23 septembre 2021 | International, Aérospatial

Top Air Force officer's plan to 'accelerate change or lose' is picking up speed, one year in

'€œWe could all use more manpower, more money and more time. But leaders cannot wait for perfect conditions to act or make a decision," Brown said.


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  • USAF’s Future Fighter Plan May Limit Growth, Study Says

    30 octobre 2019 | International, Aérospatial

    USAF’s Future Fighter Plan May Limit Growth, Study Says

    By Jen DiMascio The U.S. Air Force's plan for acquiring future fighter aircraft may crimp the service's ability to grow in the future, a study of the USAF's force structure plans indicates. The study, “The Air Force of the Future,” compares the service's force structure plans during times of peak budgets—in fiscal 2020 and fiscal 1985. In fiscal 2020, a budget of $205 billion could support 5,300 aircraft. This is a little more than half of the number that the same amount of money, adjusted for inflation, could support in 1985—9,400. The same holds true for the number of personnel, the report says. It was released Oct. 29 by Todd Harrison, director of the Aerospace Security Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, which examined three different studies of the size of the future force. As part of the report, Harrison drills further into the Air Force's spending habits to find that one factor underlying the inability to afford a larger force is the increase over time in operation and maintenance costs. “The average O&M cost per plane is 74% higher today in real terms than in fiscal 2001,” the report says. Looking more closely at maintenance costs, he finds that the most expensive aircraft to operate are the smallest fleets, such as the Boeing E-4 Advanced Airborne Command Post aircraft, the Northrop Grumman E-8 Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System and Northrop's B-2 bomber. “This is because the fixed costs of operating the fleet are distributed across more aircraft in large fleets, which brings down the overall ownership cost per plane,” the report says. “The data suggest that the Air Force could reduce operating costs by divesting aircraft that are maintained in small numbers in the current inventory and consolidating the capabilities they provide into common multimission platforms.” Air Force acquisition chief Will Roper is recommending an acquisition strategy dubbed the “digital century series.” It aims to build new fighter aircraft designed to last 3,500 flight hours in batches of hundreds, rather than the current model of pursuing advanced technology for an aircraft type that will last for decades. But Harrison estimates that the operation and sustainment cost of sustaining five different aircraft types of 72 aircraft, or 360 total aircraft, would cost about the same as sustaining 1,800 aircraft of the same type. “That's something the Air Force has got to consider,” Harrison said. “With the digital century series approach, they may end up with a bunch of small fleets and may limit the ability of the Air Force to grow in the future.” https://aviationweek.com/defense/usaf-s-future-fighter-plan-may-limit-growth-study-says

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