F-35 program updates

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marauder2048

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Unread post13 Apr 2018, 07:37

I've repeatedly asked if, when and in what form that recommendation was adopted.
You've repeatedly failed to provide any details whatsoever.

You've claimed that such contractual details are irrelevant to contractual issues.
Pre/intra/post production this is a contractual issue therefore the details matter.
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Unread post13 Apr 2018, 07:53

marauder2048 wrote:I've repeatedly asked if, when and in what form that recommendation was adopted.
You've repeatedly failed to provide any details whatsoever.

You've claimed that such contractual details are irrelevant to contractual issues.
Pre/intra/post production this is a contractual issue therefore the details matter.


The 2013 recommendation, which I doubt you have actually read it, was for future contracts which adopted is totally irrelevant to this issue because it applies to jets delivered thereafter. Not sure how you can apply irrelevant contracts to this issue but I certainly can't explain it. Still waiting for the response on the sustainment contract and how that applies to this issue....

What is relevant is that the production contracts from 2007 did not include a quality escape clause which is why there is the issue today.

P.s. what I learned has nothing to do with contract details but more of the measure of the person particularly how many times I need to repeat it before that person finally understands the issue, or worse, if he/she ever gets it...
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Unread post13 Apr 2018, 08:09

The quality escape clause is to insulate the *government* from costs.

The DODIG 2013 report contained the recommendation. The DODIG 2015 report said that recommendation
had not been put under contract. That means that all LRIPs up to LRIP 9 are almost certainly on the government.
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Unread post13 Apr 2018, 08:39

marauder2048 wrote:The quality escape clause is to insulate the *government* from costs.

The DODIG 2013 report contained the recommendation. The DODIG 2015 report said that recommendation
had not been put under contract. That means that all LRIPs up to LRIP 9 are almost certainly on the government.


And notwithstanding that under the production contracts mean the Government is on the hook, would one fault the JPO for trying every weapon in its book to get LM to bear some of the cost? Of course on the other end, LM is going to fight tooth and nail and stand by the production contracts to say that they shouldn't bear it. Hence the impasse. Since the JPO can't sue LM to bear the cost, the only other weapon they have is to delay delivery.

One might fault the JPO for not including the escape clauses (which they got hit repeatedly) but I don't think the JPO deserves blame for trying in this case. Its a dumb situation when the contract can subtly "encourage" the supplier to produce less than satisfactory machines when they know the customers bears the costs.

and in that context, I can understand when Adm Winter makes comments like "Lockheed Not Cooperating Enough On F-35 Contract"
https://breakingdefense.com/2018/02/loc ... dm-winter/
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Unread post13 Apr 2018, 11:38

F-35 Completes Flight Trials, Now On To Final Test [some praiseworthy quotes not excerpted below]


"...The F-35 has indeed come a long way since the first flight of the F-35A, AA-1, on Dec. 15, 2006. More than 11 years later, the JSF finally completed flight testing on April 11, 2018, at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland....

...The developmental flight tests cleared the way for the JPO to deliver Block 3F capability to the warfighter this year, allowing U.S. Air Force F-35 pilots, both stateside at Hill AFB, Utah, and overseas in the Pacific, to finally employ the stealth fighter’s full suite of lethal air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons in combat. The U.S. Marine Corps’ F-35Bs and the U.S. Navy’s F-35Cs will be able to deploy with their full 3F capability in May and June, respectively....

...But while completing flight tests is a significant milestone, the F-35’s $55 billion development phase, called System Development and Demonstration (SDD), won’t be over until the aircraft successfully completes its final exam, initial operational test and evaluation (IOT&E), and the Pentagon approves Lockheed to begin full-rate production.
IOT&E is scheduled to begin in September 2018...."

Source: http://aviationweek.com/defense/f-35-co ... final-test
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Unread post13 Apr 2018, 22:28

F-35 delivery pause indicative of more stringent Pentagon standards, Lord says [read it all at JUMP]
13 Apr 2018 Valerie Insinna

"WASHINGTON — Both the Defense Department and Lockheed Martin had become too relaxed in ensuring deliveries of new F-35s met requirements, but recent pause on F-35 deliveries exemplifies how the department will now hold Lockheed to stricter standards, the Pentagon’s top acquisition official said Friday.

On Wednesday, Lockheed Martin confirmed that the Pentagon had stopped accepting deliveries of some F-35s due to a disagreement over whether the government or the company should pay for repairs for more than 200 F-35As with fastener holes that were not treated with the appropriate corrosion-preventing primer.

“The issue itself is well on its way to being resolved,” Ellen Lord, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, told reporters during a roundtable. However, the debacle establishes the “department’s point of view” that Lockheed had gotten sloppy in meeting the specified manufacturing requirements — and that the Pentagon got not been rigorous enough in enforcing them, she said. “The department, in an effort to move forward with the program, has perhaps not been as thoughtful as we want to be from this point forward in terms of what we consider acceptable performance,” she said. “I think this corrosion issue is one example where we have expectations for workmanship, and at this point we’re not seeing those workmanship levels being achieved.”

Lockheed Martin officials understand that, Lord said, including its CEO Marillyn Hewson, who has been meeting with Lord every month to talk about the Pentagon’s new expectations for the development, production and sustainment of the program. “What we are in the process of doing is talking with a greater level of fidelity about our expectation for performance on each of the upcoming lots,” she said. “I know that there is a much higher level of fidelity around expectations and the details that we are discussing at all levels of management.”...

Source: https://www.defensenews.com/air/2018/04 ... lord-says/
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Unread post13 Apr 2018, 22:36

Pentagon creates new position to help guide software acquisition, F-35 development
13 Apr 2018 Valerie Insinna

"WASHINGTON — The Defense Department is creating a new position to help formulate its software strategy and ensure that the Pentagon keeps pace with commercial advancements — and his most important job will be overseeing the F-35 joint strike fighter’s agile software strategy. During a Friday roundtable with reporters, Ellen Lord, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, announced that she has tapped Jeff Boleng to the newly created position of special assistant for software acquisition.

Boleng, currently the acting chief technology officer at Carnegie Mellon University Software Engineering Institute, will start April 16 as a member of Lord’s team. “Jeff Boleng will spend over 90 percent of his time on F-35. He is going to be the individual who is working amongst all of the groups to enable us to bring the right talent onboard,” Lord said. “We have a challenge, I think both within the JPO [F-35 joint program office] as well as Lockheed Martin, in terms of getting a critical mass of contemporary software skill sets to begin to move in the direction we want to.”

As the F-35 joint program office embarks on a new strategy called Continuous Capability Development and Delivery, or C2D2, which involves introducing agile software development, Lord wants to ensure that both the JPO and Lockheed have employees with the right training to execute the effort and that they can attract new professionals with additional software expertise.

“This is something that [Lockheed CEO] Marillyn Hewson and I have talked about,” she said. “Lockheed Martin has some excellent software capability throughout the corporation. My expectation is that they’re going to leverage that on the F-35. And as we within the Department of Defense really increase our capability for software development focused on C2D2, our expectation is that Lockheed Martin will do the exact same thing. “So they have the capability. I’m very energized about the leadership focus that I have seen in the last four to eight weeks, so I have great expectations that that will continue and that Lockheed Martin will keep pace or outpace DoD in terms of modernization for F-35 software development.”

Boleng, a former cyberspace operations officer and software engineer who served more than 20 years with the Air Force, last held the position of teaching computer science at the Air Force Academy before moving to the private sector. At Carnegie Mellon, he is responsible for spearheading the institutes research and development portfolio, which includes software development, data analytics and cyber security activities in support of the Defense Department. As the special assistant for software acquisition, he will help develop department-wide software development standards and policies and “advise department leadership on latest best practices in commercial software development.”

Boleng will also interface with Pentagon organizations charged with ramping up the department’s software prowess such as Defense Digital Services, a small group of former private-sector tech professionals who led the department’s “Hack the Pentagon” events and have conducted a few assessments of F-35 software. That starts with a meeting today between Lord, Boleng and a Defense Innovation Board group centered on software acquisition, which has been embedded both with the joint program office and Lockheed Martin, Lord said."

Source: https://www.defensenews.com/pentagon/20 ... velopment/
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Unread post13 Apr 2018, 22:57

Lord Says No Referee on F-35 Program Split, No New JPOs for Emerging Technologies
13 Apr 2018 JOHN A. TIRPAK

"Pentagon acquisition chief Ellen Lord doesn’t see a big danger that the F-35 program will spiral away from commonality when the services take over most of the work of managing their own variants. She also said the Defense Department will look to “loosely associating” multi-service efforts in new technologies such as hypersonics and artificial intelligence, but isn’t launching joint program offices in those “technology domains."...

...will happen “based on conditions” not yet met, she told reporters in her Pentagon office Friday, and lead to “more individual service focus.” This is because the program has reached a point where the need to preserve commonality must be “rebalanced” with the needs of the services “to do the things they individually need to do,” because each of the service variants have “slightly different missions.”

Lord said, “We want them to be interoperable, we want them to leverage the economies of scale, and the efficiencies” of common operating procedures. However, she feels that giving the services more control will allow the Pentagon to more “quickly modernize the aircraft” to their own requirements. “At this point, I think we are all very, very focused on affordability and efficiency, and sometimes that might be better done with a little more service involvement” on their own type of the fighter, she said.

Asked if there needs to be an overseer to prevent service-added uniqueness from defeating the commonality already built into the program, Lord said she thinks that issue will take care of itself. “The JPO makes recommendations about this,” she noted, and there’s an Executive Steering Group comprised of the services and foreign users of the F-35 “that looks at the direction of where we’re going … what our budgets are, what our requirements are.” Based on those structures, “I don’t think … we need one referee, so to speak.”

The existing JPO structure is useful for creating “synergy” among the users in developing requirements and operating methods, said Lord. Foreign partners and customers “are particularly appreciative of the JPO because it’s very efficient for them” having a single entity to deal with, and in which their own representatives are embedded. “I think that’s a good construct,” she said. “But we constantly have to work the value equation as to how much centralization delivers efficiency versus how much individual structure delivers capability as well. So, there’s a balance, there.”

Lord said she feels Lockheed Martin has “stepped up” to improving F-35 sustainment costs, a “responsiveness” she said she’d like to see spill over into “production as well as development.” She has seen Lockheed’s leadership “roll up their sleeves and work with us on sustainability” and “we’re on a good trajectory,” Lord said, but “we need to see the magnitude” and speed of cost reductions increase...."

Source: http://www.airforcemag.com/Features/Pag ... ogies.aspx
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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Unread post13 Apr 2018, 23:00

There is a link to the whole F-35 Australian Industry Participation document.

http://www.defence.gov.au/casg/Multimed ... 9-9066.pdf

https://images.defence.gov.au/assets/ar ... tes&sa=yyy
http://www.defence.gov.au/casg/AboutCAS ... fault.aspx

To date, 18 Australian companies have shared in more than AU$1 billion in Tier One production contracts, with over 50 companies benefiting through further supply chain work.

Australian industry is proving its global competitiveness by performing better than initial Defence forecasts. Australian industry involvement in F-35 production is expected to exceed AU$2 billion by 2023.

Australian industry is manufacturing parts that will be fitted to every F-35 in production globally.

Further opportunities are expected for Australian companies to increase production contract values over the next four years as F-35 production rates double.
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Unread post13 Apr 2018, 23:01

This is what we were told last November:

“The F-35 Joint Program Office is leading the effort with the U.S. services, international allies and Lockheed Martin on a comprehensive engineering assessment and corrective action maintenance plan to implement the necessary repairs” to all deployed aircraft “while minimizing impact to operations,” DellaVedova said.

In the interim, “primer will be applied to fastener holes of fielded aircraft as panels are removed during routine F-35 maintenance operations.,” he said. “Lockheed Martin has taken action to correct the production line work order error to ensure primer is applied to all fastener holes on future aircraft.”
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... -f-35-jets


Having it come down to cost now seems fishy. This should be easy enough for maintainers to do themselves. Is the DoD requiring an LM contractor to fly out whenever a jet's panel is opened? DoD should just do it themselves and charge LM for time with LM providing the material.
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Unread post14 Apr 2018, 01:17

weasel1962 wrote:
marauder2048 wrote:The quality escape clause is to insulate the *government* from costs.

The DODIG 2013 report contained the recommendation. The DODIG 2015 report said that recommendation
had not been put under contract. That means that all LRIPs up to LRIP 9 are almost certainly on the government.


And notwithstanding that under the production contracts mean the Government is on the hook, would one fault the JPO for trying every weapon in its book to get LM to bear some of the cost? Of course on the other end, LM is going to fight tooth and nail and stand by the production contracts to say that they shouldn't bear it. Hence the impasse. Since the JPO can't sue LM to bear the cost, the only other weapon they have is to delay delivery.

One might fault the JPO for not including the escape clauses (which they got hit repeatedly) but I don't think the JPO deserves blame for trying in this case. Its a dumb situation when the contract can subtly "encourage" the supplier to produce less than satisfactory machines when they know the customers bears the costs.

and in that context, I can understand when Adm Winter makes comments like "Lockheed Not Cooperating Enough On F-35 Contract"
https://breakingdefense.com/2018/02/loc ... dm-winter/


From the DODIG reports, JPO had hand-shake and other non-contractual understandings with Lockheed where
the government would tolerate certain non-flight safety, non-performance-related non-conformances in exchange
for quicker deliveries. That's clearly been the spirit and probably the letter of most contracts as Ellen Lord
acknowledges above.

If that spirit breaks down you go back to the contract. If you still can't agree on things you
take it to the Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals and they will make a determination about the spirit,
letter and whatever. It's a fairly routine matter.

If JPO wants more leverage it can convert the contract to (Cost/FixedPrice) plus Award where the
government is allowed to use its subjective judgement about things like contractor responsiveness.
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Unread post16 Apr 2018, 11:25

AvWEAK weighs in on JPO re-org....
Pentagon Could Kill F-35 JPO, But Not Until 2035
13 Apr 2018 Lara Seligman

"...the transition to separate, service-run program offices won’t be complete until 2030-2035, according to a comprehensive Department of Defense study obtained by Aerospace DAILY: http://awin.aviationweek.com/portals/aw ... b_2018.pdf [sucks to be non-subs rather than unsubs]

At the direction of Congress, the Department of Defense examined several alternatives to the existing F-35 management structure, the gargantuan operation called the JPO that currently spans three U.S. services and 12 nations. The full report, recently delivered to the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, lays out the strengths and weaknesses of each alternative, and makes the case for a phased approach to transitioning management of the F-35 program to a service-run structure.

Based on the study’s recommendations, the Pentagon will gradually dissolve the JPO over a period of nearly two decades, while moving to establish two separate U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy-run program offices that report to their respective program executive officers (PEO)/service acquisition executives (SAE). The department hopes the deliberate, phased approach laid out in the report enables the services to take on a greater role in program oversight while minimizing cost and risk...." [then an tonne of blather....]

Source: http://aviationweek.com/defense/pentago ... until-2035
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Unread post16 Apr 2018, 12:24

Ms Seligman assumes that DoD has accepted the recommendations of ‘the study’ whole cloth. Where do we have anyone in OSD on the record as accepting that idea. The fact that they went about ‘studying’ the idea is an indictment of the JPO on its face, and the idea that anyone in OSD or the services are going to engage in high-speed foot-dragging on an implementation that takes 12-17 years is a fantasy that only the USG acquisition bureaucracy can believe.
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Unread post19 Apr 2018, 14:24

Lockheed Resists $119 Million in Fixes for Its $406 Billion F-35
19 Apr 2018 Anthony Capaccio

"Lockheed Martin Corp. is contesting a repair bill of $119 million to $180 million on the $406.1 billion program to develop and build F-35 jets, according to Pentagon contract data. The dispute over poor workmanship that resulted in corrosion damage last year on some of the fighter jets illustrates the disputes that arise from time to time between the Pentagon and its biggest contractor over its costliest weapons program.

The problem was linked to a primer that’s supposed to be applied as a protective layer on aluminum fasteners to prevent corrosion. The Defense Department temporarily stopped deliveries of F-35s for the month ending Oct. 20 to assess the issue. Delivery of five planes is currently on pause until the dispute over who pays is resolved....

....“We’re not going to comment or negotiate this issue in the press,” Pentagon F-35 program spokesman Joe DellaVedova said in an email “regarding repair work to remediate” the flaw in “primer quality,” and “we look forward to a swift resolution.” Carolyn Nelson, a spokeswoman for Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed, said in an email that “we won’t discuss specific cost figures and contracting terms” but “we are working closely with” the Pentagon “to reach a resolution.”

Vice Admiral Paul Grosklags, commander of the Naval Air Systems Command, which oversees the Navy’s model of the F-35, told a House panel last week that the initial corrosion problem was a “mistake made by the contractor during production, and they should pay for that out of their bottom line, not our top line.”"

Source: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... llion-f-35
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Unread post21 Apr 2018, 21:47

USAF Takes to Capitol Hill to Air Frustrations With Lockheed, Boeing
20 Apr 2018 Brian Everstine​

"...The F-35 Joint Program Office is currently not accepting deliveries of F-35s as it argues with Lockheed Martin over who is responsible for paying for a production error on more than 200 jets. Air Force acquisition chief Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch, during a Senate Armed Services Airland Subcommittee hearing on Wednesday, said it is the Air Force's position that Lockheed is responsible for the fixes. Bunch said he is relying on the JPO to "stand up and take this step to make sure we're getting a quality product."..."

Source: http://www.airforcemag.com/Features/Pag ... oeing.aspx
RAN FAA A4G Skyhawk 1970s: https://www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ AND https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/
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