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Source: Pentagon to Kill Air Force F-35 Version

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posted on Nov, 19 2005 @ 04:36 AM
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Reuters

WASHINGTON, Nov 18 (Reuters) - The Pentagon is seeking to cancel the Air Force version of Lockheed Martin Corp.'s (LMT.N: Quote, Profile, Research) F-35, the world's biggest fighter program, a leading defense consultant said Friday.

Gordon England, acting deputy secretary of defense, "is pushing to eliminate one of the three aircraft versions, and the Air Force version is his preferred kill" as a short-term economy measure, said Loren Thompson, citing discussions with senior Pentagon and industry officials.

Thompson is chief operating officer of the Arlington, Virginia-based Lexington Institute, a research group with close ties to the defense establishment.

Loss of the Air Force variant would be a blow to Lockheed which expects to export that version, in particular, for decades to come.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


This is very bad news, but not that surprising. For months now, there have been rumours major cuts were unavoidable. Cutting the Air Force version of the F-35 program is understandable, the F/A-22 Raptor could fill that gap. The other two versions of the F-35 are unique, the F/A-22 Raptor is unable to do carrier landings, and it is also not able to take-off or land vertically.

It will be a very bad blow to Lockheed, and to the F-35 JSF program partners ( Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Canada, Australia, Denmark and Norway), but the Pentagon has no choice. Cutting the F/A-22 Raptor program all together would be another major embarrassment for the Pentagon, after the cancellation of the multi-billion dollar RAH-66 Comanche program, almost two years ago.

[edit on 11-19-2005 by Zion Mainframe]




posted on Nov, 19 2005 @ 04:48 AM
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OH MY GOD!!!!

This would be devastating to the whole project..But eary days
F-22 anyone??????

[edit on 19-11-2005 by Jezza]



posted on Nov, 19 2005 @ 05:08 AM
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It would hurt them, but I don't think it would devastate them. They can still produce that USAF version for export, and there are so many countries that are buying them that for the short term they would take up the slack of losing the USAF birds. Long term it would hurt a lot if they didn't pick them up again at a later date. This might also be a temporary cut.



posted on Nov, 19 2005 @ 05:11 AM
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Yes, I don't think that it would be a permanenet desicion... Bush had to cut down on the Raptors budget too because of Iraq and Afghanistan...



posted on Nov, 19 2005 @ 06:29 AM
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The Raptor program was cut down, but not cancelled. If they cancel the basic (Air Force) variant of the JSF, then this will be a HUGE blow to the US geostrategic plans for the next 20 years. This plan consists partly ofcomlete elimination of independent western based fighter production capabilities, creating a monopoly for Lockheed-Martin. The JSF is more of a industrial strategy than fighter plane - thats what US analysts say! US politicians have desperately tried (and in some cases succeeded) to take away potential Typhoon and Gripen customers by offering cheap used F16 aircraft with the idea to replace them with the JSF from 2015 onwards. The (US) Teal Group says:



“What the U.S. does in the coming few years, particularly with F-35, will ultimately determine the shape of everything else,” Aboulafia wrote in “The Last Great Decade,” a February report about the fighter market. “This market is theirs to lose.”


Many countries, even those already partaking in the JSF programme, are still not decided on which way to go, watching the JSF progress closely. Every month the JSF gets pushed back, every sign that indicates further delays or cancellation of parts or the whole programme will make a Typhoon tranche 3 more likely.



posted on Nov, 19 2005 @ 10:12 AM
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I suppose...

the the aircraft that were going to be replaced by the F-35 can go for a little longer.

-A-10A will go for another 18 years I believe and is still good for a long time.
-the F-16 will do fine, but many countries are itching to get a newer airframe.

This is pretty bad news but not suprising, I was wondering when this would happen to be honest, the OICW program is pretty much canceled, the RAH-66 is canceled, the F-22 program is cut down.

hopefully they will redirect the money saved to HEALTHCARE.

What will happen to the allied countries? will they go for the Eurofighter Typhoon, Gripen and Rafale instead?



posted on Nov, 19 2005 @ 11:00 AM
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Lol, it will not get cut. Congress will not allow it. There is alreay too much invested into the project.



posted on Nov, 19 2005 @ 11:07 AM
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Originally posted by jetsetter
There is alreay too much invested into the project.

They did cancel the Comanche project, less than two years ago, that was one of the largest cuts in the history of the Army...



[edit on 11-19-2005 by Zion Mainframe]



posted on Nov, 19 2005 @ 11:09 AM
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The Commanche was also about 12 years behind, and about $300 Billion overbudget. And it was only getting worse as the years went on, and it dragged along.

(those figures are NOT meant to be accurate, but sarcastic. the project WAS many years behind and way overbudget however.)

[edit on 11/19/2005 by Zaphod58]



posted on Nov, 19 2005 @ 12:00 PM
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Originally posted by jetsetter
Lol, it will not get cut. Congress will not allow it. There is alreay too much invested into the project.



2 projects for you to think about:

Comanche



Crusader




both with parts ordered and either in production or ready to go into production;

both cancelled after Billions of dollars were spent (7 billion on the comanche and 11 billion on crusader)


[edit on 19-11-2005 by Harlequin]



posted on Nov, 19 2005 @ 02:46 PM
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Since the AF version is the "easy" one to make, wouldn't it be reasonable to assume that down the line they could simply take the carrier version and take away some wieght?

If not, then the USN got screwed. They didn't want the JSF, the USAF did. And now the USAF isn't getting the JSF?




posted on Nov, 19 2005 @ 03:57 PM
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If the air force buys the navy version instead, it wont save money, but cost more, because the C is 20million + more expensive than the A. Also, if the order numbers drop so significantly the B and C will also see huge cuts because their unit cost will skyrocket.

If any varients are cut, this will be the order:

1. B version (most technical, fewest number ordered)
2. C version (more expensive than the A, very few orders, unlikely to export much)
3. A version (least technical, cheapest, highest order number)

Order Numbers:

F35a - 1763
F35b - 480
F35c - 540



posted on Nov, 19 2005 @ 04:10 PM
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I don't want to see any versions of the F-35 cancelled but I can't imagine an axing of the F-35B going down well with the UK, would the US really do this to the one ally that has stood firm through thick and thin? The F-35A doesn't meet any UK requirement and it remains to be seen if the F-35C is even viable for UK ops, never mind whether it is acceptable to the RN.

I do agree though that axing the F-35A would be a 'TSR 2' moment. If there is anything in this report it looks like things are going to get very interesting. Even if the F-35C is workable for the UK might not the MoD take the view that a 'Sea Typhoon' is more secure? I even find myself wondering if a Rafale M purchase might be considered. It is after all smaller and Lighter than the Typhoon.

[edit on 19-11-2005 by waynos]



posted on Nov, 19 2005 @ 08:02 PM
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Originally posted by Harlequin

Originally posted by jetsetter
Lol, it will not get cut. Congress will not allow it. There is alreay too much invested into the project.



2 projects for you to think about:

Comanche

Crusader

both with parts ordered and either in production or ready to go into production;

both cancelled after Billions of dollars were spent (7 billion on the comanche and 11 billion on crusader)


[edit on 19-11-2005 by Harlequin]
The government are cancelling these boss choppers and planes recently possibly due to the Iraq crisis so they are quitting these projects to save funds. Why doesnt the government sell off half the aircraft at AMARC to other NATO countries to build up funds?

This also happened back in the 1960s with the AH-56 Cheyenne. I loved that chopper, Although i like the AH-64 Apache, that Cheyenne probably would still smoke it off!

Bring the Cheyenne back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

www.airwar.ru...
www.internetage.com...


[edit on 19-11-2005 by Browno]

[edit on 11/21/05 by FredT]



posted on Nov, 19 2005 @ 08:31 PM
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Originally posted by COWlan
If any varients are cut, this will be the order:

1. B version (most technical, fewest number ordered)
2. C version (more expensive than the A, very few orders, unlikely to export much)
3. A version (least technical, cheapest, highest order number)


I dont agree with this. The B version is the most important one because it is absolutely essential for the Marines to carry on with their style. The F-35B HAS to be introduced to replace the ageing Harriers. There is no way around this, or the Marine Corps will have to do a major revisiting of their air power doctrines.

The C version is needed insofar that the Navy has absolutely zero stealth capabilities. OTOH the carrier groups and their squadrons will always be the first line of defense/attack in the foreseeable future. Cutting the F-35C will deny the Navy the stealth capabilities the Airforce has had and had relied on since the early nineties.

The F-35A remains the only of the variants that does not necessarily have a hole to fill. For stealthy CAP, there is the F-22 (regardless of how many units of these are bought). for stealthy precision strikes there still are the few F-117, for ordinary strikes the A-10s and F-15Es. For all-out bombing runs they can still use the B-2s. It would be a compromise, but the Airforce has the least demand for a new aircraft.



posted on Nov, 19 2005 @ 08:59 PM
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It was my personal opinion, and keywords I used was cuts not cancelled.

F-35A can't be cancelled outright because the C and B versions are practically based on the A version and so the A version must be developed to a certain degree first before any action can be taken.

The US can still replace their current F/A 18 A/B/C/D with the F-18 E/F version at a similar price to the F-35.

[edit on 19-11-2005 by COWlan]



posted on Nov, 19 2005 @ 11:38 PM
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I'd rather the Marines version (B) got cut.

1. It's weapons bay had to be made smaller among other things, to lose some weight. So now it can only carry 500 lb bombs internally. Though we recently have been able to double the power of our bombs.

2. Do the Marines really need fighter-bombers...? The Air Force and Navy can provide close-air-support.

I wouldn't have too much of a problem with cutting the Air Force's version (A) only if they go back to planning on buying 381 Raptor and 500-1,500 X-45C.

[edit on 19-11-2005 by NWguy83]



posted on Nov, 20 2005 @ 01:47 AM
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The F-35B is the one that the Royal Navy want; if it got canned then the brits pull out.

they won`t buy 300+ raptors for the same reason as cutting the F-35 = money.



2. Do the Marines really need fighter-bombers...? The Air Force and Navy can provide close-air-support.


Gosh - any Marine would eat you alive for that one - actually wanting fish heads or angel boys for help? not a chance , thats why they have there own air wing , so they can fight the way they have trained to , call in close support when they want to. Let the army have airforce help , the corps don`t wantit or need it!!



posted on Nov, 20 2005 @ 01:52 AM
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The airforce will have an air superiority fighter in the F-22, no need for the F-35. As far as for the marines, this is the perfect plane for them. If i'm not mistaken they are getting the VTOL versiion right?



posted on Nov, 20 2005 @ 04:04 AM
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Originally posted by ludaChris
The airforce will have an air superiority fighter in the F-22, no need for the F-35. As far as for the marines, this is the perfect plane for them. If i'm not mistaken they are getting the VTOL versiion right?


Why do you think that they even started the "X-35" projcet if it wouldn't have had any use... As said the Raptor is an Air superiority fighter, not an attack aircraft even tough it can be used to it too... The It's not either a carrier plane... But the F-35 is...




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