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To continue my comment from my previous post (accidentally hit the wrong button and hit delete):
Two engines complicates things drastically, adding considerable cost. Again, as someone with experience in the manufacturing sector; especially in “lawn-dart” parts and knowing people within the DoD Aviation industry.. cost/benefit analysis has already been done, and it’s simply deemed not at all cost-effective to have a stealthy two-engine strike platform. For a fringe benefit, you’re paying for an incredibly hefty sum; especially if you’re buying and maintaining 2000+ of them.
The design philosophy from the outset of the F-35 was affordability in procurement AND maintainability.
What do two engines add to the equation? Is it really worth the extra hundreds of billions for that 2nd engine in an airframe where 2000+ will be made and designed be sold to allies with limited resources/time/money?
* Again, as stated, I mentioned two engines simply means an additional failure point (hence more cost). No one in their right mind will send out a jet out for another sortie if only one of their engines worked
* Crews have now have to maintain and dismantle two engines in-lieu of one (hence more cost).
* Need more time to maintain two engines, double the logistics to offer up parts and shipping for an additional engine on 2000+ airframes; which in turn DRASTICALLY decreases sortie rate (hence more cost).
* Two engines increases fuel fraction, which means reduced range, carry more fuel per 10 sorties for an airwing, hence more logistics headaches for shipping/storing the fuel (hence more cost).
* Two engines requires a much larger airframe, therefore more area for maintenance with reduced lifespan (hence more cost).
* Two engines reduces space in our already-cramped pocket-carriers, thereby increases time it takes to shuffle things around in a marine environment (hence more cost).
* Two engines for the Marines and Naval variants means two times the toxic scotchkote patch compounds (requires more hazard training), two times the parts storage, two times the rigging (hence more cost, and drastically reduced sortie rates).
You get the idea. You should know because you are a pilot (just not one of the pilots we work with obviously).
For a CAS, SEAD/DEAD roles.. reduced sortie rates and making it expensive for these roles is really going backwards in our capability as a warfighting machine. The entire jet from the ground up has a philosophy to make it as efficient as a warfighting system as possible; and thus far they are succeeding.
I value our warfighter’s comments. I really do. It’s just that despite your comment, there is so little cost-benefit to justify a fringe requirement. Despite your comment, as already mentioned, the F-16 already has a proven safety record in comparison to the F-15. The so-called Lawn-Darts have fewer failures than the Mudhens (despite both using the SAME engine). That’s contradictory to your statement.