F-35 production question...

technical question stemming from politics...

Turkey is due to build some of the fuselage sections for the F-35, though i believe that they are one of three production sites for the particular sections they build (US and Denmark being the others..) - so i was wondering whether, in light of the recent coup attempt and the subsequent government backlash, not the mention the historic low point that relations between Turkey and the other NATO members have 'achieved' over the period of Erdogans rule, F-35 customers would be able to order F-35's that don't have Turkish build componants?

if Turkey was to go on the US's shitlist, and we've all seen the speculation about suspension from NATO, the effective end of EU accession negotiations, and the long and ill-disguised hostility between Turkey and the other NATO members over the Kurds and IS, would the F-35 programme be in deep trouble, or would Turkey just end up with a big shed full of fabrication equipment for componants F-35 customers have gone elsewhere for?

cheers....
 
technical question stemming from politics...

Turkey is due to build some of the fuselage sections for the F-35, though i believe that they are one of three production sites for the particular sections they build (US and Denmark being the others..) - so i was wondering whether, in light of the recent coup attempt and the subsequent government backlash, not the mention the historic low point that relations between Turkey and the other NATO members have 'achieved' over the period of Erdogans rule, F-35 customers would be able to order F-35's that don't have Turkish build componants?

if Turkey was to go on the US's shitlist, and we've all seen the speculation about suspension from NATO, the effective end of EU accession negotiations, and the long and ill-disguised hostility between Turkey and the other NATO members over the Kurds and IS, would the F-35 programme be in deep trouble, or would Turkey just end up with a big shed full of fabrication equipment for componants F-35 customers have gone elsewhere for?

cheers....
Until the EU and or US impose sanctions it's carry on as normal I'd imagine. Can't see anyone wanting to shift production unless there's a total breakdown in relations.

Components are shipped to the US and some Turkish companies are sole source suppliers so it would take a fair bit to replace the capability. Not going to happen.
 
Programme will be unharmed. It has no single point of failure that far down the sub contractor chain.
 
Programme will be unharmed. It has no single point of failure that far down the sub contractor chain.
You do know what a sole source supplier is?

You do know that not getting a centre fuselage section to the US or Italy every ten days would slow production? A fair bit.

Have you ever been involved in production? Know how long it takes to set up a line producing anything to mil standards?
 
You do know what a sole source supplier is?

You do know that not getting a centre fuselage section to the US or Italy every ten days would slow production? A fair bit.

Have you ever been involved in production? Know how long it takes to set up a line producing anything to mil standards?

Which bit of 'that far down the sub contractor chain' are you struggling with?
The Turks are second source suppliers, not sole source.
 
Which bit of 'that far down the sub contractor chain' are you struggling with?
The Turks are second source suppliers, not sole source.
They're sole source for two components. Which bit of that are you struggling with?
 
Whether or not this is a problem depends upon how things pan out in Turkey. If things return to "normal" fairly quickly, then it's not a problem. If things take a downward spiral, then LM may have a major headache on their hands. It's really too early to say however.

Here's a news story on the issue:
F-35 impact from unrest in Turkey unclear: Lockheed

The head of LM is painting a sunny picture:
“If you look at Turkey, I know there’s been a lot of churn recently,” Hewson says. “But it’s an essential security partner for the US and our allies … we have not seen an indication it will affect our business.”
But LM's head of finance was more cautious:
Tanner measured Hewson’s comments, saying it’s too early to call up implications for the F-35 programme in Turkey.
Here's a list describing Turkey's industrial participation:
Turkey F-35 Industrial Participation | F-35 Lightning II

The Americans have designated Turkey as the European support centre, where major overhauls will be conducted. Even if the Americans are willing to turn a blind eye to what happens in Turkey, some European countries may not. If the Turks get in a snit over European criticism of their internal affairs, it may make supporting their F-35s a bit awkward. For one thing, do you want to send your planes there if you're afraid the Turks may not give them back until you change your policy towards them? Would you trust their workmanship if they get a mad on over something you said about them? It raises some interesting questions, at least.

We'll have to see how things pan out in future. I guess European F-35 customers will find themselves living in interesting times.
 

Flight

LE
Book Reviewer
Lockheed's Cash Flow Hurt by Stalled F-35 Negotiations

Another production question...

Seems there are a wide variety of explanations given, from Lockheed trying to wait out the project's director to the Pentagon trying to get the project in some form of order with a new Pres coming in. Could simply be them starving Lockheed out, who still have to pay their suppliers, in order to reduce the price of course.

U.K. Urges U.S. to Complete Approval for Lockheed F-35 Jets - Bloomberg

Seems our procurement schedule must be under threat..
 
Lockheed's Cash Flow Hurt by Stalled F-35 Negotiations

Another production question...

Seems there are a wide variety of explanations given, from Lockheed trying to wait out the project's director to the Pentagon trying to get the project in some form of order with a new Pres coming in. Could simply be them starving Lockheed out, who still have to pay their suppliers, in order to reduce the price of course.

U.K. Urges U.S. to Complete Approval for Lockheed F-35 Jets - Bloomberg

Seems our procurement schedule must be under threat..
It's also possible that LM were understating the costs over the past year or so in order to try to silence criticism over the price tag and lock in customers, and are now trying to bump the price back up to meet their costs, while the US project directors are reluctant to have to explain a big price increase to their own bosses. LM may have deferred some costs from previous lots which are now showing up on the books for the next ones.
Lockheed warned Tuesday that current funding is “insufficient to cover the production process” as the negotiations with the Pentagon continue.
The US has been negotiating with LM since last year for the 9th and 10th lots.
The Pentagon’s program office has been negotiating with Lockheed since last year over a ninth and 10th contract for production of an additional 149 advanced fighters.
The UK is ordering nine aircraft out of those lots. I suspect that these sorts of problems and delays will occur again with subsequent lots. Who was it here who was crowing how being a partner with the US was so painless and trouble-free?
“We’ve been the ones chomping at the bit to get on with” the contracts, which would include nine short-takeoff and vertical-landing aircraft for the U.K., Fallon told reporters Wednesday at the British Embassy in Washington. There is no alternative aircraft that can operate off the country’s two new aircraft carriers being specially outfitted to launch and recover them, he said.

“We need to get on with that particular purchase,” Fallon said. “We’re the ones who need the aircraft.”
I have no sympathy for LM, not when their executives use phrases like "definitize the contracts". :pukel:
“If we don't either get funding through a funding mechanism such as a UCA funding item or we definitize the contracts, we will not be able to continue and have that level of cash outflow as a corporation,” Tanner said. “We simply don't have that capacity.
 

Flight

LE
Book Reviewer
It's also possible that LM were understating the costs over the past year or so in order to try to silence criticism over the price tag and lock in customers, and are now trying to bump the price back up to meet their costs, while the US project directors are reluctant to have to explain a big price increase to their own bosses. LM may have deferred some costs from previous lots which are now showing up on the books for the next ones.
It does seem to be a bit strange that the costs have gone down, yet the number of problems, test points and the like has gone up. Generally the opposite happens.

A few years ago they were hiring software devs hand over fist because the software was behind schedule. Adding devs to a delayed project is one of the last things you want to do. The experienced coders end up spending more time fixing the problems added by the newbies, and telling the newbies what to do, than developing.

Wouldn't surprise me if they are just starting to find this out.
 
It does seem to be a bit strange that the costs have gone down, yet the number of problems, test points and the like has gone up. Generally the opposite happens.

A few years ago they were hiring software devs hand over fist because the software was behind schedule. Adding devs to a delayed project is one of the last things you want to do. The experienced coders end up spending more time fixing the problems added by the newbies, and telling the newbies what to do, than developing.

Wouldn't surprise me if they are just starting to find this out.
One of the classic project management books is "The Mythical Man Month", which was written by a former IBM manager quite a few years ago based on his experience of developing a new mainframe model. He's the one who came up with the famous saying which I will paraphrase as "just because one woman can have a baby in nine months doesn't mean nine women can have a baby in one month". When a project is late, adding more engineering staff will often just make it later.

However, the big question is why are LM crying they are losing money on each plane built this late in the game?
Lockheed warned Tuesday that current funding is “insufficient to cover the production process” as the negotiations with the Pentagon continue.
The F-35 project managers were after all just a few months ago in April crowing about how the cost of each plane was falling. F-35 Acquisition Cost Drops $12 Billion
“We are coming down the learning curve and the price curve a little steeper,” Bogdan said March 23 after the hearing. “We are coming down the price curve faster than we anticipated years ago.”
Costs are falling faster than ever anticipated, and yet LM are crying that they are losing money and can't afford to build them? What's the real story here? Were the earlier reports PR bullshit and costs are still higher than anticipated and now LM is crying for a price increase?

In the second story above by the way, they were anticipating signing the order by the end of last April. It still hasn't happened.
Bogdan said he hopes to reach an agreement for lots nine and ten by the end of April.
 
Here's a list describing Turkey's industrial participation:
Turkey F-35 Industrial Participation | F-35 Lightning II

The Americans have designated Turkey as the European support centre, where major overhauls will be conducted. Even if the Americans are willing to turn a blind eye to what happens in Turkey, some European countries may not. If the Turks get in a snit over European criticism of their internal affairs, it may make supporting their F-35s a bit awkward. For one thing, do you want to send your planes there if you're afraid the Turks may not give them back until you change your policy towards them? Would you trust their workmanship if they get a mad on over something you said about them? It raises some interesting questions, at least.
An excellent point and one that no serious Government could tolerate, I could see a second support centre being set up most likely in the UK as a 'back up' and the Turkish one gradually wound down or mostly for 'Islamic' operators support, unless Turkey buys a significant number of new F35's to play tag with S400 and that is highly unlikely given just how broke Turkey is and its lack of credit worthiness.

Very interesting.
 
An excellent point and one that no serious Government could tolerate, I could see a second support centre being set up most likely in the UK as a 'back up' and the Turkish one gradually wound down or mostly for 'Islamic' operators support, unless Turkey buys a significant number of new F35's to play tag with S400 and that is highly unlikely given just how broke Turkey is and its lack of credit worthiness.

Very interesting.
Not sure how many ‘Islamic’ operators would be allowed for the F-35? It is a significant military asset, and does Turkey...
a) have the financial muscle to buy it without the offset, that is now in doubt?
b) now have the confidence of the US military/intelligence from whom they would probably require clearance. They have not advanced their case by pointing a figure at the US, the CIA, and former senior military figures as being complicit in the failed coup, or by the massive purge of senior Turkish Air Force personnel some of whom would certainly have been involved with negotiations to buy the machine, and to operate the support centre?

Recent reports that Russia may have tipped off the Turks have been made. Driving a wedge between Turkey and the West would certainly be beneficial to Russia, though unlikely that the Turks would be interested in the PAK50/PAK-FA as a substitute.

Intended as successor to the MIG-29 and SU-30 and as the basis for a 5th Gen Sukhoi /HAL production the Indians have reportedly been less than impressed. Production aircraft were intended for delivery to the Russian Air Force 20116/17 though numbers have been drastically cut and schedules have slipped.

But who knows? If denied the F-35 and offered co-production on favourable terms, Turkey might just be interested, and the Russians easier to deal with in terms of other ‘Islamic’ operators/customers. After all Turkey has been nominated as the lead state in the new Islamic states military modernisation program with possible access to significant funds.
 

Flight

LE
Book Reviewer
I'm amazed the DoD hasn't rethought the whole thing.

Probably down to Turkish companies supplying bits but who knows what Erdogan would do with them?
 
(...) does Turkey... (...)
b) now have the confidence of the US military/intelligence from whom they would probably require clearance. They have not advanced their case by pointing a figure at the US, the CIA, and former senior military figures as being complicit in the failed coup, or by the massive purge of senior Turkish Air Force personnel some of whom would certainly have been involved with negotiations to buy the machine, and to operate the support centre?
The Americans are likely to try to sweep the problems under the carpet for as long as possible. Turkey is too central to their strategy for the Middle East, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and the Black Sea to dismiss lightly. There's no other country which occupies such a central position in so many critical areas. The Americans will attempt to bribe the Turks with as much of Europe's money as is necessary to keep them on side and in NATO.

Recent reports that Russia may have tipped off the Turks have been made. Driving a wedge between Turkey and the West would certainly be beneficial to Russia, though unlikely that the Turks would be interested in the PAK50/PAK-FA as a substitute.

Intended as successor to the MIG-29 and SU-30 and as the basis for a 5th Gen Sukhoi /HAL production the Indians have reportedly been less than impressed. Production aircraft were intended for delivery to the Russian Air Force 20116/17 though numbers have been drastically cut and schedules have slipped.

But who knows? If denied the F-35 and offered co-production on favourable terms, Turkey might just be interested, and the Russians easier to deal with in terms of other ‘Islamic’ operators/customers. After all Turkey has been nominated as the lead state in the new Islamic states military modernisation program with possible access to significant funds.
The PAK-FA doesn't have to be as good as the F-35 (whose relative effectiveness is unknown as well we should remember). The Turkish air force just needs to be better than its hostile neighbours, and there's a lot more to being a good air force than what planes you have.

Arms purchases will follow political and foreign policy, not the other way around.

The Americans would doubtless like to anchor Turkey to the EU to ensure that economic interest keeps the Turks oriented westwards rather than pursuing nationalist dreams in the Turkic lands of Central Asia.
 

Flight

LE
Book Reviewer
The Americans would doubtless like to anchor Turkey to the EU to ensure that economic interest keeps the Turks oriented westwards rather than pursuing nationalist dreams in the Turkic lands of Central Asia.
Can't see that working out too well. As for bribing Turkey with EU money Erdogan knows he has Merkel over a barrel and I would expect to see his demands increase. Once you pay the danegeld you never get rid of the Danes.

What for instance was Erdogan trying to achieve with his 7000 strong armed safety inspection at Incirlik? An indirect threat to a site of nuclear weapons is a pretty crude diplomatic tool, it doesn't inspire confidence in a friendly relationship thereafter. One does wonder whether USS Wasp's recent sorties have anything to do with reminding him that the US has many other options.

If you were kicking the program off today I rather doubt you'd be viewing Turkey as an important partner.
 
Not sure how many ‘Islamic’ operators would be allowed for the F-35? It is a significant military asset, and does Turkey...
a) have the financial muscle to buy it without the offset, that is now in doubt?
b) now have the confidence of the US military/intelligence from whom they would probably require clearance. They have not advanced their case by pointing a figure at the US, the CIA, and former senior military figures as being complicit in the failed coup, or by the massive purge of senior Turkish Air Force personnel some of whom would certainly have been involved with negotiations to buy the machine, and to operate the support centre?

Recent reports that Russia may have tipped off the Turks have been made. Driving a wedge between Turkey and the West would certainly be beneficial to Russia, though unlikely that the Turks would be interested in the PAK50/PAK-FA as a substitute.

Intended as successor to the MIG-29 and SU-30 and as the basis for a 5th Gen Sukhoi /HAL production the Indians have reportedly been less than impressed. Production aircraft were intended for delivery to the Russian Air Force 20116/17 though numbers have been drastically cut and schedules have slipped.

But who knows? If denied the F-35 and offered co-production on favourable terms, Turkey might just be interested, and the Russians easier to deal with in terms of other ‘Islamic’ operators/customers. After all Turkey has been nominated as the lead state in the new Islamic states military modernisation program with possible access to significant funds.
I didn't know Russia and Turkey were that good friends being as though they shot down one of their aircraft.

I still can't believe the CIA would organise a Coupe, regime change hasn't worked well recently. /sarcasm
 
The PAK-FA doesn't have to be as good as the F-35 (whose relative effectiveness is unknown as well we should remember). The Turkish air force just needs to be better than its hostile neighbours, and there's a lot more to being a good air force than what planes you have.

Arms purchases will follow political and foreign policy, not the other way around.

The Americans would doubtless like to anchor Turkey to the EU to ensure that economic interest keeps the Turks oriented westwards rather than pursuing nationalist dreams in the Turkic lands of Central Asia.
All good points.


I didn't know Russia and Turkey were that good friends being as though they shot down one of their aircraft.

I still can't believe the CIA would organise a Coupe, regime change hasn't worked well recently. /sarcasm
I would very much doubt that they are good friends, but Erdogan has recently, post coup, made nice to Putin, and been making pointed comments about both the US and EU.

If, and a big if, there had been assistance in a coup, and if, another big if, Russian intelligence has assisted MIT, then a shift towards Russia could be understandable. It certainly suits Russia.

Erdogan is corrupt, a ruthless radical, has been demonstrably volatile, and flip flops with relationships. Israel, Egypt, Iran.

Yes Turkey is geopolitically very important to have as an ally, for NATO, the USA, and Europe, however at some point allies can change sides, or become more trouble than they are worth. Turkey has been a doubtful EU partner, lackadaisical NATO ally, and fractious and prickly most of the time.
 
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