Friday, March 23, 2012

UPDATE--F-35 LRIP-6 could be 26 jets unless LM shows progress

Via Inside Defense (subscription):

DOD To 'Dial' Back F-35 Production Unless Lockheed Demonstrates Progress

The Pentagon wants a contractual framework for the next two rounds of F-35 purchases from Lockheed Martin that increase government leverage, limiting the sixth production run to 26 jets -- 20 percent below the 31 authorized and appropriated in fiscal year 2012 -- until the prime contractor demonstrates progress on specific criteria.

UPDATE- From Flight Global:

Outgoing USAF procurement chief David Van Buren said that Lockheed will be awarded a contract for only 25 aircraft under its sixth low-rate production lot, down from the 31 authorised by Congress in FY2012. But the DoD could award additional contracts for up to six of the remaining lot six aircraft at the same time as lot seven negotiations, he said.

The DoD will decide how many jets will ultimately be bought based on how well Lockheed does on cost reductions, Van Buren added.


nico said...

"...Since 2002, the program has reduced aircraft procurement quantities through 2017 by three-fourths, from 1,591 to 365."

I doubt we will see much more than maybe 48 a year between 2017 to 2020 that's even with the export customers, which you have to wonder why would they want to buy in so soon when the jet isn't finished testing? Why buy jets that still have so many flaws and have to be retrofitted, better to wait.

That 48 a year is if no more problems are found, already in the article, you are looking at 25 a year. Say's a lot about the level of confidence the top brass has of LMT.

Except for a couple of fools like JJ and company like SLD or Lexington, does anyone really believe we are going to buy 1000 JSFs from 2020 to 2025 to catch up from original schedule at 200 JSFs a year?

Vince said...

This is just keeping the production line open till someone will pull the plug. The only question is when. The Blame game already started.

Anonymous said...

Yep...Let it go out with a whimper instead of a bang, and hopefully no one will notice.

Or much more importantly - get blamed before retiring with that nice, fat golden parachute...