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  #51  
Old 09-21-2016, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
Suppose the F-35 just simply goes ahead with less-than-the-best software. Isn't this like iPhone 6 vs. iPhone 7?
Probably a bit more serious on the one hand and less so on the other. The hardware is there, unlike the iPhone 6 to 7 where the hardware changed and the OS just got more refined. However, some of the capabilities that define a 5th gen fighter might not be there, which would mean we weren't getting the maximum out of the air frame, and some of the ones that aren't currently working right definitely would limit the F-35s capabilities. Of course, no one has an actual, working 5th gen fighter (except the US), and even stunted as it is right now it's more capable than most 4.5 gen fighters. Still, I think that a lot of these issues do need to be addressed.

Of course, they are being addressed right now, and the software is being refined, updated and integrated. I really don't think that the OP or a lot of people really appreciate how ambitious this program and design really were and even are, and how far we've come on this program. Yes, there is still a ways to go for full acceptance, but the plane is solid...the core features are there and the basic design and aerodynamics are good and solid.

Last edited by XT; 09-21-2016 at 03:12 PM.
  #52  
Old 09-21-2016, 03:16 PM
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No my premise is not flawed, the entire US defense procurement system needs a top to bottom overhaul, and one possible solution to that is that the US government pays for research but then owns the IP and then gets manufacturers to compete. McCain's article above says that the system is broken and need an overhaul.
Your premise IS flawed, because by your own admission here that's how the system works. You are bitching about how it SHOULD be (in your opinion).

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Again, why is it wrong to simply state that Lockheed Martin should pay a price for their failure to deliver? They should pay a price in both stock value and yearly profits. In any other industry this would be the case, why should the defense industry be immune to actual performance benchmarks? No one can state that the F-35 has met the performance benchmarks on time that were implied in Lockheed Martins bid for the F-35.
Because they haven't failed to deliver by the specs of the contract. They have merely failed, in your mind and opinion, to deliver based on your perception of that contract and how you think things SHOULD be.
  #53  
Old 09-21-2016, 03:20 PM
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Because they haven't failed to deliver by the specs of the contract. They have merely failed, in your mind and opinion, to deliver based on your perception of that contract and how you think things SHOULD be.
No, they have objectively failed to deliver, the F-35 project actual combat capability is 10 years late and $183 billion over budget, do you dispute that? Again you are arguing that corporations should never have to take responsibility for their failures? Trying to argue that somehow Lockheed Martin is in the right here is both offensive and bizarre. You deliver what you promise or you don't stay in business, generally that is how it works, and yes Lockheed Martin made implicit promises during the bidding process.

Your argument against me is directly corporate socialism, that they should get paid no matter what they delivered and the government should suck up the costs. Well I can't say in this forum what I think of you but I say I can say "fuck thats a shitty idea"

Last edited by coremelt; 09-21-2016 at 03:24 PM.
  #54  
Old 09-21-2016, 03:30 PM
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You deliver what you promise or you don't stay in business, generally that is how it works.
You should probably research the difference between a fixed-price contract and a cost-plus contract. You seem to be under the impression that all business contracts are the former, and that the F-35 program in particular is also under one.
  #55  
Old 09-21-2016, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by coremelt
No, they have objectively failed to deliver, the F-35 project actual combat capability is 10 years late and $183 billion over budget, do you dispute that?
I dispute that these voided or broke the actual contract that was signed, and that you have any understanding of government contracting in general or this specific contract.

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Again you are arguing that corporations should never have to take responsibility for their failures?
No, of course not. I'm arguing that you are basing your understanding of how government contracting works on what you THINK it should be, and that you don't actually have much knowledge of general government contracting and how it actually works in the real world today, nor do you know the specifics of THIS series of contracts and revisions or how the COTRs are interpreting it and looking for compliance.

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Trying to argue that somehow Lockheed Martin is in the right here is both offensive and bizarre.
And trying to argue about something you obviously know nothing about is, well, par for the course here on the 'dope, so not really either offensive or bizarre.

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You deliver what you promise or you don't stay in business, generally that is how it works, and yes Lockheed Martin made implicit promises during the bidding process.
And that's the key disconnect right there. Do you even know what was outlined in the actual contract that LM signed? Do you know what revisions were made and approved by the contracting officers and contracting agencies? I'm guessing the answer to those questions are 'no'. Again, if there is a disconnect in how you think it should be and what's actually happening, you should check your premise.

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Your argument against me is directly corporate socialism, that they should get paid no matter what they delivered and the government should suck up the costs.
No, to summarize my argument, you don't have a clue about how government contracting works and you haven't read the LM contracts for the F-35 and what they are actually responsible for or not responsible for.

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Well I can't say in this forum what I think of you but I say I can say "fuck thats a shitty idea"
You can, of course, take me to the Pit if you feel that strongly about it. Would be nice if you actually understood what I was saying, but as with other things under discussion that seems to be difficult.
  #56  
Old 09-21-2016, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by YamatoTwinkie View Post
You should probably research the difference between a fixed-price contract and a cost-plus contract. You seem to be under the impression that all business contracts are the former, and that the F-35 program in particular is also under one.
No sorry I understand these perfectly. But at a certain point in a cost-plus contract you say "well fuck this is not what we estimated or even allowed for as an overage, deliver the product or we are done". The idea that the US and partners has to keep throwing money at the F-35 no matter what the results are is offensive and stupid.

And none of this is relevant to my point, the F-35 is in a death spiral and this is a fact. The necessary resources are being cut (my cite is the memo), this will further delay delivery and drive up costs. I have already stated earlier what I believe needs to be done to escape the death spiral, if I see the F-35 program does this then I'll acknowledge that.
  #57  
Old 09-21-2016, 03:40 PM
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I dispute that these voided or broke the actual contract that was signed, and that you have any understanding of government contracting in general or this specific contract.
Sorry I win, you think that Lockheed Martin can fall 10 years behind schedule and $183 billion over budget and pay no penalty. All I can say is that 95 percent of the population doesn't agree with you.
  #58  
Old 09-21-2016, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by coremelt View Post
Again, why is it wrong to simply state that Lockheed Martin should pay a price for their failure to deliver? They should pay a price in both stock value and yearly profits. In any other industry this would be the case, why should the defense industry be immune to actual performance benchmarks? No one can honestly state that the F-35 has met the performance benchmarks on time that were implied in Lockheed Martins bid for the F-35. So you don't deliver you don't get paid, or you continue work on your own cost until you do deliver. That's business.
Please, please, please read this and take a moment to think about it. Comparing advanced technology development to "any other business" is problematic, and here is why.

Let's just say that you build houses. You tell me that you will design and build me a house for $200 grand and it will take six months. I agree to those terms, but you fail to deliver. You should be penalized because you knew what you were bidding on and you made a firm commitment to deliver within cost, schedule, and scope. And when you put your bid together, you have probably built hundreds of houses before, so while you knew that there may be little quirks that you'd have to deal with during construction, you actually know how to build houses with a high degree of confidence.

Now compare this to building a fusion reactor. Nobody has ever done it before. There may be many parts of the technology that are low risk, but this is a first-of-a-kind thing, so the unknowns and the risks are so great that there is no way that you can make a firm commitment to deliver a fusion reactor at a certain price, with guaranteed attributes, on a certain schedule. Even if you and your customer agree on a schedule that you think is reasonable, and give a good-faith estimate of what you think it will cost, there are so many things out of your control that you can really only promise to work as hard as you can to meet those expectations, with the understanding that you'll be fairly paid for meeting that commitment.

Now, programs like the F-35 are more like the fusion reactor than housing construction. There are times when contractors mess things up in such a way that the customer should not be expected to pay the costs to resolve errors. A perfect example right now is that the Air Force has found that fuel lines in a couple dozen F-35s are corroding at an unacceptable rate, with the risk of fouling fuel tanks. So the boss of the F-35 program has called up Lockheed and said, "Look, you screwed this one up." And according to today's news, Lockheed is going to pay to fix the problem.

So, if I hire you to build me a fusion reactor, and I sign a contract with you that you're going to do your level best to make progress and that I will pay you for that, then the only way that such a deal falls apart is if you're not actually trying hard to produce something. And the complicating factor here is that the problems with the F-35 are not simply that Lockheed hasn't given its best effort, it is also that the Government went in with unrealistic expectations, and has frequently changed those expectations.

If you went back just a few years ago, there was no Block 3i and 3F. There was (IIRC) Blocks .5, 1, 2, 3 and 4. Block 2 ran into big problems, so the government told LM, "We're going to split block 3 into two parts, and oh yeah, there's a hardware refresh in there." Imagine if you're building that fusion reactor and suddenly I change the specs on you, even if for a very good reason!

The "best effort" concept of this contract allows the Government to change its mind and redirect the contractor to do things differently -- and sometimes for very good reason. But such decisions inevitably mean delays and costs, even if the contractor is meeting the absolutely best standards it can possibly provide.

I read your posts and you seem to think that the overwhelming bulk of blame for the F-35s poor performance so far is Lockheed's fault. I disagree. If I were to assign blame for how this project has turned out, I would assign the majority of the blame to the government for a variety of problems such as dubious conception of three jets sharing one essential design (which has never been the case), rushing into production well ahead of testing, and fundamentally not recognizing the great technical risk in what we are trying to build.

Last edited by Ravenman; 09-21-2016 at 03:52 PM.
  #59  
Old 09-21-2016, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Ravenman
So, if I hire you to build me a fusion reactor, and I sign a contract with you that you're going to do your level best to make progress and that I will pay you for that, then the only way that such a deal falls apart is if you're not actually trying hard to produce something. And the complicating factor here is that the problems with the F-35 are not simply that Lockheed hasn't given its best effort, it is also that the Government went in with unrealistic expectations, and has frequently changed those expectations.
Exactly. That's the disconnect that the OP is operating under. It's amusing to see him continue to claim victory without even understanding the basics.

ETA: Good analogy btw with the fusion plant scenario. That's pretty much spot on.

Last edited by XT; 09-21-2016 at 03:58 PM.
  #60  
Old 09-21-2016, 04:20 PM
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No sorry I understand these perfectly. But at a certain point in a cost-plus contract you say "well fuck this is not what we estimated or even allowed for as an overage, deliver the product or we are done". The idea that the US and partners has to keep throwing money at the F-35 no matter what the results are is offensive and stupid.

And none of this is relevant to my point, the F-35 is in a death spiral and this is a fact. The necessary resources are being cut (my cite is the memo), this will further delay delivery and drive up costs. I have already stated earlier what I believe needs to be done to escape the death spiral, if I see the F-35 program does this then I'll acknowledge that.
And what will you do when the F-35 delivers (grievously late, horrifyingly overbudget, and (to be charitable to your analysis) fewer unit deliveries over lifetime)? And then goes into sustainment. Development is done, LRIP is done, production delivery is done, the plane is in operational service.

Are you going to continue to insist on a death-spiral on a completed program, simply because they didn't live up to your expectations?

Last edited by gnoitall; 09-21-2016 at 04:20 PM.
  #61  
Old 09-21-2016, 04:21 PM
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Sorry I win, you think that Lockheed Martin can fall 10 years behind schedule and $183 billion over budget and pay no penalty. All I can say is that 95 percent of the population doesn't agree with you.
You could have 100% of the population agree and it wouldn't make a difference. There are no good or politically viable solutions.

Canceling the F-35 isn't a good solution.

Buying JAS-39s isn't a politically viable solution.
  #62  
Old 09-21-2016, 04:22 PM
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Opponents of the F-35 sound like Republicans on repealing Obamacare. They are....... insistent.
  #63  
Old 09-21-2016, 04:35 PM
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That's business.
But this isn't business in the sense that you're arguing. Defense procurement, especially vital combat systems, aren't the same as buying trucks for the USPS. You can make the case that it should be more similar, but I think you'd have a tough row to hoe if you're going to argue that it should be exactly the same.
  #64  
Old 09-21-2016, 05:14 PM
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... And if we're fighting Russia or China, it will go nuclear, very quickly. So we don't need the F-35 for the wars we are fighting, and it can never win in the wars they are trying to protect against, so tell me exactly why the US needs thousand of F-35s? What role will they play in actual usage that can't be performed more cheaply by current 4G fighters?

...
I sincerely doubt any conflict will go nuclear "very quickly." Both those superpowers realize that any nuclear exchange would be the end of civilization. Any chance of a nuclear exchange will be from a fringe lunatic like Kim Jung-il, and he knows NK will cease to exist if he initiates such an exchange.

So yes, we need 5th generation fighters to keep us on the forefront of military technology and keep any potential adversary in line.

Last edited by Morgenstern; 09-21-2016 at 05:16 PM.
  #65  
Old 09-21-2016, 05:23 PM
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I sincerely doubt any conflict will go nuclear "very quickly." Both those superpowers realize that any nuclear exchange would be the end of civilization. Any chance of a nuclear exchange will be from a fringe lunatic like Kim Jung-il, and he knows NK will cease to exist if he initiates such an exchange.

So yes, we need 5th generation fighters to keep us on the forefront of military technology and keep any potential adversary in line.
What's really funny about the OPs line of thinking on this is that both Russia and China (ironically using stolen plans and a design cribbed, badly, from the F-35 ) are trying to develop 5th gen fighters as well (so are several other countries, though many US allies are pooling their efforts into F-35)...yet the OP thinks he knows better than not just the US but all these other countries too.

If the OP is correct then why would anyone bother developing any advanced military equipment? I mean, just retread the old stuff since it's good enough to deal with low scale opponents and simply put money into nuclear weapons, since they are the only weapon that would matter against top tier countries. Why can't literally every top tier nation see this obvious, to the OP, truth??
  #66  
Old 09-21-2016, 05:55 PM
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Software? Really?


Flight software, be it aircraft or spacecraft, has ALWAYS been problematic precisely because it is groundbreaking NEW stuff. Not because there is any inherent flaw leading to some sort of programmatic "death spiral." That is pure poppycock, and the following statement in your OP is absolutely false:
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This is not the same as previous fighters were the kinks were worked out eventually, because no other plane is dependent to anywhere near such a degree on extremely complex and never before achieved software.
Each new generation of fighter, bomber, cargo hauler and spacecraft has faced the same issues for the same reasons since the dawn of the digital age. It's called "progress," and the F-35 program is doing it better than ever. The F-35 code base is no different than any number of contemporary aerospace programs including new civil designs and satellites on orbit today in this respect.

Now if you "want" the program to fail, you're gonna have to figure out how to access Lockheed classified domains and do some work. Maybe the Chinese can assist. I hear they are familiar with the situation...
  #67  
Old 09-21-2016, 07:43 PM
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Foreign sales are not as clear-cut as the US commitment to the program, but on balance, the popularity of the F-35 is growing. Sure, Canada has cold feet because the Prime Minister has about as much clue about tactical aircraft as the OP, but Israel, South Korea, and Japan are joining the buys.
Emphasis mine.

I'm only going to comment on that one bolded sentence because I have neither knowledge nor interest in the F-35 controversy as a whole. But the Canadian F-35 procurement story spans a handful of different governments and three different prime ministers. The secretiveness of the Harper government in particular over this initiative, coupled with constant news stories about technical problems and huge cost overruns, was already creating strong opposition to the program when the scathing auditor general's report hit the news in 2012. This independent report basically accused the Harper government of dishonesty, incompetence, and "ineptitude piled on ineptitude" over their handling of the program. Meanwhile military experts were questioning the suitability of the F-35 for Canada's unique needs, such as the growing importance of long-range Arctic patrols.

Given the growing opposition from professional and public sectors, the damning AG report, and the growing problems and expenses associated with the program, it should hardly be a surprise that the current PM expressed his opposition to the program. Yet at the same time, until a suitable process is in place for selecting a viable alternative, Canada is still in the program, and just last June made the necessary payment to remain a level 3 industrial partner with Lockheed on the F-35.

So your statement blaming the current PM for stepping back from the F-35 commitment because he's allegedly clueless is wrong no matter how you look at it.
  #68  
Old 09-21-2016, 07:54 PM
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I don't need to put up money to post my opinion on this board, facts speak for themselves.
In a sense, that's true.

But when a poster is willing to make ardent claims that the facts support his conclusion... and then slink away when the conclusion does not come to pass... there's another dynamic in play.

Anyone can post an opinion, to be sure. But a claim of near-certainty in a given outcome combined with an unwillingness to place a verifiable consequence -- like a bet -- on the outcome suggests a lack of any real willingness to be accountable for the accuracy of the prediction.
  #69  
Old 09-21-2016, 07:59 PM
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So your statement blaming the current PM for stepping back from the F-35 commitment because he's allegedly clueless is wrong no matter how you look at it.
Look, I wasn't trying to summarize the entire Canadian Governments' past and current views in nine words. But Trudeau's cluelessness on this issue is obvious. "It doesn't work and is far from working" coupled with an inability to decide on whether there's a competition or not, shows both lack of familiarity with the issue beyond a sound bite and total indecisiveness.

And the reason I brought up Canada at all is that they are, for the most part, the only country part of the program that is so screwed up on whether they actually want the F-35, that the anti-F-35 crowd sometimes uses Canada as an example of a country that is smarter than everyone else. But it's not cunning insight into the pros and cons of the plane, which would of course be fleshed out if there were a competition - it's basically incompetence, IMHO.
  #70  
Old 09-21-2016, 08:57 PM
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Suppose the F-35 just simply goes ahead with less-than-the-best software. Isn't this like iPhone 6 vs. iPhone 7?
I wonder if the F-35 has a headphone jack
  #71  
Old 09-21-2016, 11:19 PM
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Chuck enough cheap drone's into the air in a F-35's path, once they get close enough they can detect the F-35 despite it's stealth and the F-35 doesn't have anywhere near enough ammo to shoot them all down.
Drones aren't actually all that cheap, at least if you want them to have radar, the speed and ceiling necessary to have a chance at an engagement with something like the F-35, and some sort of air-to-air weapon system. For reference an MQ-9 costs us $17M, has no air-to-air capability, and it putters along at ~200 mph.

There isn't a country in the world that can afford to exchange very many of these hypothetical "cheap drones" (which would cost tens of millions of dollars per copy) for AIM-120's at $500K-$2M each.
  #72  
Old 09-22-2016, 01:10 AM
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What's really funny about the OPs line of thinking on this is that both Russia and China (ironically using stolen plans and a design cribbed, badly, from the F-35 ) are trying to develop 5th gen fighters as well (so are several other countries, though many US allies are pooling their efforts into F-35)...yet the OP thinks he knows better than not just the US but all these other countries too.

If the OP is correct then why would anyone bother developing any advanced military equipment? I mean, just retread the old stuff since it's good enough to deal with low scale opponents and simply put money into nuclear weapons, since they are the only weapon that would matter against top tier countries. Why can't literally every top tier nation see this obvious, to the OP, truth??
Because the right people were bribed? Remember that this is Lockheed we're talking about. They are known for this. Way back when, they managed to get half of europe to buy the crap Starfighter.
It was also sold to the politicians with the idea that those 'allies' would share in the production of this plane, thus creating jobs.
  #73  
Old 09-22-2016, 01:42 AM
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But when a poster is willing to make ardent claims that the facts support his conclusion... and then slink away when the conclusion does not come to pass... there's another dynamic in play.
No slinking away, I do have to sleep sometimes you know? The facts do support my conclusion that the F-35 program is currently in a death spiral as it's defined in the software project management world. I have made clear it's possible they'll get out of it, it's also possible they won't and that Block3F will never be delivered.

But hey, yeah it's absolutely fine that defense companies never ever have to take responsibility or take a dive in their profits because when they bid on a contract for a certain delivery and then take 10 years longer than they said to deliver. They fully deserve the $5 billion a year profit they make!

Last edited by coremelt; 09-22-2016 at 01:43 AM.
  #74  
Old 09-22-2016, 02:32 AM
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F-35 is not in a death spiral for the simple reason there is sweet fuck all as an alternative. The cupboard is that bare.

It has to "work", there is literally nothing else in the pipeline. Of course the definition of "work", is flexible (a fact Lockheed has taken advantage of), so it might never perform to specifications.
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Old 09-22-2016, 02:52 AM
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F-35 is not in a death spiral for the simple reason there is sweet fuck all as an alternative. The cupboard is that bare.
For the US that might be true, but it's not true for Australia and other partners, we do have alternatives and I sincerely hope that our government wakes up and cancels our order. Don't bother claiming that the F-35 is actually better value than anything else, that's only true when (and IF) Block 3F is actually delivered, something that we have very good reasons to doubt will ever happen. Australia simply doesn't need 72 5th Generation fighters by virtue of our geographic isolation. Indonesia is the only country that we could really have a border dispute with, and that's incredibly unlikely in the next 30 years. China? They could never actually threaten Australia's territory, the supply lines are just too long.

So yeah the only reason we "need" 72 Stealth Fighters is to loan them to the US whenever there's another US led unnecessary war. I'm completely ok with us not doing that.

Last edited by coremelt; 09-22-2016 at 02:53 AM.
  #76  
Old 09-22-2016, 03:00 AM
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What alternatives does Australia have? There is the Euro-fighter and thats about it. The Gripen; too short legs. A Russian fighter? No. Rafael, a hanger queen if there ever was one. And still a generation behind F35.

The UK is probably fucked too, or at least the Fleet Air Arm. Other Euro partner..... cannot really say.
  #77  
Old 09-22-2016, 03:20 AM
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What alternatives does Australia have? There is the Euro-fighter and thats about it. The Gripen; too short legs. A Russian fighter? No. Rafael, a hanger queen if there ever was one. And still a generation behind F35.
A smaller order of 4th or 4.5 generation fighters, one option is to update to the latest spec super hornet, but we really don't need 72 of them. Tell me one good reason why geographically isolated Australia actually has a need for 5th generation fighters at all?
  #78  
Old 09-22-2016, 03:56 AM
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The F-35 has managed to surpass the B-1 and the Abrams tank as an example of something that any fool watching the parade can see is going to have about a one-week lifespan in anything but the very controlled wars of the last forty years.
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I'm talking about a real war, not a regional conflict where we can stand off and throw high-tech rocks all day, and weep over combat losses a fraction of a percent of the enemy's. But of course that will never happen again.
You know, I knew this had to be where you were going when you said the Abrams would have a one week life-span and any fool could see it. I've got news for you: if you're talking about a 'real' war ala thousands of Warsaw Pact tanks punching at the Fulda Gap, nothing is going to have an average life span of more than about a week. Even if weapons systems could survive for longer in such a massive conventional conflict, it's ultimately irrelevant since the nukes are going to start flying; probably before the first week is even up. The cost-effective way to stop a massive armored assault in a 'real' war isn't to put M-1s in the way to slug it out with T-64/72/80s. You just drop pop nuclear warheads over those massive tank columns. Better yet you explode nuclear warheads over the cities where the civilians in the country that made those tanks live. The Abrams hasn't been without its flaws, but it has performed exceedingly well in every conflict it has seen action in. I for one would much rather be a crewman in an Abrams with its extreme emphasis on crew survivability even if the tank is so badly disabled that it becomes a total write-off than a crewman on one of those former Soviet T-series deathtraps where anything penetrating the turret and crew compartment is very likely to set off all the stored ammunition and send the turret flying 40 feet into the air.
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Old 09-22-2016, 04:18 AM
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I thought the complaints about the Abrams were not its performance, but the fact it was a fuel hog an required supporting elements to remain far too close for comfort as well as being prone to breakdowns.

The B1 has has a rep as a hanger queen.
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Old 09-22-2016, 04:47 AM
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I thought the complaints about the Abrams were not its performance, but the fact it was a fuel hog an required supporting elements to remain far too close for comfort as well as being prone to breakdowns.
One of the more serious faults of the M1A1 was that it had become a purely tank-killing machine; the blinders of the tank being the best anti-tank weapon had led to completely neglecting the fact that it wasn't the only mission of the tank. When introduced, the 120mm Rheinmetall gun in the M1A1 that replaced the 105mm in the M1 did not have any HE or canister rounds at all. The HEAT round it initially used was a very sub-par anti-personnel round and the standard ammunition load out (which was reduced to 40 rounds for the 120mm compared to 65 rounds for the 105mm) on the M1A1 was mostly APFSDSDU, the HEAT rounds were for taking out armored vehicles that weren't tanks and a DU round would be overkill on. The only real anti-personnel capability on the M1A1 was the machine guns, and the commander's .50 and the loader's 7.62mm required them to stick their heads out of the hatch, leaving only the coax 7.62mm if the tank had to button up. This problem was pointed out by a number of observers both before and after Desert Storm, but nothing had been done to rectify the situation by the time the Second Gulf War came around and the Abrams found itself fighting insurgents in cities, not tanks in the desert. A crash program was put in place to both produce a canister round for the 120mm and to make a HEAT round that was an effective anti-personal round.

ETA: Not that any of this or it being a fuel hog have anything to do with a one week lifespan in an all out conventional war ala NATO vs. the Warsaw Pact.

Last edited by Dissonance; 09-22-2016 at 04:49 AM.
  #81  
Old 09-22-2016, 06:28 AM
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I have made clear it's possible they'll get out of it, it's also possible they won't and that Block3F will never be delivered.
The Gilmore memo says 3F may not be complete by the end of SDD is 2018. Where do you get the idea that it will "never be delivered?"

Is there a giant asteroid headed for earth that I'm not aware of?

If that's isn't the case, then you should think about how work on block 4 is already underway. I would suspect that to the extent that tough problems show up in 3F (which is inevitable), some capabilities will be pushed to block 4. Which is what happens all the time in software, right?
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Old 09-22-2016, 08:13 AM
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The Gilmore memo says 3F may not be complete by the end of SDD is 2018. Where do you get the idea that it will "never be delivered?"
It was in my original post. The capabilities in Block3F simply may not be possible with the currently specced computers embedded in the F35. What they are attempting to deliver with the helmet is processing a massive amount of sensor data in realtime and with very high reliability rate, it needs a huge amount of processing power, probably something on the order of at least 10-12 top spec Xeon's, but of course they can't just use off the shelf CPU's everything has to be aerospace spec and probably hardened against EMP as well. Boosting the processing power means a major re-design as weight, space, power and heat are all already constrained in the F-35.

Now I am only saying this as a possibility, not a certainty, but I cannot think of any other likely reason for the ridiculous software delays. It's all too easy to imagine a situation where programmers in the trenches have already tried to make the case for a re-spec and no one listens so they keep trying to deliver something that's just not possible on the current hardware.

Last edited by coremelt; 09-22-2016 at 08:14 AM.
  #83  
Old 09-22-2016, 08:39 AM
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Because the right people were bribed? Remember that this is Lockheed we're talking about. They are known for this. Way back when, they managed to get half of europe to buy the crap Starfighter.
It was also sold to the politicians with the idea that those 'allies' would share in the production of this plane, thus creating jobs.
So, uh, LM bribed the Chinese and Russians to try and develop 5th gen fighters as well (and bribed the Chinese to steal the F-35 plans and try to reverse engineer it), instead of spending their money more wisely on those sweet, sweet nukes? Because that's what I'm talking about in the paragraph you quoted from me.

Those as for your own tangential point, you do know that all of the European and other nations who are on board with F-35 have actually had their pilots fly the thing....right? I mean, this isn't just some politicians selling them a crap fighter sight unseen.
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Old 09-22-2016, 08:45 AM
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coremelt, you are being ridiculous. A 4.5 generation fighter is not a viable alternative to the F-35. There is a reason the UK is still buying F-35s when it could navalize the Typhoon far more cheaply.
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China? They could never actually threaten Australia's territory, the supply lines are just too long.
Apparently you are not aware that Japan could quite easily have captured and held Australian territory in WWII. Are you under the impression that China is less capable 70 years later?
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What do you expect Lockheed to do? Worry that the US is going to end up getting a contract for Eurofighters, which are both far less capable as the F-35, *and* more expensive? What plane do you think Lockheed would honestly be worried about winning a fly-off against?
It's a bit misleading to say that the Eurofighter is more expensive. In terms of absolute unit costs, the F-35 appears to be cheaper simply due to economy of scale. But if you need to buy some fighters right now, you can't buy F-35s without absorbing some of the program costs, which are astronomical. And they will cost far more to service and fly.

And EF unit costs are based on the partner nations' flyaway prices, which reflect the deals made to compensate each other for reduced buys rather than the true purchase costs (Germany wrote the EF memoranda in such a way as to make the penalties for reducing initial buys prohibitive, though it was the Germans who were the first to try and get out of them).

Beyond that, export contract unit costs are typically meaningless because the true value of the contract is the multiyear support/spare parts agreement. The aircraft themselves may be sold at a considerable loss (especially after taking production offsets and technology transfer into account), with the profit being made on spares. This is easier to sell to legislators, for one thing.
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Suppose the F-35 just simply goes ahead with less-than-the-best software. Isn't this like iPhone 6 vs. iPhone 7?
Yes and no. It's not just "optional" systems that the F-35 has some trouble with. Some of the problems affect the flight controls, or at least cause the flight control software to crash or fail. But there doesn't seem to be anything insoluble, and some of the problems are likely tied to "optional" bits - like there may be one weapon system issue that causes other issues and can be deactivated until it's fixed.

Last edited by Really Not All That Bright; 09-22-2016 at 08:45 AM.
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Old 09-22-2016, 08:46 AM
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Those as for your own tangential point, you do know that all of the European and other nations who are on board with F-35 have actually had their pilots fly the thing....right? I mean, this isn't just some politicians selling them a crap fighter sight unseen.
Yes pilots have flown it, but no one has actually seen the promised capabilities of Block3F, the sensor fusion, the ability to feed data to other planes or the ground, the long list of other amazing features. These things exist only in power point presentations and promises from a company that is 10 years behind schedule and $183 billion over budget.

Quote:
Apparently you are not aware that Japan could quite easily have captured and held Australian territory in WWII. Are you under the impression that China is less capable 70 years later?
Yes Japan could threaten Australia because they first captured Papua New Guinea and Indonesia, somehow I think we'd have a little bit of warning if that was to happen, and I think other powers would get involved at that point. No you are being ridiculous saying that Australia must have 5th generation fighters. What for? Our neighbours won't have stealth fighters anytime soon. 4.5 Gen or 4th Gen fighters are perfectly adequate for Australia's actual needs, patrolling our own air space.

Last edited by coremelt; 09-22-2016 at 08:51 AM.
  #86  
Old 09-22-2016, 08:54 AM
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Yes pilots have flown it, but no one has actually seen the promised capabilities of Block3F, the sensor fusion, the ability to feed data to other planes or the ground, the long list of other amazing features. These things exist only in power point presentations and promises from a company that is 10 years behind schedule and $183 billion over budget.
And yet, as with the article from a pilot who flew the thing first hand, the pilots generally like the plane, feel it's solid and that the software issues are mainly soluble. You are claiming they aren't and claiming that the underlying computer core hardware simply can't do what they are proposing, but I haven't heard that particular spin from anyone but you...not to the degree you are taking it.

The trouble with your OP and your follow on posts is that you are all over the place in your criticisms. You seem to be saying that ANY 5th gen fighter would be a waste on the one hand, then you are critical of the contracts system (that you clearly don't understand) on the other, then you are claiming that it's simply impossible to fix the software issues with the current hardware and that a refit is impossible (in a plane designed from the ground up to be modular and upgradable...and with the examples of planes NOT so designed getting similar upgrades in the past). It's like you are throwing arguments against F-35 at the wall just to see what will stick.
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Old 09-22-2016, 08:58 AM
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It was in my original post. The capabilities in Block3F simply may not be possible with the currently specced computers embedded in the F35.
All I saw was an appeal to ignorance, something along the lines of, for all I know the hardware may not be good enough. DOTE's assessment says nothing about the hardware refresh (which just happened for 3i) being insufficient for 3F. As you can tell, I know about a thousand times more about this program than you do, and I haven't heard anyone speculate that the hardware is insufficient for 3F, but there is a refresh scheduled for roughly the same time as 4 is released.

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Boosting the processing power means a major re-design as weight, space, power and heat are all already constrained in the F-35.
Please, you don't even know what a major redesign means. Did you know that every jet fighter in history, over its lifetime, has averaged weight growth of one pound per day of its service life? And you think that a processor refresh -- which is entirely unfounded speculation on your part -- presents a major weight issue? You may know lots about software, but you don't seem to have any experience with aircraft.

Quote:
Now I am only saying this as a possibility, not a certainty, but I cannot think of any other likely reason for the ridiculous software delays. It's all too easy to imagine a situation where programmers in the trenches have already tried to make the case for a re-spec and no one listens so they keep trying to deliver something that's just not possible on the current hardware.
It's also possible that Putin has mind-control rays that are conducting disinformation campaigns through the Project on Government Oversight. Do you really have any evidence that he isn't?

Last edited by Ravenman; 09-22-2016 at 09:01 AM.
  #88  
Old 09-22-2016, 09:15 AM
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no one has actually seen the promised capabilities of Block3F, the sensor fusion, the ability to feed data to other planes or the ground,

You may have missed this recent test

Quote:
The unmodified F-35 picked up the target with its own sensors and routed the track via the fighter’s Multifunction Advanced Data Link (MADL pronounced: MAHdel) to the Navy’s USS Desert Ship (LLS-1) test platform running the Baseline 9 Aegis Combat System. Lockheed and the Navy attached a MADL antenna to the combat system to receive the track information that fed the information to the SM-6.
Quote:
“It was absolutely breathtaking, the Aegis display in our labs as soon as [the test F-35] turned his radar on looking north… He picked up the conga line, if you will of aircraft going into [Dallas Fort Worth Airport],” he said.
“The display just exploded with hundreds of ranged tracks, so we knew it would work.”
However, the fact linking the F-35s powerful EW suite was such is such a late addition to NIFC-CA is an “indictment of the original planning process that lead to the F-35,” Clark said.
Note that the capability wasn't even planned for the F-35 as part of the initial requirements, and was just added in recently.
  #89  
Old 09-22-2016, 10:38 AM
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Too Big To Fail


The only "real" problem with the F-35 is the sheer size of the program. I imagine the joint program office will soon be disbanded, with the services taking over management for their their respective platforms and Lockheed dealing more-or-less directly with the international partners, now that production is ramping up and the jets are starting to go operational. That way all the niggling this or that thing that doesn't work right can be more effectively addressed and every time something crops up it's not making headlines in the liberal media.
  #90  
Old 09-22-2016, 10:46 AM
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Oh, yeah, that liberal media hates the F-35.
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Old 09-22-2016, 10:52 AM
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Oh, yeah, that liberal media hates the F-35.
Good thing the author of that opinion piece didn't put money down on some of his predictions as posters in the thread have tried to have the OP do. He'd owe some serious cash at this point. So would Nick Harvey, though he'd only owe the chance of a cat in hell.

I think this is one of those bi-partisan issues that transcend left and right...there are definitely factions on both sides who dislike the F-35 program, though obviously for different reasons and from a different perspective.
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Old 09-22-2016, 10:56 AM
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Get Your Media Here Folks! Fresh off the Rumor Mill!


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Oh, yeah, that liberal media hates the F-35.
Sorry, allow me to re-state: ...media, most of which is liberally-oriented due to their MO for monetizing crowd stupidity. Yeah, they all do that. .
  #93  
Old 09-22-2016, 10:56 AM
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In another thread, a Doper pointed out the similarity between the logic of some anti-vaxxers and some military opponents: Undesirable Event X hasn't happened yet, so why should we have to prepare against Undesirable Event X?

Anyway - the tenacity and persistence of F-35 opponents is remarkable, but like Republicans trying to repeal Obamacare, it won't happen. The F-35 is here to stay. If anything, I would bet that Obamacare is more likely to be terminated than the F-35.

Decades from now, when 2,000 Lightning IIs are in the air, the opponents of the JSF can fall silent and pretend they were never opposed to the Lightning II from the beginning.
  #94  
Old 09-22-2016, 12:13 PM
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All I saw was an appeal to ignorance, something along the lines of, for all I know the hardware may not be good enough.
So the reason I am stating this with some reasoning behind it is because I directly work in software development for image and signal processing including processing 360VR video. Now not for the military mind you, but the principles are the same and I do have a pretty rough idea of the amount of processing power they need to pull off what is promised in Block3F. So a system I work with that processes 4K video in real time, doing much simpler algorithms that the F-35 needs takes a rack mount Linux 8 core Xeon system with 8 GPU's running in parallel. The resolution of imagery that the F-35 needs to process to accurately provide the real time sensor fusion feed is much higher than 4K, at minimum 8K for the 360 view and probably more than that, and they're processing a hell of a lot more data than just RGBA pixels. They are probably using custom ASIC's and FPGA's which gives them some advantages but still it's a hell of a lot of processor power.

OK, so I grant you that they can probably add weight, space and power (but every KG more computer is less fuel and armaments), but they cannot easily add more heat elimination to the F-35. The thing is already right at the limit, it can't take off if the fuel loaded into it is too warm.

http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/the...-sa-1668120726

Thermodynamics is a bitch and it's a hard limit, more processing power needs more heat, in a very tightly constrained space. I would bet they are already using the fuel as a coolant like other designs have done, that helps but it still only gives you so much headroom. So no I'm not arguing from ignorance, I'm arguing from my expert knowledge of real time image and signal processing hardware requirements.

Last edited by coremelt; 09-22-2016 at 12:18 PM.
  #95  
Old 09-22-2016, 12:23 PM
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Shortly after that article came out, the Air Force painted its fuel trucks white to reduce fuel temperatures. And it appears that no sorties have been prevented or cancelled in relation to fuel temperature. There are also no "special restrictions" on fuel temperature for the F-35.

http://breakingdefense.com/2014/12/t...-hot-jet-fuel/

I take your word that you know a lot about software. But you barely know anything about the F-35. Just because I know a lot about the F-35 doesn't mean I have good reason to say that you're doing your job all wrong when you say you need elventy server racks to make sure the gonkulator doesn't stutter.

Last edited by Ravenman; 09-22-2016 at 12:26 PM.
  #96  
Old 09-22-2016, 12:35 PM
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Shortly after that article came out, the Air Force painted its fuel trucks white to reduce fuel temperatures. And it appears that no sorties have been prevented or cancelled in relation to fuel temperature. There are also no "special restrictions" on fuel temperature for the F-35.
Yes and that article confirms they are using fuel as a coolant, and it must be kept a minimum temperature for the F-35 to be functional. So that means they already have zero overhead for heat dissipation, any processor power added to achieve sensor fusion means eliminating heat production somewhere else.

I don't need to be an expert on aircraft, this is physics, thermodynamics is the same for an aircraft or a server farm. And yes I can state with some knowledge that there is a very real chance that the image and signal processing capabilities promised in Block3F simply cannot be achieved in the thermal envelope they require for the rest of the F-35 to function. Throw all the money at it you want, you can't change physics.
  #97  
Old 09-22-2016, 12:47 PM
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Boy, you think the chief weapons tester would have said something in his sharply-worded memo about how the F-35 cannot break the laws of physics.

Do you think Dr. Gilmore simply overlooked that little issue, with respect to your assertion that thermodyamics prevents the F-35 from achieving sensor fusion? While highlighting the faults he found with 3i, did he just run out of printer ink to write that the entire program is now a complete failure because of excess heat?

Or could it be that you are making bold statements without a shred of actual evidence to back it up?
  #98  
Old 09-22-2016, 01:01 PM
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Or could it be that you are making bold statements without a shred of actual evidence to back it up?
Given that Lockheed Martin is 10 years behind schedule and $183 billion over budget I think that the burden of proof is on you to say why their feature list is realistic and achievable for Block35, not on me. They have not delivered to any of their milestones on time, and I am stating a plausible reason why that could be the case, because they under-estimated the hardware / software requirements by a massive amount. We know that Lockheed Martin does indeed precisely have a track record of doing this, of promising the blue sky and then delivering late and over budget.

So my evidence is their failure to deliver, and I do find it hilarious that you are so vehemently defending a program that is so late and so over budget. Only in the defense world is this even remotely possible. In any other industry, it's total failure.

PS. actually yes I do know more about image and signal processing than Dr Gilmore does, so he is more likely to believe Lockheed Martin's unrealistic over optimistic promises than I am.

Last edited by coremelt; 09-22-2016 at 01:05 PM.
  #99  
Old 09-22-2016, 01:04 PM
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If the jet uses fuel as coolant, how does it cool off when the fuel is depleted near the end of a sortie?
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Old 09-22-2016, 01:05 PM
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I find it hilarious that you cite a memo from the Pentagon's chief weapons tester with a variety of criticisms of the program, but he doesn't mention that thermodynamics dictates that they can't fit any more computing power in the airplane.

I mean, that's a pretty bold claim, and Dr. Gilmore didn't mention it. At all. Yet you insist that the F-35 has "zero margin" for cooling. Man, Dr. Gilmore must be terrible at his job of testing weapons if it takes someone with no detailed knowledge of the F-35 to point out such a big problem.
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