strike fighter, not only does it take over the mission set it adds other missions from ABM defense to Networked ISR....The USAF is not/ was not looking for a F-22_LITE with the F-35, they wanted a replacement for what the current viper and hornet fleet does in TODAY's TIMES..F-22 is going to be in service for quite a while and FA-XX and NGAD's are in early development. The US is still very much a 2 fighter force (Both USAF and USN)...
Why did Korea want B versions for ewample?
They wanted training solution, apparently the plan Lockheed presented was satisfactory..and approved by the technical evals..

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Im afraid that overall it brings a monopoly... you forgot that helmet isnt working and many pilots are afraid of disorientation it could bring. You forget buffet issues that will bring an aerodynamic fix aka reopening flight domain Other datalinks exisr or can be implemented on existong platforms (see F18...). How will you fix pbs like fragility, senstivity to storms etc without adding weight and further dgrading kinematics? And the most complex part (integration) has just started... not talking about ridiculous engineering issue of arresting hook etc. Maybe it will be a good (despite ugly) plane... In 15 years?

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I find it very strange that they refer to NK as an argument for going with the F-35 and not the F-15SE -- looking at the capabilities NK got, I struggle to see what use they really have for the F-35? OTOH I can imagine that they may want the F-35 to play an important part in forming a credible deterrent against China and Japan...
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Wrongly born baby? It does exactly what is asked of it, i.e. replace the F-16Block 50/F-18 Hornet/Harrier mission set and do it many times better...It provides survivability to the strike fighter fleet and does so fleet wide. It gives you exactly the CAPABILITY YOU NEED. What do you think the US Tactical strike fighter fleet is going to be doing in the next decades? Its goint to be functioning in the integrated network and conduct strike missions along side of the F-22's, B-2's , UCLASS, LRS-B (future) and F-XX/NGAD (Future)..This is precicely the capability that is emphasized with the F-35. A stealth platform, with a top notch multi sensor/360 degrees sensor coverage all networked with various data links and capabilities. It integrates the figher force with the EW role, Links it with the AEGIS fleet , and provides stealth to the tactical strike level (Stealth which was only available to the larger strategic bomber fleet - that too in a very small ammount)...What does it bring to the Air warfare capability? A stealth platform for one..Unmatched (In the services) Situational awareness and networking and of course it will be carrying the best in Air to Air missiles (Aim-9xBlkIII in development, T-3 set for live fire shortly)..IRST+EODAS+HMD combo for close in dog fighting...It also carries plenty of growth prospects. In short - Exactly what the USAF/USN is looking for in a multi role strike fighter, not only does it take over the mission set it adds other missions from ABM defense to Networked ISR....The USAF is not/ was not looking for a F-22_LITE with the F-35, they wanted a replacement for what the current viper and hornet fleet does in TODAY's TIMES..F-22 is going to be in service for quite a while and FA-XX and NGAD's are in early development. The US is still very much a 2 fighter force (Both USAF and USN)...
SoKo don't operate Harriers. They don't operate Hornets. They are not in need for a fighter perfectly integrated in a network of F-22s, B-2s, UCLASS, LRS-B or F-XX/NGAD. And you know why? Because they don't and will not have F-22s, B-2s, UCLASS, LRS-B or F-XX. They best they can hope for is to be connected with air defense assets, AWACS and future UAV/UCAVs. Why are you addressing Korean needs with an ode on how the F-35 fits greatly into US integrated network is beyond me. Personally, I don't think they give damn..

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South Korea kept Typhoon and F-15SE in the competition as a stalking horse to get LM to drop the price of F-35. But F-35 prices barely include profit without that type of pressure.

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SoKo don't operate Harriers. They don't operate Hornets.
Another case of typing before thinking... :rolleyes: The Koreans are replacing third generation jets(F-4 and F-5) with 5th generation jets. Given that the F-4 and F-5 were replaced in many cases by F-16s and F-18s, the F-35 is absolutely the most logical replacement if they are going to skip a generation.
They are not in need for a fighter perfectly integrated in a network of F-22s, B-2s, UCLASS, LRS-B or F-XX/NGAD. And you know why? Because they don't and will not have F-22s, B-2s, UCLASS, LRS-B or F-XX. They best they can hope for is to be connected with air defense assets, AWACS and future UAV/UCAVs. Why are you addressing Korean needs with an ode on how the F-35 fits greatly into US integrated network is beyond me. Personally, I don't think they give damn..
Think, seriously... South Korea may not operate those platforms... but does that mean they aren't concerned about their ability to operate with those platforms? You getting it yet? :confused:

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Looks like it is time for the anti-F-35 kiddies to come up with a new set of excuses and conspiracy theories! F-35 placed first in the evaluation, F-15SE placed second, and evaluators put the Eurofighter in third place: http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/yonhap-news-agency/130924/s-korea-decides-against-picking-boeings-f-15-se-next-fight-0 SEOUL, Sept. 24 (Yonhap) -- South Korea decided not to select Boeing's F-15SE as the country's next fighter jet Tuesday amid concern the sole-remaining candidate for the 8.3 trillion won (US$7.2 billion) project is not suitable as it lacks stealth features. The decision, which came in a meeting of the Defense Acquisition Program Administration (DAPA) presided over by Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin, prompted the government to restart the procurement program from the beginning, further delaying the replacement of the aging fleet of F-4s and F-5s. Locked in competition with Lockheed Martin's F-35 and EADS' Eurofighter, Boeing was close to winning the deal with a cheaper offer than its rivals. But its fourth-generation aircraft finished in second place behind the F-35 stealth jet in comprehensive assessments, leaving questions over its combat capabilities. "The committee made the decision through in-depth discussions on the security situation and the combat environment based on assessments of the jets' mission capabilities and prices," DAPA spokesman Baek Yoon-hyung said in a briefing. "The DAPA will promptly restart the project to minimize the security vacuum by consulting related organizations to revise the total budget and requirements." According to military officials, the procurement agency insisted on proceeding with the project in accordance with its policy, while the defense ministry opposed the selection process that gave top priority to cost over combat capabilities. "A majority of the committee members agreed to reject (F-15 SE) and restart the project, taking into consideration the recent security situation including North Korea's third nuclear test and latest aerospace technology development," defense ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said. "They agreed that South Korean Air Force needs fifth-generation combat jets to keep pace with the latest trend and to deter provocations by North Korea." Naturally the South Korean military just doesn't know as much as our local experts who have conclusively determined that the F-35 can't compete... :very_drunk: