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Author Topic: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic  (Read 389332 times)

Online PaulMM (Overscan)

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Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« on: December 01, 2012, 11:56:31 am »
This topic is for news about the F-35 project. NO DISCUSSIONS OR COMMENTS.

All discussions about the F-35 should go in the Lockheed Martin F-35: No Holds Barred topic. All previous F-35 topics are in there, pending someone sorting out the wheat from the chaff.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2012, 12:35:10 am by PaulMM (Overscan) »
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Offline SpudmanWP

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Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2012, 07:26:57 pm »
IMHO there should only be one news thread, and NO discussions about the posts.

Having separate "good" & "bad" threads will just confuse the issues.

Take the discussions to the "no holds barred" thread to hash out.
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Offline GTX

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Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2012, 10:36:33 am »
IMHO there should only be one news thread, and NO discussions about the posts.

Having separate "good" & "bad" threads will just confuse the issues.

Take the discussions to the "no holds barred" thread to hash out.


Agreed.

Offline bobbymike

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Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2012, 12:00:47 am »
Racking up the Flight Hours: The F-35 strike fighter program surpassed 5,000 flight hours in late November, announced the F-35 program office. All three variants of the stealth fighter—the Air Force's F-35A, Marine Corps' F-35B, and Navy's F-35C—contributed to those flight hours, according to the office's Nov. 30 release. That includes F-35s, both developmental test aircraft and production airframes, flying from Lockheed Martin's production facility in Fort Worth, Tex., as well as at Edwards AFB, Calif., Eglin AFB, Fla., and NAS Patuxent River, Md. The first flight of an F-35 occurred in December 2006. Since then, F-35s have flown more than 3,464 times, according to the program office.
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Offline Sundog

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Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2012, 10:51:14 am »
I would just have one thread for links to news sites and pictures here; no opinion. Then have a thread for opinions in the bar. Any posts in the "news" thread, that weren't news (based on actual links) or pictures would get edited/deleted. No snark, no B.S, no whatever. Just straight facts here, good or bad. The readers can make up their own minds to what it all means and fester over in the bar if it bothers them. IMHO.

Offline SpudmanWP

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Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2012, 03:49:42 pm »
I found a Spear video on MBDA's website and hosted it on Youtube

WE4-45-1-08     OMHIWDMB
"The early bird gets the worm but the second mouse gets the cheese."

Offline Broncazonk

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Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2012, 05:03:41 pm »
Federal government (Canada) cancels F-35 fighter purchase: source

The F-35 jet fighter purchase, the most persistent thorn in the Harper government’s side and the subject of a devastating auditor-general’s report last spring, is dead.

Michael Den Tandt : Published: December 6, 2012, 1:46 pm : Updated: 21 mins ago

http://o.canada.com/2012/12/06/1107-col-dentandt/

The F-35 jet fighter purchase, the most persistent thorn in the Harper government’s side and the subject of a devastating auditor-general’s report last spring, is dead.

Faced with the imminent release of an audit by accountants KPMG that will push the total projected life-cycle costs of the aircraft above $30 billion, the operations committee of the federal Cabinet decided Tuesday evening to scrap the controversial sole-source program and go back to the drawing board, a source familiar with the decision said.

This occurred after Chief of the Defence Staff Thomas Lawson, while en route overseas, was called back urgently to appear before the committee, the source said.

The decision is sure to have ripple effects around the world, as any reduction in the number of aircraft on order causes the price to go up for all the other buyers. Canada is one of nine F-35 consortium members, including the United States.

Defence Minister Peter MacKay is not a member of the Cabinet operations committee. It remains unclear whether he was present at the meeting Tuesday. However, MacKay is a member of the Cabinet Priorities and Planning committee, which was to discuss the F-35 decision Friday morning.

The CF-18s currently flown by the RCAF are at the tail end of their life cycle and are not expected to be operable much beyond 2020 at the outside.

The fighter procurement process has been the responsibility of Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose since last spring, following an audit by Auditor General Michael Ferguson. It is understood that veteran senior bureaucrat Tom Ring, who handled the government’s much-praised shipbuilding contract process in the fall of 2011, is now steering the reframed fighter replacement process, from within Public Works.

Last spring, Ferguson ignited a political firestorm when he reported that the top-line cost cited by the Conservatives in the 2011 election campaign – $9-billion for 65 planes, or $15-billion including maintenance and other life-cycle costs – was $10-billion below the Defence department’s internal estimate.

Even the internal figure of $25.1-billion was suspect, critics said, because it assumed a 20-year life cycle. The longevity of the Lockheed-Martin-built aircraft, according to the Pentagon, is 36 years.

KPMG’s audit, due out next week, has confirmed the contention, long made by critics such as former assistant deputy minister (materiel) Alan Williams, that the F-35 program’s real cost would be much higher than any previously stated government estimate, sources say.

Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page predicted a cost of $30 billion over a 30-year life cycle.

Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose, who took on the F-35 file after Ferguson’s audit, has been signalling since last spring that she was unhappy with the procurement process. On Nov. 22 in the House of Commons, Ambrose said the government is committed to “a full evaluation of all choices, not simply a refresh.”

Lawson, in an appearance before the House of Commons defence committee Nov. 29, further opened the door when he confirmed what industry critics have long said: the F-35 is not the only modern fighter with measures to evade radar, though it is considered to be the most advanced in this respect.  “Is there only one airplane that can meet the standard of stealth that’s set out in the statement of requirements?” Liberal defence critic John McKay asked. Lawson’s answer: “No.”

The F-35’s unique stealthiness had long been advanced as the single most compelling argument for buying that plane.

Also in the mix, former Industry Minister David Emerson last week published a report on the aerospace and space sectors, calling on Ottawa to more aggressively press for Industrial and Regional Benefits (IRBs) and In-Service Support (ISS) contracts when inking procurement deals. Lockheed-Martin has in the past been reluctant to hand over its proprietary technology to clients. Industry insiders believe the Emerson report added impetus to the decision to start over.

Boeing’s Super Hornet, Dassault’s Rafale, Saab’s Gripen, the Eurofighter Typhoon , and the F-35, are seen as the leading contenders in any new contest to replace the CF-18 fleet.

Offline Broncazonk

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Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2012, 05:19:08 pm »
Cost of buying, servicing F-35 fighter jets could reach 40-B: sources

CTVNews.ca Staff
Published Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012 5:24PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012 5:52PM EST


Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/cost-of-buying-servicing-f-35-fighter-jets-could-reach-40b-sources-1.1069258#ixzz2EKBhRFAX

The cost of buying and servicing the F-35 stealth fighter jets that Ottawa has been planning to purchase could reach $40 billion, CTV News has learned ahead of the government’s report on the financial implications of the program.

The report, which will be released next week, will kick off a review of the entire jet fighter procurement process and the need to replace Canada’s aging fleet of CF-18 jets.

The Conservative government’s plan to purchase 65 F-35 jets has been mired in controversy since a scathing auditor general's report accused both National Defence and Public Works of hiding the true cost of the project.

Ottawa said the program would cost between $14.7 billion and $16 billion, but auditor general Michael Ferguson and Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page disputed those figures.

Ferguson accused the Defence Department of low-balling the estimate by not including operating expenses, and said it would actually cost more than $25 billion, but government officials denied trying to hide anything.

Page had estimated it would cost $29.3 billion to purchase and maintain the jets.

Now, it looks like the cost would exceed both of those estimates.

Alan Williams, a former senior procurement officer with the federal government, said the price of the “complex” jet program has been going up since Ottawa initiated the procurement process.

“We ought to wait until the development is done and the platform is operational,” he told CTV’s Power Play Thursday.

“But we dipped our toes into the water much too early in the program, without knowing the cost or the capability. And that’s why we’re saddled with this situation today.”

Conservative MP Michelle Rempel said the government is committed to being transparent on the issue and following the recommendations of the auditor general’s report in April. She said the report on F-35 costs will be made public soon.

“We want to make sure that we get this right and we’re taking it really seriously,” she told Power Play.


Read more: http://www.ctvnews.ca/politics/cost-of-buying-servicing-f-35-fighter-jets-could-reach-40b-sources-1.1069258#ixzz2EKAnI2Bf

Offline SpudmanWP

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Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2012, 07:28:34 pm »
F-35 deal not cancelled, Tories insist
 
 Update on the government's plan to purchase new fighter jets expected next week
 
 http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2012/12/06/poli-f35-pmo-government-fighter-jets.html
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Offline bobbymike

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Offline Triton

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Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2012, 10:27:00 am »
Posted by NAVAIRSYSCOM on Dec. 5, 2012:

Quote
On Dec. 3, an F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter test aircraft completed the program's first aerial weapons release of an inert 500-pound GBU-12 Paveway II Laser Guided Bomb. The aircraft (BF-3) dropped an inert GBU-12 over the Atlantic Test Ranges from an internal weapons bay. The internal weapons carriage allows the F-35 to maintain a low-observable profile when combat loaded. The F-35B is a short take-off and vertical landing-capable fighter aircraft, designed for use by the U.S. Marine Corps as well as defense partners in the United Kingdom and Italy.


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Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2012, 04:18:21 am »
Video of F-35B delivery ceremony at MCAS Yuma on Nov. 20, 2012:


Offline Creative

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Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2012, 02:22:42 pm »
The fourth F-35C carrier variant test aircraft ferried to NAS Patuxent River, Md., yesterday
http://www.navair.navy.mil/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.NAVAIRNewsStory&id=5218

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Offline Broncazonk

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Re: Lockheed Martin F-35: News ONLY topic
« Reply #14 on: December 13, 2012, 06:12:10 am »
Ottawa officially scraps F-35 purchase as audit pegs costs at $45-billion

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-changes-jet-plans-as-audit-pegs-f-35-costs-at-45-billion/article6260601/

Steven Chase - OTTAWA — The Globe and Mail

Stephen Harper’s Conservatives are officially recanting their 2 1/2-year-old decision to buy the cutting-edge F-35 fighter plane – but the federal government is still resisting calls to hold an open competition to pick Canada’s next jet purchase.

The Harper government on Wednesday officially announced it was backing off a sole-source plan to buy 65 F-35 Lightning jets as a replacement for Canada’s aging CF-18 Hornets. It was a rare U-turn for an administration that only infrequently acknowledges it was wrong – but one the Tories felt was necessary to repair their fiscal stewardship credentials.

“No decision has been taken on a replacement for the CF-18,” a senior government official told reporters in a not-for-attribution media briefing set up by the Tories so that top civil servants on the file could speak plainly about Ottawa’s new jet purchase policy.

The Conservatives have been dogged for months by a damning auditor general’s report last spring that said they selected the F-35 without due regard for price and availability. Back in July, 2010, the Tories announced to great fanfare they would forgo an open competition and would buy the Lockheed warplane because it was the only plane that would serve Canada’s needs. They defended the decision in the 2011 election and often excoriated critics who suggested they had made a mistake.

On Wednesday, Ottawa made a great show of backing away from that decision – while unveiling a full lifetime cost estimate for the Lockheed Martin plane that is five times greater than what the Tories originally advertised it would cost.

The “cradle-to-grave” bill to taxpayers for buying and operating the controversial F-35 warplane will exceed $600-million per jet – or $45-billion in total, the government announced Wednesday. The Tories originally sold the aircraft as a $9-billion purchase.

The $45-billion lifetime estimate may ultimately prove to be too low if the cash-strapped U.S. government cuts its own order for the F-35 – a move that would increase the average price.

Defence Minister Peter MacKay and Public Works Minister Rona Ambrose went to great effort Wednesday to distance themselves from the July, 2010, purchase announcement, an event where Mr. MacKay posed for photos in a dummy version of the fighter. “We are pressing reset on this acquisition in order to ensure a balance between military needs and taxpayer interests,” Mr. MacKay told reporters. “Let me be clear: The government of Canada will not proceed with a decision to replace the CF-18 fighter aircraft until all steps … are completed.”

Ottawa formally announced Wednesday it’s now shopping around to see if alternatives to the F-35 better meet its needs as a replacement for the aging CF-18 Hornets. The government has acknowledged, however, that it could again decide the F-35 is best for the job. “We’re undertaking a full-options analysis and the F-35 is obviously one of those options,” Ms. Ambrose told reporters.

Still, the government is holding off calling for open bids to build the plane – as opposition parties are demanding – saying they’ll wait for an options analysis led by the Royal Canadian Air Force first.

The new $45-billion F-35 price tag is based on the most expansive definition of costs over a 30-year lifetime for each jet, including fuel as well as upgrades and maintenance. The bill includes 65 planes and as many as 11 spares – a cost that works out to more than $600-million per plane.

The new forecast, which was scrutinized by consulting firm KPMG, looks at costs incurred over a 42-year-period. Less than 20 per cent of the costs are for buying the initial 65 planes. The other 80 per cent are for keeping this fleet operating.

The Canadian government is still assuming the United States will buy a large order of the jets. In one of the documents Ottawa released Wednesday, it said it’s expecting the U.S. and partners will purchase 3,100 jets – a number that’s expected to fall as Washington, heavily in debt, trims its order.

The government said the overall price tag for Canada will rise by $500-million for every reduction of 400 aircraft that are cut from international orders. That’s because there would be fewer economies of scale to be derived from mass production.

Separately, the Harper government trimmed its estimates for the maximum industrial benefits Canadian companies might win for supplying the F-35 production. This country’s firms are only able to compete for work related to the warplane because Canada joined a consortium of countries planning on buying the jets.

The government said now it believes the maximum potential industrial benefits from F-35 supply work would be $9.8-billion – instead of the $12-billion Ottawa previously touted. So far Canadian companies have secured $438-million in work.

Also, the Harper government has redrawn the list of independent monitors who will oversee the hunt for alternatives to the F-35 Lightning fighter after retired general Charles Bouchard bowed out. He is replaced by former senior civil servant James Mitchell of consulting group Sussex Circle. The others remain the same, including ex-Communications Security Establishment chief Keith Coulter, a former fighter pilot; former federal comptroller-general Rod Monette, who also served as a senior bureaucrat in National Defence; and University of Ottawa professor Philippe Lagassé, an outspoken critic of the jet procurement.

The Harper government is going shopping for alternatives to the controversial F-35 in the most significant demonstration yet that it is prepared to walk away from its first choice for a new warplane.

To demonstrate that they are restarting the procurement process from scratch, Canadian officials will collect information from other plane manufacturers, including U.S.-based Boeing, maker of the Super-Hornet, and the consortium behind the Eurofighter Typhoon. They may also contact Sweden’s Saab, manufacturer of the Gripen, and France’s Dassault, maker of the Rafale.

The ballooning lifetime cost of the F-35 fighter and Ottawa’s decision to shop around for alternatives are creating panic among Canadian companies betting on supply contracts for the Lockheed Martin plane, sources have said.

The government aims to complete this reappraisal of what the fighter aircraft market can offer Canada as expeditiously as possible in 2013.

Government officials said Wednesday that Ottawa has not decided whether to call for competitive bids to supply a plane and will await the results of the options analysis.

Canada has signed no contract to buy F-35s, and while it has signalled to Lockheed Martin, the manufacturer, that it wants 65, it has no obligation to buy them.

It did sign a memorandum of understanding in 2006 that set the terms by which a country would buy the aircraft and also enabled domestic companies to compete for supply contracts for the plane.