Mrt 15 2011

“Misinformation on F136 alternate engine from US Government”

Gepubliceerd door JSFNieuws.nl om 18:17 onder Ontwikkeling JSF

In a document, prepared by Staffers of the members of the Subcommittee of the Armed Forces of the U.S. House of Representatives one may find some interesting arguments in the debate about a second F-35 engine.

Was the F136 competitive engine part of F-35 aircraft acquisition plan?

[FALSE] Gordon England, former Deputy Secretary of Defense (2006-2009), principal advisor to Secretary Gates when he became Defense Secretary.
“The F-35 second engine was not included in the Defense Department plan during or before my tenure as deputy secretary.”

[FACT: The F-35 development program began in 2001] “The Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program propulsion system acquisition strategy includes the design, development, and qualification and production of a primary and an alternate propulsion system to support the JSF air system.” [JSF Propulsion System Acquisition Strategy, July 19, 2000]

[FACT:] “The production work will include, but will not be limited to, the following: Production of the JSF air vehicle, including propulsion systems, both F135 and F136.” [Nine nation Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for F-35, November 2006] signed by Gordon England, former Deputy Secretary of Defense.

Does Dual source acquisition benefit DOD?

[CONTRARY TO PRACTICE and EXPERT, OBJECTVE ANALYSIS] Gordon England, former Deputy Secretary of Defense (2006-2009), principal advisor to Secretary Gates when he became Defense Secretary.] “The Defense Department has learned that keeping two manufacturers in business usually results in a costly split buy, not competition.”

[FACT:] “History has shown that the only reliable source of price reduction through the life of a program is competition between dual sources.” The Final Report of the Quadrennial Defense Review Independent Panel (Stephen Hadley & William Perry, co-chairs, July 29, 2010)

[FACT:] After having declared in September 2010 that procuring the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) from both competing contractors would not be “real competition,” the resulting LCS competition yielded such unexpectedly appealing bids, that by December 2010, the DOD Acquisition Executive reversed his position that such an award would NOT be “real competition” and awarded contracts to both LCS contractors for 10 ships each. Geoff Morrell, the Pentagon’s press secretary, in attempting to explain the Pentagon’s reversal said “the Pentagon could build two versions of the ship because it had already financed the development of both.”

[FALSE] The fiscal year 2012 budget request includes $1.9 billion through fiscal year 2016 for LCS “development,” an increase of $784 million over the fiscal year 2011 request.

Can Operations and Support program be competed?

[CONTRARY TO PRACTICE] Gordon England, former Deputy Secretary of Defense (2006-2009), principal advisor to Secretary Gates when he became Defense Secretary.“Most of the cost in a split buy cannot be competed at all. Sustainment will be largely provided by the military.”

FACT: Institute for Defense Analyses 2007 “JSF Engine Cost Analysis” report, “there is a range of ways in which competition might affect prices for Operations and Sustainment (O&S) services…competition for sustainment is a “model widely used by the commercial airline industry, which routinely bundles support contracts with the initial engine purchases, bringing support services directly into the purchase competition. We understand that the JSF program intends to use an acquisition strategy that ties some elements of O&S costs to the procurement competition.” F-16 alternate engine program: “Competition is the only sure way to get the best effort…competition did yield from Pratt & Whitney some substantial initial benefits to the Air Force. For instance, Pratt offered engine improvements to the Air Force earlier than the Air Force had been led to expect without the competition. Furthermore, unit prices were lower than Pratt had previously been offering. Since the initial split in February 1984, competition has further induced Pratt to grant even more concessions to the Air Force. Warranty prices have been reduced significantly and arrangements with the European Participating Governments have improved.” (The Air Force and The Great Engine War, 1987)

Is F136 development behind schedule?

[FALSE] Gordon England, former Deputy Secretary of Defense (2006-2009), principal advisor to Secretary Gates when he became Defense Secretary.“The F136 is …4-5 years late.”

[FACT:] The acquisition strategy for the engine for the F-35 resulted in the F136 development being initiated in fiscal year 2005, four years after the primary engine. As of April 2010, a DOD response to a question for the record indicated the F136 engine was 2-3 months behind its original schedule, while the F135 primary engine was 24 months behind its original schedule.

Are there non-financial benefits to an F-35 competitive engine strategy?

“Defense Department studies have concluded that funding an extra engine will not actually save money, improve reliability or increase safety.” Gordon England, former Deputy Secretary of Defense (2006-2009), principal advisor to Secretary Gates when he became Defense Secretary.

[FACT:] “Other Benefits of Competition: Competition may provide insurance against (1) aircraft weight growth/reduced performance and (2) F135 problems causing fleet grounding;
1) Provides growth paths for propulsion systems;
2) Enhanced contractor responsiveness;
3) Technological innovation;
4) Improved operational readiness; and a
5) More robust industrial base”
6) Defense Department Study on F-35/JSF Alternate Engine Acquisition and
7) Independent Cost Analyses Report.

Was there an engine competition for the F-35 engine?

“…competition has taken place and the engine that won is performing well.” Gordon England, former Deputy Secretary of Defense (2006-2009), principal advisor to Secretary Gates when he became Defense Secretary.

[FACT:] “Let me set the record straight…There was no JSF engine competition as part of the overall air frame competition…I have watched with disappointment over the last few months as those advocates of sole-sourcing the F-35 with only the Pratt & Whitney engine have attempted to spin a tale of myth and innuendo to deliberately muddy the waters around the issue of the competition of the engine for the F-35.” Former Director/ Deputy Director of the Joint Strike Fighter Program (1997-2001)

The F-35 primary engine

“The Defense Department is already pleased with the engine it has…The Pentagon does not want and does not plan to use the alternative version.” President Obama, May 7, 2009 (first budget rollout)

[FACT:] One month prior to the President’s statement the most senior Air Force acquisition official wrote: “Pratt & Whitney’s F135 engine cost growth is an ongoing concern. From fiscal year 2007 to 2008, the Joint Strike Fighter engine costs have grown, causing a $3 million increase to the short takeoff vertical landing aircraft’s unit fly away costs.”

[FACT:] Three months after the President’s statement, the senior Pentagon acquisition official was so “pleased with the engine” the Pentagon had for the F-35 that he formed a 40 person Joint Assessment Team to address F135 engine cost and affordability” concerns.
The Pentagon team determined that:
“Pratt & Whitney now understands the government is seriously concerned with the F135 cost growth.”
“The current F135 program still has low flight hours and configuration risk and will need cost margin to mitigate that risk.”
“Low manufacturing readiness levels existed for several key components, with the most expensive engine part having the lowest Manufacturing Readiness Level.” Various components had a rating of “3”-“6.” For low rate production these components should have been rated “7.” “3” represents proof of concept; “4” represents lab environment [The F135 was in the third year of low rate production in August 2009]
“Increased manufacturing costs existed over the F119 due to the step increases in manufacturing complexity.” [the F119 is the twin engine F-22 engine, made by Pratt & Whitney]

[FACT:] In February 2008, the estimate to complete the F135 primary engine development program, fiscal year 10 to completion, was $385 million. That estimate is now $2.1 billion, a 445 percent increase over the original estimate. [a portion of this increase is attributed to issues related to the development of the F-35B lift fan].

[FACT:] Five months into fiscal year 2011, the fiscal year 2010 engine contract has yet to be signed.

[FACT:] F-35 test aircraft engine modifications are on-going to correct problems that restrict test aircraft flight in portions of the flight envelope.

[FACT:] The F-35 primary engine had, as of the end of 2010, 680 total flight test hours and has 90 percent of its flight testing to go – not 20,000 flight hours as has been stated publicly.

[FACT:] “The F136 is 2-3 months behind schedule to the original plan.” April 12, 2010, response to question for the record, March 24, 2010, Hearing before the Air and Land Forces and Seapower subcommittees of the House Committee on Armed Services.

[FACT:] During the past 4 and ½ years in which Congress has had to fund the competitive engine, the program was funded at 90 percent of the required level through fiscal year 2010. For fiscal year 2011, operating under a continuing resolution, on a monthly prorated basis, the Pentagon has released only 30 percent of the required funding for the competitive engine through February — even though Congress provided the required funding in the continuing resolution that has been in effect since last October.

Source:
MEMORANDUM FOR: MEMBERS, TACTICAL AIR & LAND FORCES SUBCOMMITTEE
MISINFORMATION ON F136 ALTERNATIVE ENGINE 14-mar-2011

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