Skip to comments.Lockheed Martin girds for battle (for F-35)
Posted on 11/30/2011 5:03:09 AM PST by sukhoi-30mki
Lockheed Martin girds for battle
After the debt supercommittee's failure, defense contractors are preparing for turbulent times. Can Lockheed save the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter?
Perilous times await Lockheed Martin, the world's largest military contractor. Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are winding down. Because the congressional supercommittee failed to agree on a plan to curb the federal deficit, the Pentagon faces spending reductions that could add up to about $1 trillion over the next decade. One likely target: Lockheed's controversial F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the most expensive weapons program in history.
Robert J. "Bob" Stevens, Lockheed's CEO, can't be happy about any of this, but the 59-year-old ex-Marine is not the complaining type. A tall, trim, bespectacled man of sober mien who chooses his words carefully, Stevens will say only that important decisions about national security should not be "a function of automatic budget triggers." Further spending reductions "would have a significant impact" on military readiness, the company says. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has sounded an alarm of his own, warning "the impacts of these cuts would be devastating." If they are allowed to stand, he says, the military will be "forced to terminate most large procurement programs," including the F-35.
Thus is the stage set for yet another Washington budget battle. A great deal is at stake of Lockheed. The company will fight to protect its weaponry, particularly the F-35, which accounts for 13% of its revenue this year and is expected to grow in importance to the firm. "It's going to be a very challenging time for Lockheed," says William Hartung, an industry analyst and the author of Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military-Industrial
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Well, if not the F-35 then what? If they think that they can start from scratch and build another fighter more cheaply, they’re delusional. The smart thing to do would be to re-open the F-22 lines, but I don’t think they’ll opt for that either.
Unfotunately, the cost of manned fighers probably makes their future pretty dim in the West. Hey, maybe we can import our fighers from China? [/s]
Could someone please explain to me why this plane is so far behind and what is causing the cost overuns? Are the problems due to the military changes or manufacturing issues?
Most likely a combination of the two.
At every line item in the list of changes you would be right to ask, “but wouldn’t any smart plane designer have included that in the first place?’’
But that is NOT how it works in Defense Acquisition.
If “it” isn’t in the System Requirements Spec, you don’t include it in the design....because the gov’t won’t pay for it!
“Rust proof structure”....added in the last year!
We should close all forward bases in Europe and Asia before we touch these programs. We need to retain a dominant military, we don’t need to protect other first world allies from third world enemies.
Also, we’re not running an empire are we? Close the foreign bases.
I think the Defense Industry is probably very similar to the Health Care Industry.
Remember this downgrade from the F22 was supposed to be to save money. It isn’t saving money. Instead we just get a less capable aircraft.
Anytime our rulers in Washington think they need a little extra all they have to do is threaten to kill something that one party or the other deems necessary. Then like manna from heaven, the money starts to flow.
1. Its market
2. F-35 is just a product
3. F-35 is without competitors
4. Producers want as much as money as they can get.
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The problem with the option of re-opening the F-22 lines is that we have tons of export customers lined up for the F-35 (allies galore), and we’re not willing to export the F-22. If we kill the F-35 a lot of countries are going to be riled.
Back in the 1980s, Norm Augustine (former CEO of Lockheed Martin) predicted that by 2050, the US Military would be down to one jet fighter, shared by all the services. Don’t think he’s that far off.
If we kill the F-35 a lot of countries are going to be riled.
I think you have uncovered Obama's plan.
It doesn’t even look like a good airplane. Most of us know by now that I think this is a poor excuse for an aircraft.
Not necessarily-it would do pretty well at the strike role.
I know I keep asking or saying but wouldn’t a good F-15SE with all the upgrades do the same and carry more further?
The F-15SE can do a lot of that but it would still have a higher radar cross section and I’d assume costs would be higher (older, bigger, twin-engines); the F-35 was meant to be a workhorse unlike the F-15E.
workhorse unlike the F-15E?
You gotta be kidding me. It can strap on 7 2000 pounders and deliver them?
So what exactly is a workhorse? The aircraft you will operate in the largest numbers and with highest mission rates and affordable operating costs. The F-16 plays that role for the USAF and most others, not the F-15E, despite being the more capable aircraft. The F-35 was meant for that role, not to carry as much as the F-15E.
The Joint Strike Fighter is a multi-service aircraft, and the F-22 cannot fill that role.
If the JSF is outright cancelled, then the alternative is:
1) Continue to build F-16s, modernized with AESA radar and perhaps incorporating some of the F-35's advanced Infrared Search and Track technology,
2) Contine to build F/A-18s for the Navy with similar AESA and IRST, and
3) Politely inform the Marines that once their Harriers, recently augmented with the purchase of the recently retired UK Royal Navy and Royal Air Force Harriers, have reached the end of their life, they are out of the S/VTOL business. The Marines would then return to the pre-Harrier days of operating fixed wing aircraft from Navy carriers and from land bases. The Marines can acquire more AH-Z SuperCobras for close air support operations from Navy Amphibious Assault Ships.
Or, heaven forbid, actually navalize the Apache...
I thought the Brits used a navalized Apache?
We were outside training and all watched and commented that it looked like they were on a show and tell mission for some big wigs somewhere.
A beautiful site.
Boy, their are some interesting technologies on the horizon that might fit the bill...
The Sikorsky X2, The Piasecki ducted fan retrofit, and maybe even the Carter-Copter Auto Gyro technologies these would be in the fling wing arena. A large "X2" Troop Carrier might make the V22 obsolete IMHO.
In terms of fix wing, yes but STOL for sure. Something with the payload and speed range of the Warthog that as a Stol Wing or is a Delta with lots of wing area might do the trick. A revisit of this is long overdue....
Ah! Thanks for the clarification. Much appreciated.
Note: this topic is from November 30.Thanks sukhoi-30mki.
...the Pentagon faces spending reductions that could add up to about $1 trillion over the next decade. One likely target: Lockheed's controversial F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the most expensive weapons program in history.