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F-35 JSF Hit by Serious Design Problems

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posted on Dec, 6 2007 @ 12:22 PM
reply to post by WestPoint23

conversely this whole `prototype` wasn`t supposed to be like this - one of the goals of the competition was to eliminate most of the traditional prototype testing and numerous aircraft for it - yes there were issues previously in many older aircraft ; but they built a dozen or more protoype aircraft whereas this programme was supposed to be cost effective and not have dozens of testing airframes.

im sorry WP that article is quite accurate. whilst tthe US will go ahead and purchase the type - issues with the aircraft could very well se `partner` countries purchase off the shelf elsewhere

posted on Dec, 6 2007 @ 12:40 PM

Originally posted by WestPoint23
This thread and that article are misleading on some points and biased.... The only difference is, people did not have internet back then to pointlessly speculate and misinform people.

Sorry Westy but as much as we try and stay away from any bias or misinform but the fact is that when posting and replying and so on some of that will happen. I as well as others try and stay away from too much or any of those 3 things.

People still speculated and flamed F-14, F-111, F-104 and F-22 development all had their fair share of speculation and misinformation. The point here is that a earlier problem in the electrical system has turned out to be much more serious by early accounts. I also have tried looking for more info but much liks yourself have limited time to do so and lockheed isn't saying anything yet.

posted on Dec, 6 2007 @ 07:34 PM

Originally posted by WestPoint23
This thread and that article are misleading on some points and biased, I'll address it in detail when I get home. However in the meantime, look up the testing history of the Tomcat, Hornet and the Eagle, or any new major weapons systems. The only difference is, people did not have internet back then to pointlessly speculate and misinform people.

I don't think it's biased Westy.

The fact is the US has to do something quite drastic to solve the fighter gap that it NOW has. If the F-15s are going to remain grounded until the final accident report (even if no other longeron cracks are found), then it's not a matter of if you have a gap - you have one right now!

From our perspective outside the US, as customers, the F-15 is DEAD - nobody will want it at any price.

If Australia, Japan, and the Euro countries decide that they either cannot tolerate a gap due to further delays of the F-35, or alternatively decide not to buy it because they simply cannot afford it (check our GDPs vs yours - it ain't a bottomless pit, I assure you), then we all have to buy something else.

If the Super Hornet doesn't suit us, then just what does the US have to offer us? Either you offer us the F-22 (with pretty early delivery dates - and that isn't going to happen if you can't return the F-15s to service quickly, is it), or we are collectively forced to buy elsewhere. I can see no alternative, really.

So, if you cannot return the F-15s to service very quickly, and you won't sell F-22 (either because you need rapid deliveries to solve your own fighter gap or because you simply refuse to), then you are forcing every prospective F-35 customer (assuming further delays - and in light of the gearbox situation, that seems inevitable) to also suffer a fighter gap (exacerbated by the reported further delay in F-35 A2A capability). Now I cannot, honestly see that the US wants all friendly forces to have a fighter gap, can you?

So unless you really want to force us all to buy Sukhoi (with the exception of those who can afford to build their own - and that's the UK with A2G Typhoon capability and maybe(?) Japan with an indigenous design - but their problem just got worse due to the F-15 problem as well - so little time available), then I cannot see a viable alternative to the US releasing F-22 for export. However, all political and technological considerations aside, any such decision now hinges upon the immediate future of the F-15 and whether you end up with an urgent demand for F-22s that would preclude anyone else getting a reasonable delivery date. Same goes for delivery dates on F-35.

The other question is - If all the rest of us opt out of F-35, will the US continue with it? (not that you appear to have an alternative, really).

So what we are saying here is that, yes, we can see that you have a problem, but we are also pointing out that your problem is going to create even more problems for us, and consequently, may (if we have no alternative to solve our problem other than buying from someone else) create even more problems for you.

It is irrelevant whether the F-22, F-35, etc are the best things since sliced bread, or that every major combat aircraft has testing problems, if they are not available to us within a given timeframe, or we cannot afford to buy them, then we have a problem that we have to solve by other means. Surely you can see that. You at least can buy more F-22s or even more new F-15s or F-16s (or you could decide that with your force mix that you can wait for the F-35 and more F-22s) - we simply don't have those options for one reason or another.

It doesn't matter if you have weaponry that it 100 years ahead of anyone else's, unless it is made available to your allies, in a timely fashion and at a price that they can bear, then your allies have a problem that they have to solve in some other way, and therefore you need to address, before your allies become someone else's allies - it really is that simple.

I can think of no better way to state the situation other than to say that the US military aircraft manufacturers have failed the US military (and obviously customer nations), creating a fighter gap that the US military now has to plug. Some responsibility also lies within the US military for not planning for wartime usage rates vs replacement strategy, however it is over optimism on the part of the industry that has lead to structural failures within the 'stated/claimed' lives of F-15s, corrosion problems with F-22 engines, and time and cost over-runs on F-35 that have created the problem. If that's biased then so be it! The situation creates problems for your customers that will, no doubt, affect all of our futures. So don't tell us how wonderful the product is - its a pointless exercise if we cannot get hold of the product when WE need it.

The Winged Wombat

posted on Dec, 6 2007 @ 09:37 PM

Originally posted by iskander
Osprey is major another disaster waiting to happen, especially since it already killed and injured its crews in peace time crashes.

Now Osprey is fielded in Iraq, and if they will fly anywhere close to where the action is, we’ll be watching them burn on CNN real quick.

If you recall, the crash that your refering to WAS pilot error.

I think the Osprey will preform well in Iraq.

Originally posted by lpbman
I'll just keep saying it. F-18E/F is the best strike plane out there for the $. Kill the F-35 before we spend 200 billion on that flying compromise.
Sure it's stealthy... as long as it's only carrying two bombs.

Buy lots more F-22's, F-18E/F's as replacement bomb trucks. Problem solved.
Hell I'd be pleased as punch if they killed the JSF and split the money between more F-22's and reopening the B2 line.

750 F-22's
150 B2's
350 F-18E's

Same price

You tell me if you're getting your money's worth on that turkey.

I couldn't agree more, I'd love to see that.
That is one reason why I dont like international projects...cause even if (which they dont) the US wanted to pull out of the JSF...the fallout wouldn't be good, since there are several other countries who are involved in it.

posted on Dec, 7 2007 @ 01:29 AM
reply to post by Murcielago

If you recall, the crash that your refering to WAS pilot error.

I think the Osprey will preform well in Iraq.

Corps cites software failure in Osprey crash - By Bill Murray, April 09, 2001

Software direct cause of December 2000 Osprey crash - Peter B. Ladkin

Marines: Hydraulics problem, software glitch led to fatal Osprey crash - By Sandra Jontz, Washington bureau

HEADQUARTERS MARINE CORPS, WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 9) -- Marine Corps officials are expressing condolences to the families of 19 Marines killed approximately 8 p.m. on April 8 when an MV-22 Osprey crashed near Marana, Ariz. - [Marine Corps News 04/09/2000]

There is a list of names on that site, names of Marines that were killed by criminal negligence, and not by the usual pilot error scapegoating.

Ospreys rotor configuration simply makes it a death trap.

Ospreys only advantage is that it can fly above typical small arms/rpg ground fire, that’s it. When facing SAMs or AAA, it’s a dead duck.

[edit on 7-12-2007 by iskander]

posted on Dec, 7 2007 @ 02:32 AM

Originally posted by Murcielago

That is one reason why I dont like international projects...cause even if (which they dont) the US wanted to pull out of the JSF...the fallout wouldn't be good, since there are several other countries who are involved in it.

Sorry Murcielago, but I find it hilarious that you think that the F-35 is an 'international project'

An international project is when two or more countries and their industries get together to design and build (in this case an aircraft) to meet their various, but similar requirements. All participants contribute to the design so that the resulting product meets the specific requirements of their own country and share the development costs that they would singly not be able to afford. They haven't always been successful, because every nation has different requirements according to their own political or geographic situation, and they are operating on possibly different timescales dependent upon what platforms they are currently using.

The F-35 program, by contrast, is one where the international participants have no design input, and there is little difference between this program and that of the F-15, F-4, etc. The ONLY thing that is different here is that the US has said that for other countries (your usual customers and allies) to gain useful delivery slots, and to gain component manufacturing contracts (a usual offset when selling aircraft to international customers), then they must contribute financially to R&D up front, or miss out. (This could equally be termed blackmail). We have no input other than money that, should the US unilaterally decide to cancel the F-35 (or it turns out to be a dog), we just forfeit, because since we have no design input whatsoever, we could not possibly continue the project collectively or individually (you won't even tell us the details of the technology involved, man), and end up with a massive capability gap that we have little hope of plugging - more massive than you would experience, because of your ability to afford a force mix that we cannot.

Additionally, should individual, or all F-35 'partners' opt out of the aircraft, it would have virtually no effect on the US continuing the program - you absolutely need it (or a substitute) to replace your aging F-16s, and in a reasonable timeframe - and we forfeit the money we have contributed!

So don't come crying about international projects and possible international partners opting out affecting your ability to produce the F-35 or indeed our participation affecting your ability to cancel it - it is this way because you DEMANDED it be this way. If we have to forfeit our contribution to the F-35 program because you can't deliver an effective product when we actually need it, then we are the losers, not you. And if that happens, then don't think for one moment that it won't have an effect on our purchasing and replacement strategies further down the track. Don't blame us for your inability to deliver what you promised to deliver!

International project, what a laugh

The Winged Wombat

posted on Dec, 7 2007 @ 04:51 AM
Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Ft. Worth, Texas, is being awarded a $134,188,724 modification to a previously awarded cost-plus-award-fee contract (N00019-02-C-3002).

This modification is to continue the design, development, verification, and test of Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Partner Version Air System development under the JSF Delta System Development and Demonstration Effort (Delta SDD).

The purpose of the Delta SDD is to develop a version of the JSF Air System that meets U.S. National Disclosure Policy, but remains common to the U.S. Air System, where possible.

Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas (68 percent), Orlando, Fla. (24 percent), and El Segundo, Calif. (8 percent), and is expected to be completed in October 2013. Contract funds will not expire at the end of the current fiscal year.

The Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Md., is the contracting activity.


(Source: US Department of Defense; issued Nov. 15, 2007)

So which version would the partners get?????????????????????
Bet u any money you will not get 100% full spec F-35s in any form unless its for USA use only!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So UK might get 80% JSF
Aus might get 70% JSF
Norway might get 60% JSF

who will know?????????????

The aussie readers will remember Aus F-18s radar was not compatable
other than warsaw enviorment and we had to break the CODES ourselves because the yanks WOULDNT give them to AUS.
So our brand new hornets were crap!!!!!!!!!!!

ALL countries should have fallback plans for new aircraft!!!!!!!!

posted on Dec, 7 2007 @ 05:15 AM

so the US is now selling `monkey models` of the F35 to the `partner` countries?

some how i don`t think so - the Uk threw the CH47`s back at the usa when they couldn`t get the codes for them

posted on Dec, 7 2007 @ 05:36 AM
Harlequin, the UK threatened to cancel F-35, until the US agreed to supply source code.

So what Jezza is saying is that the US told us that to be in F-35 we had to partly fund the R&D to make it work, and having done that, we will now be denied what should rightly be referred to as 'our' technology (since we paid for some of it).

Yeah, what a scam.

I can see that system working again and again - like NEVER!

With friends like that, frankly who needs enemies.

Waynos, if you're still out there - I think that ultimately answers your question concerning the future of Typhoon - if you want to defend yourself, don't do it with US aircraft, because it either won't do the full job, or it will fall apart long before the yanks say it will (or indeed - both!). If this degradation of specification comes as a surprise to UK defense chiefs, then standby for the cancellation of F-35 by the UK, followed by everyone else.

Folks if you think this is US bashing, look at it this way - if you poke your hand into a hole in the ground and it gets bitten by a snake, are you going to stick your hand right back in the hole? I don't think so!

The Winged Wombat

posted on Dec, 7 2007 @ 05:45 AM
I found the article about aus left to crack codes.......

Australia 'cracked US codes'
By Don Woolford
September 20, 2007 04:23pm

KIM Beazley has told how Australia cracked top-secret American combat aircraft codes while he was defence minister in the 1980s.

"We spied on them and we extracted the codes," Mr Beazley told Parliament during his valedictory speech today.

Mr Beazley, who was defence minister from 1984 to 1990, said that when he took over the job he soon learned that the radar on Australia's Hornets could not identify most potentially hostile aircraft in the region.

In other words, Australia's frontline fighter could not shoot down enemies in the region.

Mr Beazley said he was greatly tempted to "belt" the Liberals with this and lay to rest their claim to be best at managing defence.

"I shut up, I said nothing," Mr Beazley said.

it was the AN/APG-65 radar

now they have AN/APG-73 radar

will it happen again??

posted on Dec, 7 2007 @ 06:43 AM
Iskander, the 'systemic' problem you point out is prevalent in ALL military industries around the world.

The main problem here is the fighter gap.
But as far as I can see, there isn't a single AF that isn't suffering from some variation of the same problem(either due to inter-dependancy on US fighter projects or through the shortcomings of their own).

I see a period of 10-15 years now where most of the Air Force powerhouses have the potential of being caught with their pants down.
I believe that potentially nullifies the chances of such powerhouses going to war with each other.
But the underdog card can be played very effectively by the 'lesser' Airforces in this period and some major air war upsets can occur.

However since air war isn't such a 'clean' theatre anymore with amazingly advanced land based SAM systems et al, I doubt many will actually feel the pinch even if war(s) break out.

~All's well.. nothing to see here.. move on~

posted on Dec, 7 2007 @ 06:50 AM

the dutch report is out - and they are very much wanting to know `how much will this cost` - and LM arn`t being helpful and now `officialy` they are looking at Typhoon tranche 3 (and others ) as a replacement

right now the figure being bounced around is $233 million per unit - and a monkey model as well ; now this is a developement figure but is the only 1 `in the wild`.

cost will be the factor for foreign purchasing i feel - and if it starts looking )as it will) that the aircraft will be significantly above the original `high end` projections - then other governments will buy elsewhere.

posted on Dec, 7 2007 @ 07:33 AM
I see certain people in Sweden being very content with the current course of events...

The Gripen is the true F-16 (low end) replacement, and is the aircraft most suited to the needs of the Dutch/Danes/Norwegians. Superb interoperability with NATO forces and an unmatched cost per hour of flight-time.

*I assume the US of A would not place embargoes on the F404s if the Gripen were to start stealing JSF sales.

posted on Dec, 7 2007 @ 07:41 AM

Originally posted by kilcoo316
*I assume the US of A would not place embargoes on the F404s if the Gripen were to start stealing JSF sales.

I did read somewhere that the eurofighter engine was being considered.
No embargo then.
I will try and dig it up unless someone else does before me

posted on Dec, 7 2007 @ 07:53 AM
IF cost is a significant factor then the $60 million AESA equipped JAS-39DK over the $175 million F35 - well no contest at all really 3 Gripen vs 1 F35.

i know the projected cost per unit of the F35 is supposed to be $115 million - but reality has to set in here - thats not going to happen - eurofighter was supposed to be $80 million and its now going for $110million upwards , so factor in at least a 50% price increase and you`ll be looking at a real price of upwards of $175 million usd+ , excluding market devaluing of the dollar

very interesting read about the Gripen at Exercise Spring Flag in may of this year - Hungarian Gripens achieved several Fox2 kills on aircraft that didn`t even see them visually head on

The Gripen's "visual stealth" may surprise some people, but it shouldn't. A lightweight fighter with a small frontal cross-section always has this edge in air-air combat. An especial disparity occurs when fighters like that confront bigger aircraft; American F-4 Phantoms had some nasty experiences along these lines in Vietnam, flying against much older MiG-17s and MiG-19s. A trip to the Pima Air Museum in Tucson, AZ, where a MiG and Phantom are positioned right across from one another, makes the difference clear. Now throw in the Gripen's high maneuverability, and the widened 'threat cone' for modern short-range infared missiles. An enemy pilot must now scan for threats in a much larger area – when seconds are all he has, he risks missing an oncoming Gripen in a quick scan, or looking in the wrong place.


[edit on 7/12/07 by Harlequin]

posted on Dec, 7 2007 @ 07:54 AM

Yes, you have to hand it to America - they are wonderful salesmen - every new fighter revelation from America sells more Typhoons, Rafales, Gripens and Sukhois. As you say, the salesmen associated with those aircraft must be rubbing their hands together, and have a nice warm glow anticipating increased sales of their products.

About restricting F404s - well when you examine the 'deal' demanded by America on the F-35, I wouldn't put it past them - that would be the final nail in the coffin of American reliability as a defense equipment supplier. The question is, will America see the implications of such an action, or just see the short term loss of sales on F-35?

My bet is that they will feel betrayed by their F-35 'partners' (rather than the truth of the matter, which is the other way round) and get quite vindictive.

The other underlying thing is that America must feel that they have no friends whatsoever, if they feel that they cannot share their military technology with their closest and longest allies. This is undoubtedly a deep and true paranoia. Unfortunately that sort of behaviour is a self fulfilling situation. Keep it up and you won't have any friends (or customers) at all.

The Winged Wombat

posted on Dec, 7 2007 @ 07:55 AM

Originally posted by Jezza
I did read somewhere that the eurofighter engine was being considered.
No embargo then.
I will try and dig it up unless someone else does before me

Was that for the uprated Gripen?

I do recall hearing something about the EJ engine all right.

posted on Dec, 7 2007 @ 08:02 AM
These is an interesting e-mail by EuroJet Turbo GmbH:

Dear Mr. Hughes,

Thank you for your e-mail.

Saab has years ago already investigated the technical and operational
feasibility for re-engineering JAS 39 Gripen with the EJ200 engine.
Both Saab and EUROJET Turbo GmbH concluded that a re-engineering only
shall be considered if there is a customer demand available. From a
technical point of view, the EJ200 engine would fit into the engine bay
of JAS39 Gripen with minor changes applied to the interface connections.
The commercial feasibility of re-engineering JAS39 Gripen would be
supported, if required, by individual business case calculations.

The Thrust vectoring nozzle is offered as an optional item for any of
the EJ200 engine standards.

I hope this answer can help.

Yours sincerely,
Katarina Elbogen

Katarina Elbogen
Executive PR and Political Affairs
Lilienthalstr. 2b
85339 Hallbergmoos

posted on Dec, 7 2007 @ 08:06 AM
reply to post by Harlequin

nice find Harlequin

Gripen sweet aircraft indeed

posted on Dec, 7 2007 @ 08:15 AM

Originally posted by Harlequin
These is an interesting e-mail by EuroJet Turbo GmbH:

Very interesting.

That would remove the one glaring weakness that the Gripen has, a rather light T/W ratio.

Checking the stats, the EJ200 weighs the same (for all intentions and purposes) as the Volvo RM12/F404.

The EJ200 has a slightly better thrust specific fuel consumption in military/dry operation and afterburner operation. Although in both cases the thrust produced by the EJ200 is significantly higher, leading to more fuel use for the same throttle setting (but less fuel use for the same thrust setting).

Sticking in the EJ200 would raise the Gripens T/W from 0.95ish to 1.05is (for constant payload) - empty T/W increases from roughly 1.2 to 1.4 (approx).

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