Lockheed Martin opposed the cutting of the ten
aircraft from the purchase because the production cut would raise the
cost of the aircraft across all of the nations involved in the F-35
program. Despite Lockheed warning this month that the cut could have
"serious impact" on the program, Lockheed and the DoD
to a delivery of 32 F-35 aircraft in the LRIP-4
lot.Lockheed has stated that the negotiations are over and
the agreement was reached on September 21, but the company notes that
the contract has not yet been signed. Despite cutting ten aircraft
from the order, the contract for LRIP-4 production is valued at about
$5 billion according to a Lockheed spokesman.The Pentagon
issued a statement saying, "The negotiated price is below the
independent cost estimate prepared earlier this year and reflects the
contract type deemed most efficient by the Department. The Department
believes this contract is a fair and reasonable basis for LRIP-4 and
sets the appropriate foundation for future production lots."The
agreement and contract covers the production tooling for the aircraft
and the sustainment of the fighters. Lockheed has maintained since
early this summer that the deal was close to being finalized and
blamed the delays on tough negotiating stances by it and the DoD.
Ultimately, the DoD and Senate won the upper hands in the
negotiations.The F-35 program overall has been wrought with
delays and issues with some of the aircraft. Issues with subsystems
have led to a significant
delays with the F-35B STOVL version of the aircraft.
Lockheed said that the part failures were small things like cooling
fans, door actuators, and vales that were failing at a higher than
DoD has stated before that the cost of the F-35 program from
inception to retirement could cost the U.S. taxpayers as much as $382
quote: part failures were small things like cooling fans, door actuators, and vales that were failing at a higher than expected rate.
quote: Bet these parts were bought from China too....
quote: Lockheed will be left holding the bill again.