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Much of the $4.5 billion in cost increases in the past year to the now $398.6 billion U.S. portion of the F-35 program are due to overly rosy projections on anticipated decline in the “cost curve,” or price to build the stealthy fighter, says USAF Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, F-35 program executive officer.
Performance continues to fall short of projections for two major reasons: cost from the prime contractors and major subcontractors – including labor rates and overhead -- and delayed purchases by Joint Strike Fighter customers.
These are realities behind adjustments in the long-term pricing estimates for the multinational F-35 included in the 2013 selected acquisition report, a document required annually by Congress on major weapon systems. The F-35 program office shared this fact sheet with reporters to provide context for the report.
The adjustments in the long-term pricing estimates for the multinational F-35 are included in the program’s 2013 selected acquisition report, a document required annually by Congress on major weapon systems. Total U.S. program cost — including development, procurement and 55 years of sustainment — is estimated at $398.6 billion over last year’s estimate of $391.2 billion. Of that $4.5 billion is in the procurement portion of the program.
Bodgan says that in the context of the overall program’s price tag, this increase is negligible. But he remains frustrated with contractors’ pricing issues.
Pratt & Whitney spokesman Matthew Bates says the company has decreased its pricing 40% since the first production lot, but the company is claiming competitive privilege in its sole-source deal for F-35 engines in not releasing its actual numbers (AWIN First, April 7). Negotiations for low-rate initial production lots 7-8 are under way and slated for completion in the summer, he says.
Bogdan seems frustrated by the lack of leverage he has in dealing with a monopoly engine provider. “There is only one engine on the F-35. Period,” he said. “When you are in a sole-source environment it is difficult to find the right leverage and motivation and drive the cost out of a program.”
Bogdan seems frustrated by the lack of leverage he has in dealing with a monopoly engine provider. “There is only one engine on the F-35. Period,” - See more at: www.abovetopsecret.com...