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Fri Sep 16, 2016, 04:34 PM

U.S. Air Force grounds F-35 fighters over cooling line problems

Source: Reuters

The U.S. Air Force has grounded 13 Lockheed Martin Corp F-35A Lightning II aircraft after discovering peeling and crumbling insulation in avionics cooling lines inside the fuel tanks, an Air Force spokeswoman said on Friday.

The disclosure was made less than two months after the Air Force announced that an initial squadron of the F-35A stealth fighters were ready for combat, marking a major milestone for the $379 billion program, the Pentagon's largest weapons project.

"The issue was discovered during depot modification of an F-35A and affects a total of 57 aircraft," Air Force spokeswoman Ann Stefanek said in a statement.

The planes included 15 aircraft deployed in bases in Utah, Arizona and Nevada, Stefanek said, adding that 13 belong to the United States and two belong to another country.

Read more: http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKCN11M26K

23 replies, 2393 views

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Arrow 23 replies Author Time Post
Reply U.S. Air Force grounds F-35 fighters over cooling line problems (Original post)
NWCorona Sep 2016 OP
iandhr Sep 2016 #1
VMA131Marine Sep 2016 #3
cstanleytech Sep 2016 #8
LS_Editor Sep 2016 #10
tammywammy Sep 2016 #11
Plucketeer Sep 2016 #12
benEzra Sep 2016 #19
Angleae Sep 2016 #6
ChairmanAgnostic Sep 2016 #13
OldRedneck Sep 2016 #14
tammywammy Sep 2016 #15
NWCorona Sep 2016 #17
jmowreader Sep 2016 #16
Angleae Sep 2016 #18
benEzra Sep 2016 #20
marybourg Sep 2016 #2
YOHABLO Sep 2016 #4
Astraea Sep 2016 #5
BlueEye Sep 2016 #7
tammywammy Sep 2016 #9
benEzra Sep 2016 #21
6chars Sep 2016 #22
NWCorona Sep 2016 #23

Response to NWCorona (Original post)

Fri Sep 16, 2016, 04:46 PM

1. This aircraft is the aircraft the F-22 was scrapped for.

The F-22 works.

The F-22 program costs 67 billion

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_Martin_F-22_Raptor

The F-35 costs 1.5 trillion and it does not work


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_Martin_F-35_Lightning_II


This policy would make too much sense but maybe we should go back to the F-22?

It would be a win for the men and women of the United States Air Force. We will be giving them equipment that works. And at the same time, we save the taxpayers money, another win.

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Response to iandhr (Reply #1)

Fri Sep 16, 2016, 04:54 PM

3. The F-22 was not scrapped for the F-35

The two aircraft were designed to entirely different requirements. The F-22 is an air superiority fighter intended to replace the F-15C. It does not have an air-to-ground role. The F-35 can perform both air-to-air and air-to-surface missions like the F-16, F/A-18, and AV-8B that it will replace. The F-35 program cost is so high because the US military is planning to buy over 2,500 of them, versus less than 200 of the F-22. Even if the F-22 program had not been curtailed, the total buy was only supposed to be around 400.

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Response to VMA131Marine (Reply #3)

Fri Sep 16, 2016, 05:57 PM

8. Wouldnt it be more accurate to state that the intended goal is to have the f-35 capable of

performing both air-to-air and air-to-surface missions like the F-16, F/A-18, and AV-8B that it will replace since its still apparently having problems?

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Response to VMA131Marine (Reply #3)

Fri Sep 16, 2016, 05:58 PM

10. The F-35 cannot perform either air-to-air or air-to-ground operations.

They're ground, and pieces of shit.

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Response to LS_Editor (Reply #10)

Fri Sep 16, 2016, 06:14 PM

11. Only 13 F-35As are grounded.

The rest are not, and neither are the STOVL or CVs. The USAF has taken delivery of 104 F-345As.

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Response to tammywammy (Reply #11)

Fri Sep 16, 2016, 06:31 PM

12. Every time they set out to build

 

a DO-ALL, END-ALL plane to accomplish multiple missions, it turns out to be a compromised piece of crap. That's gonna be the F-35s final epitaph. They might as well turn out some air superiority editions of the B-2.

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Response to VMA131Marine (Reply #3)

Sat Sep 17, 2016, 10:41 AM

19. F-22 production *was* ended on the premise that the F-35 could also handle the air-superiority role.

In retrospect, that was a very, very ill-informed decision, based on now-falsified assumptions about when near-peers might deploy their own supercruising fifth-gen air superiority fighters The F-35 is a neat aircraft, but calling it the A-35 (or even F/A-35, with the emphasis on the A) would be more accurate; it is not and was never intended to be an air-superiority fighter, and the USAF now admits that. Capping F-22 production just as the production kinks had been worked out and the unit cost had fallen precipitously will likely go down as the worst decision Gates made during his tenure, and that's saying something.

The F-22 could certainly have been reconfigured for an A2G role like the F-15 was (prior to the F-15E, the F-15 was strictly an A2A platform); that wasn't the issue. It's that the F-35 was supposed to be a cheap, low-end, mass-produced, mostly-stealthy bomb truck with decent self-defense capability, so there was ostensibly no need to configure the F-22 as F/A. Now that the F-22 has been canceled, we will either be flying geriatric F-15's in the air superiority role, or else trying to make the F-35 fit that slot, because we don't have enough F-22's to cover our needs.

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Response to iandhr (Reply #1)

Fri Sep 16, 2016, 05:21 PM

6. As expensive as the F-35 is, the F-22 costs more per plane.

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Response to Angleae (Reply #6)

Fri Sep 16, 2016, 10:44 PM

13. ER, nope.

The F-35B naval version runs $335,000,000 per plane. Except it had shorter legs, worse performance, cannot avoid missile attacks, has flammable hydraulic fluid (the first time in decades that a new warplane did that), has serious software problems, kills small pilots with its ejection seat, and is no way as stealthy as spec'ed out.

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Response to ChairmanAgnostic (Reply #13)

Fri Sep 16, 2016, 11:17 PM

14. WTF????????????????

 

You write "$335,000,000 per plane."

That's three-hundred thirty-five MILLION per plane????? PER PLANE???? ONE PLANE???

And an Afghan peasant with an AK-47 and one round . . .

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Response to ChairmanAgnostic (Reply #13)

Sat Sep 17, 2016, 12:56 AM

15. No, the F-35B is not $337M

LRIP 8 is the last definitized production contract:
Pentagon and Lockheed Martin have agreed to cost targets for the eighth low-rate, initial production (LRIP) lot of F-35s, setting theirs sights on $94.8 million per F-35A.

Target cost for the F-35B, to be used by the U.S. Marine Corps, is $102 million and the F-35C Navy variant is targeted at $115.7 million, according to Joe Dellavedova, F-35 spokesman for the Pentagon.

http://m.aviationweek.com/defense/pentagon-lockheed-sign-f-35-lrip-8-deal


LRIP 9 is currently in production under an Undefinitized Contract Authorization due to extended negotiations so the flyaway cost has not been released publicly that I know of.

The CV will always be the more expensive variant since less are being produced.

Edited to add: you wrote "F-35B naval version" that is incorrect. The F-35B is the STOVL used by the USMC as well as UK and Italy. The F-35C is the CV for the US Navy.

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Response to tammywammy (Reply #15)

Sat Sep 17, 2016, 02:15 AM

17. Are those airframe only prices? Also the DOD has the F-35B @ $265 million

after the needed modifications. This is per the Congressional Defense Committee.

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Response to ChairmanAgnostic (Reply #13)

Sat Sep 17, 2016, 01:59 AM

16. It's not hydraulic fluid so stop saying that

The F-35B uses a "fueldraulic" system to save weight. Instead of using MIL-PRF-5606 fluid like the rest of the military does, the pressurized fluid is JP-8 universal military fuel...so, if you develop a leak in one of the hundreds of hydraulic systems on this plane when you're in enemy territory you better remember how to say "don't shoot, I'm a journalist" in whatever language the people down there speak.

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Response to ChairmanAgnostic (Reply #13)

Sat Sep 17, 2016, 05:13 AM

18. F-22 program cost of $66.7 billion for 195 planes = $342 million each.

And that is using Wikipedia numbers.

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Response to Angleae (Reply #18)

Sat Sep 17, 2016, 10:45 AM

20. That's the development cost amortized over only 187 airframes, plus unit production cost.

Actual unit production cost for the last 50 F-22's built was $137 million, which I *think* includes the engines, but I may be wrong. The unit production cost for the next (canceled) batch was supposed to be under $100 million per F-22, as I recall.

I don't believe the F-35 has actually gotten down to those numbers yet, and not if you amortize the development cost over the number of F-35's actually produced so far either (and keep in mind that some of the F-35's technology development was paid for by F-22 dollars). And remember to include the engine in the F-35 unit cost, which LockMart's figures don't do IIRC.

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Response to NWCorona (Original post)

Fri Sep 16, 2016, 04:47 PM

2. No wonder it's so quiet here

(near Luke AFB) in metro Phx.

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Response to NWCorona (Original post)

Fri Sep 16, 2016, 04:57 PM

4. Tell Lockheed Martin we want our money back for such a piece of shit. Too big to fail?

 

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Response to NWCorona (Original post)

Fri Sep 16, 2016, 05:16 PM

5. more useless shit

we don't need. Thank you Lockheed. Thank you Congress.

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Response to NWCorona (Original post)

Fri Sep 16, 2016, 05:38 PM

7. They ought to call it the F-35 Lemon

I agree with those who say bring back the F-22. And they can build the proposed fighter-bomber version of it if they really need something like that.

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Response to BlueEye (Reply #7)

Fri Sep 16, 2016, 05:58 PM

9. It would cost too much to restart the line

It would take years to get the line and suppliers up including the obsolescence redesigns that are necessary. If they did restart the F-22 line people would immediately start complaining about the cost involved. Plus, the F-22 isn't available for export so you can't get the economies of scale to get the price per unit down. Oh, and Lockheed would have to figure out where to make it, so possible construction to even have a place to build the aircraft.

Though Congress did direct the Air Force to submit a report detailing cost to restart the line, due in January 2017, I believe.

When the F-22 was coming off the line critics called it an overpriced POS and now they love it.

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Response to tammywammy (Reply #9)

Sat Sep 17, 2016, 10:56 AM

21. The F-22 *could* be available for export. If the F-35 can be sold to Japan and other nations,

the F-22 certainly could be. That decision was purely political. Australia and Japan have both been clamoring for the F-22, and Japan is actually spending billions to try to built an approximation of it.

I dare say that if Japan were guaranteed the ability to buy the F-22, they'd foot to the bill to restart production themselves. It'd be cheaper than what they're doing now with their ATD-X/Shinshin program and the full-scale follow-on.

FWIW, it's not the critics who called the F-22 an overpriced POS that are now clamoring for it. The people clamoring for it now are the people the "overpriced POS-ers" shouted down in the last decade. Now that the assumptions underlying the F-22 cancellation have been falsified (development of near-peer long-range stealthy supercruising fighters by other nations decades before that was supposed to happen, the F-35 teething troubles and unsuitability for the air superiority role, etc.), many of the people who got the F-22 canceled are now regretting that decision.

http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/everyone-who-wanted-more-f-22s-is-being-proven-right-1732105884

As if they suddenly came to an epiphany, the United States Air Force brass is now admitting what many of us have been screaming about for so long: We didnít build nearly enough F-22s, and the F-35 cannot simply pick up the slack. So why arenít those who pushed so hard to cancel the F-22 program being held accountable?

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Response to NWCorona (Original post)

Sun Sep 18, 2016, 06:26 PM

22. Spruce Goose II

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Response to 6chars (Reply #22)

Sun Sep 18, 2016, 06:54 PM

23. Too funny! But at least Howard used his own money. At least I think he did.

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