F-35 to $80 million per airplane by 2019

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zenith

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Unread post16 Jun 2015, 20:56

Lorraine Martin, Lockheed Martin’s F-35 program manager, has told reporters at the Paris Air Show that by 2018, 50 per cent of the F-35s on order will be for international customers (i.e. the partner nations). Canada, at this point, is not among those putting in their orders at this point.

Martin said the firm is aiming to reduce the cost per plane to $80 million U.S. by 2019. That, she noted, would provide for “a fifth generation aircraft for the same price as a fourth generation.”

http://ottawacitizen.com/news/national/ ... ne-by-2019
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Unread post16 Jun 2015, 22:39

LRIP 8 contract
F-35A -- 94.8 million
F-35B -- 102 million
F-35C -- 115.7 million
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Unread post16 Jun 2015, 22:45

LRIP 5 contract in 2011
F-35A -- 106 million
F-35B -- 113 million
F-35C -- 126 million
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Unread post19 Jun 2015, 06:12

Lockheed Martin Follows ‘Blueprint’ To Drive Down F-35 Costs

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Unread post19 Jun 2015, 06:40

Posted here six days ago: Design & Construction thread

Lockheed Martin Follows ‘Blueprint’ To Drive Down F-35 Costs

viewtopic.php?f=60&t=27422&p=292858&hilit=Carey#p292858
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Unread post19 Jun 2015, 21:59

F-35 Production Hours Continue To Shrink
‘Blueprint for affordability’ yields cost savings earlier than expected, says Lockheed Martin
Jun 19, 2015 Guy Norris | Aviation Week & Space Technology


Lockheed Martin’s plan to cut the unit cost of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to less than $80 million by 2019 is tracking to target and will be boosted by Pentagon procurement chief Frank Kendall’s recent call for an international block buy, says F-35 Executive Vice President and General Manager Lorraine Martin.

Revealing new details of the company’s assembly improvement plan for the aircraft, Martin says production hours per F-35 are on target to shrink to less than 35,000 by 2020, compared to more than the 153,000 hr. it took to build an early production aircraft, AF-6, in 2011. The current reported rate is just over 50,000 hr., which was the time taken to assemble AF-64. The cut in build time is a key metric in the drive to reduce costs toward the $80 million unit targeted for an aircraft in the 13th low rate initial production (LRIP) lot at the end of the decade. Unit cost could dip slightly lower through subsequent lots in 2020 and 2021, suggests Martin.

“It’s what you want to see. The learning curve has been what we’d expect it to be. Eventually, we expect to get this production capability to about 35,000 hr. in about the 2020 time frame, all of that depending on keeping the production rate that’s currently forecast. It is critical that this continues to have this kind of performance,” she adds. “The $80 million price point will ensure we have a fifth-generation aircraft for about the same price or even less than any fourth-generation capability in the world.”

Updating progress on the joint F-35 Joint Program Office and industry “blueprint for affordability” cost-reduction initiative launched in 2014, Martin says out of 178 ideas submitted so far for approval between the industry team and the U.S. government, “82 have been approved and we are working on them. That’s taken about $63 million of the $170 million invested by Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems, and we have another $70 million worth of other projects under construction. We had expected these would bring savings for LRIP 9 and 10, because those were in front of us, but we actually got a little in LRIP 8, and we were able to share that with the government. Now, for LRIP 9, we are looking at having at least $1 million per aircraft of cost reduction as a result of these projects.”

Some of the ideas adopted include a new cryogenic machining process, which uses compressed nitrogen instead of oil to cool drill bits, and an improved method for manufacturing the rudder spar. The coolant idea required a Lockheed investment of $119,000, but results in a saving of $4,000 per aircraft and is expected to yield $12 million of savings over the life of the program. The new rudder spar method, which uses die forgings in place of milled forgings, requires an investment from F-35 supplier Kongsberg of $360,000, but will save up to $66 million over the life of the F-35.

The main F-35 assembly line in Fort Worth, Texas, is in the midst of significant expansion to handle the ramp-up to a maximum of around 17 aircraft per month. The number of major fuselage-mating stations on line has grown from five in 2010, to 15 currently and will increase to 20 by 2020. Of the 22 flight line hangar bays used for engine runs and outside work, 14 are being overhauled and four additional sites are being cleared to add more structures, for a total of 34 hangars by 2018.

Production of aircraft for the latest international users is also underway, with the first F-35s for Norway, Japan and Israel. The initial wing of AX-1, the first of four Japanese aircraft destined to be made in Fort Worth, has been completed in Marietta, Georgia. The completed aircraft is scheduled to roll out of Fort Worth in August 2016.

“We have seven of the Japanese component aircraft in work right now because five, six and seven will be done in Japan, and we have to have more lead time to make sure they are up and running in advance,” says Martin.

The first two Israeli aircraft, dubbed AS-1 and 2, are also on the line and “will load into the mating station later this year and will deliver in July and August out to the flight line,” she says. The aircraft will ferry to Israel by the end of 2016. with initial operating capability expected in 2017. The U.K.’s fourth F-35B is also rolling down the line and will deliver later this year, while Norway’s first aircraft is due to roll out in September.

“By the 2017 to 2018 time frame about half of the purchases and half of the production run for F-35s will be from international partners and half from the U.S. government. That’s a huge force multiplier for everyone. Having all these players in the program early helps with the economies of scale and production efficiencies,” Martin adds.

Pratt & Whitney says retrofits of the F135 engine to enable unlimited operations in the F-35 are happening faster than originally planned and are on track for completion by early 2016. “What a difference a year makes,” says F135 Senior Vice President Mark Buongiovno, referring to the program’s recovery from an engine failure in 2014 that not only badly damaged an F-35 but temporarily grounded the fleet and prevented the aircraft from making its international debut at last year’s Farnborough Airshow.

The engine maker is simultaneously executing an aggressive production ramp-up that will see output go from the current 60 engines per year to around 200 annually by 2020. The rate of engine builds is slightly higher than that of airframes to accommodate spares. “I want to deliver on my schedule, I want to deliver on my cost, I want to get production ramp-up and deliver on contract. I also want to make the introduction to the world fleet as seamless as possible,” Buongiovno says.

Part of the reason for Pratt’s optimism at Paris was the result of a recently completed accelerated mission test of a standard F135, which put the engine through 5,200 cycles, the equivalent of more than seven years of service, or around 1,200 combat missions. No turbine maintenance was required over the 10-month test, which validates the basic reliability of the design as well as identifies any potential issues before they crop up in service. “That gives us good confidence we will see that sort of life throughout the program,” he adds.



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