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F-35 - International Participation

This is a discussion on F-35 - International Participation within the Air Force & Aviation forum, part of the Global Defense & Military category; I always hear people in internet land state they would like to see Australia produce a fighter jet ect. With ...


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Old April 11th, 2013   #31
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I always hear people in internet land state they would like to see Australia produce a fighter jet ect. With JSF we(Australia) will be a supplier of parts for plane that may reach 3000 plus units.To me this is a point that the press has yet to pick up and push onto the Australian public. We always hear negativity about JSF ,would be nice for the press to pick up on this positive fact.

LM have released a great video on Australian suppliers for JSF

Australia's F-35 Suppliers - YouTube
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Old April 14th, 2013   #32
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United Arab Emirates is taking an interest in the F-35

12 April 2013 — The United Arab Emirates has expressed interest in acquiring the Joint Strike Fighter. Industry sources said the UAE leadership has been quietly discussing the prospect of acquiring the F-35 fighter-jet from the United States. They said JSF was raised by UAE officials and military officers in several forums over the last year.

“The UAE wants to be part of JSF, and eventually share in technology and
co-production,” a source said. The sources said UAE Air Force officers were briefed on the F-35 program during IDEX-2013, which took place in Abu Dhabi in February. They said the UAE proposed becoming a regional hub for maintenance and marketing of JSF to Gulf Cooperation Council states...

<snip>
It seems there is news that the UAE is taking an interest in the F-35 and we'll just have to see if this pans out with a buy at a later date.
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Old April 15th, 2013   #33
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It seems there is news that the UAE is taking an interest in the F-35 and we'll just have to see if this pans out with a buy.
Do the GCC states require that level of technology, presumably as a counter to Iran? The GCC states already have sizable fleets of advanced 4G aircraft e.g Typhoon, Eagle, Viper, etc. well exceeding any potential adversary. OTOH, any sale of F-35s may be perceived as altering the strategic balance vis-a-vis Israel.
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Old April 15th, 2013   #34
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Extract of World Air Forces - 2013

Iran - Combat Aircraft
F-4D/E/RF-4E - 28
F-5E - 20
F-5F - 10
F-6 - 18
F-7 - 17
F-14 - 26
MiG-29 - 16
Mirage F1 - 5
Su-24 - 27
Looking at the above 2013 Iranian fighter numbers, from a homeland defence perspective for the GCC countries, they would be more capable of spanking the Iranians in any air battle. Many in GCC have air forces that are technologically more advanced than Iran; and from a control of the air perspective (over their own territorial air space in the respective GCC countries) against Iranian fighters. But unfortunately, that is not the issue.

The issue for GCC countries: What, if Iran acts against GCC interests again? In particular, by attacking shipping via missiles and mines. OR if Iran does something else, like staging and conducting deniable actions like supporting various terrorist spectaculars in GCC countries?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ISS
Extract from the Military Balance 2010 (from page 238 to 239)

...Iran has already fielded a Shahab-3 missile with the one-tonne payload capacity and 1.2m airframe diameter necessary to carry a nuclear warhead. Its 1,300km range encompasses Israel, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. The Shahab-3 also formed the first stage of the twostage rocket Iran used to launch its first satellite into low-earth orbit in February 2009. Perhaps more worrying was the November 2008 test firing of a new medium- range ballistic missile, the solid-fuelled Sajjil. Though its range and payload are similar to the Shahab, the faster launch time of a solid-fuelled rocket of this type reduces vulnerability to pre-emptive strikes. Iran also reported successful firings of Shahab and Sajjil missiles at the end of the Great Prophet IV exercise conducted by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in September 2009. But Tehran must also contend with home-grown security threats: six commanders of the IRGC (including the deputy commander of the IRGC ground forces) were killed in an 18 October attack in Sistan-Baluchistan Province, which killed 43 in total.

The Jundullah terrorist group, which has promoted a brand of Sunni radicalism in the tribal region through abductions and executions of police and military officers, claimed responsibility. Earlier in the year, the Basij paramilitary force, which is effectively under IRGC control, was heavily employed against demonstrators during protests over the announced victory, in the presidential election, of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad...


From page 251 onwards
-------------------------------------------------------------------
ACTIVE 523,000 (Army 350,000 Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps 125,000 Navy 18,000 Air 30,000) Paramilitary 40,000
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Army 130,000; 220,000 conscript (total 350,000)
------------------------------------------------------------------
Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Ground
Forces 100,000+
------------------------------------------------------------------
Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps
Naval Forces 20,000+ (incl 5,000 Marines)
------------------------------------------------------------------
Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Air Force
Controls Iran’s strategic missile force.
------------------------------------------------------------------
Air Force 30,000 (incl 12,000 Air Defence)
------------------------------------------------------------------
Navy 18,000
------------------------------------------------------------------
The issue at hand is really, escalation options for the GCC. In that respect, their force structures have important gaps in capabilities that restrict their escalation options viz-viz Iran (especially if the escalation plan does not have full American participation). It is not in question that the various Arab regimes hate the regime in power in Iran and have set up the Peninsula Shield Force (led by Saudi Arabia), in the past. The issue at hand is both sides lack good options for escalation.

When Robert Gates visited Riyadh in August 2007, he got an earful from Saudi King Abdullah, who urged “a full-scale military attack on Iranian military targets, not just the nuclear sites.” This Saudi view point was reported in cables released by WikiLeaks in 2010, wherein Saudi King Abdullah urged the US to attack Iran, “cut off the head of the snake” and halt its nuclear program. “As far as I was concerned, he was asking the United States to send its sons and daughters into a war with Iran in order to protect the Saudi position in the Gulf and the region, as if we were mercenaries,” said Robert Gates. So as you can see, the Americans only want sanctions against Iran and not war.

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Originally Posted by colay View Post
Do the GCC states require that level of technology, presumably as a counter to Iran?
I must qualify that we cannot see the GCC as a single block; given their differences and their need to be competitive within the GCC.

Having said that, there are gaps in air power capabilities (in the four air power roles) that each GCC country would like to address. IMO, the most significant of which is gaps in their individual ISR capability for control of their littoral waters and the adjacent SLOC. The 1988, Operation Praying Mantis, comes to mind, on options available to GCC states. This includes using Apache helicopters against swarming small boat threats by the IRGC. Apache operators in GCC countries include Saudi Arabia with 12 (and 70 more on order), UAE with 30, Kuwait with 16, and Egypt with 36; but the Iranians seemed to have learnt from that prior unequal encounter with the US Navy.

Quote:
Extract of World Air Forces - 2013

UAE - Combat Aircraft
F-16E - 54
F-16F* - 24
Mirage 2000EAD/RAD - 16
Mirage 2000-9/EAD/RAD - 33
Mirage 2000DAD* - 2
Mirage 2000-9DAD* - 13

*Two seaters/Operation Conversion Unit
With regard to the above discussion, I can understand UAE's interest in the F-35 for three of the four roles of air power (namely, control of the air, attack and ISR). If the Americans were to offer the F-35 to UAE, it might have the potential to scuttle the current French attempt to sell the Rafale to UAE. On the other hand, it could just be UAE 'indirectly' telling France that there are other options and keeping the French on their toes. In this case, I have no firm views on the matter.

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Originally Posted by colay View Post
The GCC states already have sizable fleets of advanced 4G aircraft e.g Typhoon, Eagle, Viper, etc. well exceeding any potential adversary.
Yes, they have acquired the fighter platforms and have trained hard to ensure that these can perform as expected. However, platform competence by itself is not enough to assert control of the sea by GCC countries. I suspect that they will want and need extensive external help from external parties with naval warfare and expeditionary capabilities (eg. US, UK, France and the usual Western suspects), given that the Iranians also operate a number of miniature submarines.

Simply put, I don't know enough about GCC countries to discuss their level of competence at combined arms warfare, collectively, nor shall I attempt it; as I am liable to do the discussion gross injustice.

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Originally Posted by colay View Post
OTOH, any sale of F-35s may be perceived as altering the strategic balance vis-a-vis Israel.
This will not be a simple discussion (the scope of discussion is too wide, as currently framed) and I would like to keep away from such a broad topic due of my lack of knowledge on certain specific details of each and every country. Gur Laish, writing on "Israel and the F-35" in Strategic Assessment, Volume 13 No. 4 (January 2011), raised a couple of interesting points (see the extract below quoted from pages 14-15) but they do not answer your query in detail.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gur Laish
Maintaining the Qualitative Edge

Russia’s renewed production and sale of high quality weapons, sales by countries in the Far East, and the economic situation in the United States and Europe makes the American (and European) need to sell advanced weapons to states in the region that are not direct enemies of Israel, e.g., Saudi Arabia, more acute than ever. In order to compete with other weapons manufacturers, the Americans must sell the most innovative systems, as with, for example, the recently publicized arms deal to sell and upgrade F-15s to Saudi Arabia. Such weapons deals affect the region both directly and indirectly: directly, in that the very sale of these weapons to the Saudis makes it easier to sell similar weapons to other countries; indirectly, because weapons such as these in Saudi hands spark an arms race among its enemies and motivates them to attain the same weapons. It also legitimizes sales, so that at the end of the process, the entire region is armed with better weapons than before.

However, maintaining Israel’s qualitative edge over the region’s armed forces of enemies and non-enemies is an important component of Israel’s security concept, and the United States is even obligated to this principle by law. When weapons that are identical and at times even superior to what Israel has are sold to other actors in the region, this challenges Israel’s qualitative edge, and the only way to maintain the gap in quality in the air is by purchasing and operating the next generation of weapon systems. Maintaining the qualitative advantage has strategic significance for deterrence and may have concrete effects in a confrontation. The regional arms race forces Israel to equip itself with the next generation of weapon systems...


<snip>
Perhaps you might want to keep a lookout for some other think tank discussions, or we can see if any other member would chime in with more details.
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Old April 20th, 2013   #35
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Here is the TV interview that Gen Bogden gave to Netherlands TV.

Gen Bogden Netherlands TV interview 18 April 2013 - YouTube

Here is a slide that shows a Block by Block and Tech Refresh capability Level.

blocks1_zpsccc5bbbf.jpg

Here is the PDF (in Dutch) that it came from.

http://t.co/bkKAfGGsLA

Here is the Google Translate of the PDF.

Google Translate

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Old April 21st, 2013   #36
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Here is the PDF (in Norwegian) that it came from.

http://t.co/bkKAfGGsLA
In Dutch you mean...
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Old April 21st, 2013   #37
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Thanks for the catch
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Old April 30th, 2013   #38
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The UAE had earlier purchased 80 of the F-16 E/Fs, the most advanced variants flying. I don't know how this impacts earlier reports of reported UAE interest in the F-35 but it's obviously a more complex situation with Israel's security concerns figuring in the equation.

UAE Orders More F-16E/F Fighters | Aviation International News



UAE Orders More F-16E/F Fighters
APRIL 26, 2013

The United Arab Emirates Air Force has decided to buy another 25 Lockheed Martin F-16 Block 60 fighters. The deal is worth $4- to $5 billion, according to a senior Pentagon official who briefed reporters in Washington. The UAE, together with Saudi Arabia, will also be receiving unspecified “advanced standoff weapons” for its fighters, added the same official. The sales have not yet been formally notified to the U.S. Congress, although the Pentagon had consulted with key legislators there, according to the official...

The U.S. gained private approval from Israel for the new sale, together with the earlier deal to supply 84 new F-15SA Strike Eagles to Saudi Arabia. The perceived threat to regional security from Iran is driving this accommodation. The senior Pentagon official made explicit, for the first time, the conditions of use that are attached to such sales. “There will be enhanced end-use monitoring…and consultation before any of [these] weapons’ deployment,” he said.
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Old May 1st, 2013   #39
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The UAE had earlier purchased 80 of the F-16 E/Fs, the most advanced variants flying. I don't know how this impacts earlier reports of reported UAE interest in the F-35
I think this makes an F-35 order a near certainty. Wikileaks had a 2009 cable transcript of a meeting between Bahrain's king and Gen. Petraeus. The Persian Gulf kingdoms were keen on getting the F-35 as soon as possible and Petraeus assured him it would be made available when the aircraft is ready.

The F-16 order allows the UAE to replace their older M-2000s without introducing a new type and sets them up for a 30-40 F-35 order in 2016-7 for 2020 introduction. I believe if the UAE had intentions of buying the Rafale or E.F. they would have ordered 60 instead of the F-16s. A stealth aircraft that can hit Tehran from the southern P.G. is a compelling deterrent for all the P.G. countries.

Google "Wikileaks casts light on arms sales process"
But the cables sometimes reveal the private thoughts of key players. For example, in a private meeting with Gen David Petraeus, King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain agreed with his visitor's claim that the Dassault Rafale is "yesterday's technology", according to a dispatch dated 4 November 2009.

Hamad's comments carry some weight in the fighter business. Bahrain may be in the market to replace its fleet of Northrop F-5s. If the USA offers the Lockheed Martin F-16 or Boeing F/A-18, the Rafale is from the same era.

But if the USA offers the Lockheed F-35, it could boast offering "today's" technology. In January, a Lockheed Martin executive attending the Bahrain air show told reporters that Arab states would start buying the F-35 after Israel signs an order.


The Israelis have signed.
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Old May 1st, 2013   #40
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The UK is expected to order 14 F35B's for the first squadron to be stood up in 2016 by the end of 2013 (Or at least "autority to procure"). It's widely expected to be 17(R) Squadron which will be the OEU for the F35B in the UK as they've started work winding down on the Typhoon in preperation for the F35B's introduction.

UK set to procure first F-35 Lightning II squadron

Quote:
The UK is expected to obtain authority to procure its first squadron of Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)/Joint Combat Aircraft (JCA) before the end of 2013, IHS Jane's was told on 18 April.

Speaking at BAE Systems' Warton production facility in Lancashire, Craig Smith, the head of F-35 Sustainment Programme Development UK/EU, said that military officials with industry support are working on the Main Gate 4 approval process for the procurement of an additional 14 F-35Bs to stand up the UK's first squadron in 2016 and to be declared operational in 2018.

"Main Gate 4 is being worked on right now, and should be submitted to the Treasury later in 2013," he said. "Another 14 aircraft will be ordered to stand up 'Squadron A' [the Ministry of Defence has yet to assign a unit designation] in 2016, with support to run through to 2020."

Overall platforms numbers for the UK remain the subject of speculation, beyond the initial 48 announced by Defence Secretary Philip Hammond in 2012. The programme of record remains at 138 aircraft, but no firm numbers will be announced until the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) in 2015.

With three UK F-35B aircraft already delivered, a contract for the fourth is expected in the coming months.
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Old May 1st, 2013   #41
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I think this makes an F-35 order a near certainty. Wikileaks had a 2009 cable transcript of a meeting between Bahrain's king and Gen. Petraeus. The Persian Gulf kingdoms were keen on getting the F-35 as soon as possible and Petraeus assured him it would be made available when the aircraft is ready.

The F-16 order allows the UAE to replace their older M-2000s without introducing a new type and sets them up for a 30-40 F-35 order in 2016-7 for 2020 introduction. I believe if the UAE had intentions of buying the Rafale or E.F. they would have ordered 60 instead of the F-16s. A stealth aircraft that can hit Tehran from the southern P.G. is a compelling deterrent for all the P.G. countries.

Google "Wikileaks casts light on arms sales process"
But the cables sometimes reveal the private thoughts of key players. For example, in a private meeting with Gen David Petraeus, King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain agreed with his visitor's claim that the Dassault Rafale is "yesterday's technology", according to a dispatch dated 4 November 2009.

Hamad's comments carry some weight in the fighter business. Bahrain may be in the market to replace its fleet of Northrop F-5s. If the USA offers the Lockheed Martin F-16 or Boeing F/A-18, the Rafale is from the same era.

But if the USA offers the Lockheed F-35, it could boast offering "today's" technology. In January, a Lockheed Martin executive attending the Bahrain air show told reporters that Arab states would start buying the F-35 after Israel signs an order.


The Israelis have signed.
That's certainly one scenario and time will tell. My comment about Israel has to do with it's influence in Congress and the possibility it will perceive any F-35 sale to a GCC state as upsetting the strategic force balance in the region.
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Old May 1st, 2013   #42
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That's certainly one scenario and time will tell. My comment about Israel has to do with it's influence in Congress and the possibility it will perceive any F-35 sale to a GCC state as upsetting the strategic force balance in the region.
I think Israeli influence over US sales is overrated. The GCC is no longer focused on Israel. 1973 is long gone. Even then, Saudis got their F-15s over Israeli objections. From the same article referenced in the prev post:

Last month, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) informed Congress that Saudi Arabia had requested a possible sale of 72 Boeing F-15SAs. But that step came after a series of talks with Israeli officials.

A cable on 30 July 2009 describes Israel's opposition to the deal as focused on four key items - the transfer of Enhanced Paveway II bombs, joint helmet mounted cueing systems (JHMCS) and active electronically scanned array (AESA) radars, as well as basing the aircraft in northern Saudi Arabia.

But it is now clear that US officials did not back down. The DSCA notice announcing the possible Saudi purchased listed both JHMCS and AESA as part of the deal. Despite Israel's objections to Enhanced Paveway II bombs, Saudi Arabia is negotiating a deal that includes Enhanced Paveway III munitions.
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Old May 2nd, 2013   #43
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It seems the RAAF is sticking with it's plans to acquire up to 100 F-35s, giving the Program a welcome shot in the arm.


http://www.lse.co.uk/macroeconomicNe...ence_blueprint



WASHINGTON/CANBERRA, May 2 (Reuters) - Australia's government is expected to affirm plans to buy up to 100 Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jets, according to a defense blueprint to be released on Friday, easing concerns hanging over the future of the controversial stealth fighter.

The Australian plan, as outlined by defense sources and analysts, will also call for the purchase of a dozen Boeing Co EA-18G electronic attack planes, modified versions of Boeing's Super Hornets, purchased as a stopgap for the F-35.
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Old May 2nd, 2013   #44
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Thanks for the updates, to both RobWilliam and colay. In other F-35 news in Europe, an extract of is quoted below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Norwegian MOD
26 April 2013 -- The Norwegian government today submitted a formal request to the Norwegian parliament for authorization to procure six F-35 Lightning II aircraft for delivery in 2017. In doing so, the Norwegian government follows up on its renewed plans from 2012 to stretch its procurement of the F-35 over additional years, and to accelerate its initial purchase by one year...

The Norwegian government today also announced its revised procurement plan for the F-35, which will see Norway receiving six aircraft annually from 2017 until 2024. This comes in addition to the four aircraft for training purposes that will be delivered in 2015 and 2016, for a total of 52 aircraft...

- We have concluded convincingly that the F-35 is the only aircraft that fulfills our future operational requirements. This continues to be true to this day, and we have no time to lose. Our F-16s remain among the world’s most capable aircraft of their kind, but they are also among the world’s oldest...

<snip>
This April 2013 press release on the Norwegian Government's decision is good news for the F-35 program. Fyi, the latest US attempt at estimating the F-35's costs will come on 23 May 2013, when the benchmark Selected Acquisition Report is scheduled for release and Colin Clark has an article dated 1 May 2013 at AOL that does a good job of explaining some of the differences in the life-cycle cost methodologies (in a manner helps a layman understand), that is worth a read.

For context on the program developments, see also this Flight Global report also dated 26 April 2013, where Bodgan also revealed the conventional take-off and landing F-35A should have an operating cost of $24,000 per hour: 10% more than the Royal Netherlands Air Force's fleet of Lockheed F-16s. Further, Bogdan told Hennis-Plasschaert that an initial decision by the JPO to decline an offer to lease the Dutch airframes to support testing could be changed, with the pair to potentially be used for lightning, rain and noise testing. This could save the Netherlands about €900,000 ($1.2 million) over six months - the current cost of storing the aircraft.
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Old May 3rd, 2013   #45
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Fyi, the latest US attempt at estimating the F-35's costs will come on 23 May 2013, when the benchmark Selected Acquisition Report is scheduled for release and Colin Clark has an article dated 1 May 2013 at AOL that does a good job of explaining some of the differences in the life-cycle cost methodologies (in a manner helps a layman understand), that is worth a read.

For context on the program developments, see also this Flight Global report also dated 26 April 2013, where Bodgan also revealed the conventional take-off and landing F-35A should have an operating cost of $24,000 per hour: 10% more than the Royal Netherlands Air Force's fleet of Lockheed F-16s. Further, Bogdan told Hennis-Plasschaert that an initial decision by the JPO to decline an offer to lease the Dutch airframes to support testing could be changed, with the pair to potentially be used for lightning, rain and noise testing. This could save the Netherlands about €900,000 ($1.2 million) over six months - the current cost of storing the aircraft.
As is mentioned in the first story you link to above, the 24,000 USd estimate is not quite agreed upon. In fact, in Aviationweek it says:

Quote:
USAF Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan told Dutch lawmakers that the flying hour cost for the F-35A would be about 10% higher than the F-16, a sharp reduction from earlier assessments.

“It is with a certain set of assumptions,” Kendall told reporters during a roundtable April 24 at the Pentagon, that Bogdan arrived at that figure. “I’m not sure we want to use that set of assumptions.”

The figure forthcoming to Congress next month, however, will be lower than that provided in last year’s selected acquisition report (SAR) to Capitol Hill, he says. That report cited the F-35A flying hour cost at $31.9 thousand versus $22.5 thousand for the F-16 C/D.

“That’s going to come down this year. I don’t think that is going to come down as much as Chris Bogdan indicated,” Kendall says, adding that he “doesn’t like the metric very much.”
Another Installment of ... F-35 Cost Per Flying Hour

Also, I question if the "10% more expensive than F-16" is in any case relevant to Holland. My understanding was that the F-16 number Bogdan was referring to was the USAF number. Unless Holland operates their F-16 and calculates their cost in exactly the same way as the USAF then those numbers are not directly relevant for Holland, however if all assumptions are described in detail then perhaps the Dutch can use that to derive similar Dutch numbers.


A couple of years ago Norwegian MoD estimated that the F-35 flight hours will be 40% more expensive than the F-16 flight hours. Their estimates for F-16 and F-35 were 10,760 and 15,204 USD, respectively. The numbers qouted above are clearly calculated using a completely different set of assumptions. One should treat all such estimates with great care.

Since then Norwegian Mod has not provided updated CPFH estimates, saying that it's impossible to make a valid comparison. Instead they estimate TCO, which is currently at 230 billion NOK (40 billion USD) for operating 52 F-35A for 30 years.
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