Monday, November 11, 2013

F-35: South Korea to up "stealth features" as primary standard for bid?

Here's the latest on the South Korean bid gleaned from the internet:
South Korea was widely expected to pick the U.S.-based Lockheed Martin's F-35 as its major next- generation fighter jet that will replace aging fleets from 2017, a local newspaper reported on Monday citing government and defense officials.

According to the local daily Chosun Ilbo, the country's Air Force has recently proposed to the Joint Chiefs of Staff to apply higher standards of stealth functions and aviation electronics equipment to the next-generational fighter jet procurement program.

The stricter standards would raise possibility for the Lockheed Martin's F-35 stealth jet to become a sole bidder at the upcoming tender bids, the newspaper said, noting that it may beat other potential bidders, including Boeing's F-15 Silent Eagle and EADS' Eurofighter Tranche 3 Typhoon, in terms of stealth features. 
What that says to me is they've gotten the price they want from the US/Lockheed on the F-35 and now they have to find a way to make it the only aircraft that meets its new standards.

Another way of saying that is they always wanted the F-35 (despite reports to the contrary) but just didn't like the price.  And this bidding process was a means of getting the price in a more acceptable range.



  1. It's FMS so the price can't be less than the US is paying. So pony up $200 million per, Koreans, for a plane that doesn't perform well and is unreliable according to test reports.

    1. all those test reports......

      Just like the ones that said an F-5E could easily kill and F-15 if it got really close?

  2. You might want to learn how to read a graph. You see, one of my benefits working as a s00per sekr1t Pentagon sock-puppet is that they teach us how to do such things. You would do well to pay particular attention to the fact that actual F-35 LRIP costs have come in *below* even Lockheed Martin's expectations, and that the current cost is already well below $200 million per aircraft.

    1. Phooey on your LM graph.
      FY 2014 procurement
      AIR FORCE and NAVY

      (dollars in thousands)

      F-35A 19 $3,354,170 = $176m
      F-35B 6 $1,426,589 = $237m
      F-35C 7 $1,656,382 = $236m

      p. F-4, p. N-3

    2. Time for some fact checking:

      1. You are using the Gross Weapon Systems (GWS) cost for FY2014 jets. Korea will not be buying FY2014 jets.

      2. The GWS for 2015  2018 is 142, 128, 120 and 107. These numbers are based on current production rates. If Korea buys then the rates will go up and the costs will come down further. If Israel orders another batch then the rates go up and the costs come further down (Costs taken from the FY2014 budget docs). So you see, not even the first Korean F-35 will be anywhere near your $200 mil mark, let alone the majority of their F-35s, even using the GWS numbers.

      3. The US pays for a lot of things that are part of the Non-Recurring section that FMS customers will not be buying that include Training Base standup, large simulator complexes, Post-SDD development, etc.

      4. Offsets are not reflected in the cost of the jet.

    3. @ Spudman
      1. ROK may not be buying 2014 jets, but it may be paying the same price or higher. My point was that -- It's FMS so the price can't be less than the US is paying.
      2. I see a bunch of numbers without identifying them or any provision of reference. So they are worthless.
      3. The DOD procurement costs are for procurement, not for sustainment nor for other ancillary expenses, and certainly not for development. The FY14 budget includes $1.9 billion for development, test and evaluation because the F-35 has not yet completed development. (Why would any nation would buy an undeveloped airplane? )
      4. "Offsets are not reflected in the cost of the jet." That statement requires explanation as to price. Does it mean higher or lower price, and why? And do you endorse exporting US jobs overseas just so Lockheed can continue to increase profits?

    4. 1) The point SWP was trying to make is that, as production ramps up, costs will decrease. Because South Korea will buy jets *after* FY2014, when production is higher, unit costs will be lower.

      2) Translation: I see numbers that disprove what I'm saying. I can't think of a good response to these numbers, so I'll just pretend they don't exist. In other words, argumentum ad ignorantiam.

      3) What I basically got out of this statement was that the DoD does not include sustainment or development costs in its budget, except for the $1.9 billion that *is* in its budget. Logic is obviously *not* your strong suit.

      4) Now you're just playing dumb and attempting to use your lack of understanding to insinuate that the price of the jet is even more than it would seem to be. Again, argumentum ad ignorantiam. Also, by insinuating that Spudman "wants to export US jobs overseas just so Lockheed can continue to increase profits", something that he never stated he was in favor of, you're conducting the basic logical fallacy of poisoning the well.

      Like I said, you appear to have a very tenuous relationship with logic.

      Now, I guess it's time for me to get back to my s00pur seekr1t Pentagon sock puppet job! I'd better get busy if I want Lockheed to keep me on the payroll...

    5. 1. Your entire argument for the F-35 is based on wishful thinking, which is why the program is over schedule and cost, and under performance and reliability. Your "costs will decrease" is an example.
      2. My thoughts exactly.
      3. The point is that all buyers of this turkey have ancillary costs, not only the US pigeons.
      4. Offsets don't affect price. They are two different things, like turkeys and pigeons. And offsets only benefit Lockheed which, trust me, doesn't need more benefit than it already has from knuckle-dragging big spenders.

    6. 1) Do you not understand how to read graphs? "Costs will decrease" isn't wishful thinking -- it's *factual evidence*, something you seem to have great difficulty comprehending. The cost *has* been coming down ever since the first F-35s were sold. The fact that you are selectively blind to any information that doesn't reaffirm your preconceived conceptions is quite telling.

      2) Thank you for agreeing with me that your second point was incorrect. You don't appear to even understand what I'm saying.

      3) Yes, they will have ancillary costs, but those costs will not necessarily equal the costs the United States is paying. For someone whose main argument is that I am relying on "wishful thinking", your unproven assertions are quite strange.

      4) You're making quite a large claim -- one that would seem to contradict basic logic. Of course, the only response to such a large claim is:

      [citation needed]

  3. Oh, god, here comes Donald to rain on the F-35 parade. I suggest that Don goes to shill his ASH and Silent Eagle somewhere else.