The F-35 can't dogfight, is expensive, etc.
« on: July 19, 2015, 02:45:44 AM »
Starting a new thread for this if anyone wants to argue it, ask questions, or just get a half decent source on the topic (since they seem quite rare). Feel free to merge responses from Rushy's military spending thread into this one.

something something flying turkey

http://forum.tfes.org/index.php?topic=3195.20
Yeah, I left that one when you finished your post with

the F-35 is already pretty cheap.

because this is the most over budget military project in history. It is a huge embarrassment to the Whitehouse and they have considered canning it and desperately want to, but are now in too deep. The unit cost was supposed to be under $100m. Cheaper than the $150m unit cost of the f22 which was decided was too expensive. And now the F35 has a unit cost of $223m and its still going up.
http://www.defense-aerospace.com/article-view/feature/141238/%2A%2Af_35-lot-5-unit-costs-exceed-%24223m.html

I provided many links to articles saying how this $trillion aircraft is an absolute disaster in terms of runaway costs ... and you come back with "its pretty cheap" with no evidence of that at all. So you aren't reading the source material I present, you aren't making a reasoned argument and you obviously don't know anything about this project. You are just saying the opposite of whatever I say. That makes for a dull thread ... so I left it.

I can't substantiate whether it's the most overbudget in history, as that would require weeding through a shit load of sources over the last 50 years (some of which would be extremely hard to get ahold of) and then comparing them all. Adjusted for inflation, I'm willing to bet the claim is wrong, but as I said I can't substantiate it. Another thing to remember is that every major military program goes over costs. It's extremely typical for the development companies to make promises they can't keep, especially when it comes to costs. This doesn't excuse the behaviour, and LM are very much guilty of it, but we're probably better equipped now to critique and repudiate this behaviour than ever before.

That said, the F-35 isn't expensive relative to current fighters (especially when you bring capability into the picture, but I won't get into that just yet). Your article is a few years old, and the data indicative of old LRIP figures. The F-35A currently costs $94.8 million without an engine as of LRIP 8, with a full rate production cost of $85 million in 2019. A quick comparison of this to other fighters (including the RAF's Typhoon, which is much more expensive):



Note also that some of these fighters require additions like sniper pods, CFT's and EFT's to be capable, things the F-35 has built in or doesn't have to worry about.

Now, that doesn't mean there aren't legitimate criticisms of the JSF program and its mismanagement. But it should be remembered that it was and is an extremely ambitious program, easily the most of any fighter to date. People love bandying about the $1 trillion figure, but don't understand the figure itself. It's a cost representing the entire life of the aircraft, from development costs to production costs to sustainment costs all the way through to 2050. No other fighter has been costed in such a way before, which is why the number is so large. Additionally, there have been claims that maintaining legacy platforms will cost nearly 3x the amount (so $3-4 trillion) relative to the F-35, owing to the age and diversity of airframes and parts, in addition to fleet size.

Re: The F-35 can't dogfight, is expensive, etc.
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2015, 02:52:44 AM »
I'll also add that it's far too late to cancel the program. Not because they're too deep, as the US Military has had no problems in the past dropping millions on new stuff only to cancel it. But because the F-35 is proceeding as planned; costs are dropping, capability is improving, and software issues are slowly being ironed out. The F-35B is completing its final trials before entering service with the USMC later this year.

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Offline Lord Dave

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Re: The F-35 can't dogfight, is expensive, etc.
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2015, 11:44:23 AM »
I say, fuck fighters.  If the damn thing is just going to blow up other planes 6 miles away, what's the point?  Why not just make a hovering missile turret with a jet engine?
If you are going to DebOOonK an expert then you have to at least provide a source with credentials of equal or greater relevance. Even then, it merely shows that some experts disagree with each other.

Re: The F-35 can't dogfight, is expensive, etc.
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2015, 11:50:21 AM »
UCAV's are the future of aerial warfare, but there's too many problems right now to go all out and replace fighters with them. For the moment, the pilot will remain an integral part of the battlespace, and likely will even when UCAV's do most of the fighting. I wouldn't be surprised to find the F-35/F-22 directing or launching UCAV's in the mid 21st Century.

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Offline Rushy

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Re: The F-35 can't dogfight, is expensive, etc.
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2015, 02:14:47 PM »
For some strange reason, it has become the popular thing to hate the F-35. People who know little or nothing about the program suddenly decide they don't like the F-35, often quoting articles from the most esteemed press of Russia Today.

Oh, and there are some very interesting drones in the works too. Don't you worry about that.

Re: The F-35 can't dogfight, is expensive, etc.
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2015, 11:34:27 PM »
There's a lot of easily digestible (and sometimes informed) media out there that regularly runs lazy slander pieces against it. Like I said, the program isn't above reproach, but the aircraft itself is coming together quite well. The most annoying part of it all is that people instantly assume the US has no idea how to design a fighter jet.


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Offline Rushy

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Re: The F-35 can't dogfight, is expensive, etc.
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2015, 12:04:25 AM »
The most annoying part of it all is that people instantly assume the US has no idea how to design a fighter jet.

Which is always, again, striking me as odd because US contractors have designed all the top military equipment in the world for a long, long time. There's not an army base in the world allied with the US that doesn't have General Dynamics vehicles in its parking lot, and there isn't an airbase that doesn't have Lockheed Martin aircraft sitting somewhere on the line. A lot of F-35 haters are keen to start yapping about the Su-35 or T-50. Russia couldn't sell it to anyone. Literally no other country on the planet was willing to buy one of Russia's trashy jets and yet still people claim it is somehow better than the US' F-22/35 programs.

In the end, people might just be keen to hate "big government spending muh monies". They might not know or care about actual defense contracting and instead are against all instances of the DoD spending any amount of money on anything. That is the general trend I have been noticing.

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Offline Lord Dave

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Re: The F-35 can't dogfight, is expensive, etc.
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2015, 01:32:05 AM »
In the end, people might just be keen to hate "big government spending muh monies". They might not know or care about actual defense contracting and instead are against all instances of the DoD spending any amount of money on anything. That is the general trend I have been noticing.

This applies to almost everything.
If you are going to DebOOonK an expert then you have to at least provide a source with credentials of equal or greater relevance. Even then, it merely shows that some experts disagree with each other.

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Offline Rushy

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Re: The F-35 can't dogfight, is expensive, etc.
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2015, 03:47:51 AM »
...which is why I said "this is the general trend I've been noticing."


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Offline Lord Dave

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Re: The F-35 can't dogfight, is expensive, etc.
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2015, 11:52:06 AM »
...which is why I said "this is the general trend I've been noticing."
Oh, thought you only meant DoD spending and not everything else.
If you are going to DebOOonK an expert then you have to at least provide a source with credentials of equal or greater relevance. Even then, it merely shows that some experts disagree with each other.