posted on Oct, 17 2013 @ 12:17 PM
The Pentagon is planning a major review of the F-35 program in the coming weeks. They will be examining the cost of building and operating the
aircraft. The review will examine the cost of a 55 year life cycle in the US military.
Sustainment costs are going to be a big part of the review. Current estimates are $1.1T for the full 55 year life cycle, but that is expected to
drop. The F-35 Program Office has lowered estimates down to $857B for the full life cycle. The USMC has said that the per hour flight cost is likely
to be over 16% lower than Pentagon estimates, which would save over $12B over the life of the aircraft. Britain and Norway have said they will pool
resources to reduce costs for both fleets over their life.
The meeting is also expected to tough on the cracks found in the F-35B ground test article during durability testing. The test article was beyond the
point it was expected to still be in service, but it's still a problem that needs addressing, and resolving.
Top Pentagon officials will examine the cost of building and operating the Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jet at a major review of the $392
billion program next week that will also provide updates on lingering technical issues.
Kyra Hawn, spokeswoman for the Pentagon’s F-35 program office, said a high-level Defense Acquisition Board meeting was expected to proceed on Monday
despite the partial government shutdown. The meeting has already been postponed several times.
She said officials would receive an update on how the program was meeting cost and schedule targets, as well as progress on technical challenges
including the millions of lines of software code being written for the planes.
One key issue to be discussed will be whether to increase F-35 production in coming years, as planned, according to Hawn and other officials familiar
with the program.