Skip to comments.F-35 jet still popular with aerospace industry
Posted on 04/07/2012 9:13:08 PM PDT by U-238
The F-35 jet has been the whipping boy for auditors and politicians all week, but it remains the darling of Canadas aerospace industry.
Industry veterans are shrugging off the vitriol of scandal and fiasco by remaining focused on the $12 billion they say the troubled program can bring to Canada.
Its a state of the art platform, says Maryse Harvey, an official at Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC). Hence the delays and the challenges that theyre encountering its pure innovation.
While the government decides what do to and who to blame for its deeply flawed military procurement process, its business as usual for Canadian aerospace firms who see the political brouhaha as an uncomfortable but routine stage in the production of a new aircraft.
Arguably no program in recent history has promised so many lucrative contracts as has the F-35 Lightning II.
Today, more than 70 Canadian companies are working on parts, an arrangement potentially worth billions of dollars over the course of a production run expected to reach some 3,100 planes, according to Canadas industry association.
The delays are not that frightening to companies, because theyre used to having to deal with delays and deal with the unknown, says Harvey.
Initially predicted to cost $200 billion (U.S.) in 2001, making it the Pentagons most ambitious and costly purchase ever, the price of the F-35 project has almost doubled since then and is continuing to increase.
It began in the 1990s as the next generation fighter, and is known in Washington as the Joint Strike Fighter, or JSF. There are three versions of the F-35 in U.S. plans, an air force version, a navy model, modified to land on aircraft carriers, and an ambitious vertical takeoff aircraft for the Marines.
(Excerpt) Read more at thestar.com ...
The SR-71 was a “state of the art” (actually, well ahead of the state of the art at the time) program... and it came in under cost, on time.
Same for the F-104. And the U-2.
Pretty soon, the F-35 advocates are going to run out of excuses.
Well, the Air Force has said that they will not cover any of the cost over runs. You would think that this would get themselves in synch.
Their approach won’t bring LMT to heel. OK, so they take on fewer than projected number of actual planes? Doesn’t matter to LMT. They just reduce the number of planes they’ll ship for the amount of money to cover the costs of those that do ship. LMT will be fine with that - they don’t care how many planes they actually ship, only how much their margin is on each plane.
The approach that has to be taken is at a critical point early in the program, a not-to-exceed cost must be laid down... and then, if the company exceeds this, the program is shut down. Do or die.
The problem comes from both sides of the purchasing process.
LMT certainly has faults, but every advanced aircraft in history has been subject to specification creep. A contract is signed many years before deliveries are slated to start, and the government wants to include more advanced technologies developed well after the contract is signed. Who is to blame for that cost increase?
And, the government is sometimes harsh and rigid about meeting initial specs. For instance, if an initial range of 1000 miles is specified, and various upgrades in performance specs mean the max range is down to 988 miles, or the engines, which are on a parallel development path with the plane are 1% less fuel efficient mean a range of only 990 miles, the government will frequently insist on those 10-12 more miles, which means a complete fuel tank redesign. The cost is very high for this insistence on an arbitrary specification.
The central error in this program comes from a) inviting specification modifications/enhancements from “partner” nations, and b) trying to make this aircraft be all things to all branches of the service.
This never works.
Then add in the mission creep, technology creep, etc... and it’s going to become a bottomless pit for taxpayer money.
Kill it. Kill it now, while we can still get away from the majority of expense.
the source code is needed to run flight dynamics and the various weapon systems.Its been a major source of tension for countries purchasing the plane.Its the “holy grail” for all source codes.Hackers have already stolen several terabytes of the F-35 source code. The stolen information was encrypted so officials are not certain what data was compromised