Mark Collins – Overall F-35 Production Prospects Round-Up

A very well-researched post (via at end here) at the Canadian blog Best Fighter For Canada looks at prospects and suggests international orders may be both considerably lower and slower than LockMart and the US government have hoped for.  But there probably will be no “death spiral” resulting in outright cancellation since TINA for the USAF and USMC (the USN may have other, UCLASS drone, ideas). Per unit costs will not be nice though and production numbers could go down quite a bit:

Will there be “Death Spiral” for the F-35?

OSINT in action.  Relevant:

The F-35 and Asia–and Money

The F-35 and Europeans–and Money

Note this comment on forthcoming UK order and probable US production numbers for LRIP 9, FY 15 (starting October 2014).

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Defence & Foreign Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds

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7 responses to “Mark Collins – Overall F-35 Production Prospects Round-Up

  1. As for Boeing:


    Mark Collins

  2. Very interesting from USN (how many F-35?)?

    “Navy’s UCLASS Could Be Air to Air Fighter

    Could the U.S. Navy’s future Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) aircraft have an air-to-air role? The service’s director of air warfare Rear Adm. Mike Manazir posed that it could during a Dec. 20 interview with USNI News.

    Manazir contemplated the possibility that that the UCLASS, which is primarily being designed for the intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) and strike roles, could be used as a flying missile magazine which could supplement the firepower of the F/A-18E/F and F-35C Joint Strike Fighter in air-to-air combat as a robotic wingman of sorts.

    “Maybe we put a whole bunch of AMRAAMs (Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile) on it and that thing is the truck,” Manazir said. “So this unmanned truck goes downtown with—as far as it can go—with a decision-maker.”

    In Manazir’s vision the UCLASS could be commanded remotely from a Northrop Grumman E-2D Hawkeye or a Lockheed Martin F-35C Joint Strike Fighter flight leader…”

    Read on. More on UCLASS and F-35C:

    Mark Collins

  3. US LRIP 9 in fact only 34 (just up five from LRIP 8)?

    US LRIP 9 plans last July:

    The jump to 44 LRIP planes would constitute a sizeable jump from preceding LRIP lots such as LRIP 6, 7 and 8, which call for 31, 29 and 29 aircraft respectively….”


    Mark Collins

  4. Meanwhile the latest from the Independent Review Panel at the Canadian National Fighter Procurement Secretariat (got to try to read between the lines, eh?):

    “Evaluation of Options: Independent Review Panel – Meeting of January 22, 2014

    Summary of Discussion

    1. RCAF Classified Assessment Reports

    The Panel provided comments to the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) on drafts of the classified Integrated Risk Assessment Report and the classified Critical Enabling Factors Assessment Report. The RCAF agreed to revise the Reports and provide them to the Secretariat for re-circulation to the Panel.

    The Secretariat updated the Panel on some minor additions to the CF-18 Estimated Life Expectancy Report that were requested by the Deputy Ministers Governance Committee.

    The Panel provided comments to the RCAF on the Methodology Report Executive Summary to ensure that it was comprehensive and understandable.


    The RCAF will provide the Secretariat with revised versions of the Reports, including the Methodology Report Executive Summary, for the Panel’s review…”

    Mark Collins

  5. The actual Capaccio story (only two/two F-35Cs for USN)–note planned increases later LRIPs:

    “Pentagon Said to Seek 34 of Lockheed’s F-35 Jets Instead of 42

    The U.S. Defense Department will request 34 Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT:US) F-35 jets in its budget for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1, eight fewer than previously planned, according to officials.

    The fiscal 2015 request, to be released on March 4, will include funds to buy 26 of the Air Force’s model, six of the Marine Corps’ short-takeoff and vertical-landing jets and two of the Navy’s version for aircraft carriers, according to the officials familiar with the plans who asked not to be identified because the budget hasn’t been made public…

    While the budget request will be down from the 42 fighters the Pentagon had projected it would buy next year, it’s an increase from the 29 the Defense Department requested and Congress approved for the current fiscal year [LRIP 8]…

    The five-year defense budget plan through 2019 also calls for 55 F-35s for the U.S. military in fiscal 2016, seven fewer than planned, and adds a projection for 96 of the jets in 2019. The figures don’t include purchases by other nations that are partners for the F-35. Among them are the U.K., Norway, Australia, Italy and Canada…


  6. Meanwhile back at the Super Hornet/Growler:

    Mark Collins

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