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Mattis orders review of Air Force One and F-35C

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posted on Jan, 27 2017 @ 11:57 PM
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Secretary of Defense James Mattis has ordered an immediate review of the Air Force One recapitalization, and the F-35C looking for areas where costs can be cut. The F-35C will be compared to the Advanced Super Hornet to see how the two compare, and if the ASH will provide a competitive, cost effective alternative to the F-35. The ASH will provide a decent platform against lower order threats, but will give a non-VLO platform that could be used against peer or near peer threats, like the F-35 can be.

If the Navy cuts or even flat cancels their participation in the program, then the A and B will see substantial price hits, due to the lower total number of aircraft that will be involved. They'll be looking at autonomous operations, power generation, cooling, and other areas that can be used to reduce costs.


The US defense secretary has ordered an immediate review of the Air Force One recapitalisation and Lockheed Martin F-35 programmes, following president Donald Trump’s earlier threats to lower the costs of both platforms.

In a 26 January memo, Defense Secretary James Mattis ordered the deputy secretary of defense to examine ways to reduce the cost of the both the F-35 and Air Force One replacement programmes. Lockheed’s stocks dropped sharply following Mattis’ announcement.

Under the presidential aircraft recapitalisation review, the White House Military Office and deputy secretary will identify specific areas where costs could be cut. This could include autonomous operations, aircraft power generation,cooling, survivability and communications capabilities, the memo states.

www.flightglobal.com...




posted on Jan, 27 2017 @ 11:58 PM
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Why? Does he want the Russian fighters instead?



posted on Jan, 28 2017 @ 12:03 AM
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a reply to: InTheLight


Why? Does he want the Russian fighters instead?

Did it say anything about that in the article?



posted on Jan, 28 2017 @ 12:03 AM
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a reply to: InTheLight

Because of the cost overruns the program has seen to date, and the current per unit cost. Lockheed is bringing costs down with each buy, but apparently not fast enough for some in Washington, who are willing to accept a substantial decrease in capabilities for a similar price.



posted on Jan, 28 2017 @ 12:04 AM
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originally posted by: D8Tee
a reply to: InTheLight


Why? Does he want the Russian fighters instead?

Did it say anything about that in the article?


Did I read between the lines?



posted on Jan, 28 2017 @ 12:05 AM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: InTheLight

Because of the cost overruns the program has seen to date, and the current per unit cost. Lockheed is bringing costs down with each buy, but apparently not fast enough for some in Washington, who are willing to accept a substantial decrease in capabilities for a similar price.


Are you saying, the U.S.a cannot affiord the best?



posted on Jan, 28 2017 @ 12:08 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Aren't the two Air Force One(s) twenty-seven years old at this point? How many cycles do they have on the airframes?

How much more/less stress does an AF1 airframe go through vs. a typical 747/200?

Are there many 200's still in service?



posted on Jan, 28 2017 @ 12:10 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Good..! Every military acquisition should be looked at to get the most bang for the buck.. Also Lockheed has already said they were going to cut the price of the F-35 after meeting with Trump... Military contractors claim they can do something for a price...yep then the planners start doing add ons and changing configurations...which causes delays and added cost..

I really do hope the old business as usual will no longer be tolerated..



posted on Jan, 28 2017 @ 12:12 AM
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a reply to: Leonidas

They have fewer cycles than the average 747-200, and less stress on the airframe, but parts are extremely scarce now. The last -200 has been retired from commercial use, and there aren't many left in cargo fleets. It's getting harder to get spares for the existing aircraft. There were fewer than 400 -200s built, and most are in use by smaller carriers, and smaller cargo fleets. The -400 replaced them in most of the larger fleets.
edit on 1/28/2017 by Zaphod58 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 28 2017 @ 12:16 AM
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a reply to: 727Sky

The price has been coming down with every LRIP. LRIP 10 is approaching an agreement, which will bring the A model down to under $100M per airframe. The B and C will be higher still, but they're coming down as well. Once the full rate production starts, those costs will keep coming down. By 2019, they're looking at being down to around $85M for an A model, and right about $100M for a C.

By comparison, an F-18E/F currently runs around $90M, for far less capability. An ASH, after testing is done, and they finally reach IOC will be running at least $100M, if not at least $120M per airframe. And won't be able to go up against a modern, well equipped air defense system.



posted on Jan, 28 2017 @ 12:17 AM
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a reply to: InTheLight

No. I'm saying that politics is in play, as usual. Politics have played a major role in every major acquisition program in the last 30 years.



posted on Jan, 28 2017 @ 12:20 AM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: InTheLight

No. I'm saying that politics is in play, as usual. Politics have played a major role in every major acquisition program in the last 30 years.


Why can't it be for the benefit of two countries...using U.S. steel and Canadian brains?



posted on Jan, 28 2017 @ 12:21 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Is operational cost the issue then? I have to believe a new 747/800 (I presume the 800?) will be a much cheaper plane to operate?

Was any consideration given to choosing the latest-and-greatest 787 or 777 over the 747/8?



posted on Jan, 28 2017 @ 12:24 AM
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a reply to: Leonidas

It's the total program cost. Since they're only looking at 2, or maybe 3 aircraft this time, total program cost is close to $4B. People don't like that number, and don't really understand that by only getting 2 aircraft, there's not a lot of room for spreading costs around, even with Boeing taking a loss, or breaking even on the deal.



posted on Jan, 28 2017 @ 12:25 AM
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a reply to: InTheLight

Canada doesn't currently want them. Under the terms of the program Lockheed is only giving work to the nations that are partners and buying the aircraft. Once the current Canadian contracts expire, there's no word if they're going to get more work or not. Right now they're paying to stay in the program, but there's no telling how long that will last.



posted on Jan, 28 2017 @ 12:29 AM
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If they drop the C Model, they might as well be flying Manned Target Drones.

Not to mention, the F35 has capabilities to replace more than just the F-18 on the carrier deck...

The cost and delays of the program is always in the media, but what is never mentioned is why the aircraft is over budget and delayed. One might ask the government who continually changed requirements of the aircraft capabilities well after the contract was awarded, changes cost money and take time to implement.

But of course, it is never the government's fault, it is always the evil contractors....
edit on 128172017 by ReverendBow because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 28 2017 @ 02:42 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

It all seems a bit silly to me.

The F-35 is a package, it's only going to cost more in the long run watering it down or taking components that are cutting edge and applying them to a cheaper airframe.

From my limited knowledge of planes, I know their is only so much you can take from one and apply to the other.

The F-22 wasn't cheap either, for it's capabilities and diversity I'd guess the F-35 is cheap considering.



posted on Jan, 28 2017 @ 04:10 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Is there any talk of replacing the Looking Glass/Nightwatch 747's at the same time? They have to be the same age, more or less.



posted on Jan, 28 2017 @ 10:14 AM
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a reply to: Leonidas

The Looking Glass mission was fairly recently taken over by the E-6B fleet when they were upgraded. As for NAOC, I haven't heard of any plans to replace them with anything, but they're going to have to soon. They're probably not going to be done until after the E-3 recapitalization.



posted on Jan, 28 2017 @ 01:33 PM
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Just scrap the VTOL variation of the f-35. Then make new warthogs with enhanced ECM and lower RCS with some bolt on cowlings,and other tricks to make it stealthier. repositioning the engines at a different angle might help.




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