It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
The Pentagon says it has enough confidence in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter programme to start planning for a three-year block buy that would purchase about 450 jets from prime contractor Lockheed Martin.
The block buy would include F-35s for programme partners and foreign military sale (FMS) customers, and would cover aircraft procurement for fiscal years 2018 to 2020. The deal needs the blessing of Congress to proceed, and those discussions will begin soon.
“We’re feeling optimistic enough about the programme that we’re going to proceed with the planning on that, and we’ll be talking to the Congress about it,” DOD acquisition chief Frank Kendall told reporters in a teleconference call from Oslo, Norway.
By bundling the orders into a single, three-year production contact, Kendall says he expects to see “double-digit savings”, with multiyear procurements historically achieving a 5% to 15% cost reduction. The block buy is not covered under the same statute as a multiyear procurement, but has the similar effect of guaranteeing production quantities several years out instead of having to negotiate single-year lots, or exercise options in a base-year agreement.