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    F-35 Development and News Thread:

    Kiko
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    Post  Kiko Sun Jun 06, 2021 3:37 am

    USAF refuses to buy F-35s.

    https://mundo.sputniknews.com/20210605/la-fuerza-aerea-de-eeuu-se-niega-a-comprar-los-f-35-1112936541.html

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    Post  LMFS Sun Jun 06, 2021 7:49 am

    ... plus they plan to retire the older units (remember the brats boasting about the IOC of the F-35 in 2015 while the PAK-FA was languishing according to them?), those they claimed were best produced despite not being ready to lower prices and could be updated easy and cheap further down the road. It is one fraud after the other with these gents.

    Well, now it seems they are still not in conditions for large scale production, just ordered a few of them for next year, are already discussing about halving the buy for the USAF and it is almost 100% sure that the plane failed substituting the F-16. But the PAK-FA, which was started many years after the JSF program and is already through with state tests and in serial production, is supposed to be a failure. Block 4 of the F-35 is the only one they are considering in their wargames, because current one is admittedly not up to the threats, and it will take up to 2027-28 to deploy it. Meanwhile, Su-57M is planned to be ready in 2024-25 with supercruising 5.5G engines and a pile of new systems and weapons putting it head, shoulders and waist ahead of the F-35 as a high end air superiority and strike platform. Still you can read the retards asking themselves what Russia will do with that abject failure of a program as PAK-FA. They must be for sure beating world records in sheer stupidity Suspect

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    GarryB
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    Post  GarryB Sun Jun 06, 2021 4:43 pm

    Well this is going to change things for planning for the Russians... do they need an LMFS now if there are not going to be 3,500 F-35s to face?
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    Post  LMFS Sun Jun 06, 2021 9:00 pm

    GarryB wrote:Well this is going to change things for planning for the Russians... do they need an LMFS now if there are not going to be 3,500 F-35s to face?

    Of course they do, US may come up with a decent plane like modern versions of F-15 and F-16 pirat
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    Post  nero Mon Jun 07, 2021 6:59 am

    Most of the US Air Force is really old as the bulk of F-16's & F-15's were built in the 1980 - 1990.

    They have around 2000 active airframes consisting of F-15's, F-16's, F-18's & F-22's.

    Russia has got around 1000 active airframes consisting of Mig-29's, Su-27's, Su-30's & Su-35's.

    Thing is that the Chinese have also got around 1200 active airframes consisting of J-7, J-8, J-10, J-16, J-20, Su-30 & Su-35...

    ... and the Chinese airframe numbers have been growing quite quickly recently. Once they finalize testing on FC-31's we'll likely see their production outpacing the United States.

    So yeah... looking forward it really isn't good for the United States. Not only are they falling behind because they can't do a decent fighter jet design (remember that the Su-57 is going to be a platform, in similar fashion to Su-27) they can't decide on what to buy to begin with.

    What a mess.

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    Post  GarryB Mon Jun 07, 2021 10:23 am

    More fundamentally the price of the F-35 was kept artificially low because they could order materials and components in bulk and save money with volume production... if the USAF is cutting orders and starting production of aircraft that essentially do some of the things that the F-35 is supposed to do then other customers are going to question the whole programme and with every reduction in order numbers the price will go up.

    It is the oldest trick in the book to say if you buy x number of thousand we can reduce the price because orders will be spread across more aircraft so your spare parts pool can be smaller because the odds of all your planes having the same problems and needing the same parts at one time is low, so instead of keeping 10 parts per plane of a specific type but having different planes like F-16s and F-15 and F-18s and F-14s... that would be 40 parts of four different and non interchangable types you would need to keep on stock, but if they were all replaced with F-35s you could probably get away with just buying the 10 parts... perhaps even 5 parts per plane so between two planes you have the ten parts needed to keep them flying, and then a general pool of odd parts in case something unusual breaks.

    When you order 100 planes and you also order 20 spare engines and 500 main spare parts to go with your planes then things are OK, but when the USAF cancels its big order and only orders small numbers of planes and starts to put older planes back into production then you start to worry and think maybe 50 planes would be a better order.

    The problem is that the price you paid was based on all the money they would make from spares support for the next ten to twenty years so cutting your order will drive up the purchase price and also massively drive up the spare parts costs, so your initial order of 100 planes you likely got for 120 million per plane... ie 12 billion, (can you see how this makes the Rafale look at 8.4 billion for 36 aircraft BTW...) but cutting the order in half does not half the price... 50 planes does not suddenly become 6 billion... in all likelyhood it will become 10 billion... in other words you broke the agreement and end up paying a lot more for the planes you get and support costs will go up too because your support parts pool becomes even smaller.

    A support parts pool for 3,500 aircraft is enormous so plenty of parts in the inventory ready to use... for 50 planes you wont have full sets of parts on stock and might have to have parts made... though the struggle to make new planes is clearly over so maybe this is a good thing and more spare parts can be made to improve availability and be a bit less embarrassing.

    This might drive some customers to look rather more seriously at other options...
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    Post  nero Mon Jun 07, 2021 11:33 pm

    GarryB wrote:It is the oldest trick in the book to say if you buy x number of thousand we can reduce the price because orders will be spread across more aircraft so your spare parts pool can be smaller because the odds of all your planes having the same problems and needing the same parts at one time is low

    No. It's because production and tooling for production is expensive (including training for staff and laborers). If you get large orders, proportionally the tooling and production prices go down. Lastly, it is used as an economic incentive to buy more of the same.
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    Post  LMFS Tue Jun 08, 2021 4:04 am

    It is even worse, the cost of each unit was spread over several years but the reported cost was just the one of the year of delivery. Dan Grazier has writings on that.
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    Post  GarryB Tue Jun 08, 2021 10:34 am

    No. It's because production and tooling for production is expensive (including training for staff and laborers). If you get large orders, proportionally the tooling and production prices go down. Lastly, it is used as an economic incentive to buy more of the same.

    But there are also economies of scale... if the order is for 10 planes then when you go to the sub contractor that makes radars and say you want 10 radar sets then they will make those, but being only 10 radar sets there is not much lee way in terms of discount potential.

    Say you have a hard order for 3,500 aircraft... of which you need ten right now but keep production going because after this order there is certainly going to be another order for 100 more and then another certain order for 500 more for the next order then they can start planning for mass production of those radars which means they can buy in bulk and also structure production so they can meet needs... banks knowing you are building F-35s which the US military alone has said it wanted 3,500 units is going to lend money so you can rapidly expand production capacity and tooling and train up several work forces that can operate multiple shifts...

    The point is that when that bubble bursts and at 600 odd planes delivered when they say future orders are not so solid and other aircraft types are being considered to be made instead and the whole house of cards collapses.

    You want to change the order after all the makers and sub contractors were expecting to be doing this for the next decade and you are not going to get the savings you were hoping for... but it is standard practise... the F-22 was going to be 1,500, then it became 750, and then they just said the ones made will do...

    It is not exactly fraud... they wanted 1,500 to replace the F-15Cs in service.

    These decisions are going to have a catastrophic effect on the price to buy, the numbers bought, and the ongoing operational costs... many small users simply wont be able to afford to keep operating them.... ironically a cheap but modern design like the MiG-29M would be an ideal numbers plane to replace them, but for F-35 users it is not an option.
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    Post  Backman Thu Jul 01, 2021 6:43 am

    I looked and couldn't find if anyone had reported this yet


    I just picked out the sentences discussing cost.

    Switzerland Chooses F-35 As Its Next Fighter Jet

    The Swiss say the Joint Strike Fighter emerged as the most capable and cheapest option after a competitive evaluation.
    “An evaluation has revealed that these two systems [F-3A5 and Patriot] offer the highest overall benefit at the lowest overall cost,” the Federal Council explained in a statement. The Federal Council confirmed today that all four fighter jet candidates had met the air force’s requirements. However, the F-35 (like the Patriot) came out as not only the most effective, but also the lowest-cost option.

    In the product support category, the Swiss evaluation judged the F-35A best on account of its “efficient operation and maintenance, No  modern training design, and the high security of supply throughout its service life.”

    While Switzerland is a wealthy country, it’s also a small one, and it seems remarkable that keeping a relatively small fleet of F-35As in service will[b] prove cheaper than an alternative fourth-generation jet.

    We do know, however, that based on U.S. Government Accountability Office figures, the F-35A is significantly more expensive to operate than the F/A-18E/F — at least, within the U.S. Department of Defense ecosystem. (Oh really. Maybe someone should tell the Swiss that.)

    Furthermore, since Switzerland is already an established Hornet operator, introducing the Super Hornet would entail certain advantages in terms of commonality within infrastructure and especially training. (But hey. The F-35 will be cheaper)

    https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/41362/switzerland-chooses-f-35-as-its-next-fighter-jet

    Why do they have to insult our intelligence like this ? Its all part of the plan to sucker the next one. Hey its cheap. Put the word cheap in all the propaganda.

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    Post  JohninMK Thu Jul 01, 2021 8:21 pm

    Backman wrote:
    Switzerland Chooses F-35 As Its Next Fighter Jet
    Lockheed offered the best 'cash back' deal Laughing
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    Post  GarryB Fri Jul 02, 2021 8:05 pm

    The more countries buy the F-35 the better... when they are spending money on those dogs they wont have any left for anything else that might actually be useful.

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    Post  kvs Fri Jul 02, 2021 8:43 pm

    JohninMK wrote:
    Backman wrote:
    Switzerland Chooses F-35 As Its Next Fighter Jet
    Lockheed offered the best 'cash back' deal Laughing

    The attempt to block Russian journalists at the Biden-Putin summit shows that Switzerland is run by a yanqui bootlick regime
    in spite of all the touted democracy. Judge by actions and not talk. So this purchase is predictable.

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    Post  LMFS Fri Jul 02, 2021 8:43 pm

    Backman wrote:Why do they have to insult our intelligence like this ? Its all part of the plan to sucker the next one. Hey its cheap. Put the word cheap in all the propaganda.

    Now USAF does not want that crap any more, they need to find "allies" and even "neutral" countries like Switzerland to pick up the slack. The already "cheap" prices of the F-35 are going to get even "cheaper", once high rate production is not triggered in the US and number of ordered planes is reduced clown clown clown
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    Post  thegopnik Sat Jul 03, 2021 12:57 pm

    Learn something knew I guess from comment section on this video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlxZ8ZDgw7oF-35 Development and News Thread: - Page 27 Bogdan11
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    Post  Finty Sat Jul 03, 2021 9:38 pm

    Mods, feel free to move to an existing F-35 news thread if I've missed it.

    https://www.defensenews.com/air/2021/04/22/f-35-program-office-announces-a-strategic-pause-on-new-logistics-system/


    F-35 program office announces a ‘strategic pause’ on new logistics system

    WASHINGTON — The Defense Department is pausing its efforts to field replacement software for the F-35′s troubled logistics system due to a lack of funding, the head of the F-35 program office said Thursday.

    In 2020, the F-35 program executive office announced plans to develop a replacement for the Lockheed Martin-made Autonomic Logistics Information System currently used by maintenance crews to perform functions such as ordering spare parts or logging repair work.

    Known as the Operational Data Integrated Network, or ODIN, the new system would combine hardware produced by Lockheed with software coded by the government, allowing the Defense Department to retain more control over the system.

    But because of a 42 percent cut to ODIN’s development and testing funding in fiscal year 2021, the program office has decided to take a “strategic pause” in ODIN’s software development effort, said Lt. Gen. Eric Fick, F-35 program executive officer.

    “Despite all the positive activities, we underestimated the complexity of deprecating ALIS capabilities while migrating to ODIN and learned several important lessons,” Fick said in April 22 testimony before the House Armed Services Committee.


    For years, ALIS has ranked as one of the F-35 enterprise’s biggest headaches. The Government Accountability Office has repeatedly documented problems, such as a bulky “deployable” version of ALIS that cannot connect to the internet or incorrectly signaling to maintainers that a plane is not mission capable due to incorrect data.

    “We need to continue to improve the functionality of ALIS in the near term, as we ensure that the ODIN structure that we put into place, from a hardware perspective, from a data environment perspective, and from a software perspective, is what the users need,” Fick told lawmakers during the hearing.

    In late 2020, the program office developed an ODIN user agreement and capability needs statement, which lays out what tasks ODIN needs to be able to accomplish and how the system should function, he said.

    In addition, “The JPO and Lockheed Martin established a contract that captured data rights, frequent software deliveries, and proper data marking for modern software development,” Fick stated in testimony.

    Fick’s testimony did not address when the program office intends to restart ODIN software development efforts, saying only that the JPO will update its plan based on available funding, inputs from the services and its finalized strategy for migrating from ALIS to ODIN.

    However, ODIN hardware development is moving forward. Lockheed delivered the first hardware kit for testing at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma in September.

    “The new kit is 75 percent smaller, weighs 90 percent less than the current hardware, and is projected to be 30 percent cheaper. In addition to the smaller footprint, we are seeing significant performance improvements in ALIS such as data processing and synchronization times 2-3 times faster than ever seen before,” Fick wrote in testimony.

    The program office plans to roll out additional kits this summer, which will save money by being able to host multiple squadrons on a single unit, Fick said. The Defense Department plans to invest $471 million into both ALIS and ODIN over the next five years.

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    Post  GarryB Sun Jul 04, 2021 1:41 pm

    They skite about having over 500 aircraft in service and are moaning that not enough funds are allocated to develop the support software to make it cheap and efficient to operate...

    WTF...

    This system should have been ready for day one for the first operational plane as part of its wonderful new capabilities... considering they threw about 1.5 trillion at this programme why did the operational support system that is supposed to make it cheap and easy to support miss out?

    That is like promising sugar free chocolate and then delivering normal chocolate... oh... it does not get the chemicals to make it sugar free till the fourth upgrade... we still have to work out how to make it taste good when we take the sugar out... are you enjoying the most expensive chocolate on the planet?

    BTW because the F-35 is a HATO programme its development and news thread is in the USA/HATO militarys section...
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    Post  Finty Sun Jul 04, 2021 6:48 pm

    Cheers Gary.

    The logic I think was that the entry to service would be more gradual, allowing for production to be ramped up later with reduced startup costs and faults could be ironed out before all aircraft were in service. Therefore, aircraft could enter service sooner, albeit with limited capabilities. They obviously didn’t intend for ALIS to be so crap, among other things.
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    Post  LMFS Sun Jul 04, 2021 7:07 pm

    It was not enough to screw the plane, the logistic system needed also some revolutionary approach to make it unworkable and impossibly complex. Such is the power of US innovation clown
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    Post  LMFS Sun Jul 04, 2021 7:13 pm

    Finty wrote:Cheers Gary.

    The logic I think was that the entry to service would be more gradual, allowing for production to be ramped up later with reduced startup costs and faults could be ironed out before all aircraft were in service. Therefore, aircraft could enter service sooner, albeit with limited capabilities. They obviously didn’t intend for ALIS to be so crap, among other things.

    The logic was to siphon out as much money and create as big liabilities to the operators as possible, before it was obvious to anyone what a crap the plane was and the situation become unsustainable, with numbers cut down, as it is starting to happen now. A monkey can devise a better logic that the one used by those crooks, period. This is program management 101, they went and did the exact opposite of any reasonable risk reduction plan. You develop, test, and only when things work, you buy them. Anything else is just MIC grifters taking American public for idiots.
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    Post  GarryB Mon Jul 05, 2021 12:12 pm

    This was corruption... you fix all the serious problems in a plane before you put it into serial production... if the engine isn't working yet then fine... but don't make the first 76 planes with a faulty experimental engine that is not ready yet... use the existing engine and make the new engine an upgrade down the line.... and before anyone says anything that is not what the Russians did... the plan was always for the new more powerful next gen engine to be a midlife upgrade when the aircraft gets heavier with other upgrades, so rather than a delayed engine that should have been there from the start this is more like a next gen add on to further improve performance and compensate for weight increases of addons.

    It is normal to put brand new stuff into service in small numbers so it get front line operational testing and evaluation especially if it is a brand new thing with lots of brand new but unexplored capabilities, but making 500+ is ridiculous because any fundamental changes will make it more expensive to just return them to the factory and have serious upgrades.... what will happen is that the first 500 built will remain faulty and fragile and expensive to operate while the next batch will be much improved... most likely the first 500 will therefore be scrapped very early in their careers... which is not great for a super expensive to buy plane.... but for an expensive to operate plane it makes sense.

    The fundamental problem was there were so many fundamental problems... this is really an example of how not to do things.

    And the irony is that the cheaper older generation aircraft they are going to put back into production will also be more expensive than they have ever been before so the US Taxpayer gets it up the arse again.

    I am actually quite glad Switzerland is such a hard core bitch, and I hope the rest of the EU is the same... the USAF might not want this piece of crap but US politicians whose voting areas have factories to built this plane will want as many sold as possible so the pressure on "allies" will be intense to buy them anyway...

    With the super efficient and super capable inventory and support system not working yet it is no real surprise it costs so much to support... perhaps that should actually be a focus area for them to keep their customers and make the aircraft a bit more appealing to new customers, but it is clearly being too ambitious.

    Making a plane that could be used on land bases but also used on aircraft carriers is fine... MiG-29M and MiG-35 and MiG-29KR aircraft were designed for that and likely the LMFS will be designed with that in mind ( which is another reason I think it will be twin engined ), but trying to make it VSTOL is just being stupid and ruined the basic design.

    If they had dropped the VSTOL requirements they might have gotten what they actually wanted, which was a stealthy 5th gen F-16.

    Instead they ended up with a dog... the irony is that with side mounted jet engine nozzles the Harrier was terribly vulnerable to MANPADS and IR guided missiles from any angle... so even if they achieved what they were trying to get it would not have been worth it.

    They obviously didn’t intend for ALIS to be so crap, among other things.

    They should have had some idea of how ambitious it was... would be interesting to see where all the money went...
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    Post  Finty Tue Jul 13, 2021 8:08 pm

    From April, admittedly



    HASC Won’t Plus Up F-35 Request in Fiscal 2022 Budget

    April 22, 2021 | By John A. Tirpak
    The 97 F-35s added to service budgets over the last five years are a “self-inflicted wound,” as they have played havoc with sustainment, House Armed Services Committee tactical air and land forces and readiness panel leaders said in a joint April 22 hearing. They vowed not to compound the problem by adding extra jets beyond the services’ requests in the fiscal 2022 budget, and perhaps not thereafter.

    “I can assure you that this year, if anybody suggests a plus-up” of service requests for F-35 fighters, “there will be one hell of a fight, and I don’t propose to lose it,” said Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.), chair of the readiness subcommittee, who offered similar warnings at a recent hearing of his own subcommittee. Garamendi said he has “allies” in his thinking.

    Tac Air chairman Rep. Donald Norcross (D-N.J.) voiced the committee’s concern that sustainment of the F-35 is far exceeding what the services have budgeted, and it’s “unaffordable” in the case of the Air Force.

    The problem could “result in a 47 percent reduction in the Air Force planned inventory goal of 1,763 aircraft, just to remain in their budget,” Norcross said.

    If the program “continues to fail to significantly control and reduce” sustainment costs, “we may need to invest in other, more affordable programs, and backfill an operational shortfall of potentially over 800 fighters.” Norcross noted that “we don’t have unlimited resources” and that he “would not support any request for additional aircraft beyond what is contained in this year’s President’s Budget request.”

    In recent years, the Air Force has requested 48 F-35s a year, but Congress has upped that to 60. Witnesses in the hearing said the additional aircraft strained the repair, sustainment, and depot system with unplanned volume, and also challenged parts and materials vendors to meet the demands of both production and maintenance.

    Garamendi drew a breath and said, “I’m going to … try to contain my anger at what is going on here.” The F-35 is “over budget, fails to deliver on promised capabilities, [and] mission capability rates do not even begin to meet the service threshholds.”

    He warned witnesses, “the easy days of the past are over.” The “industry solution” of asking taxpayers “to throw money at the problem … will not happen.” He vowed that the F-35’s sustainment issues will be addressed and “resolved in this committee, this year.” Witnesses included Gregory M. Ulmer, Lockheed Martin vice president for aeronautics; Matthew F. Bromberg, president of Pratt & Whitney military engines; Joint Program Office Director Lt. Gen. Eric T. Fick; Air Force F-35 Integration Office Director Brig. Gen. David W. Abba, and the Government Accountability Office’s Diana Maurer, director of military structure and operations issues.

    Asked to estimate the additional costs of the extra jets, Fick said “100 extra aircraft, at 250 hours [per year is] 25,000 extra hours,” at a cost, in today’s dollars, of over $41,000 per hour.

    “That is added sustainment cost being borne by the services that they otherwise wouldn’t have to bear,” he said. This has “hurt us from a supply perspective.”

    Maurer put the 47 percent overage in context:

    “If, starting tomorrow, Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney announced that all spare parts would be free for the rest of the program, that still would not be sufficient to close the gap” in sustainment costs. “Bottom line, …the services have a plane they cannot afford to fly; at least not in the way they want to fly it, long term.”

    There are three possible ways forward, she said.

    “Squeeze more cost savings” out of the program, which she said would be difficult because the structure of fees, sustainability rates, and other measures are “baked in,” and were based on optimistic thinking 20 years ago.
    “Take a hard look at requirements” in terms of flying hours, readiness, and the number of aircraft to be bought. These are “significant tradeoffs,” she allowed, adding that GAO does not have a position on any of those tradeoffs.
    “Simply … spend more.” The sustainment targets were set by the services, and they can change them, she said. But that could potentially cost “billions more. That could potentially crowd out other priorities.” She advised Congress to “pay close attention to how the program is closing these capability gaps when you decide how many new aircraft to purchase.”
    Ulmer noted that Lockheed and the JPO have pushed to open 60 depots by 2030. Although that will help with repair and rework, it also has taxed the availability of spares and trained maintainers because they are spread out over a greater number of locations.

    “This is at the heart of why we have a supply problem,” Fick observed. “We also had a couple of years were we didn’t buy any spares, and that hurt us, too.”

    As production hits peak, and “as we crest that wave, and we’re leveling out, we’ve proven we can make” the ordered number of aircraft. “We just need to settle at that rate, allow the system to recover, deliver the parts that we need, follow through with our commitments to stand up the organic depots inside the U.S. and [overseas], that will help us from a global capacity perspective to fill out the solution around the world.”

    Garamendi slightly softened his tone at the end of the hearing, thanking the managers for their efforts and saying, “We’re all in this together.”

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