Business

May 12, 2014

Analysts see significant breakthrough in recent F-35 orders

Recent decisions by the Australian and Turkish governments are signaling a major upturn for Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, undoubtedly the brightest star in the future military aircraft market.

In April, the Australian government approved the acquisition of an additional 58 F-35A aircraft. Following a 2009 decision to purchase 14 F-35As, the 58 additional fighters bring Australia’s total approved F-35 buy to 72 aircraft. The government is also considering the acquisition of an additional F-35A squadron in the future, further increasing the country’s F-35 buy.

On May 6, Turkey’s Defense Industry Executive Committee tasked the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM) with ordering the country’s first two F-35A aircraft. The SSM will order the F-35As as part of the F-35 program’s 10th low-rate initial production lot (LRIP 10). The Turkish government has also reconfirmed its long-term plans to acquire a total of at least 100 F-35As.

Like the Lockheed F-104 Starfighter of the 1950s and 1960s, and the Lockheed F-16 multirole fighter, first produced in the 1970s, the F-35 program is a multinational effort that, despite budget considerations and rising program costs, is attracting nations eager to operate the world’s most advanced stealth aircraft. The recent Australian and Turkish announcements are welcome news to the F-35 program.

According to Forecast International aerospace analyst Raymond Jaworowski, “The Australian and Turkish decisions indicate that initial reluctance by customers to place early orders for the F-35 is dissipating.”

Dan Darling, Europe/Asia-Pacific military markets analyst at Forecast International, commented, “Further boosts may come from a planned South Korean order for the F-35 and a likely purchase by Singapore.”

Three versions of the next-generation F-35 fighter have been developed: the F-35A conventional takeoff and landing version, the F-35B short takeoff and vertical landing aircraft, and the F-35C carrier-based attack aircraft. The U.S. Air Force intends to acquire 1,763 F-35As, while the U.S. Marine Corps plans to procure 340 F-35Bs and 80 F-35Cs and the U.S. Navy intends to buy 260 F-35Cs.

The sheer size of the F-35 program dwarfs all competition. Forecast International projects that a total of 2,019 F-35s, worth an estimated $166 billion, will be produced over the 15-year period from 2014 through 2028 alone, with many more to flow off production lines thereafter. This initial total includes 1,499 F-35As, 325 F-35Bs, and 195 F-35Cs.

Forecast International aerospace analyst Douglas Royce said, “Our projections call for the F-35 to account for nearly 48 percent of the total fighter market over the next 15 years, a statistic that may well rise. Other fighter manufacturers are thus forced to compete for what is left, with the result that a number of other fighter production lines may well go dark during the next decade due to a lack of orders.”

Forecast International aviation gas turbine analyst Will Alibrandi said, “The F-35 is powered by a single Pratt & Whitney F135 turbofan engine. Turkey’s support for the F-35 program is substantiated by its plan to establish a final assembly and maintenance facility for the F135 engine in-country. This new facility could provide depot-level engine maintenance for all F-35 operators in the region. The engines for Turkey’s first F-35As will be produced in the U.S. by Pratt & Whitney, while engines for the planned fleet of 100 aircraft will eventually be assembled at the new facility in Turkey.”

Alibrandi continued, “As the sole supplier for the F-35’s engine, Pratt & Whitney stands to win big. Indeed, Forecast International expects that F135 production, including spares, will top 2,485 through 2028 and add some $27.3 billion to the engine manufacturer’s coffers ñ with much more to follow.”

Aerospace analyst Jaworowski summed it up dramatically, “The F-35’s market potential is outstanding! Nearly any nation that currently operates F-16s, F/A-18s, or AV-8B Harrier IIs is a potential F-35 customer.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines November 24, 2014

News: Hagel said to be stepping down as defense chief under pressure - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is stepping down under pressure, the first cabinet-level casualty of President Obama’s Democratic majority in the Senate and a beleaguered national security team that has struggled to stay ahead of an onslaught of global crises. Afghan mission for U.S....
 
 

News Briefs November 24, 2014

Fog forces five U.S. choppers to land in Polish field Officials say that that fog forced five U.S. Army helicopters to make an emergency landing in a Polish field and spend the night there, the second such incident since September. The U.S. Army said 15 soldiers were moving equipment to their base in Germany Nov....
 
 
Air Force photograph by Samuel King Jr.

Navy’s first F-35C squadron surpasses 1,000 flight hours

Air Force photograph by Samuel King Jr. An F-35C Lightning II aircraft piloted by Lt. Cmdr. Chris Tabert, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 101, flies the squadron’s first local sortie. The F-35C is the carrier va...
 

 
boeing-SC-787

Boeing South Carolina begins final assembly of its first 787-9 Dreamliner

Boeing has started final assembly of the 787-9 Dreamliner at its South Carolina facility. The team began joining large fuselage sections of the newest 787 Nov. 22 on schedule, a proud milestone for the South Carolina team and a...
 
 
Lockheed Martin image

Ball Aerospace equips Orion mission with key avionics, antenna hardware

Lockheed Martin image Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. is providing the phased array antennas and flight test cameras to prime contractor Lockheed Martin for Orion’s Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1), which is an u...
 
 

Salina, Kansas, recalls anniversary of shuttered base

It has been 50 years this month since the announcement that Schilling Air Force Base was closing rattled Salina residents. The Salina Journal, which carried news of the closure in its Nov. 19, 1964, editions, reported that the economic disaster then spared no part of the community – real estate, retail, civic involvement, church attendance,...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>