It would cost too much per airframe if they did that. The lower the production run, the higher the overall cost would be. The Air Force would have to
pay way more for both if they got jets from each company.
Had it been me in charge back in the early 90s, I'd have given Lockheed the NATF contract and made the Navy keep it. That would have produced around
300 fighters. The USAF would have been given the F-23. Based on history, we'd have ended up with another 200 fighters. That'd have preserved the
industrial base better than we did. MacDAC would have survived independently then, too, assuming they had the FA/-18E/F still.
I suspect part of the reason the US Navy pulled out of the NATF was because that generation of stealth materials might have been a nightmare to
maintain at sea. The other being cost, of course.
(and for gawd's sake do NOT give NG/MD the NATF contract...that plane was a sin against the eyes!)
Honestly, I think the T-X would be a great foundation to keep the Hornet line hot and running. Build us a 4+++ gen Hornet, rename it to a different
bug, give it HMD and turn it into a supersonic trainer. They already have ownership of the Goshawk which will need replacing soon enough. That will
free up the room to create an F/A-XX with NG and LM at it again.
But again I know I'm wrong in my assumption and unless there's a breakthrough within a couple of weeks, NG will be striped of it's prime and delegated
edit on 10-10-2015 by aholic because: (no reason given)
Well I hope you can name these programs because non of them are combat airframes and won't keep them alive long enough to see another major fly off.
It would spell the end for their aircraft building days. I hope I'm wrong.
And according to the Air Force and Northrop they will have enough work to keep them going until the F-XX/F/A-XX program. If they wouldn't survive
until then they wouldn't currently be sinking all they are into getting ready for it.
I hope NG win the contract - love the designs they produce, so innovative, the YF-23 was way ahead of it's time. Seems politics so often get in the
way in the US. Surely it's got to be in the US Government's interest to spread the work around anyway, not good to have one dominant supplier in LM?
There is no leverage if that happens.
Yeah I guess and hope so - just that LM and Boeing appear to be 'best buddies' anyway so they don't mind sharing the work as they are pretty much in
bed together, just thinking that LM and NG are fierce rivals and by choice would not work together, so would be a crying shame if NG lost it and they
decide to withdraw from making airframes altogether - I guess with that fierce rivalry they push each other along, that may disappear which would be a
In hindsight I also recognise that I am being a bit hypocritical with my original statement - I am from the UK and we have one totally dominant
supplier in BAE systems but then again we don't spend enough on defence to warrant more than one supplier! At least you in the USA have a choice...
Actually Lockheed and Northrop work together all the time. Northrop makes the center fuselage for the F-35 at Palmdale, before shipping them to
assembly at Fort Worth, now Italy, and soon Japan. In fact they just rolled out the first Japan center fuselage for their FACO.
LM and Boeing aren't exactly the best of buddies. Both companies are going to do what is in the best interests for themselves and have competed
against each other on a number of big projects. The two companies were teamed up and had a nasty split IIRC on the NGB program before it's
edit on 10-10-2015 by Sammamishman because: (no reason given)
Aircraft makers have had to adapt for some time to a world that car makers are learn to adjust to: increased development costs, the prospects of
greater competition and uncertain demand outlook (especially since they have to bet on demand on 25+ year time horizons, vs car makers who usually
have 5-8 years per model cycle). All of these guys compete yet cooperate: Toyota and BMW are sharing technology for a new generation sports car,
Toyota and Subaru have jointly developed a near identical car (Subaru BRZ and Toyota GT86). Boeing, NG, LM all help each other out when its in their
mutual interests, otherwise they compete. Same thing with airline code sharing and container shipping alliances operating what they call
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