the F-35, does it make any sense?

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The cheapest total development cost that i find for the JSF is 50 billion dollar. The cheapest realistic production cost is 40 million dollar for every one of the +/- 3000 planes which are planned. Adding this up I get a whopping 170 billion dollar. For this amount we could get +/- 700 extra F-22 (if at all needed). Probably a lot more taking into account economy of scale bringing the price of an individual F-22 down, and economies made on training, maintenance... Now, is this reasoning completely bananas wrong, am I missing something, or does it indeed not make any sense? To me it does not make sense in any case. The F-16 was a good partner for the F-15 because it held its promise of being relatively cheap and very performant at the same time. The F-35 seems very expensive for a plane which justification is that it is cheaper than the plane it has to support. Och, VTOL you say; are we sure that we actually need that (we have helicopters and ospreys)? and would extra F-22 not largely compensate for this?
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The cheapest total development cost that i find for the JSF is 50 billion dollar. The cheapest realistic production cost is 40 million dollar for every one of the +/- 3000 planes which are planned. Adding this up I get a whopping 170 billion dollar. For this amount we could get +/- 700 extra F-22 (if at all needed). Probably a lot more taking into account economy of scale bringing the price of an individual F-22 down, and economies made on training, maintenance... Now, is this reasoning completely bananas wrong, am I missing something, or does it indeed not make any sense? To me it does not make sense in any case. The F-16 was a good partner for the F-15 because it held its promise of being relatively cheap and very performant at the same time. The F-35 seems very expensive for a plane which justification is that it is cheaper than the plane it has to support. Och, VTOL you say; are we sure that we actually need that (we have helicopters and ospreys)? and would extra F-22 not largely compensate for this?
Grab your tinhat now!!! You'll have missiles heading at you for this from the usual suspects..
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you wanna try and navalise the F-22 as well? The F-35 will become another Lockhead sucess story with it being sold all over the world for the next 30 years. 30 years of skilled jobs based for the most part in the US? The F-22 is a US only plane with no chance of export any time soon.

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you wanna try and navalise the F-22 as well? The F-35 will become another Lockhead sucess story with it being sold all over the world for the next 30 years. 30 years of skilled jobs based for the most part in the US? The F-22 is a US only plane with no chance of export any time soon.
Not quite answering the question he asked though is it...
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im pretty sure I was answering it. The answer is that its a better business model for Lockhead :P
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...Och, VTOL you say; are we sure that we actually need that (we have helicopters and ospreys)? and would extra F-22 not largely compensate for this?
Extra F-22 can't compensate if they're in the wrong place, & don't have a base within range to fly from. They can't operate off carrier decks, let alone LHDs.

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im pretty sure I was answering it. The answer is that its a better business model for Lockhead :P
That is very fair comment.

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The F-22 is terribly expensive and difficult to maintain due to the stealth requirements. LM claims that F-35 will offer "affordable stealth", in part due to improved materials technology etc. Bashing LM and F-35 is always fun, but to stay serious for a few lines, if LM can deliver "affordable stealth" then it does become extremely interesting, and it may be worth the price. Survivibility will increase quite a lot if the F-35 is as stealthy as they claim. However if the RCS increases after a few rain drops or after changing a light bulb, then... it may not be worth it. Also, it will be interesting to see the range and maneuverability the thing will get in the end... and of course the final price tag. Looking forward to lots of interesting discussions in the coming 10 years :)
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Considering price... First, someone must pay that $170m per plane. It's only US/AF-N-MC who get to pay flyaway price, because they belong to investor's side. So, US taxpayers (USAF/N/MC) already payed a sh1tload of money for F35's development and waving with flyaway price is taking US taxpayer for an idiot. The rest (partners) must pay flyway price minus their contribution in development, so that puts a lot of "partners" at almost full program price. Now, there are some indications that US have "tailored" prices for certain nations at will. That can happen too like in Norway's example, but then someone else will need to pay the difference, be it US taxpayers (most likely), or partner nations. There's no such thing as free lunch. Sure, US could stick to F22, but considering current logistic footprint, I can't even imagine what would 750 F22s do to USAF. Contrary to popular belief, F22 most likely wasn't reduced on price per plane basis. Second reason for pushing F35 was a marketing prospect of exporting "5th Gen Fighter" worldwide that appeared too appealing for US to miss it. However, many years later, it seems that F35's program designers took the idea too lightly, breaking all time/money limits and it's only LM/GAO/JET, that actually knows what's going on and when hearings about the program start, that can't be good. So, what looked like a walk in the park, slowly(?) turns into a nightmare. As for VSTOL variant (B), I find that variant the only one worth attention. There are two reasons for that. First, B should be able to operate from standard MC's conditions without full blown support (AWACS, ECM,...), so it's LO is a very good asset in that case, which gives it broader operational flexibility against opposition the MC could find themselves pitted. Second, it's the only up-to-date supersonic VSTOL fighter on the market and I believe the only choice for countries with VSTOL requirements. Finally, would F22 compensate for VSTOL F35? No, for various reasons. One and very important (essential) is logistics and maintenance, so if F35B can operate from 80 kilometers off the Venezuelan coast f.e, F22 can't hope to come anywhere near that. The main asset of VSTOL is its ability to reach targets with minimum support, as opposed to massive CBGs, which can't fart without whole world knowing. So, since even carrier borne aircraft can't match VSTOL, the land based F22 can't do that neither by even longer shot.

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F22 in it's present version is not as capable a a2g platform as the F35 hopefully will be / is promised to be / as Lockheed / USAF / whoever else pfcem tells us tell us it will be. Thus another platform is required for the a2g role as F16 / F15E wear out. Whether the F35 is successful in the role remains to be seen. As Stan hyd points out for Lockheed successful is defined as selling lots of units.
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The radar from the F-35 uses software form the F-22 and vice versa. The F-22 has the more elaborate radar array. Its silly to suggest the F-35 will be more suited to any particular mission.
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The question posted by this thread is not a sensible one with all due respect to the questioner, as it does not really address the realist such as it is. The F-35 is not going to be stopped in its entirety. Which of the three models that ees the light of day is another story. The F-22 will never be exported. If the F-35 is cancelled the F-22 is not a viable replacement for F-16's, A-10's and F/A-18C's. The only other relatively modern American fighter in the pipeline os the F/A18E-F. At this point the F-35A is a done deal. The USA needs it and has no alternatives as they'll never buy anything but domestic. Billions have been spent at this point and the program has ay too much momentum within the USA at least. It could be debated that virtually everybody else outside of the USA has other options (Typhoon, Rafale, Gripen, Rhino, etc.). How it would fly politically in nations that have already spent tens of millions in R&D to buy something else is another matter. The F-35B is needed by the UK, Spain, Italy and the US Marines (assuming the Marines want to keep V/STOL as a capability). Again I ask where are the other options available? The F-35C is the on that is most vulnerable I believe if the USA is looking to save some dollars. At this point only the USN I believe is committed to it. I for one think the "A" model should be trashed and development of the "B" and "C" models continued. Nations like Australia and Canada for example have had much success with navalized Hornets and the "C" model has some advantages over the "A" model when it comes to range and payload.
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I would say that the F-35 isnt needed by the UK. The only nations that really need it are Spain and Italy. Ultimately every one else could do without.
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I would say that the F-35 isnt needed by the UK. The only nations that really need it are Spain and Italy. Ultimately every one else could do without.
What replaces it for the RN then?
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The C - its always been an option to switch to conventional. http://navy-matters.beedall.com/cvfimagesbig/cvf-thales-6big.jpg If its not the C then we switch to either the F/A-18 or the Rafael
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The C - its always been an option to switch to conventional. If its not the C then we switch to either the F/A-18 or the Rafael
Oh right you were talking about the B, thought you were trying to say CVF wasn't needed:o
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The radar from the F-35 uses software form the F-22 and vice versa. The F-22 has the more elaborate radar array. Its silly to suggest the F-35 will be more suited to any particular mission.
The F-22 dos not have a AIRST (but can be upgraded with), cannot internally carry a 2000 lb weapon (ie bunker buster), it's planned AIRST cannot see below or behind the F-22, cannot carry internal JSOW.... Just to name a few.
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Its silly to suggest the F-35 will be more suited to any particular mission.
It's infinitely better suited to all those missions for which there is no airfield from which an F-22 can operate which is within F-22 range of the target, but where there's some sea within range. There are a lot of such missions.
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the F-35, does it make any sense?
Oh, now you've done it. Wait til pfcem sees this. :D

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If you consider that the main target of the F-35 is to destroy, perhaps definetely the European capacity of producing jet fighters and consequently to keep for a very long time the NATO countries under American sovereignty, the cost of this program, from the US point of view, is perhaps not so high.

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If you consider that the main target of the F-35 is to destroy, perhaps definetely the European capacity of producing jet fighters and consequently to keep for a very long time the NATO countries under American sovereignty, the cost of this program, from the US point of view, is perhaps not so high.
Completely ignoring the fact that one european nation is involved with the design and manufacturing of the F-35, that nation as well as several other nations are knee deep in another long running programme, that at least two other indigenous european fighters exist and thus those parts of europe who have traditionally designed and constructed fighter jets continue to do so, and will do into the next generation, where there already exists several UCAV demonstrators already.