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Author Topic: Hornet News
TWalt
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posted 08-07-2000 11:06 AM     Profile for TWalt   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Howdy again,
Just got confirmation that the lot 26 and newer F/A-18E/F's will actually have a completely new forward fuselage housing the AESA. This is the reason retrofits will not occur and why the RCS will shrink significantly in these aircraft. Currently, the E/F RCS is around an F-16C Blk 50/52 head on and the new fuselage E/F will be near or below both the Typhoon and Rafale. More importantly, from any angle other than head on, the E/F currently outperforms both the Typhoon and Rafale.
On another note, I've read a lot here about how the Canadian CF-18 is a piece of crap! The only problems the CF have had are derived from slightly accelerated wing root fatigue caused by higher platform fatigue sorties then predicted. This in essence is a correctable problem through CF's extensive airframe monitoring program. The proper repairs have been a bit of a problem as the materials initially used were found lacking. 3 new repair compounds have been tested and found sufficient to repair the cracks without significant degradation in total airframe life or need for replacment components. The US Navy overcame similar problems to their fleet of A's and B's. So, after 8 years of service, I don't understand this attitude of "F-18 is a pile of junk." when their record is actually quite commendable. The recent decision to upgrade these aircraft vice replacing them should make it quite clear how much more these airframes are ready to go. To date, only roughly 40 aircraft of the original 120 were targeted for the wing root repairs (other aircraft are not yet showing signs). This would be considered very conservative considering an 8 year old plane and the more demanding sorties the CF (remember, the repairs are similar to other depot work required by all fighters). This fatigue problem is not nearly the red mark flagged by countless threads I read here.

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Rosco
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posted 08-07-2000 02:36 PM     Profile for Rosco   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
This is good news indeed for the lucky E/F pilots who manage to get the AESA version, now if they can only do something about those engines! I've heard that the F414 can eventually produce 35% more sorely needed thrust, which would turn the Super Hornet in a solid performer.

With both of the above improvements the Super Hornet would have a chance of selling abroad on it's own merits and not because of political and economic "persuasion". What does the new forward fuselage look like anyway? My guess is that the nose at least resembles that of the SU-32FN/SU-34.

The Rafale, Typhoon and Gripen are all due for similar RCS reductions later in the decade. The Rafale would go the farthest of all, likely bringing it's frontal radar signature in line with that of the JSF. I'm not sure but I think with the Rafale anyway, most of the proposed stealth enhancing features can be retrofitted easily.

All three fighters will also be recieving more powerful engines and will get significantly better radars to go with the Meteor AAM when it arrives. Typhoon and Rafale will get the very powerful and stealthy AMSAR while the tiny Gripen will recieve an Eriksen-built AESA system.

Regarding the CF-18, frame cracking isn't the only or most serious problem these birds have, it's the extensive corrosion these supposedly navalized fighters are suffering from even though they're not operating from at sea. I don't think they were made with a deep cold winter environment in mind. The price was wrong too, $38M in still exchange comparable early and mid '80s Canadian dollars was far too much to pay. We were robbed!

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"And if you don't like it, eat a gun"


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posted 08-07-2000 05:14 PM     Profile for Avatar   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
The poor Hornet will go down in history as the fighter that was "Almost good at a lot of things..."

Well, that's what you get when you let politicians design fighters.


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bob671
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posted 08-07-2000 05:43 PM     Profile for bob671   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Corrosion is a serious problem for the RAAF Hornets too. Apparently one of the reasons Australia looking to replace its F/A-18s so soon is because of the state of the airframes. (Not just because they're officially considered to be outclassed by the aircraft of neighbouring countries.)
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TWalt
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posted 08-08-2000 06:52 AM     Profile for TWalt   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Rosco and Bob671,
I've not heard of the corrosion problems in the A/B. I know the US Navy had very few in a more corrosive environment (humidity, sea water). There were some pretty aggressive corrosion control programs, but this is standard for a carrier aircraft. Is the CF using the same control programs?? I know the cold North doesn't seem as poor a climate but even rain will eat at things like fasteners, assembly racks, etc. RAAF have maintened that there are a few cases of corrosion problems (hot, humid climate) but they do not see any affect on airframe life and do not consider it severe by any means. With CF going through with there upgrade program, I'd think this "problem" is more hype than reality. The real problem is that as any aircraft gets older, it requires significantly more maintenance. This in turn affects technician morale, requiring more of their time and often greater expertise, especially in any corrosion control program. The Hornet (A thru D) has one of the best long-term maintenance records of any aircraft. This is definately one of the major attributes of the plane. Where have either of you heard of the corrosion problem??
Rosco,
The E/F front fuselage redesign has not been released. The F model will get a totally new rear cockpit along with this fuselage change. This is not the case with the Typhoon which will utilize the existing fuselage to house the new AMSAR. I didn't know about the Rafale getting new airframe bits! Hell, the Rafale RCS really can't get too much better from a front aspect, maybe these changes will help from other aspsects as well. The biggest problem is that big horizontal tail on both the Raf and Typhoon. That thing just sings out from a lot of angles. Maybe a modified tail on the Raf is coming? The only thing I don't like about the Rafale is the development costs. $15-17 billion is just a little too much for a non-stealth platform in my book but at least the Rafale is a bonafide carrier bird. If the Brits select the Typhoon as there Naval fighter, watch the $6+ billion they've already spent on development double! I think France was very gutsy and wise to pull out and now the fruits of that labor are a very competitive export aircraft and a better strike aircraft (in my book).
What I'd like to see is a US/UK/France collaboration for a fighter to take us into the UCAV generation. I think we only have maybe one more manned fighter generation left (after F-22, JSF and current). I would suspect it would be a tailess, 3D nozzle design with phased arrays pointing 360 degrees (like an AEGIS) as well as internal bays for weapons. Regardless, this would allow great economy of scale and provide each country plenty of work. Also, joint warfare would be greatly enhanced with common airframes. Imagine Bosnia with everyone using the same COMM gear, datalinks etc. I know that probably won't happen.

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bob671
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posted 08-08-2000 08:36 AM     Profile for bob671   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
The corrosion problems on Australia's F/A-18s are common knowledge. Whenever anything appears on news reports about the F/A-18s, the corrosion is always mentioned.

[This message has been edited by bob671 (edited 08-08-2000).]


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TWalt
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posted 08-08-2000 09:48 AM     Profile for TWalt   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Bob671,
Corrosion was a very small problem early on in US Navy F/A-18A/B (mainly fasteners and a few assemblies) so I don't understand why it's so much worse in RAAF. There was a pretty big QC program developed around the A/B to ensure corrosion was quickly caught and controlled but even now, the Marines and Reserves are flying high-time A/B with plenty of sea exposure and no major corrosion troubles. I wonder if the export A/B used different materials or production methods which may be contributing.

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posted 08-08-2000 09:57 AM     Profile for Avatar   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
TWalt, you are truly the king of the rationalizers.

The F-18's in Australia are rust-buckets. Just face it.


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TWalt
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posted 08-08-2000 11:51 AM     Profile for TWalt   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Guys,
As far as the Canadian F/A-18A/B's, all reports show that the only major problem is centered around lack of spares for some of the orignal avionics (this is being addressed in the upgrade program) and some premature wingroot cracks due to the more aggressive nature of their sorties (this is being addressed by both the RAAF and Canadians in a joint monitoring project). I have yet to see 1 report based on corrosion problems. The earlier statements about how there are only X number of hornets left out of 138 is pure BS. The Canadians were forced to mothball a large chunk of the fleet do to finances and the part availability problems. They plan on fully upgrading 100 CF-18's and possibly selling the remainder due to cash shortages. Both the RAAF and Canada plan on utilizing the upgraded A/B til around 2015-2020. Part of the structure monitoring program includes an airframe depot-level upgrade to sustain the full 6,000 hour airframe life. This is a normal maintenance activity for any high-hour aircraft to ensure safety and performance. The unique monitoring program will ensure that each plane is updated at the right time and further maintenance is controlled based on need. Pretty solid approach to limiting maintenance costs!
Also, I've yet to see even 1 report claiming corrosion as a major problem for the RAAF Hornets as well. Really, where do you guys see this stuff??

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TWalt
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posted 08-08-2000 12:26 PM     Profile for TWalt   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Oh and Bob671,
As far as the E/F's price, the details of the contract can be found at boeing's web site. I already stated this but to recap the first 222 production E/F have been awarded over 5 years for $8.9 billion (that's $40.1 million per aircraft). Only about 50 of these 222 will have the modified front fuselage, AESA radar, and upgraded rear cockpit for the F model. The export price will of course be derived from avionics fit, with an average price of near $40 million (slightly more for AESA equipped units).

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posted 08-08-2000 12:41 PM     Profile for Avatar   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
TWalt,

The majority of amusement found in your incessant support of the Bug is simply that to you, the F-18 can do no evil. It has no flaws. It is the perfect fighting aircraft.

No matter what forum you are on, no matter what evidence of shortcomings anyone provides regarding the F-18, you find a way to rationalize it away as either trivial, false, or inaccurate. Even from those who obviously know better than you.

While the Bug is a very capable fighter, there are many equal and superior designs. Even the venerable Tomcat, the aircraft it attempts to replace, has certain performance edges over the F-18 line.

Be that as it may, while the F-18 is a fair strike aircraft and a capable fighter, it does neither to any degree of excellence.


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posted 08-08-2000 12:46 PM     Profile for Avatar   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Funny, I just ran across this post! Hope the author does not mind the reprint!

Hi,
I can see you're a stong proponent, but as usual the Navy will get what it pays for. I guess that's all we can expect for $40 million. A super Tom would cost a lot more, but deliver and I guess with all the waisted money on the NATF and A-12 there's just no way to pay for it. The Super hornet is a good plane, but it failed to adequately make up for the Hornet's most glaring problems, range, endurance, T/W, and enough speed to disengage from or intercept a bandit. It's going to be a plus for the Navy but we should have saved our money, covered the gap with more Hornet classics and got a large number of improved JSF's. Tomcats are now the strike aircraft of choice in the Navy and the Super Hornet still didn't won't close that gap (some range improvements which are bigger on paper than in real life as any carrier pilot knows). It is neither as good a strike airplane as an F15E or even the F14D, nor a great improvement in the air - air category. Got to love the reduced signature though, but we sure didn't need to buy a new airplane for that if you know what I mean.

------------------
John "NavlAV8r" Simon


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TWalt
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posted 08-08-2000 01:18 PM     Profile for TWalt   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Avatar,
Hey, I never said it was perfect, I'm just keeping the keel even. I post what I find. As far as not as good in strike as the F-14D, that's total crap! The F-14D has range and acceleration advantage over the E/F and that's it. Top speed is lower (due to LANTIRN carriage), it's limited to PGM carriage (no JSOW, SLAM-ER/HARPOON, HARM etc), no SEAD capability, the LANTIRN is not in the same league as the ATFLIR, limited AA missile carriage in strike config (LANTIRN eats up 1 of 2 hardpoints for A/A), no ALE-50/55, huge RCS, highest maintenance costs in all current US fighters.
Need any more reasons?

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posted 08-08-2000 01:46 PM     Profile for Avatar   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
TWalt,

I am laughing over here! What part of "No matter what forum you are on, no matter what evidence of shortcomings anyone provides regarding the F-18, you find a way to rationalize it away as either trivial, false, or inaccurate. Even from those who obviously know better than you" did you not understand? Is English your second language??


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TWalt
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posted 08-08-2000 02:07 PM     Profile for TWalt   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Avator,
Here's some more:
1. No A/G radar.
2. Less effective than the F/A-18C in a threat environment (in other words, you might get there w/o tanking but you won't live!).
3. The cost of buying more F/A-18C late lot aircraft and upgrading the F-14 fleet (A, B and D models) to meet the increased threat environment (improved ECM, integrated FLIR, radar A/G, airframe mods to increase lifespan) is billions more than the E/F option.
4. The mighty Super Tomcat 21 (totally new airframe, engines, radar upgrade, etc) was the only aircraft ever deemed superior to the E/F but was also billions more to procure.

The real story is that for $5 billion in research, what should you get? Certainly not an all new design capable of blowing all future aircraft away (although the E/F will be vary capable against it's threats). I've already mentioned how the Rafale and Typhoon were 3 times more expensive to develop and the Typhoon is nearly twice as expensive to buy. Make no mistake, this is a bridge aircraft, designed to take us to the JSF without giving up a tactical advantage to current threats. If we went with C/D hornets and F-14's, the Su-30/37 would dominate air engagements and the range limitations of the C/D would still require lots of tanking assets the Navy neither owns nor can afford to buy. The current plan to slowly phase out the F-14 makes the most sense in a limited budget. C/D's will slowly disappear a little later as the JSF becomes operational. Naval JSF with a 600+ nm radius will absorb the deep strike mission of the F-14D while the AESA equipped E/F will contine to provide an effective multi-mission platform.


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TWalt
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posted 08-08-2000 02:09 PM     Profile for TWalt   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Avatar,
Your "evidence" is crap! Prove me wrong knucklehead! My evidence is backed by Congressional reports, not some self acclaimed "pilot". I just don't like it when people throw up a bunch of BS and then can't back it up.

[This message has been edited by TWalt (edited 08-08-2000).]


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Zed
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posted 08-08-2000 02:40 PM     Profile for Zed     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
I'm getting really annoyed with this ever escalating Typhoon costing..

quote:
I've already mentioned how the Rafale and Typhoon were 3 times more expensive to develop and the Typhoon is nearly twice as expensive to buy.

So from Flight International Supplement - 'Eurofighter Typhoon Watch':

"The umbrella contract signed in '98 set a maximum price for all 620 aircraft, plus options, with production contracts to be awarded for three tranches at progressively lower fixed prices. NETMA deputy general manager Christian Biener put the average unit flyaway cost ast "DM58-60 million"($31-32million)"

...and this is proceeded by...

"Eurofighter will start final assesmbly with a 12-month cycle time, with the objective of reducing this to 4 months, says Sequera[production phase programme director]. "If we cut time by 2/3, we cut cost by 1/2," he says"

You must understand that the Tranche agreements are binding, any shortfall will have to made up by the manufacturer.

It may have cost more to develop but it is a new configuration to whatever went before. I cannot speak for what the French are up to, but our bird is NOT expensive for what it can do...compare that to the F-22, $64 million unit cost projection!

Z

[This message has been edited by Zed (edited 08-08-2000).]


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Ben J
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posted 08-08-2000 02:50 PM       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Yes, I trust everything the congress says. Don't we all?

The F/A-18 is a much better attack aircraft than the F-14, no matter how you cut it. F/A-18 avionics and package have been designed for this from the start. Especially with the E/F model, that was the focus of the improvements. This is the case BEACUSE the E/F model is THE interim strike plane for the next 5 years (at least).

Though the Tomcat is still a much better A2A machine (especially with the new engines in the D model), is has not and will never be 'the strike aircraft of choice'. It is not a stike aircraft. The Hornet, in it's inital design was the best aircraft in the world for a (very) short time in the early/mid '80s.

The primary drawback in design of the F/A-18 was to not include enough space to expand the fighter with increases in technology over the years. This is the primary remedy addreses in the E/F versions. Basically they made the fighter too small in the first place; this is a problem not evident in the F-14.

And yes, avatar, the Hornet is a 'Jack-of-all-Trades' plane. The only reason it never replaced the F-14 in the pure fighter role is that the Tomcat is stil the best in the world at standoff air defence (and by that I mean OTH), which is something that a blue water navy can still use.

And I'm very interested to hear more about the corrosion problem. I've never heard of this on any operational US Navy plane, so it surprises me that this one would be special or different.


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posted 08-08-2000 03:12 PM     Profile for Avatar   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
TWalt,

"Your "evidence" is crap! Prove me wrong knucklehead!"

"Crap"?? "Knucklehead"?? I am disappointed in you, Walter! Reduced to name calling so easily. Shame on you.


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Rosco
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posted 08-08-2000 03:12 PM     Profile for Rosco   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
TWalt,

Regarding airframe changes. The Rafale will probably lose it's vertical stabilizer altogether {except for a vestigal bump housing the displaced EW pod} when it gets 3-D thrust vectoring. Another major RCS reducer would be the "cocooning" or low observables podding of the {smaller} weapons and pylons. There will be other, smaller changes as well {like extensive use of advanced RAM} but details are pretty vague at this point.

------------------
"And if you don't like it, eat a gun"


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Rosco
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posted 08-08-2000 05:15 PM     Profile for Rosco   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Also,

As Zed alluded to, the price of the new European fighters can't be directly compared to the E/F as they are not only all-new designs themselves but their expensive sub-components {like SPECTRA for instance} are included in their developement price, where's the E/F's are hidden.

I mean, are the develope costs of things like the IDECM or APG-73 included in the Super Hornet program's $47B total figure? Even the AESA piggybacks off other programs. For that matter what would the final figure be if you accounted for all cost going back to the YF-17 prototype?

------------------
"And if you don't like it, eat a gun"


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bob671
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posted 08-08-2000 06:08 PM     Profile for bob671   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TWalt:
Both the RAAF and Canada plan on utilizing the upgraded A/B til around 2015-2020.

Actually, the Australian Government is currently receiving tenders from aircraft companies to replace them around 2005. (Eurofighter, F-22, F-15 [rejected], F/A-18E [gag], Su-35, Su-30MK so far) According to the Australian Defence Forces White Paper, the RAAF would be much better off replacing the Hornets completely instead of just replacing all the major airframe components, which is what they feel would be needed to keep them in the air till 2015.

[This message has been edited by bob671 (edited 08-08-2000).]


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Zed
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posted 08-08-2000 06:52 PM     Profile for Zed     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
QED

[This message has been edited by Zed (edited 08-08-2000).]


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Zed
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posted 08-08-2000 06:53 PM     Profile for Zed     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
In addition, let me point to the Su-35 offered to the RAAF at ~$35million; when frames are offered to client nations it is normal to include a flyaway costing (at least for Russian and Euro manufactures) which includes things such as training, both pilot and technician, spares programmes, etc. The whole package...

When a country(ies) produces an aircraft for its own airforce's use, costing for e.g. training are eliminated from the costings. What is included is R&D, but this is not really an issue...as if we take the MIRC Tornado as an example, in the UK the RAF has had its Tornados paid for (all of them), by foreign sales; so effectively we have them for free (until, of course, the next cycle of upgrades come along). This makes the Su-35 (even at non-fly-away cost) very impressive. Weapons integration will not really be an issue, as with the -29SMT has proved, a combination system that provided both Russian protocols & MIL-STD 1553B has been produced in one package...
...operational cost is another issue as unless frame & engine life can get to at lest 2/3 that of western fighters (i.e. 4000hrs) fight restrictions on hours will apply degrading readiness ratings of crews. (will either that or pay more for referbs or new frames).

Just calling out a costing is meaningless, if it is not placed in context.

Z


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posted 08-08-2000 07:45 PM     Profile for bob671   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Zed:

That's $AUS35 million, which works out to about $US20 million.

Since Australia is being offered full manufacturing and technology rights, refurbishment and upgrades to the aircraft could be done a lot cheaper and easier than with other aircraft.


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Zed
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posted 08-09-2000 03:15 AM     Profile for Zed     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Now that really is amazing; i did not know that, thanks for the heads-up!

The would highly simplify airframe life extension, and the level of autonomy achieved by manufactureing the frame yourself cannot be overlooked. But of course politics will underpin any deal like this...look at the Turkish attack-helicopter deal.

Z


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posted 08-09-2000 04:39 AM     Profile for bob671   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Also export rights...

I admit that helicopters aren't really my "thing," but I've never seen anything that suggested that the AH-1Z is a particularly awe-inspiring machine. Anyone know the official reason that it was chosen over the Tiger, Mangusta or Ka-52? (Ka-50-2?) The whole deal seems to suggest that political reasons were the real motivation for the choice.


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Zed
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posted 08-09-2000 06:54 AM     Profile for Zed     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
It seems you already know the answer as you hit it right on the head!

Politics is always a factor; but the selection was essentially a continuation of the type currently in service - so i guess integration would be easier (from a training & maintanence point of view)...but for the cost of it & the added increase in ability, it would not have been my first choice...

Z


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TWalt
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posted 08-09-2000 07:16 AM     Profile for TWalt   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Bob and Zed,
I strictly spoke of unit costs for the E/F and Typhoon to keep things clear. I was aware the Su-35 was offered at a much lower price but this price you're quoting ($20 million US if it can be believed) was unit cost, not systems cost (pilot training is cheap, even for US aircraft). Then, if the RAAF wanted to get production license and local parts manufacturing (a requirement considering they cannot outsource this work), the costs shot up from there. It is still one of the cheapest aircraft offered in both unit and systems costs, but not $20 million US for total systems costs. Explain how the Indian government, which purchased 40 Su-30MKI aircraft for $1.2 billion (not systems costs as all parts production, depot work will be done internally) got ripped off? I'm certain the SU-35 was being offered for much more, the figure given was probably a blatant PR attempt to make the price attractive.
As far as the AH-1Z is concerned, you guessed correctly when you mentioned supportability as the primary factor in it's choice. This makes the AH-1Z more attractive in operational use though, I too agree it is not the clear performance champion (it's not a piece of junk either!).

Rosco,
You can include the development of some of the components (particularly the AESA radar IMO) but the others, including ATFLIR APG-73 and IDECM, were being developed separately as future upgrades. So, go ahead and add $403 million for the AESA to the R&D of the E/F but it's stil only $5.3 billion (orignally $4.9 bil + $403 million). The ATFLIR only cost around $60 million to develop and will upgrade the C/D fleet as well so that is both insignificant in cost and a shared technology, so you can't lump it all into the E/F R&D. APG-73 was developed for the C/D and deployed in 1994, E/F uses it because that's the current radar available, no R&D to speak of. IDECM is a joint Navy/Air Force project that will equip the B-1B and partially the F-15 as well as the E/F (total R&D about $1.5 billion spilt between USAF and USN). If added to E/F R&D, total would climb to roughly $6 billion. That would be like saying that any future upgrade to the Rafale has to be added to it's development costs. The Navy wants these upgrades now, vice later but the orignal development didn't require either. In fact, OPEVAL was attained without them (only the ALE-50 decoy was carried). What happened was the threat changed pretty drastically from the development phase in 91 to the production phase (present) and the Navy decided to mature the aircraft quicker than originally envisioned. Either way you want to slice it, the $40 million Navy price tag includes these other upgrades and the export price will only creep up a few million. The export is expected to contain AESA (including new fuselage) and IDECM, ATFLIR is a podded system so this of course can be purchased if desired (around $2 million per). That still puts the E/F in the bargain basement of development costs.

[This message has been edited by TWalt (edited 08-09-2000).]


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Zed
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posted 08-09-2000 07:24 AM     Profile for Zed     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Err...hold-on, 'export rights' litterally means that they are giving you this design! ???

...take the money & run!

Local modification and development could lead to a boost in the local aerospace industry that could mean jobs and if exorts are forthcoming, a self sustaining industry...intersting. I wonder why they have done this...maybe they are this desperate to cut into the Western market, or they view this model as getting old quickly, or maybewhat they have on their drawing boards is so much better...

Interestingly though, what China has ordered is not the Su-35 or the Su-30MKK, but something called the Su-37KK (export Su-37)...

Z


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Zed
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posted 08-09-2000 07:36 AM     Profile for Zed     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
In reality the Indians were not ripped off as the R&D was dones exclusvely for them, at their request for their fit requirements. Add to that the hicked cost of components that had to be bought by Sukhoi from e.g. Marconi & Thompson, the price goes up...them there is integration costs...+support from the Euro companies that supply them spares; and after all that they have to turn a profit. Plus there is the license-build agreement to consider...that must have cost some. I do not see this sort of thing happening with the F/A-18E/F any time soon.

...and this still does not get away from the fact that the Typhoon is alot cheaper...(and that includes spares!)

Z

[This message has been edited by Zed (edited 08-09-2000).]


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TWalt
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posted 08-09-2000 08:24 AM     Profile for TWalt   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Zed,
The license agreement for the RAAF A/B hornets comes to mind here. Why not the E/F?
Typhoon cheaper? How?
Unit costs of $70-80 million (twice E/F), maintenance + parts higher (E/F has significantly less parts than the C/D which is already a world leader in maintainability).
P.S. I've talked to RAAF techs whose only gripe is the earlier than anticipated wing box fatigue I mentioned. No major corrosion problems!!

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bob671
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posted 08-09-2000 08:28 AM     Profile for bob671   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
As anyone who has to deal with figures will tell you, you can make figures say anything, and TWalt uses this to good effect. He's been using the local cost of the F/A-18E compared to the export cost of the Typhoon. If any country other than the US had the F/A-18E forced upon them, they would pay a lot more for them than what the US pays for them, I'd put my personal guess at between $70 and 80 million each.
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TWalt
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posted 08-09-2000 08:50 AM     Profile for TWalt   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Bob671
Believe what you want. Boeing has already made a significant profit off this fighter based on the development alone. This enabled a very competitive $40 million US pricetag and export pricing will creep up only marginally (unit costs!!). As far as parts, maintenance, and licenses, the RAAF paid peanuts to jump into the F-18 production business (still supplying parts even for E/F!!), the E/F has 42% fewer parts than the C/D (C/D won over most of it's export contracts on maintainability and low operational costs), even the RAF states the unit cost of their Typhoons at $62-70 million depending on version/lot number purchased, with a systems cost of over $79 million per plane. Greece agreed to pay about $95 million per plane for 60 so there's the real proof. E/F hasn't won any export contracts yet but don't roll over dead when you see a systems cost of $50 million for the E/F.

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Zed
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posted 08-09-2000 09:06 AM     Profile for Zed     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Like i said...

"NETMA deputy general manager Christian Biener put the average unit flyaway cost ast "DM58-60 million"($31-32million)"

...so tell me where you are getting your figures?

Z


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bob671
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posted 08-09-2000 09:12 AM     Profile for bob671   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
The UAE paid $6.4 billion for 80 F-16 Block 60s, which works out to $80 million each. Greece paid $4.9 billion for its 60 Eurofighters, making them about $80 million each as well. Greece also recently ordered 50 F-16C/D Block 50+, paying $2.1 billion for them, making them $42 million each. Israel paid $2.5 billion for 50 F-16Is, making them $50 million each. South Africa paid $64 million for each of their 28 Griphens, a total of $1.8 billion. How about the F-15s ordered by Saudi Arabia for between $208 million and $625 million each?(!) ("24 F-15 fighter jets at a price estimated between $5 and $15 billion" - http://www.clw.org/cat/atn0400.html )

I have serious doubts that the US would sell the F/A-18E for $40 million considering theprices of some of the other aircraft being sold.


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posted 08-09-2000 10:30 AM     Profile for Avatar   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
bob671,

Arguing with TWalt is a lot like beating your head against a wall. It feels better once you stop.

You will convince him of nothing, as his mind is already made up: the F-18 is the best fighter in the world. Nothing beats it in performance, cost, or looks. In fact, it even makes a mean omelette on Sunday mornings!


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TWalt
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posted 08-09-2000 10:54 AM     Profile for TWalt   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Bob671,
Re-read my earlier posts. Unit cost and systems cost are not the same. The export systems cost will be around $50-52 million, possibly slightly lower due to production efficiencies during the Navy production run. The Greek buy was for 60 at $5.7 billion US (from the Eurofighter-Typhooon.com website, you know the manufacturer!!), which works out to $95 million per systems cost.
Boy, the more I look at the numbers, the harder it is for me to believe the incredible bargain the E/F offers. Wouldn't you rather have 120 E/F's?

[This message has been edited by TWalt (edited 08-09-2000).]


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Zed
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posted 08-09-2000 11:45 AM     Profile for Zed     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Ah, i see Bob, he is 'fixing' the numbers...thats a really good point.

Z


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TWalt
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posted 08-09-2000 11:55 AM     Profile for TWalt   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message   Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote
Zed,
Fixing what numbers? All I'm doing is pointing out the facts, not distributing baseless data from obscure websites.

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