JSF: Besparelser lægger pres på usynligheden

Uanset om det er sygehuse, skoler eller kampfly det drejer sig om, så får besparelser i sidste ende konsekvenser. For JSF-kampflyprojektets vedkommende tyder meget nu på, at man har sparet på noget, der gør flyet langt mere sårbart og nemmere at skyde ned end oprindeligt planlagt.

Det store slagnummer for JSF-gigantprojektet har alle dage været flyets “stealth”-egenskaber, der ville gøre det så godt som usynligt. Men flyet har som bekendt sprængt alle tænkelige budgetrammer og prisen fortsætter blot op ad. Derfor har producenten Lockheed-Martin været ude med sparekniven. Problemet er bare, at man tilsyneladende har fjernet nogle ret vitale dele for opretholdelsen af JSF’erns usynlighed. Wired’s Dangerroom skriver:

“So Lockheed decided to trim 11 pounds and $1.4 million from each aircraft by removing shutoff valves for engine coolant and hydraulic lines and five of six dry bay fire-suppression systems,” according to InsideDefense.com

But those cuts made it much harder for the Joint Strike Fighter to withstand a hit from an anti-aircraft weapon. “When you have something full of fuel under high pressure, some of it very hot, flowing close to hot metal parts and 270 VDC electrical components, your shutoff and check valves and fire suppression in the dry bays (places fuel will spray into) are your only defense,” a knowledgeable observer notes.

Michael Gilmore, the Defense Department’s chief weapons tester, recommended in a letter to Congress last month “that these features be reinstated.” The amount saved by trimming these components, he noted, would be more than made up, if just two aircraft were lost.

“Live-fire ballistic testing has demonstrated that the JSF is vulnerable,” added Lt. Gen. George Trautman, the Marines’ deputy commandant for aviation.”

Bob Cox fra Star Telegram, der er lokalavisen i Lockheed-Martins hjemby, Fort Worth, har begået endnu en udmærket artikel om JSF-projektet. Som en faktaboks til artiklen finder man en meget pædagoisk forklaring på hvad de forskellige pristyper på JSF dækker over:

Program Acquisition Unit Cost: Includes all costs of research, development and testing; all tooling, equipment and facilities needed for development and production; support equipment, technical manuals, training equipment and factory training; initial spare parts orders and construction of military facilities such as hangars and repair shops. The total cost is divided by the number of planes to be purchased. This estimate for the F-35 in 2002 was $62 million. This year, it was $155.6 million.

Average Program Unit Cost: Does not include the cost of research, development and testing — about $50 billion in the case of the F-35 — or the cost of military facilities. This estimate in 2002 was $50 million. This year, it was $134 billion.

Recurring Unit Flyaway Cost: Only includes the production costs of the airplane. This estimate in 2010 dollars is $60 million to $85 million, according to Lockheed.

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29 Responses to JSF: Besparelser lægger pres på usynligheden

  1. GD says:

    Øhm, hvor står der at besparelserne er skyld i nedgraderede stealth egenskaber?

    Men synes da det er et dumt sted at spare…

    JSF er “all-aspect VLO” ifølge LM. APAs udsagn om andet er en hjemmelavet påstand. Der findes i øvrigt heller ikke nedgraderede eksport udgaver af VLO for JSF. JPO, LM, USG – alle – har afvist det efter at Sweetman drønede rundt med den historie for et par år siden.

  2. Andreas says:

    “Now, one of the JSF’s now selling points was that it wouldn’t have to worry to much about taking on anti-aircraft fire; the jet would be so stealthy that the ground-to-air guns would never find it. But according to a report published by Air Power Australia, the plane is easier to spot than originally advertised. In fact, it is “demonstrably not a true stealth aircraft.”

  3. GD says:

    1. Igen – Hvor står der at JSFs _stealth_ egenskaber er reduceret som følge af besparelser?

    2. APA har ikke demonstreret manglende stealth egenskaber – de har blot fremført en hjemmelavet påstand. :D

  4. GD says:

    OK jeg er med. Du forveksler “survivability” med “stealth”. Den første er afledt af den anden, men ikke omvendt.

    Et andet godt link til flypriser:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Askari_Mark/Understanding_aircraft_unit_costs

  5. Espacio says:

    Very interesting aitrcle. Disappointing that good sound advice was ignored, again!…Howard was good at ignoring his advisors. Senior Defence officials seem to have been ‘blinded’ by the JSF hype and marketing at the time. Lack of COMPETENCE, or something else? How can anyone be so single minded about such important decisions or programs, and not consider, or at least keep other options open.

  6. Thanks for sharing. Your post is a useful contribution.

  7. What liberating knowledge. Give me liberty or give me death.

  8. Thanks for that! It’s just the answer I needed.

  9. That’s a sensible answer to a challenging question

  10. Very true! Makes a change to see someone spell it out like that. :)

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  12. Apparently this is what the esteemed Willis was talkin’ ’bout.

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  14. Thanks for helping me to see things in a different light.

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