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JSF: a preliminary assessment

Bill Sweetman
Aerospace & Technology Editor Janes Information Group October 26, 2006
October 26, 2006 1

Joint Strike Fighter progress

Current status First flight expected by year-end Customers falling into line with PSFD process Schedule, weight mostly stable since 2005 Survived Congressional challenge in FY2007 Some continued cost increases

October 26, 2006

JSF international issues

Workshare Trend towards assurance of national workshare FACO to be established in Italy Maintenance and sovereignty Early 2006 tiff with UK apparently patched up Costs Still uncertain no contractual commitments Stealth Determined under national ORD Still no all JSFs are equal in LO terms statement National weapon integration Defined by national ORD; customer pays
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JSF Domestic issues (1)

Potential competitors eliminated J-UCAS cancelled F-22 still capped Super Hornet Block 3 bypassed

October 26, 2006

JSF Domestic issues (2)

Budgetary Overall massive deficit as OIF/OEF continue USN collision with shipbuilding program Politics, Doctrine and Focus Increased concern with WMDs and missiles Competition from new weapons Long Range Strike and Prompt Global Strike

October 26, 2006

JSF The future

History of US aircraft procurement F-22
Plan: 750 aircraft at $70m Outcome: Under 300 aircraft at $150 m

Plan: 132 aircraft Outcome: 21 aircraft with chronic problems

Plan: 1,200 aircraft for USAF/USN Cancelled 1991

Development started 1984 IOC 2007? Unit cost $100 million

Met cost and schedule Range, agility below expectations

October 26, 2006

JSF The future

Is there a chance of a death spiral? Development cost increasing
Not all of this is due to management, but it is there

Congress pushing for delays Avionics are a critical path

This was a problem with F-22

Watch for structural issues

Always a risk with an emergency weight-loss exercise

Expect numbers to reduce

Costs (particularly early production) will increase USAF 1000-1400; USN/USMC 400 F-35C is most vulnerable version

But JSF is vital to Marines and to USAF fighter force

October 26, 2006 7

JSF: The claims

Lockheed Martin and the USAF say: Stealth, supersonic speed and integrated avionics make the F-22 and F-35 fifth-generation fighters Stealth will be combined with superior situational awareness F-35 will have 1.8-2.5 x range of legacy fighters Average unit cost will be $45-$60 million Support metrics 33-60 per cent better than legacy

October 26, 2006

JSF: economics
Cost Then-year average procurement cost (based on GAO)
F-35A - $76 m F-35B - $109 m F-35C - $112 m

Pre-MYP (LRIP) aircraft will be more expensive

F-35A - $100 m+ F-35B/C - $150 m

O&S costs remain to be proven Acquisition cost advantage is based on numbers and rates There is no free lunch

October 26, 2006

Why do the B & C cost more?

Because they are substantially different and built in smaller numbers

October 26, 2006


Cost, size and schedule

Why do fighters cost so much? Remember when this was a monster?

And this was the Common Affordable Lightweight Fighter?

October 26, 2006


My, how youve grown

F-4C Length Wingspan Wing area Empty weight Normal TO weight Max TO weight Thrust 62.9 ft 38.5 ft 530 sq ft 28276 lb 50341 lb 58000 lb 34000 lb F-35A 51.1 ft 35 ft 460 sq ft 29036 lb 52394 lb 57500 lb 43000 lb F-35C 51.4 ft 43 ft 668 ft2 32072 lb 57100 lb 66000 lb 43000 lb

October 26, 2006


JSF: How good is it really?

Performance Mach 1.5 top speed Supercruise not a requirement Agility comparable to F-16, F/A-18A Range comparable to F-16C Advanced Block 50
F-35A 600 nm hi-lo-hi 2 x 2000 lb JDAM 2 x AIM-120 No SRAAMs External fuel is ferry-only

October 26, 2006


JSF: Armament
Weapon load-out Four usable stations in LO mode
SDB is only way to carry more than four weapons No mixed load-outs without SDB Cant trade bombs for AAMs

11 usable stations in non-LO mode

Centerline station is dedicated to gun Outer stations SRAAM-only

October 26, 2006


What you really get

is one of these

and one of these (plus selfdefense and much better SA)

October 26, 2006


JSF stealth
Stealth is important Day one stealth concept based on GW1 But limited warload = more sorties What if defenses are not destroyed?
Only 10 per cent of systems were destroyed in Allied Force

Non-LO mode No indications that signature is managed Active EW? Towed decoy?
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A question

NOT survivable in daylight due to risk of visual detection by fighters

SURVIVABLE in daylight due to speed, altitude or extreme LO

And do we mean a USAF F-35A? An RAF F-35A? A Turkish F-35A?

October 26, 2006

Stealth questions
Detection developments since 1980 Networking increases value of transient detection HF and ultrawideband radars Passive bistatic radars Passive detection and datalinks Track-before-detect facilitated by memory Tracking developments since 1980 AESA

October 26, 2006


Typhoon Highly capable air-to-air Higher acceleration and three times the missile load Unproven air-to-ground Firm order base larger than F-22 or F/A-18 Rafale Beats F-35 range/payload with two-thirds the OEW Needs AESA/Meteor Needs French government backing Gripen Proven low-cost solution
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Why buy JSF?

Its the volume, stupid Two per cent of JSF equals 20 per cent of Rafale JSF acquisition cost is all about 250/year production rate
Avionics hardware similar to F/A-18E/F Engine technology basically similar to EJ200, F414 Note the much higher cost of F-35B and F-35C

10X volume for support and upgrades Even if the program gets cut in half, its 125/year Nobody got fired for buying IBM F-16, F/A-18 exports did what it said on the tin

October 26, 2006



There are markets for other aircraft The F-35 does not surpass every competitor in all respects We are five years into a 12-year development program US track record is not good The game is not over

October 26, 2006