posted on Dec, 23 2018 @ 03:07 PM
a reply to: tadaman
Using F35s for all possible missions, even those other planes could do for cheaper per flight hour and in terms of maintenance, is also going to take
money away from F35 funds.
The F-35 is just entering IOC and already has a comparable cost per hour as the F-15 which first flew nearly fifty years ago, is still in production,
and has a massive fleet footprint worldwide with associated mature supply chains. F-35 operational costs will continue to trend down as FRP is set to
begin. That's why the Eagles are looking at an early axe. It's a beautiful, big brute of an airplane with twin engines and high associated costs and
big logistical footprint. They are looking to keep the far cheaper, single-engine Vipers to be the low-mix doing the bomb truck work; the F-15 costs
almost three times as much per flight hour.
When you cut the logistical footprint of the Eagles out entirely (no giant parts surplus, no training, maintenance training, heavy maintenance hours)
and replace it with an already existing aircraft in your fleet, you begin to see lower-costs per for the second-aircraft because of economies of
scale. AND you cut the maintenance footprint costs for maintaining an entirely separate fleet type. Streamlining the fleet into fewer types has
MASSIVE ROI benefits. It's why we don't field a dozen specialized tactical fighters anymore (Huns, Voodoos, Thuds, F-104's, Daggers and Darts, -111's,
Phantoms, F-5's, Slufs, Super Tweets were all flying at the same time in the 60's for example). It's why the A-10 is continually on the block even
though it's relatively cheap. It's why the maintenance intensive and small bomber fleets for the Bone and B-2 are going to be immediately replaced.
And it's why moving forward, the sooner the Eagles go, the better.
If they need an immediate recap, then expand the F-35 buy and production rate, zero-hour and update the lowest-hour C/D's, or buy a bunch of the new
fancy, schmancy Vipers and start replacing the older, tired Eagles and Vipers. Or more radically spend the -X money on pushing LCAA/Have Raider-X
forward. It is ready. Or just suck it up and wait on PCA which they want by 2030 (which I still think is its own mistake, but a different topic
edit on 23-12-2018 by RadioRobert because: (no reason given)