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Analysts believe Pentagon's QDR will recommend fewer JSFs and more Raptors

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posted on Oct, 10 2005 @ 07:59 PM

A Pentagon tactical aircraft study being done for the Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) likely will recommend fleetwide reductions that will lead to a cut in domestic F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) purchases, said Lexington Institute analyst Loren Thompson.

The QDR team in the Office of Net Assessment “is likely to recommend a 30 percent cut in tactical air forces,” Thompson said.

That would likely mean the Air Force would return to its earlier plans to buy about 400 F/A-22s Raptors and 1,000 F-35s. “In the case of the Navy, that cut could result in elimination of the carrier-based variant of the F-35,” he said.

acknowledged that the Air Force ultimately will buy fewer than its planned 1,760.

The Teal Group, which tracks the military aviation industry, also says JSF cuts are coming. It believes the Air Force purchase will drop to about 1,200.

Entire article

I knew it! I even said in another thread that "Why have 1,500 JSF when you can have 1,000 JSF and 500 X-45C."

posted on Oct, 10 2005 @ 08:19 PM
Just opinion from what I've read:

The F-22's capabilities are better than anticipated. Recent advances in aircraft systems points toward something entirely new in the combat scene. Not much is known about it yet. We're really not going to be told what this aircraft is capable of. Result: a potential winner.

JSF is a modular aircraft for all purposes. But it's resulting in such confusion about what those configurations are, or are going to be. Combined with an additional cost of making everything compatible with everything else in every configuration. Result: a potential loser.

Combined with the old "we have to cut something somewhere" attitude, some programs are getting shaky. US Navy dropping out of a confusing mess is nothing new. And I'm pretty sure they have something better in mind.

Interesting tidbit: F-22's may be export sold to Singapore Air Force, and several others. They want them. Of course, the electronics would be an export type, not the advanced equipment of the US Air Force.

posted on Oct, 10 2005 @ 08:23 PM
I fail to see why the Navy would get thier portion of the JSF cut? The unti cost would be more, but its a plane they need, and our preimer power projection force would have to have a frontline fighter. the F-18E/F is only going to take things so far.

posted on Oct, 10 2005 @ 09:12 PM

Originally posted by FredT
I fail to see why the Navy would get thier portion of the JSF cut?

Because the CV version is the "least mature design".
Here is a link to an related article that is a bit more detailed in the matter of reasons.
JSF decisions to shape future USAF budget

I understand your point, FredT, but I think it simply boils down to some undisclosed unknowns, and balancing the checkbook while living within your means type thinking in relation to budget cutbacks and restraints.


[edit on 10-10-2005 by Seekerof]

posted on Oct, 10 2005 @ 09:22 PM
Its an intersting read, but I do not see the navy giving up thier big decked carriers for 20-30 small carriers and buy the almost as expensive STOVL version (I know the unit price would drop some if the went all STOVL). As I recall, the CV variant has a strengthened undercarriage, arrestor cable and a larger wing. Most of these detail should have already been worked out. Unless you can say retrofit a ski jump on the angled deck on a CVN? It also gives it more payload and fuel capacity.

Ditch some of the carrier only gear and it would also make an interesting buy for the AF. More payload, loiter time etc

This whole project is starting to smell like the F-111 debacle and Rumsfield kind of reminds me as Mack the Knife.......

posted on Oct, 10 2005 @ 11:17 PM
hmmmm...I'm suprised the Navy would give up its F-35 varient. But it might end up being cheaper to buy some unmanned systems like the X-47B, and then upgrade the super hornet,.......into the Superior eh, I kinda like it.

and I hope that Raptor numbers go back up, I think that plane is far more important then the JSF.

posted on Oct, 10 2005 @ 11:25 PM
The JSF is the navy's only true stealth craft, i doubt it will be entirely cancelled. The USN may only buy a token force ala F-117 and buy allot of Super Hornets, but the navy really does need a true stealth plane. The Super Hornet was always seen as the centerpiece of naval aviation, the JSF would have only competed with it in its current stage, but would now supplement it in a smaller fashion.

posted on Oct, 11 2005 @ 12:10 AM
This article talks about fewer JSFs for the Air Force, but not the Navy. Perhaps I should have made that point in my first post.

posted on Oct, 12 2005 @ 06:16 AM
Based on the article, I get the impression that the Air Force is looking into the idea of a smaller JSF fleet, but possibally buying some of the STOVL version. From a tactical perspective, a small number of STOVL strke aircraft would be a good idea. It would add some capabilities to the mix that the airforce doesn't currently have.


posted on Oct, 12 2005 @ 08:52 AM
In all honesty I DO NOT like the JSF. It is meant to replace a fleet of aircraft that is pretty darned good. and its not like the US is treading on the trailing edges of aircraft and military numbers either. I just don't see a point to replacing F-14s, F-15s, F-16s and F-18s! Particularly with the A2A records these planes have. I don't mind the raptor cuz thats a new intereceptor and the F-14 though cool and incredibly good, is getting old. I woulda preferred they upgrade the fleet but not replace them.

posted on Oct, 12 2005 @ 09:10 AM
I can agree with this. As a replacement for the Harrier the F-35B makes absolute sense. A fairly small STOVL close support aircraft, like the Harrier, but with better agility and weapons load, while introducing supersonic performance and a decent degree of stealth, it looks ideal for the task.

However as a replacement for so many top end front line fighters it does seem a bit 'lacking' or shoddy. Maybe I don't know enough about the real F-35 and I am just thinking about the X-35 demonstrator?

Time will tell.

posted on Oct, 12 2005 @ 10:50 AM
Here is the link to an article I posted on another defense website, about whether or not the USAF even needs STOVL.

Article link

Excuse the highlighted words, I had to search for it.

posted on Oct, 12 2005 @ 11:30 AM

Originally posted by waynos
Maybe I don't know enough about the real F-35 and I am just thinking about the X-35 demonstrator?

Time will tell.

Good point waynos. The planes we have seen aren't production models. As a thread yesterday on the 23 went on to show the 22 has had a magor face lift and is in my openion 100 times more aggresive now. I will be interested to compare production to demonstrator. again time will indeed tell.

posted on Oct, 12 2005 @ 04:03 PM
I am guessing if they actually cancel the F-35C the Navy will still demand money for a new fighter. Maybe a version of the F-35 that is less different from the F-35A than the C is.

posted on Oct, 12 2005 @ 06:03 PM
I agree with the notion of the USAF cutting back it’s JSF numbers to buy more Raptors, but does the Navy honestly think that the F/A-18 could be their front line fighter for the future?
I think the JSF is needed to complement the F/A-18, the JSF is supposed to be stealthier, and have more advanced weapons and avionics, capable of defeating future threats. I just don't think the Hornet can do that.

posted on Oct, 12 2005 @ 06:49 PM
I believe that the main reason for the considered cutbacks on the JSF is simply because of sheer overall costs, in relation to need: the need and requirements of the service branches [Navy and Air Force] involved in the acquisition of the JSFs.

Your looking at roughly $245 billion for 2500+/- JSF versus cutting back JSFs for more of the same in unit price F/A-22s [approx. $100+/- million per unit--if you include the R&D cost in the JSF unit price], and despite ensuing arguments, the F/A-22 is a better choice of aircraft. Remember that as more F/A-22s are produced, the price of it continues to decrease. And, yes, I understand the arguments by the Navy and those that feel the Navy needs the JSF. So though I agree the JSF cutbacks for the Navy may not be so great, the JSF cutbacks for the Air Force are more than justified. If I had to choose between the JSF and the F/A-22 at roughly $100 million a pop, I would take the F/A-22 over the JSF all day long and any day of the week.

In doing a bit of digging, I ran across two articles indicating as much:
Costs Joint Strike Fighter Uncontrolable
Joint Strike Fighter jet cuts possible-Lockheed

Accordingly, the Navy would still get about 300+/- JSF.

When comparing the cutback of the JSFs [Air Force perspective and proposed cutbacks] for more F/A-22s, it easy to justify why more F/A-22s are better than JSFs, for there is no real comparison between the two. The JSF is slower, less maneuverable, has less stealth [RCS], and carries internally less than the F/A-22. Furthermore, IMHO, the JSFs, despite their enhanced stealth and avionics packages, will probably not be any better than the newer blocks of the Typhoons and/or Rafales. Again, Air Force JSF cutbacks are more than justified.

Consider that the R&D on the F/A-22 is finished, whereas, the R&D on the JSF is not even near complete. Thus, there is still time for the Navy to get a CV [carrier version] of the JSF.

The Air Force JSF cutbacks have no bearing on those Navy JSF cutbacks. The two have two separate budgets.


[edit on 12-10-2005 by Seekerof]

posted on Oct, 13 2005 @ 09:34 AM
I have a question, has the USAF ever back-tracked on a decision? Decided one way then changed it's mind. They plan to buy only 179 Raptors now, would they really follow through on the QRD's findings and go back to planning on buying 400?

[edit on 13-10-2005 by NWguy83]

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