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- 11/08/2013, 11:06 #51
- 19/08/2013, 17:41 #52
- 20 abr, 08
Italy opens F-35 assembly line, as political opposition grows
On 18 July, without a formal ceremony and in a state of political turmoil, Italy launched assembly activities on its first Lockheed Martin F-35A combat aircraft.
The new, €800 million ($1 billion) final assembly and check-out (FACO) facility inside Cameri air base, near Milan "was established in a compressed period and is running on schedule and budget," General Chief Inspector Domenico Esposito, head of Aeronautics Armament Procurement, said in a recent interview released by the Italian defence ministry.
Italian defence ministry
Despite the value of Italy's industrial commitment to the F-35, government and political representatives did not attend the opening event. This situation was prompted by two recent parliamentary votes against the programme, which saw the split ruling majority approve a motion which will require parliament to vote for any further purchases of the aircraft.
Italy currently plans to acquire 60 conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) F-35As and 15 short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) F-35Bs for its air force, plus 15 more of the latter for the navy to employ from its Cavour aircraft carrier.
The combined total represents a challenge for the Italian government and an industrial team that includes Alenia Aermacchi and Lockheed, as the FACO has been established assuming national investments to assemble at least 131 F-35A/Bs for Italy and 85 A-model examples for the Netherlands, which could now potentially buy as few as 55. Nonetheless, Esposito says: "We hope to reach 200 units, with other potential sales in the European-Mediterranean region."
Rome expects to buy 60 of its planned 90 F-35s in the CTOL configuration
However, the main investment return is expected to come from future F-35 support activities for regional operators, also including the US military, with Lockheed indicating the Italian FACO as being the logical maintenance, repair, overhaul and upgrade (MRO&U) centre of excellence for the European and Mediterranean region.
"With the aircraft assembly reaching its regime, the FACO will gradually evolve into a MRO&U facility for the estimated potential 600 F-35s operating in the same region and other customers," Esposito says. "We already signed an agreement with the Netherlands for assembling their F-35s, while they will support our aircraft's [Pratt & Whitney F135] engines. A similar agreement in the aircraft logistic support area has been signed with Norwegian authorities for their planned F-35 acquisition."
According to Esposito, the work performed at the FACO and elsewhere in Italy should sustain at least 6,000 jobs, while "allowing in parallel the relinquishing of F-35 technology to national industry". Rome had previously cited a figure of 10,000 linked to a 131-aircraft buy.
Cameri air base already accommodates Italy's repair and overhaul hub for the Eurofighter and Panavia Tornado. The secure FACO compound hosts the assembly and check-out line for both CTOL and STOVL variant aircraft, as well as Alenia Aermacchi-managed assembly facilities for F-35 full-wing sets.
With FACO delivery capability of two aircraft per month, the wing component production, lasting from 2011 in initially temporary facilities for early Lot 5 and 6 to speed the learning curve, can reach up to six full sets per month. The full-wing set components arrive in Cameri from other Alenia Aermacchi facilities and national small-to-medium enterprises.
"The 131 aircraft reduction to 90 lowered the overall programme costs to €14.3 billion, of which €2.1 billion is already spent," Esposito says. While the defence ministry has not provided a split for the total cost, it is believed to include €800 million for development, about €7.5 billion for aircraft acquisition, €3.3 billion for support, logistical equipment, infrastructure and base upgrades, and modifications required for the Cavour, plus around €1.7 billion for initial logistics support services until 2027.
Italy has so far seen a return on its investment worth €800 million, and Esposito says its overall benefit is estimated as eventually totalling $14.7 billion, or roughly 76% of its development and production phase costs, before considering MRO&U activities.
The majority of the return will come through Alenia Aermacchi, which has already received contracts worth a combined $141 million linked to the F-35's sixth and seventh low-rate initial production (LRIP) orders. In all, the Finmeccanica company's stake through LRIP 11 production is estimated at $1.2 billion, largely related to non-Italian aircraft.
"Around 30 small-to-medium enterprises are also involved in the programme, while others are expected to join, increasing the overall technology level for Italian industries fabric," Esposito says. However, he notes that the national reduction from 131 to 90 aircraft has seen Alenia Aermacchi's overall production plan reduced from about 1,200 to 800 wing-sets for the F-35.
Italy has so far confirmed orders for three F-35As each in LRIP 6 and 7, and provided initial funding for four more in Lot 8. The defence ministry is also believed to have advanced funds for three F-35As and a first F-35B for the navy as part of LRIP 9.
However, analysis is continuing to evaluate the possible impact of postponing acquisitions toward full-rate production lots, and even further cuts, versus the nation's agreed investment returns.
Italy opens F-35 assembly line, as political opposition grows
Última edición por viper; 19/08/2013 a las 17:44
- 19/08/2013, 17:43 #53
- 20 abr, 08
- 18/06/2015, 12:30 #54
Refloto porque parece que se cancela
Air Force, Marines Cancel F-35 Joint Strike Fighter
WASHINGTON — Citing “disastrous” management of the F-35 development program and “obvious, catastrophic failings” in the aircraft itself, the Air Force and Marine Corps will jointly announce this afternoon the cancellation of the most expensive procurement project in history, sources have told Duffel Blog.
Gen. Mark A. Welsh III, Air Force Chief of Staff, and Gen. Joseph Dunford, Commandant of the Marine Corps and nominee to be the next Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will make the announcement together at the Pentagon at 5:30pm.
“We’ve already spent over $400 billion on the development of this aircraft,” said a senior Pentagon official who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the program with the media. “Just to put that in perspective, when Reagan wanted a 600-ship navy, his most aggressive plan would have cost $119 billion over six years.”
“We’ve known for years it was a failure, but the argument was always ‘we’ve already sunk so much into it, just a few more dollars will make it work,’” he added.
White House sources have hinted that Dunford was nominated as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs in large measure so that he could be the one to cancel the aircraft.
“It’s the Marines who have driven this program into the ground, with their vertical [takeoff and landing] requirements,” said a senior White House budget official, who also spoke on condition of anonymity. “Only Nixon could go to China, and only a Marine could kill the F-35, what with 43 states participating in its manufacture.”
Signs of the major changes in the program have been appearing in offices around the Pentagon for several days, with numerous reassignments and demotions in the civilian acquisitions staff. Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan was rumored to be on his way out, with Dunford convening Article 32 hearings for several officers in senior management positions.
The Department of Justice is also reportedly preparing indictments against top officials at several defense contractors who were associated with the program’s disastrous cost overruns, mismanagement, and delays.
“This thing had a total lifetime cost estimate of $1.5 trillion. $1.5 trillion!” the senior Pentagon officials said. “With the savings we capture here, we are going to rebuild the fleet. We’re going to set some money aside for a couple hundred F-22s, which is over its over growing pains. We will save the A-10 and look at upgrading it. And we’re going to replace or refurbish all the worn out equipment from 14 years of war.”
International partners in the development process in Great Britain, Italy, and the Netherlands, each of whom committed more than $1 billion, will be offered F-16 E/F Block 60/61 aircraft, the most advanced F-16 variant, at a reduced cost, along with participation in the unmanned strike fighter that is expected to become the military’s primary new aircraft development project.
“We cannot afford this project any longer, nor have we really been able to for many years,” Dunford will say later this afternoon, according to prepared remarks obtained by Duffel Blog. “It is unfortunate that we have thrown so much bad money after good, but the time has come to cut our losses, and acknowledge that this is a bad aircraft — a bad system. The day of giant, do-everything projects is over.”
“Going forward,” Welsh is expected to say, “we are going to focus on smaller systems that do one or two things well, that can be developed affordably and quickly. We will also look on a case-by-case basis at adding capabilities to existing, proven systems.”
The senior White House official was more blunt: “This program nearly destroyed the Department of Defense, the Air Force, the Marine Corps, and the ability of the United States to be the number one military in the world,” he said. “It will take us years to recover fully, but we must and we will.”
- 18/06/2015, 12:36 #55
Aparte del vínculo a este blog no he visto ninguna noticia que confirme esta cancelación; además, por medios oficiales se filtran muchas fotos de aviones de ese modelo en pruebas o en trance de ser entregados a unidades operativas. ¿Cual es la verdad?
Hoy soñé con aviones
que nublaban el día
- 18/06/2015, 12:40 #56
No sé, he estado mirando a ver si era en plan mundotoday pero no he visto nada.
Lo he colgado en parte por eso, para saber si es otro simple rumor o si es verdad.
- 18/06/2015, 13:10 #57
- 10 mar, 12
- Islas Canarias
Si cumple o no las especificaciones reales nadie tiene forma de saberlo salvo los problemas filtrados y confirmados..
Pero parece difícil de creer que esto se pare em seco a estas alturas...
- 18/06/2015, 13:24 #58
- 20 ago, 08
Aunque fuera verdad, que no lo creo, la USAF y los Marines pueden decir misa. En todo caso pueden proponer la cancelación, pero quien decide es el Congreso y si el Congreso no quiere, no se cancela nada.Press sucks!
- 18/06/2015, 14:07 #59
- 10 mar, 12
- Islas Canarias
- 18/06/2015, 17:13 #60
- 25 ago, 10
Creo que es una publicacion en plan elmundotoday, en las relacionadas vi titulares como este "Gamer Who Joined ISIL Has Terrible Kill-To-Death Ratio", no me parece muy seria que digamos
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