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Lockheed and suppliers invest millions to bring F-35 costs down

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posted on Sep, 17 2014 @ 08:27 AM
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Lockheed Martin and its suppliers have invested a combined $170M in cost reduction methods over the next two years, to bring the F-35 costs in line with other fighters. They are trying to cut $10M a year through 2019, to bring the cost down to $80M an airframe. They have planned 600 projects across the supply base, of which 66 are currently in use as being workable.

Examples include "additive manufacturing", or 3-D printing the canopy bow, instead of forging and milling. An investment of $342,000 will see a return of $31.5M over the course of the program. A $360,000 investment in forging and milling the rudder spar components will save an estimated $205M. Finding a new way of painting that doesn't take place in a controlled environment where nothing else can be done, will save an estimated $27M, for a $741,000 investment. They've also found that certain parts, such as the vertical tail ribs, can be made from aluminum instead of titanium, for no loss of structural integrity. By investing $946,000 they can save an estimated $121M.


Lockheed Martin and its programme partners are putting up millions in investment dollars to redesign manufacturing methods for components of the F-35 Lightning II, in the hope of bringing the per-aircraft cost in line with existing fighters within five years.

Lorraine Martin, who leads Lockheed’s F-35 programme, outlined on 16 September a handful of the several hundred potential manufacturing and materials changes that seek to cut $10 million per year from the aircraft’s unit cost up to 2019. The company has promised that by then, the F-35A will cost $80 million or less.

To accomplish that goal, Lockheed, and engine manufacturing partners Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce have committed to investing a combined $170 million over the next two years on affordability initiatives.

www.flightglobal.com...




posted on Sep, 17 2014 @ 08:31 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

so is it a huge thing for them to be spending too much money?

since when?



they don't have a budget for R & D...



posted on Sep, 17 2014 @ 08:32 AM
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a reply to: Thurisaz

It's a huge thing for them to be spending the money this late in a program, when production has actually started, and aircraft have entered service. This isn't R&D, this is for active production standard aircraft. You almost NEVER see changes like this when the aircraft have entered service. Not on this scale.



posted on Sep, 17 2014 @ 08:38 AM
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To accomplish that goal, Lockheed, and engine manufacturing partners Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce


Was under the impression that Congress had canceled the Rolls engine?



posted on Sep, 17 2014 @ 08:43 AM
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Oh the irony....

don't you think it is funny... they are investing millions to bring the costs down.

hahahhahaha



posted on Sep, 17 2014 @ 08:48 AM
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a reply to: solidshot

Rolls doesn't make an engine, but they still makes parts for the aircraft. They are responsible for the lift fan for the B model, although they have been very late with parts at times. As late as March of last year they were seeing 160 day delays from RR, as well as corrosion, and holes that were drilled to the wrong sizes in parts.



posted on Sep, 17 2014 @ 08:54 AM
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Looks like they have found a way to spit them out a bit faster, as tensions keep rising around the globe. I hope no issues arise with the changes and set it back even further. I haven't even seen a F-22 at an airshow yet and I`m getting a bit impatient.


One question that popped up was could all this be for just the F-35? Could they be making interchangeable components for future aircraft, sort of standardizing things?



posted on Sep, 17 2014 @ 09:02 AM
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a reply to: StratosFear

No, but these methods will be put to use on new aircraft. They'll test them out on the F-35, and whatever ones work the best will be the ones that get put into standard service in production of other aircraft. Stamped out aircraft don't work, as we're seeing with the F-35. The missions are JUST different enough that they all need individual aircraft, not something stamped out of a mold.



posted on Sep, 17 2014 @ 09:08 AM
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The whole project should be scrapped and started again.

Have you seen these things? They are slower and less manoeuvrable than last generation fighter jets.

Let's hope these don't get into any dog fights or they're doomed for.



posted on Sep, 17 2014 @ 09:10 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

it seems strange... F 35 is relatively new and so costly to produce... once they have it in full production... of course it is cheaper.

the greater the quantity, the cheaper it is to manufacture.
seems weird they have to invest millions to reduce the expenses of production:

that to me...sounds more like a marketing initiative to guarantee a certain amount for cheaper production.

?



posted on Sep, 17 2014 @ 09:13 AM
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a reply to: DAZ21

If they scrap them now, it will be a 20 year process to replace them, and the technology on them is needed NOW. It can't be refit onto older aircraft, and there aren't enough F-22s to take up the slack.

The F-35 isn't meant to be a dogfighter, it's meant to supplement the BVR flight, and attack ground targets. It's no worse than the F-18 as far as acceleration and speed go, and much better than the F-18 as far as payload and range go.



posted on Sep, 17 2014 @ 09:15 AM
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a reply to: Thurisaz

When you're dealing with stealth, even with larger numbers cost doesn't come down to under the $100M range without help. RAM and other materials are inherently expensive and you have to cut costs in other ways to bring the down to the range that Lockheed promised they could do.



posted on Sep, 17 2014 @ 09:22 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

All I know is that they are incredibly heavy for a single engine jet which was chosen for the purpose of reducing its weight. The single engine has to run at such capacity that it's unreliable and is prone to malfunction.

I'm mean who designed this? People that have tested it have said how hard it is to fly also.

I know there are orders and customers are waiting, but I don't think they've got these problems properly ironed out yet. I mean would you really want to rely on these in times of war?

blogs.reuters.com...

edit on 17-9-2014 by DAZ21 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 17 2014 @ 09:25 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

not sure how accurate this info is, however, from the info I have read in total so far... I think for what it can do.... 100 mil isn't much:


3) The “next generation” F-35 Lightning II advanced stealth fighter is built by Lockheed-Martin, Northrop-Grumman and BAE. The F-35 also incorporates quasi-alive Artificial Intelligence and antigravity field propulsion, (recovered reworked Star Visitor technologies), in addition to jet thrust.

source

Star Visitor is also known as H Star







edit on CDT09uWed, 17 Sep 2014 09:29:25 -05002925am259 by Thurisaz because: add link



posted on Sep, 17 2014 @ 09:38 AM
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a reply to: DAZ21

The F135 has been incredibly reliable and a good engine to date. Yes, it's had a few problems, but with a few exceptions they've been relatively minor. The problems with the fan blades were related to a supplier buying illegal titanium, and not machining it properly, not with the engine design itself. That could happen with anyone. The latest engine problem was a unique combination of events, and a fix has already been designed, and will be implemented as soon as testing is completed.

The people that fly it have done nothing but rave about it. The RAF pilots that flew it off the Wasp said that it's so much easier to fly than the AV-8B, and anything else they flew that it's not funny. They can do things with the F-35 that they could only imagine doing with the Harrier, and it's incredibly intuitive compared to the Harrier.



posted on Sep, 17 2014 @ 09:39 AM
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a reply to: Thurisaz

Uhm, just no. Everything on it is purely conventional and earth developed.



posted on Sep, 17 2014 @ 09:54 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

was going to ask you a question but would be off topic so won't bother...

but ...

They use different terminology to mask the truth. Stanford is also known as Star Visitor/ H Star. Boylan PhD looks like a wacko with some of the info... but there is truth in it.

last post in your thread from me... I am going back over to skunkworks.








posted on Sep, 17 2014 @ 10:13 AM
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Oh great we are getting a price reduction on an already inferior aircraft...............big deal.....
The F 35 is an ill conceived and over bloated POS,......the countries getting them will be sorry they did......



posted on Sep, 17 2014 @ 10:20 AM
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a reply to: stirling

You mean like they were sorry they bought the F-18? Another over bloated POS.



posted on Sep, 17 2014 @ 10:42 AM
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I think this is good timing for LM to be doing this (although it would have been advantageous a little sooner). I think the cost reductions are not just for the F35 program but more so for future jets that LM will be rolling out in the not to distant future.
They will be able to offer a jet that has added cool factor tech on it for the same relative cost as current fighters.



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