The Constitution was made to guard the people against the dangers of good intentions." --American Statesman Daniel Webster (1782-1852)

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Lockheed is trying to ramp up production of their Javalin Missile System and The Air Force wants to "Upgrade" the engine on the F-35?

 I got both of these in my email at work, and I am still working a lot of overtime....getting it while I can.

 I can see the concern, we are sending our war stocks in to that great suck called "Ukraine" and sure they are killing a lot of Soviet er Russian equipment, but some of this stuff we are sending them is showing up on the black market also.  I am wondering if we will run out of missiles before the Russians run out of tanks, then we still have to worry about the Chinese and our larders are getting pretty low due to years of war and face it, new weapons systems get the pork, the restock and logistics......not so much.  We have to restock and getting new missiles with microchips that are not corrupted by the Chinese is a trick.

FARNBOROUGH—Lockheed Martin is seeking to add suppliers amid a production ramp-up for tactical missiles fueled by surging demand from the response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, senior executives said July 20 at the Farnborough Airshow. 

“We are looking for additional sources of supply,” said Rita Flaherty, vice president of strategy and business development at Lockheed’s Missiles and Fire Control business unit. 

Lockheed has committed to doubling annual production of the Javelin missile after the U.S. government transferred thousands of the anti-tank weapons to help Ukrainian forces fight Russian armored units. Deliveries are rising to 4,000 Javelins per year instead of the 2,000 now. 

The Javelin production surge comes as Lockheed also ramps up deliveries of Hellfire missiles and Guided Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (GMLRS) missiles, as well as introducing the GMLRS-Extended Range and Precision Strike missiles with the U.S. Army next year.

The ramp-up has stressed a supply chain for tactical missiles, which has long struggled with boom-and-bust order cycles by U.S. and foreign militaries. 

Lockheed executives met with many British and European suppliers during the air show, said Paula Hartley, vice president for Lockheed’s Tactical Missiles unit. “I can’t tell you how many suppliers we met with this week,” Hartley said.

Lockheed is particularly looking for sources of propulsion systems and microelectronics. 

“It’s not just about rocket motors,” Flaherty said. “It’s [also about] microchips.

 Also I for the life of me can't figure out why we are trying to change out the engine system on the F-35 unless the Air Force is trying to be "Unique" and the fighter Mafia is pulling the strings much to the detriment of everyone else? or is it some beltway bandit pushing because there is some huge payout for him after he hung up the blue suit?  Maybe I am getting cynical in my Summer Chicken years......

Lockheed Martin F-35

Thirty-five members of the U.S. Congress say they are concerned about an Air Force proposal to use its Advanced Engine Technology Program (AETP) propulsion system to replace the F-35 fighter’s current powerplant.

In January, Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall launched a market survey to find potential suppliers for an F-35 Adaptive Engine Replacement Program, in advance of a possible program launch in fiscal 2024. Since then, F-35 program officials have released information about the limitations of the F135 engine.

In a July 22 letter, the lawmakers led by Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.) appealed to Pentagon acquisition chief Bill LaPlante, arguing a new effort to build an engine to replace Pratt & Whitney’s F135 would be costly—up to $6 billion—and undermine commonality with partner nations.

The lawmakers revisited then-President Barack Obama’s opposition to the development of another F-35 engine, quoting then-Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz as saying, “The alternate engine is not for anybody else but the Air Force. The Navy isn’t going to operate an alternate engine aboard ships. The European partners are not going to operate two engines. You’re talking about focusing this on your Air Force, which is problematic in my view.”

The letter asks LaPlante to lay out a timeline for modernizing the F-35 engine, and to specify what roles the Joint Staff, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the other U.S. military services and international partners on the program would have in creating requirements. It also asks whether the Pentagon would require an independent cost assessment of the program, whether the Pentagon would assess the impact on the industrial base and if the Pentagon might also replace the F-35 air vehicle.

“The F135 has outperformed its original specifications, including bleed air draw and time on wing, enabling it to support three major airframe and payload upgrades without engine modernization,” the letter says. “At the same time, the average engine cost has been reduced by more than 50% to date. Meanwhile, the U.S. services have spent over $7 billion upgrading the airframe and payloads. The current engine can support the upcoming Block 4 air vehicle and payload upgrades. However, there will be an impact to engine life and increased sustainment costs as a result.” 

Congress is likely to weigh in on the Air Force proposal to adapt the AETP engine for use on the F-35. The Senate is poised to consider a provision that would ask the comptroller general to review the business case for alternatives to F-35 engine upgrades. And the House has passed a fiscal 2023 Defense Authorization Act that directs the head of the Joint Program Office, Air Force Lt. Gen. Michael Schmidt, to brief congressional defense committees by Oct. 4 on the results of an ongoing cost-benefit analysis about replacing the F-35’s power and thermal management system, though the bill is not likely to become law before year-end.

1 comment:

  1. Here we go again... Congresscritters want the $$$ in their districts... AGAIN!!!


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