The F-35’s Ongoing Cost Challenges

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Unread post11 Jul 2018, 12:05

Typical AvWEAK all over the place so the article posted here with several offshoots to somewhere about F-35 program.
The F-35’s Ongoing Cost Challenges
09 Jul 2018 Lee Hudson

"...Marines remove first F-35B from inventory
"...Pentagon operational testers may clear F-35 for full-rate production
"...F-35 program office and Pentagon analysis differ on cost-saving estimates...

...DOT&E cleared the program for preinitial operational test and evaluation events to take advantage of good weather and ship availability. Beginning testing early allows Lockheed Martin to make corrections and implement fixes sooner, the Pentagon says.

As F-35 international sales continue to climb, the Pentagon has become more creative with its contracting strategy to drive down the price tag for the U.S. and its allies. From 2014 through 2019, the F-35 received more orders from international allies than any combat aircraft—a grand total of 190.

The Joint Program Office (JPO) is executing a block buy contracting construct for F-35 international partners and Foreign Military Sales customers for production Lots 12, 13 and 14. U.S. participation is limited to economic order quantity (EOQ) procurement in fiscal 2019 for Lot 13 and fiscal 2020 for Lot 14 production contracts. Congress is waiting for the aircraft to complete operational testing before authorizing the U.S. services to enter the block buy.

In October 2017, the JPO forecast the total U.S. and international savings from F-35 EOQ was $1.2 billion compared to a traditional contracting strategy. However, the Pentagon’s Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE) office, in a report viewed by Aviation Week, notes the savings will be roughly $595 million, or about one-half of the figure projected by the JPO....

...Further, the Pentagon and Lockheed Martin are nearing a deal for Lot 11 that includes more than 130 jets, according to several congressional aides.

U.S. Navy Vice Adm. Mat Winter, F-35 joint program executive officer, initially wanted to reach an agreement for the planned low-rate initial production Lot 11 by the end of 2017. Winter said in February he anticipates all F-35 variants will be cheaper compared to Lot 10. He told reporters the government was unhappy with negotiations with Lockheed Martin. “They could be much more cooperative and more collaborative, and we could seal this deal faster, we could,” he said. “They choose not to, and that’s a negotiating tactic."

Source: ... challenges
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Unread post11 Jul 2018, 12:51

So now that the Red Flag and other results are in, AvWk needs to stay negative - so they're going with cost?

The costs are only going to come down. Perhaps they should do a story on how costs go UP to maintain 30 year old legacy jets. Or the cost of young aviators dying since said legacy jets are literally falling out of the air at an alarming rate. That wouldn't be cool though, it's much easier to keep drubbing the F-35. I've come to the conclusion these people will never stop, so I just tune them out...
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Unread post13 Jul 2018, 02:01

mixelflick wrote:I've come to the conclusion these people will never stop, so I just tune them out...

I think it'll be like F-22, where as soon as the next program comes along the F-35 will become the greatest thing ever and the new fighter will be <insert negative BS here> and the worst thing ever and need to be cancelled.

Keeping B-21 closed was probably a great decision in terms of lack of negative press.
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