Mei 17 2012

The F-35: Super Plane for Super Cruise

Gepubliceerd door JSFNieuws.nl om 9:33 onder Global F35 News

Some interesting quotes in a Time article by Ben Freeman about the F-35:

About the costs:
Each individual plane now is estimated to cost $160 million – more than double the $74.5 million the DoD initially estimated they’d cost — and four times the price tag on the F-14 Tomcat that Maverick flew in the original movie [editor’s note: movie-ticket prices have gone up, too – but merely doubled since the 1986 Top Gun].

About design problems:
Major design changes mean increased costs. The GAO said some critical technologies were “not mature and present significant development risks” and a Pentagon review stated that there were major issues whose combined impact “results in a lack of confidence in the design stability.

About the growing pressure from US Navy commanders to get more F/A-18 Super Hornets and wait for the new US Navy tactical fighter jet F/A-XX:

There is an alternative, however – the FA-18 E/F Super Hornet. Hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars can be saved by replacing the most expensive and troublesome variants of the F-35 – the Navy and Marine variants – with Super Hornets (the Air Force variant is having markedly fewer problems and appears to be substantially cheaper than the other two).

(….)

….. Super Hornets have many capabilities that rival the F-35. The Super Hornet, unlike the F-35, is proven, and has “established an extraordinary record in operations around the globe, in combat, under all kinds of conditions,” according to Admiral John Harvey, commander of U.S. Fleet Forces Command. And, despite the recent crash in Virginia Beach, the planes mishap rate is, “as low as it’s ever been in naval aviation,” according to Rear Admiral Ted Branch, commander of Naval Air Force Atlantic.

Combine this with the fact that the Pentagon can buy three Super Hornets for the price of one F-35 Navy or Marine variant — and that these variants cost six times as much to fly as a Super Hornet — and the choice is easy.

Read more: Time 17-may-2012 “The F-35 Super Plane for Super Cruise

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