Boeing Bullish Over F-18 and Future Programs

bring_it_on

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Triton said:
"U.S. Navy Wants 130 More Super Hornets Over Next Five Years"
Apr 7, 2017 Lara Seligman | Aerospace Daily & Defense Report

Source:
http://aviationweek.com/awindefense/us-navy-wants-130-more-super-hornets-over-next-five-years

The U.S. Navy wants to buy 130 additional Super Hornets over the next five years at a price of $13.6 billion as part of an effort to beef up its strike fighter...

The White paper is attached in my post in the surface fleet thread

http://www.secretprojects.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,23259.msg303856.html#msg303856
 

Triton

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"Germany asks for Boeing fighter data as weighs order options"
by Andrea Shalal Reuters Sep 29, 2017

Source:
http://www.stltoday.com/business/local/germany-asks-for-boeing-fighter-data-as-weighs-order-options/article_e9eb6fc5-b19f-5dad-bdb7-fd61f287a474.html

BERLIN • Germany has asked the U.S. military for classified data on two Boeing fighter jets as it looks to replace its aging Tornado warplanes, giving a potential boost to the U.S. company locked in a trade dispute with Canada and Britain.

A letter sent by the German defense ministry's planning division, reviewed by Reuters, said it had identified Boeing's F-15 and F/A-18E/F fighters as potential candidates to replace the Tornado jets, which entered service in 1981. Both fighters are made in St. Louis.

A classified briefing is expected to take place in mid-November, following a similar briefing provided by U.S. officials about the Lockheed Martin Corp. F-35 fighter jet in July.

The ministry has said it is also seeking information from European aerospace giant Airbus, which builds the Eurofighter Typhoon along with Britain's BAE Systems and Italy's Leonardo.

The development is a boost for Boeing at a time when it is under fire from Canada and Britain after its complaint prompted the United States to impose a preliminary 220-percent duty on CSeries jets built by Bombardier.

Boeing said it was working with the U.S. government to provide the information that Germany had requested.

Germany, due to decide in mid-2018 about how to replace the Tornado planes, announced plans in July to build a European fighter jet together with France. But the new jet is unlikely to be available by 2025, when Germany's fleet of Tornado fighters are slated to start going out of service.

Sources familiar with the process said Germany was pursuing a two-pronged approach under which it would buy an existing fighter to replace the Tornado, while working with France on a new European jet to replace its Eurofighters at a later point.

Analysts said the Tornado replacement order could be worth tens of billions of dollars, although Germany is still reviewing how many jets to buy and at what pace.

The letter said a formal request for information about the pricing and availability of all three U.S. fighter jets was being compiled and would be issued by the end of the month.
Boeing under fire

Britain told Boeing this week that future defense contracts could be in jeopardy because of its trade dispute with Canada's Bombardier, noting that U.S. tariffs would put up to 4,200 jobs at risk at a plant in the British province of Northern Ireland that makes the CSeries jet's carbon wings.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has also said he will not go ahead with plans to buy 18 Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet jets unless the dispute is dropped.

Any move by Germany to buy a U.S. warplane could run into political resistance from strong labor unions and Airbus, which has also raised concerns about the ministry's plans to choose between two U.S. helicopters for its heavy lift program.

Britain, the Netherlands, Norway, Turkey and Italy — key NATO allies of Germany — are already buying the F-35 fighter jet to replace their current aircraft, and other European countries such as Switzerland, Belgium and Finland are also looking at purchasing the fifth-generation warplane at time when tensions with Russia are running high.

Military sources say buying a U.S. jet could make sense for Germany given technical challenges with the Eurofighter.
 

Deltafan

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I think that the last post of Triton could be the opening of another topic.

It comes after the asking of Germany about the F-35.

BTW, it could be the end of the Airbus German-spanish project to replace german Tornados and spanish F-18...
 

Hood

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It's probably just Berlin looking at all the (limited) off the shelf options available.
Its notable that they aren't looking at an F-15 to replace the Tornado.

Of course, a long time ago the Germans were quite keen on the F-18L rather than stumping up money on a Eurofighter, funny how things go in circles in the world of aviation.
 

red admiral

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F-15E or F/A-18E seems pretty nuts compared to Germany buying a "Tranche 4" Typhoon...
 

Triton

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Hood said:
It's probably just Berlin looking at all the (limited) off the shelf options available.
Its notable that they aren't looking at an F-15 to replace the Tornado.

Of course, a long time ago the Germans were quite keen on the F-18L rather than stumping up money on a Eurofighter, funny how things go in circles in the world of aviation.

The German Ministry of Defense also asked for a classified briefing on the F-15. That misunderstanding is probably my fault because the article didn't fit neatly into a single topic.
 

hesham

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Hi,

Stealthy Super Hornet In Cards As Boeing Plans Major Overhaul;

As the U.S. Navy’s Super Hornets reach the end of their planned service life, Boeing is eyeing an exhaustive overhaul that will involve structural upgrades and potentially a new stealth coating to keep the F/A-18Es and Fs relevant well into the ...

http://aviationweek.com/defense/stealthy-super-hornet-cards-boeing-plans-major-overhaul?NL=AW-05&Issue=AW-05_20171019_AW-05_488&sfvc4enews=42&cl=article_2&utm_rid=CPEN1000002229670&utm_campaign=12187&utm_medium=email&elq2=31e4792a665b40e3b2dc468d4a9b80a3
 

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NeilChapman

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Looks like SASC and HASC agreed to spend US2Billion in 2018 for 24 new Super Hornets. With the other Super Bug's sold this year are there any thoughts on when to expect deliveries of these 24 to begin? Is not Boeing still producing only two jets per month?

Any info on Boeing increasing production rates?
 

GTX

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January 1, 2018 2:12 am JST
Japan eyes electronic-warfare jet, could jam missile bases

TOKYO -- Japan looks to deploy electronic-warfare aircraft that can neutralize enemy air defenses and command systems remotely, blurring the line between strict self-defense and offensive base-strike capability.

The country is exploring options including Boeing's EA-18G fighter jet -- nicknamed the "Growler" -- which emits large radio pulses to jam radar and communication systems. The EA-18G also carries missiles to knock out radar facilities.

The Defense Ministry intends to write the aircraft into its Mid-Term Defense Program when that plan is revised at the end of 2018, acquiring several jets between fiscal 2019 and fiscal 2023.

Electronic defenses have a range of several hundred kilometers, according to the Defense Ministry's acquisition and technology unit. If necessary, Japan could deploy the aircraft over international waters off the coast of North Korea to disable missile bases and radar facilities.

The jets also would enhance the country's so-called Anti-Access/Area Denial strategy, which aims to keep Chinese aircraft and military vessels from encroaching on Japan's surroundings. China is deploying its own electronic-warfare aircraft under the military's recently formed Strategic Support Force.

Japan is stocking up on other equipment that theoretically could be used in a strike on enemy facilities. The government will buy air-to-surface joint strike missiles from Norway in fiscal 2018, letting Japan attack targets around 500km away. The Defense Ministry also has begun researching domestic production of cruise missiles.

The ministry may overhaul Japan's Izumo-class helicopter carriers to function as aircraft carriers, altering the vessels' decks so that fighter jets can take off and land. Some also have proposed purchasing F-35B stealth fighters to work with the retrofitted ships. This cutting-edge aircraft can take off from shorter runways than others in its class.

Japan denies these acquisitions are intended to give the country offensive strike capability, holding to its policy of exclusive self-defense. The new equipment is "ultimately meant to defend Japan," a Defense Ministry official said.

The government maintains that it relies on the U.S. for the ability to strike enemy bases and that weaponry violating the defense-only policy would be "used only in the event of a catastrophic breakdown among our allies," Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera has said. But Japan's stock of such equipment could grow, unless clear guidelines are enacted that distinguish between defense and offense.

Source
 

totoro

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Can someone help me determine the Super hornet pricetag nowadays?

http://www.defenseworld.net/news/20608/Boeing_Wins__676_Million_to_Deliver_Six_F_A_18E_and_Eight_F_A_18F_Aircraft_to_US_Navy

http://www.defensedaily.com/boeing-awarded-super-hornet-contract/

The newsbits above suggest 14 planes were contracted for 676 million in 2017 (lot 41), followed by 18 planes for 862 million in 2018 (lot 42).

That'd amount to 43 million or 48 million per plane. There's always little differences as different number of subvariants were ordered. But what I am asking is this:
Do the contract sums cover all flyaway expenses? Avionics and engines?
Or do they cover other ancillary stuff as well? Or are they lacking stuff, such as engines or what not?

Do those sums represent only part of the final cost? Was there perhaps some previous contract that covered some long lead items, that are perhaps a significant part of the final cost?
 

totoro

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If so, what is the contract sum from the links for? Since it amounts to some 43 to 48 million per plane, is it missing something? What is it missing?
 

TomS

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totoro said:
If so, what is the contract sum from the links for? Since it amounts to some 43 to 48 million per plane, is it missing something? What is it missing?

Engines and radars are both government furnished equipment not included in that award. Probably quite a bit of other GFE as well in the electronics fit.
 

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Official numbers:

FY 2019 Fly Away Unit Cost F/A-18E/F - 68,643.542 million US$
FY 2019 Weapon System Unit Cost F/A-18E/F - 82,938.500 million US$

FY 2019 Unit Cost Airframe - 40,466 million US$
FY 2019 Unit Cost GE F414 - 4,403 million US$ (Unit cost of each engine)
FY 2019 Unit Cost Government Funded Electronics - 3,328 million US$
FY 2019 Unit Cost Contractor Funded Electronics - 11,058 million US$
FY 2019 Unit Cost Other Government Funded Equipment - 1,298 million US$
FY 2019 Unit Cost Rec Flyaway ECO - 1,031 million US$


http://www.secnav.navy.mil/fmc/fmb/Pages/Fiscal-Year-2019.aspx

Cheers
 

SpudmanWP

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Don't forget to add a few million for pylons, pods, Wing EFTs, and CFTs (after Block 3).
 

totoro

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Sintra said:
Official numbers:

FY 2019 Fly Away Unit Cost F/A-18E/F - 68,643.542 million US$
FY 2019 Weapon System Unit Cost F/A-18E/F - 82,938.500 million US$

Thanks a bunch! That's exactly what I was looking for.
 

Sintra

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SpudmanWP said:
Don't forget to add a few million for pylons, pods, Wing EFTs, and CFTs (after Block 3).

Pylons are contracted with the airframe, the rest is dependent on what the customer wants to do with it, but i´ve pretty much cover that by including the "Weapon System Unit Cost".

Cheers
 

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Why have the Navy and foreign nations not opted for the F414-EPE yet? From what I know the lack of power has been a criticism of the SH versus the classic and seems like a fairly commonsense upgrade if it's going to be sticking around fora while yet. It would make it more attractive for exports as well I imagine, and speaking of exports how good are Boeing's chances in the Finnish and Swiss competitions given that both are Hornet operators already.
 

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January 1, 2018 2:12 am JST
Japan eyes electronic-warfare jet, could jam missile bases

TOKYO -- Japan looks to deploy electronic-warfare aircraft that can neutralize enemy air defenses and command systems remotely, blurring the line between strict self-defense and offensive base-strike capability.

The country is exploring options including Boeing's EA-18G fighter jet -- nicknamed the "Growler" -- which emits large radio pulses to jam radar and communication systems. The EA-18G also carries missiles to knock out radar facilities.

The Defense Ministry intends to write the aircraft into its Mid-Term Defense Program when that plan is revised at the end of 2018, acquiring several jets between fiscal 2019 and fiscal 2023.

Electronic defenses have a range of several hundred kilometers, according to the Defense Ministry's acquisition and technology unit. If necessary, Japan could deploy the aircraft over international waters off the coast of North Korea to disable missile bases and radar facilities.

The jets also would enhance the country's so-called Anti-Access/Area Denial strategy, which aims to keep Chinese aircraft and military vessels from encroaching on Japan's surroundings. China is deploying its own electronic-warfare aircraft under the military's recently formed Strategic Support Force.

Japan is stocking up on other equipment that theoretically could be used in a strike on enemy facilities. The government will buy air-to-surface joint strike missiles from Norway in fiscal 2018, letting Japan attack targets around 500km away. The Defense Ministry also has begun researching domestic production of cruise missiles.

The ministry may overhaul Japan's Izumo-class helicopter carriers to function as aircraft carriers, altering the vessels' decks so that fighter jets can take off and land. Some also have proposed purchasing F-35B stealth fighters to work with the retrofitted ships. This cutting-edge aircraft can take off from shorter runways than others in its class.

Japan denies these acquisitions are intended to give the country offensive strike capability, holding to its policy of exclusive self-defense. The new equipment is "ultimately meant to defend Japan," a Defense Ministry official said.

The government maintains that it relies on the U.S. for the ability to strike enemy bases and that weaponry violating the defense-only policy would be "used only in the event of a catastrophic breakdown among our allies," Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera has said. But Japan's stock of such equipment could grow, unless clear guidelines are enacted that distinguish between defense and offense.

Source

I randomly found this pic and am wondering if its real.
supposedly to test the Growler, they had one painted in JSDF colors

Boeing_Growler_Japan.jpg
 

Colonial-Marine

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Why have the Navy and foreign nations not opted for the F414-EPE yet?
It's fallen through the cracks, it would appear. :(
In my opinion it should have been an integral part of the Block III upgrade in order to offset the weight of the CFTs but now it seems they might not even get CFTs. Hardly that impressive of an upgrade now. Makes me think we shouldn't order any more new-build F/A-18s and instead put that money towards more F-35Cs and F/A-XX (presuming the Navy can even decide what they want out of that one).
 

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Pouring all the available resources into the F/A-XX would certainly be far better than throwing yet more good money after bad with the F-35 program.
 

GTX

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Pouring all the available resources into the F/A-XX would certainly be far better than throwing yet more good money after bad with the F-35 program.
Oh and of course resetting everything with a new program will magically solve everything. Sounds like 'the grass is always greener' style approach.
 

bring_it_on

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Pouring all the available resources into the F/A-XX would certainly be far better than throwing yet more good money after bad with the F-35 program.
Raiding the procurement account of the Next gen. Fighter to fund the development of the Next Next gen. fighter rarely pays off. Any clean sheet F/A-XX, if done properly, is a $20+ Billion RDT&E expense. And since it will be Navy only, no other service will chip in. So they have to find a couple of billion dollars in dev dollars each year to see this through by the early 2030s. And they need a new cruiser, hypersonic weapons, lasers, a new frigate, a new SSBN, and also design the future SSN.

Meanwhile, if they stop buying the F-35C it means that they have to take a decade plus long procurement holiday, or buy the relatively sub-optimal Super Hornet and save a max of $20-$25 million per unit which is the rough per unit diff between the two. Those savings when rolled up (and adjusted for future upgrade cost of the SH) may at best fund one full year or peak NGAD EMD.

The Navy shared its plan last year - Stop buying Super Hornets once the current MYP concludes and shift funding to NGAD. While Continuing to buy the F-35C till such time that the NGAD is fully developed and a proper mix of F-35C and NGAD can be determined. Sounds like a balanced approach that factors in modernization, growth and the need to fund something for the future. You buy the best you have today while funding the future. Because it is logical, it has little hope of surviving Congress. In the end the Congress will continue to add Super Hornets and the Navy will continue to struggle to find the billions needed to fund a clean sheet design now that they don’t have the DOD wide purse strings associated with a joint program.
 
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Grey Havoc

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The problem is, will such a plan actually work in practice, especially with the way things are going? It brings us back to the age old question: when does one stop digging the hole they are in?
 

bring_it_on

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The problem is, will such a plan actually work in practice, especially with the way things are going? It brings us back to the age old question: when does one stop digging the hole they are in?
When you have something to show besides just an AoA that you spent half a decade delaying. Since they seemed to have done a subpar job with the Block III SH (it has shorter combat radius than the Block II), perhaps the MQ-25 will be a litmus test of whether the Navy can field a heavily watered down UAV a decade or more after the X-47B did its carrier demonstrations. Unfortunately, no such naval FA-XX demonstrator exists (that we know about) so they'd be starting from scratch.

Remember how the Block III Super Hornet was supposed to come in and provide longer legs to the Carrier Air Wing? That was to be one of its main features relative to the Block II. Now we read that the Navy is unlikely to deliver on that and because the CFT's may not make it, and a part of the centerline tank is reserved for an IRST (which the Navy failed to add to the baseline SH for reasons best known to it) which means that it will in fact have shorter legs.

In contrast, the F-35C offers utility. First LO strike fighter in the Navy. Can go farther and penetrate air defense than any other aircraft that is available to the navy off the shelf. It has a better self-defense suite (does the Block III Super Hornet even have MAWS?) and is way more survivable. Most notably, it is ready for carrier operations (this year) and is expected to be approved for full-rate production in the coming year or so. And it has a Block -4 FOM fully funded. This buys the Navy the 10-12 years it needs to put into service even a watered down FA-XX/NGAD. And before we talk about the "Digital century series model" lets remember that the Navy is going to possibly take more than half a decade (from contract award) to put a sizable number of MQ-25's on deployment. I just don't see any scenario where the Navy leadership is going to sit up and commit $20 Billions to a clean sheet program and just take a decade (or more) long procurement holiday as the air wing continues to age and shrink.

Most proponents of an uber long range Naval NGAD fail to make a solid case of how and where it stacks in the long list of priorities for the Navy like a new cruiser, a new attack submarine, a large magazine of hypersonic weapons, unmanned vessels, and of course dozens of new frigates. Which of these modernization priorities pay for NGAD in the long term? The F-35 is ready and is in very high rate of production making it quite affordable relative to the capability it provides. NGAD exists only in the form of a completed (after much delay and stop/starts) AoA. There is no magic pot of gold that is sitting there waiting for the NGAD program office to secure funding from. And all this while, the Navy needs more aircraft both as physical replacement for outgoing aircraft and to hold/maintain its qualitative advantage. It can't turn off procurement for 10-12 years while it figures stuff out. They tried that with attack submarines and look where we are. You are also not going to Life-Extend the way out of this problem because even with upgrades, the Super Hornet lacks the ability to survive against future threats all the while not having sufficient combat radius to meet the Navy's goals. I know it has become fashionable to try to get 15,000 hours out of an airframe initially designed for less than half that, but it leaves everyone less capable and prepared when one does that. It always fascinates me how keeping something for an additional few decades is considered a virtue when all you are doing is delaying modernization in an era where technology cycles are rapidly changing.
 
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bring_it_on

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In my opinion, the Navy will do well to field something like a long range UCAV (perhaps a larger X-47B) with a decent payload and sensor suite by the early 2030's. That could be Step 1 for NGAD/FA-XX. Lots of technologies within the various Navy and DARPA portfolios to make something like that work inside of a dozen years. That, along with the F-35C will begin to give it a survivable penetrating force. It could build on that when more funding and additional technologies are available. I just don't see the Navy successfully embarking on a full fledged clean sheet Super Hornet and Growler replacement without running into funding and technical challenges (as much as I would like to see a Naval NGAD). And when they occur (which they always do), I don't see the admirals prioritizing Naval NGAD over the whole host of ship building and other surface and sub-surface modernization efforts, some of which will also run into similar funding/technical issues, perhaps at the same time. This modernization bow wave doesn't bode well for a Naval NGAD IMHO.
 

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If DEW pods prove out as they seem to be doing, then stealth is even less relevant as threats can be eliminated as they approach terminal on you. Carriers fully populated w/ limited external stores F-35Cs will reinforce the argument for dropping carriers once and for all. The amount of stores delivered does not justify the costs. NGAD is only way the USN can justify the carrier.
 

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^ that article mentioned that the Navy wanted foreign made aircraft for aggressor training instead of the Shornet. Does anyone know which aircraft they are referring to?
 
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