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Marine Corps Commandant-We have too many Hornets

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posted on Jan, 29 2018 @ 07:58 AM
a reply to: intrptr

To be clear the prices you quoted are outdated. Frankly it's extremely misleading to use the price of an early LRIP jet well before IOC from four years ago. Of course it's going to be expensive.

The cost of each Super Hornet purchased in 1997 was $140 million dollars in 1997 dollars. Source. I'm pretty sure as in the F-35 case this doesn't include the engine, which is negotiated separately.

LRIP 10 F-35B was $122.4 million (including engine). From the SAR F-35B URF (excluding engine) over the entire program is predicted to be $77.1 million plus $26.7 million for the engine (total: $103.8 million in 2012 dollars).

Since you hate the F-35, instead of using incorrect figures you could simply say the F-35B is overkill for what the USMC intents to use it for and a smaller 4.5 generation STOVL aircraft (think Gripen sized) fighter utilizing common mission systems with the Air Force & Navy 5th generation fighters would have been a better idea.

a reply to: RadioRobert

Australia has planned its fleet such that relying on "dumped" USMC Hornet's is not required. I cannot speak to the competence of the Canadian Government though.
edit on 29/1/18 by C0bzz because: (no reason given)

edit on 29/1/18 by C0bzz because: (no reason given)

edit on 29/1/18 by C0bzz because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 29 2018 @ 08:49 AM
a reply to: C0bzz

Of course it's going to be expensive.

Empire building always is.

posted on Jan, 29 2018 @ 08:52 AM
a reply to: mightmight

No doubt the Super Hornet is good value, however the MYP III Contract awarded to Boeing would not have included required parts such as the engines. There is no way that the Super Hornet was produced for that little ($43 million).

The US Navy has awarded a US$5.297bn (A$5.5bn) contract to Boeing for the delivery of 66 F/A-18E/F Super Hornets and 58 EA-18G Growlers under a Multi Year Procurement (MYP) from FY2012 to 2015.

Separate contracts are expected to be announced for the supply of F414 engines from GE, and radars and other sensors from Raytheon.

Wikipedia quotes the DoD budget and lists unit cost for the Super Hornet at ~$70 million in 2017 dollars. iirc, several years ago it was about $60-65 million "fly-away" for the Super Hornet around 2012.

The SAR also lists the MYP III contract as "Airframe MYP III" and lists the engines separately.

Funny thing, if you go go to the F-35 SAR (2018) and go to the Unit Recurring Flyaway pages then you get:

F-35A is overall $67.7 million (excluding engine) plus $10.9 million for engine. Total: $78.6 million (BY 2012)
F-35B is overall $77.1 million (excluding engine) plus $26.7 million for engine. Total: $103.8 million (BY 2012)
F-35C is overall $78.1 million (excluding engine) plus $11.0 million for engine. Total: $89.1 million (BY 2012)
Note: These figures are for baseline jets over the life of the program including LRIP aircraft. Actual cost will vary.

My estimate, using these figures, and assuming a Super Hornet is $65 million 2012 dollars:
F-35A is 20-25% more expensive than the Super Hornet
F-35B is 60% more expensive than the Super Hornet.
F-35C is 40% more expensive than the Super Hornet.

Of course, the Super Hornet cannot STOVL. And of course, if the Super Hornet were being procured at the rates the F-35A is, it would be cheaper. Still, I think the value proposition for the F-35A is clear, the F-35B is incomparable to anything in production, but it's far less clear with the F-35C.

Funny thing though, if you go into the final Super Hornet SAR and 2018 SAR you get the following
If you compare Program Acquisition Unit Cost (PAUC) and Average Procurement Unit Cost (APUC)
F-35 (all variants): 109.950, 89.926 (2012 dollars)
Super Hornet (excluding Growler): 82.927, 72.247 (2000 dollars)
if we use inflation to take the 2000 dollars to 2012 dollars, we get:
Super Hornet (excluding Growler): $110.57, $96.33 (2012 dollars)

I didn't use the Then-Year dollars, because each aircraft will be produced over different eras. Otherwise, I have no idea how comparable these figures are!

To be slightly on topic, we have to remember that the USMC doesn't operate the Super Hornet. What the USMC guy was referring to was that the aging classic Hornet fleet is expensive to maintain and has been run into the ground.
edit on 29/1/18 by C0bzz because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 29 2018 @ 09:01 AM
a reply to: intrptr

Initial production of engineering samples and/or when scaling up production it is always more expensive than full-rate, whether you are building a fighter jet or not. This has been my experience when non-empire building.
edit on 29/1/18 by C0bzz because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 29 2018 @ 09:52 AM
a reply to: C0bzz

I'm glad they abandoned the accounting trick. The flip side is people flip when they see a contract that includes spares and support for 15 years and generate inflated "life-cycle costs per unit".

My confidence in Her Majesty's governments procurement practices, BTW, is as high as it is for everyone else's government. Which is not very

The numbers really highlight the squeeze Boeing is in regarding keeping the Super Hornet line open. Unless you are already operating the type and/or need them yesterday, why not wait four or five years and buy a much more capable aircraft with growth potential whose supply line is assured from here to near-eternity instead of saving a penny buying the last run of SHornets? Given the work done by the Marine Corps on the B-model incorporating NGJ, it might be something available at reasonable rates on an A for foreign customers after most of the interface is finished -- that undercuts the Growler, which is by far the best chance Boeing has at future sales unless they start giving them away to the USN to keep the line open.

posted on Jan, 29 2018 @ 10:00 AM

originally posted by: MteWamp
a reply to: Zaphod58

My intro to Hornets was when the game "F-18 Interceptor" came out for the Amiga. I spent an absolutely embarrassing number of hours running that sim. Many fond memories I have of those days. I thought the three MFDs made the cockpit look so advanced and cool. I remember at airshows they used to do these really slow flybys with an angle of attack that was absolutely mind-blowing for the time.

I know it's off topic, but I was playing F-22 Interceptor on Sega not too long ago. Impressive how much realism they could squeeze into a cartridge game in the early 90s. You have to select different weapons depending on whether you'll be doing an air-to-air or air-to-ground mission, you have to take fuel consumption into account - albeit at an unrealistic rate - and there's even greyout and redout if you pull too many Gs. Fun game

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