字幕列表 影片播放 列印英文字幕 The F 22 was supposed to be the fighter of the future for the United States Air Force, it was designed to go up against future fighter jets from the Soviet Union. Instead, the U.S. became embroiled in low intensity conflicts in the Middle East. Although the F 22 saw action in Afghanistan and flew overwatch in Iraq and Syria, it was generally overkill for most missions in these countries. The F 22 order started out as seven hundred and fifty planes when the program began in the 80s, but Lockheed Martin only ended up building one hundred and ninety five. Now the F-35 is the future of the Air Force fighter fleet. The F-35 is America's most expensive weapons system. About 270 have been delivered so far, and the Air Force plans on buying one thousand seven hundred and sixty three over the course of the program. International allies are also buying the F-35A, which helps bring down the overall price. The jet tells you everything that's happening in the battle space. So now you've got a lot of time to sit back and make far better decisions, weigh better decisions than I ever did as an F-16 pilot about where to put my airplane and how to accomplish the mission that I've been assigned to do. But the high operating costs of the aircraft could prevent the Air Force from buying as many as were envisioned when the F-35 was first selected. Costly stealth features, design bloat and delays have possibly pressured the Air Force to look for alternatives to fill in the gaps. The F-35 was designed to revolutionize fighter procurement for the Air Force. It was going to take the missions of several aircraft and do it all. The maintenance was going to be cheaper and easier due to cutting edge computer software back at its inception. The Pentagon had in its mind that this aircraft would be a master of all trades. The F-35 has sold exceptionally well. 10 countries have all ordered the aircraft for their own air forces, and more potential buyers are considering the fifth generation offering from Lockheed Martin. Because of the large number of orders, the cost per F-35 has gone down to 80 million per aircraft. That's actually reasonable when it comes to cutting edge. Jet fighters were positioned now to deliver anywhere between one hundred and fifty five to one hundred and sixty five F-35 annually. Without a doubt, the biggest cost challenge that we face in the airplane is the life cycle, sustainment, cost of the jet. What I can tell you about that is the Air Force is laser focused on that. It is a constant topic of conversation with our teammates in the joint program office. It comes up in every international discussion that we have that we've got to find ways to make the airplane more affordable. But the operating costs for the aircraft, which is around 36000 per hour, is still about ten thousand dollars more expensive than older fighters in the Air Force inventory. Once it lands it, that's not where it stops. You know, that's not where the operating costs stop. There are a ton of sustainment and maintenance things that go into the F-35 because it's such a software intensive fighter that it will be everything that it was promised to be. But it will be a totally transformative combat aircraft that just does things which we don't think of right now as things that fast jets do. We when we were talking about the cost per flying hour of an F-35 and includes all of those sorts of capabilities that in other airplanes, the F-16, 15 are not organic to the platform itself. They're things that hang either on centralized stations or on wing stations to help the airplane accomplish its mission. The Joint Strike Fighter concept seemed like a great idea on paper back in 1990, one basic airframe that is modified to meet the requirements of several branches of the U.S. military, the F-35, a for the Air Force, the B for the Marines, and the C for the Navy. In practice, the concept is run into many problems. For instance, the helmet that is used to fly the airframe, there's been problems with that. There's been an F thirty five that has caught on fire on the flight line. And then anything that you can think of that would just normally go wrong on a manufacturing line. All of the logistics and supply items that go into that. I mean, there's just been a hiccup pretty much at every turn in developing this this weapons platform. The manufacturing of the F-35 involves almost every state in the US, thousands of jobs and the involvement of international partners. From an economic point of view from an F-35, it's about twenty two hundred fifty four thousand jobs across the United States. Forty eight states are involved in the manufacture of the F or support of the F. Thirty five eighteen hundred suppliers across the US. Forty nine billion dollars annually. Just a very strong economic engine for the United States, even though from the get go the thirty five has had some problems. You now see more lawmakers backing the program overall because they a lot of states are so involved in its manufacturing process. And of course, last year that manufacturing process was brought even more stateside after Turkey was removed from the program as a as a combat aircraft. The F-35 is definitely not a failure. It's one of the most capable combat aircraft in the world and it will only get better from here on out. It's more expensive than it should be. It's more expensive than it was promised to be, partly just because of the level of ambition that was poured into it. The cost of the F-35 program so far has been roughly one point six trillion dollars, although the F-35 is an incredibly capable aircraft, the Air Force appears to have decided to diversify its fleet. The F-15EX an upgraded version of the F-15 that first flew in the 1970s is on the acquisition block in the Air Force, received its first 15 X on March 11th of twenty twenty one. In recent comments by Air Force Chief of Staff Gen.. Charles Brown Jr. illustrated the possibility of procuring a light fighter to be a replacement for the aging F-16. As General Brown has said on multiple occasions, the Air Force, in concert with other key elements of the Department of Defense, are taking a good, hard look at what the right fighter force mix should look like. The idea that, you know, because there are some affordability challenges that the U.S. is somehow going to just bail on this program is mad. Of course, they have to consider the future flights it makes because the sums don't add up and they haven't had it up for a long time. And good on General Brown for grasping the mettle on that. Publicly, we've heard from Boeing saying that the T7 could be modified to have a combat role. And it also there's an implication also if allies and international partners do buy into the program as well, because then they could create more than they could build this network of aircraft and really create a huge inventory and make it a global program similar to the F-35. It is an option for and for another replacement down the line. It's just a question of what is the T7 capable of. Meanwhile, the U.S. Air Force continues to invest in other technologies such as unproved or semi automated drones that could be used in combat. Recently, Boeing Australia flew an untrue drone as part of its loyal wingman program. And and we're excited about the prospects of how that capability moves forward and and not just how it supports our our Royal Australian Air Force customer, but how it supports the global market. The F-35 isn't going away. The United States has invested far too much time, money and energy into it. I think everyone wishes always that we could make the machine move faster. We're happy with what we've done with the airplane so far. But there are certainly challenges ahead in terms of the entirety of the enterprise, the government and industry team working together to ensure we get the capability that we need that is supportable and at a price point that that is workable for not just the Air Force, but also our Navy and Marine Corps partners, the seven partner nations that are part of the F-35 enterprise in the growing, ever growing list of foreign military sales customers. The F-35 program is, in essence, too big to fail also because with respect to things like concurrency, the way the program was spread across lots of different state districts to make it too big to kill and Yeah all of these different aspects that overall increased program cost and delays. So, yes, it's an example in many ways of how not to manage a program. But as a combat aircraft, what has been produced is ahead of anything being fielded by any competitors. And it will be the cornerstone of U.S. tactical air power for a long time to come. But the promise of E series aircraft, which refers to the digital engineering that is used to design them, could revolutionize how the Air Force buys aircraft. So when looking at this E series designator and a replacement, the Air Force is already looking to companies that are working in this way in these innovative ways to bring in open architecture and digital engineering from the get go. So that way later on, the costs will not be will not be skyrocketing and it will be something that they have to deal with in the long term. Look at what the Russians, the Chinese are doing, for example. You know, it's very easy, comparatively speaking, at least, to make something that looks and flies like a fifth generation jet. It is unbelievably difficult to make something that actually works like one is supposed to. A lot of like minded nations have chosen the F-35 to be their standard bearer for their various arms, whether they be air forces or otherwise. And so despite the challenges that we face in ensuring that we have the right kind of combat capability that we need and we can fix the airplane when we need to fix it and that we can afford it, it is absolutely an imperative that we get this right, because the United States, the three joint services within the United States, all of our partners and our foreign military sales customers are absolutely counting on the capabilities that this airplane provides.