F-35 price tag holding steady..........

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In my view that comparison is somewhat flawed on the basis that there is just not enough real world so to speak operational performance data on the F-35's powerplant yet to say wether the statistics are valid for comparison.
Testing is still not complete . Its all about PUTING testing REQUIRMENTS down in writing and seeing if those are met or not .
F-35 and F-22 are only stealth so long as the carry no external ordnance, another detraction is the F-35's massive IR signature.
The F-22 can carry 8 A2A missiles internally . For A2A load you really do not need much more . For A2G roles (Secondary capability) the F-22 can carry 2 BVR missiles , 2 WVR missiles and 2 1000lb JDAM . Again very good capability to have considering strike is secondary role . For high targets role the F-22 can also carry internally 8 SDB's , 2 Aim-120C's , and 2 AIm-9's . After FDOW and IADS degradation stealth becomes less important and external stores can be used . Moreoever if AD are saturated one can also use JAASM (will be integrated in next block) externally , hang 3-4 external JAASM-ER's , use them from greater distances , jettison the pylons and as you approach air defence you have Full RCS regained . The F-35 for its Multi-Role will carry 2 internal BVR missiles in addition to 2 2000lb bombs , i beleive in the future they can substitute (or will be ) 2 AIm-120's for the 2000 lb aswell (or better JDRADM which can be LONG range (one version) and Medium range (Another version) ) . Thats pretty good capability if you ask me for strike missions , moreover they may develop (and LMA has plenty of insentive to do so with projected sales in the thousands) minuature Cruise missles (LMA is allready working on miniature version of JAASM) aswell as External stealth weapon pylons/bays which they allready tested on the f-22 raptor.
another detraction is the F-35's massive IR signature
MASSIVE ? As compared to what ? The rafale ? EF typhoon ? Su-30 ? F-15 ? F-18E/F ? F-16 ? And what is the IR signature of the F-35 ?
Another bone of contention within Australian forces is that the F-35 is primarily designed as a strike fighter, not an air auperiority machine, and many feel it lacks the nessecary capabilities and edge over potential threat nations CURRENT fighter contingents to warrant its selection, one force model favoured for the RAAF is a single squadron and OCU of F-22's for air superiority tasking and 2 squadrons and an OCU of F-35's for multirole duties.
F-35 will do fine for Air defence missions very comparable to EF or rafale given its exremely low frontal RCS (comparable to B-2 bomber) integrated Active-Passive sensor suite , long range radar (claims of 90nm for 1^m2 target for Apg-80) and future weapon (Aim-120D , JDRADM etc etc) aswell as HMD , M-M interface and Situational awareness . Air dominance these days is a function of the NETWORK rather then the individual assett . If the Aussies can seriously gel together their WEDGETAIL fleet with FIGHTER fleet plus future GH BAMS fleet ( plus maybe they buy GH AEW to augment their wedgetail fleet) and P-8 fleet into on single nodal network with fast back end processing and SA then the platform becomes less important as is the case in USN where they really dont feel the lack of airframe performance of the Super hornet really affecting them against fighter threats .
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In talking about the and i emphasize RAAF's single engine fighter ops history, how am i substituting the Mirage for the F-16 when we have never operated the type?..
I think you're making a fundamental error. RAAF single engine fighter ops history is a history of operating a 1950s-designed, 1960s-built aircraft, with an engine to match. In general, engine reliability has enormously improved since then, & RAAF history is probably now far less relevant than that of other forces operating more recent types. How does the failure rate of modern engines compare with that of the Atar?
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If the Aussies can seriously gel together their WEDGETAIL fleet with FIGHTER fleet plus future GH BAMS fleet ( plus maybe they buy GH AEW to augment their wedgetail fleet) and P-8 fleet.
Well i just find that to be insulting, to me it sounds as if you are suggesting that the RAAF is incapable of getting its assets to work together. We would be only to happy to integrate our Wedgetails into the defence network IF Boeing would kindly extract the digit and get on top of the so called system maturity issues affecting the aircraft, which is now some five years behind schedule. Secondly we do not have on order nor do we look like purchasing at this point in time the P-8A Poseidon.
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F-35 will do fine for Air defence missions very comparable to EF or rafale given its exremely low frontal RCS (comparable to B-2 bomber) integrated Active-Passive sensor suite , long range radar (claims of 90nm for 1^m2 target for Apg-80) and future weapon (Aim-120D , JDRADM etc etc) aswell as HMD , M-M interface and Situational awareness . Air dominance these days is a function of the NETWORK rather then the individual assett . If the Aussies can seriously gel together their WEDGETAIL fleet with FIGHTER fleet plus future GH BAMS fleet ( plus maybe they buy GH AEW to augment their wedgetail fleet) and P-8 fleet into on single nodal network with fast back end processing and SA then the platform becomes less important as is the case in USN where they really dont feel the lack of airframe performance of the Super hornet really affecting them against fighter threats .
Bring_it_on You have just made a dam good post, and by the way, you have just shoot a very big hole in Lockheed Martin sales campaign... ;) So after this (wonderfully put together) list of reasons why the "system of system´s" (or network if you prefer) his the dominant factor in the Air to air business someone might just ask "hmmmm, so why do need the F-35A"? Just stick with the Super Hornet and network the entire Fighter/AEW/ELINT/COMINT/etc force. It´s a lot cheaper and way less risky... (Actually, i´m playing the devil´s advocate here)
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Well i just find that to be insulting, to me it sounds as if you are suggesting that the RAAF is incapable of getting its assets to work together.
No it is not insulting in any manner (and i have shown the utmost respect for RAAF , and RAN and the army in the past and even defended them on many occasions). I have said the same about the USAF if you follow my posts , regarding them gelling together their own assets because the GELLING part is not easy to implement , costs a lot and needs a lot of DIVERSION from TRADITIONAL THINKING that some of the beurc. and air force officials are custom to .
We would be only to happy to integrate our Wedgetails into the defence network IF Boeing would kindly extract the digit and get on top of the so called system maturity issues affecting the aircraft, which is now some five years behind schedule.
Welcome to the world of Complex weapons development and customization ; ) specially in the USA .
we do not have on order nor do we look like purchasing at this point in time the P-8A Poseidon.
The Australian Minister for Defence announced on 20 July 2007 that the P-8A MMA had been selected as the preferred aircraft to replace the Royal Australian Air Force's fleet of AP-3C Orions in conjunction with a yet to be selected unmanned aerial vehicle. The last RAAF AP-3C is scheduled to be retired in 2018, after nearly 30 years of service http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P-8_Poseidon I was lazy so only Wiki'd it , but i bet other more credible sources are also available showing Aussie interest for its procurment in the future .
You have just made a dam good post, and by the way, you have just shoot a very big hole in Lockheed Martin sales campaign...
Thanks man ..
So after this (wonderfully put together) list of reasons why the "system of system´s" (or network if you prefer) his the dominant factor in the Air to air business someone might just ask "hmmmm, so why do need the F-35A"?
Thats exactly why the F-35 is needed as opposed to a more expensive , better performing assett like say a F-22 (in no.s close to 500-700) . The F-35 is the FORCE ENABLER , you cannot give an F-4 an NC capability and expect it to be equally good IN A SYSTEM OF SYSTEM ENVIRON. The F-35 has what it takes to be an integral tactical part of this SYSTEM because it has LO , allowing it to act with impunity in compled IADS enviroment therefore pushing the plan forward and dealing with the threat early and with power . The F-35 has excellent 360 degrees active/passive sensor both seamlessly integrated into the system allowing the system more SO , and a REACH to deal with the problems . The SYSTEM itself here is only as good as the ARMS of the system which it uses to TAKE action against threats either airborne or ground based.
Just stick with the Super Hornet and network the entire Fighter/AEW/ELINT/COMINT/etc force. It´s a lot cheaper and way less risky...
But your SH will still be limited to where it can go during FDOW scenarious , like the quote says , you can have as much SO as possible , as much sensor fusion if you dont have LO to shrink enemy weapons envelope you will only make use of those systems to see those weapons clearly comming to kill you . LO is the enabler of the system as it allows us to exploit the system to its highest potential . The system on the other hands allows you to limit the no. of your most expensive fighter (the F-22) by using a less capable and less costly assett F-35 which is multi role and by more effeceintly using your more capable assett to maximise efectivness . LO is the enabler here to deal with complex IADS of today and 2 decades from today . EDIT - Some more info on Aussie P-8 interest - In July 2007, the Australian Government was given 'first pass approval' to participate in the cooperative development of the P-8A Poseidon. The P-8A would replace the Royal Australian Navy's fleet of P-3C Orion aircraft http://www.naval-technology.com/projects/mma/ Australia to join Boeing P-8 MMA progamme
Australia is to negotiate to join the US Navy's Boeing P-8A Multi-mission Martime Aircraft development programme, after the government gave first-pass approval for the A$4 billion ($3.5 billion) AIR 7000 Phase 2 programme to replace the Royal Australian Air Force's AP-3C Orions. The 737-based P-8A Poseidon will meet the Royal Australian Air Force's manned Maritime Patrol and Response Aircraft (MPRA) requirement and operate alongside the Multi-mission Unmanned Aerial System (MUAS). Australia has joined the US Navy's Broad Area Maritime Surveillance (BAMS) programme to meet the MUAS requirement, otherwsie known as AIR 7000 Phase 1.Together the manned MPRA and unmanned MUAS will replace the AP-3Cs, which are planned to be retired in 2018 after more than 30 years of service. After Boeing won the MMA competition in June 2004, Australia was offered a stake in P-8 development in return for investing $300 million in the programme, but the Canberra government turned down the offer in late 2005 because of a crisis in funding for defence procurement. Australia signed up in January 2007 to join the BAMS system development and demonstration programme. A competiton is now under way, with Boeing offering a Gulfstream G550 derivative, Lockheed Martin and General Atomics the Mariner UAV and Northrop Grumman RQ-4N Global Hawk. A decision is due in October. Defence minister Brendan Nelson says participation in the proposed cooperative development of the P-8 will provide opportunities for Australian industry. Boeing and the US Navy recently completed the critical design review on the P-8. Approval to built two test aircraft will be sought later this year. The US Navy plans to buy 108 Poseidons, with deliveries beginning in 2013
http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2007/07/20/215645/australia-to-join-boeing-p-8-mma-progamme.html I think the P-8 buy (or otherwise) will come after they make firm descision on wether to aquire more SH;s or F-35 etc etc , because the timeline is different for its replacement cycle . The fighter force is priority no.1 for now I guess but Australia clearly seems to be interested .
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No it is not insulting in any manner (and i have shown the utmost respect for RAAF , and RAN and the army in the past and even defended them on many occasions). I have said the same about the USAF if you follow my posts , regarding them gelling together their own assets because the GELLING part is not easy to implement , costs a lot and needs a lot of DIVERSION from TRADITIONAL THINKING that some of the beurc. and air force officials are custom to .
Well said on the subject of gelling a new force, and thanks for sticking up for us here down under!
I think the P-8 buy (or otherwise) will come after they make firm descision on wether to aquire more SH;s or F-35 etc etc , because the timeline is different for its replacement cycle . The fighter force is priority no.1 for now I guess but Australia clearly seems to be interested .
Ah but a change of Government brings a change in plans, and a good thing too for as a defence minister, Brendan Nelson was barely above incompetent. The Orion replacement programme has as far as i know been put on hold for five years while the new defence minister, Joel Fitzgibbons, attempts to sort out the mad dog's breakfast he has inherited, all priority at present is going to the Hornet replacement programme, as the fleet is currently predicted to run out of fatigue life around 2014, and with Mr Fitzgibbons presently actively chasing the US DoD for access to purchase the F-22, it largely leaving other programmes such as the Orion replacement out in the cold for now, and as a result interest in Poseidon has dropped off accordingly.
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The Orion replacement programme has as far as i know been put on hold for five years while the new defence minister, Joel Fitzgibbons, attempts to sort out the mad dog's breakfast he has inherited, all priority at present is going to the Hornet replacement programme, as the fleet is currently predicted to run out of fatigue life around 2014, and with Mr Fitzgibbons presently actively chasing the US DoD for access to purchase the F-22, it largely leaving other programmes such as the Orion replacement out in the cold for now, and as a result interest in Poseidon has dropped off accordingly.
The final report of the high-level review commissioned by Mr Fitzgibbon in February is also expected to rule out the much more expensive US-made F-22 Raptor fighter as an alternative buy to the F-35 JSF. Defence has judged that the F-35's all-round capability is still the best and most affordable platform for the RAAF's longer-term needs compared with the single-role F-22. But Mr Fitzgibbon has been keen to explore with the US Government the chances of acquiring the F-22, which at present is not for sale to overseas customers. Defence experts argue that even if Australia were allowed to buy the F-22, the RAAF could not buy enough to guarantee Australia's frontline air defence. While the procurement cost of the F-35 has risen by about 36per cent in real terms since 2002 to $US77 million a plane, the rising Australian dollar means that the RAAF is still confident it can afford the 100-strong fleet it regards as essential. http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,23607964-601,00.html Eventually they will sort out the fighter debate and get to replacing the orion and the P-8 looks like the logical choice , hence the aussie interest.
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The final report of the high-level review commissioned by Mr Fitzgibbon in February is also expected to rule out the much more expensive US-made F-22 Raptor fighter as an alternative buy to the F-35 JSF. Defence has judged that the F-35's all-round capability is still the best and most affordable platform for the RAAF's longer-term needs compared with the single-role F-22. But Mr Fitzgibbon has been keen to explore with the US Government the chances of acquiring the F-22, which at present is not for sale to overseas customers. Defence experts argue that even if Australia were allowed to buy the F-22, the RAAF could not buy enough to guarantee Australia's frontline air defence. While the procurement cost of the F-35 has risen by about 36per cent in real terms since 2002 to $US77 million a plane, the rising Australian dollar means that the RAAF is still confident it can afford the 100-strong fleet it regards as essential. http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,23607964-601,00.html Eventually they will sort out the fighter debate and get to replacing the orion and the P-8 looks like the logical choice , hence the aussie interest.
Given past performance on fighter debates here, i wouldnt be surprised if they are still argueing about it when the LM rep knocks on the door and says "where do you want them?" with several F-35's in tow. The P-8 does look a very interesting aircraft, certainly it will have the range and be much faster in responding than the AP-3, but at that size i do wonder about its manouevereability, also its sound output levels, ive been overflown by Orions multiple times and you usually dont hear them until theyre on top of you.
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Given past performance on fighter debates here, i wouldnt be surprised if they are still argueing about it when the LM rep knocks on the door and says "where do you want them?" with several F-35's in tow.
Well 12-14 months from now USAF would be taking Necc. Steps to close down the F-22A production line for Good . So if RAAF wants to buy raptors better do so right now or in the next 8-12 months or it would be too late.
P-8 does look a very interesting aircraft, certainly it will have the range and be much faster in responding than the AP-3, but at that size i do wonder about its manouevereability, also its sound output levels, ive been overflown by Orions multiple times and you usually dont hear them until theyre on top of you.
I dont think their is any other choice other then the P-8 .
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Well 12-14 months from now USAF would be taking Necc. Steps to close down the F-22A production line for Good . So if RAAF wants to buy raptors better do so right now or in the next 8-12 months or it would be too late.
It's not a done deal (though probably close) as they've kicked that decision to the next addministration. If McCain gets in and we can get rid of Gordon England (preferrably by sticking him behind bars) F-22 production could continue.
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It's not a done deal (though probably close) as they've kicked that decision to the next addministration.
Thus i give them 12-14 months to decide . The head of weapons aquisition at the DOD just recently advised the USAF to upgrade the first 100 aircrafts to latest block version (right now they will have 100 of previous block and the remaining 83 of latest block) instead of looking to buy the extra 2 raptors and keeping the line open instead of closing it down . Interesting times ahead for sure .
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...I dont think their is any other choice other then the P-8 .
If it can find a customer, EADS will build an A319 or A320 MPA. It's got a mission system, & the launch customer for a modified A319/A320 airframe will probably get a very good deal indeed. It will also refurbish P-3s, with an airframe life-extension & the new mission system. Bought by Spain & Brazil so far, IIRC. These are probably the only real alternatives to the P-8. In theory, BAe could build new Nimrod MRA.4s. The fiasco with rebuilding old airframes has forced BAe to model the whole airframe in its CAD/CAM system, so it's now set up to build from scratch the sections carried over from the old airframes, as well as the new sections, but given the development cost overruns & delays I'm sure it's blown its chances. A pity, really, since it is probably the highest performing new MPA (certainly, in aircraft performance terms), & production cost of new-build fuselages could be less than stripping down & refurbing the old airframe. And Japan is very unlikely to sell the P-X.
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If it can find a customer, EADS will build an A319 or A320 MPA. It's got a mission system, & the launch customer for a modified A319/A320 airframe will probably get a very good deal indeed. It will also refurbish P-3s, with an airframe life-extension & the new mission system. Bought by Spain & Brazil so far, IIRC. These are probably the only real alternatives to the P-8. In theory, BAe could build new Nimrod MRA.4s. The fiasco with rebuilding old airframes has forced BAe to model the whole airframe in its CAD/CAM system, so it's now set up to build from scratch the sections carried over from the old airframes, as well as the new sections, but given the development cost overruns & delays I'm sure it's blown its chances. A pity, really, since it is probably the highest performing new MPA (certainly, in aircraft performance terms), & production cost of new-build fuselages could be less than stripping down & refurbing the old airframe. And Japan is very unlikely to sell the P-X.
After the Wedgetail fiasco (not that the wedgtail isnt a top class performing system) i doubt the aussies will look at anything other then something that is ready and in service . Plus they are allready quite clear on the fact that they want the P8+BAMS combo (allready evaluating both) and if they do indeed want that combo they can piggy back on whatever USN has interms of upgrading potential etc etc .
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Some F-35 BF-1 Pictures courtesy F-16.net http://img367.imageshack.us/img367/4968/f0829613248tm1.jpg http://img293.imageshack.us/img293/7895/f0829642114vo4.jpg http://img293.imageshack.us/img293/3944/f0829607418uk0.jpg

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It would cost much less if she could pull of a Rambo -
Well the beautiful thing is , shes not going to get the nomination,hopefully MCcain will win and we wont have to worry about that like we had to endure under the clinton years !!!!!!!!!!!1