Print 9 comment(s) - last by eggster007.. on Aug 2 at 7:46 AM

Fighters will be in the sixth and seventh low production batches

A source that claims to have been briefed on discussions between Lockheed Martin and the Pentagon claims that the two have reached an agreement on two additional batches of F-35 Lightning II fighters. The deal is claimed to be worth over $7 billion and covers an additional 75 aircraft.

The source claims that 36 F-35 fighters will be purchased in the sixth production lot and 35 aircraft will be purchased in the seventh production lot. Those totals reportedly break down with 60 of the aircraft going to the U.S. military, and the remaining 11 going to Australia, Italy, Turkey, and Britain.

The F-35 program is finally picking up steam after a number of major delays and cost overruns. The program is reportedly costing $392 billion for procurement and development of the F-35. The agreement between the Pentagon and Lockheed was reportedly negotiated without factoring across-the-board budget cuts instituted by the Pentagon in March.

The last deal struck between the Pentagon and Lockheed Martin was for the fifth batch of F-35 fighters and was concluded last December. That deal saw the Pentagon purchase 32 aircraft at a cost of $3.8 billion. Reuters reports that government mandated furloughs for some civilian employees working on the F-35 program are resulting in delays in flight testing.

"We don't know yet what the final impact will be," DellaVedova said. "We think we'll be at least a month behind."

The civilian workers operate flight test controls at Edwards Air Force Base in California and Patuxent Naval Air Station in Maryland.

Source: Reuters

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Funding "Problems"
By Raiders12 on 7/30/2013 5:30:21 PM , Rating: 3
Meanwhile, I'm giving up 16 hrs a pay period due to other branches of the DoD wasting all their funding and irresponsibility. This is just classic. "America needs to become more competitive with engineering, math, and science" they cry, then they turn around and pay engineers mediocre wages and furlough us. F35 was supposed to have a flyaway cost well below the now cancelled F22 program, and look how it turned out, bloated and more expensive, who knew?

RE: Funding "Problems"
By Mr Perfect on 7/30/2013 5:45:57 PM , Rating: 2
Time to work in the corporate sector, me thinks.

RE: Funding "Problems"
By spamreader1 on 7/30/2013 6:07:07 PM , Rating: 2
But then he wouldn't be making any money, and have to put up with sub-par healthcare insurance, and retirement packages.

RE: Funding "Problems"
By spread on 7/31/2013 1:44:42 AM , Rating: 4
Yes but he would be making the company money and keeping the company competitive and being a part of the most free capitalist system in the world. A real American patriot asks what he can do for his company, not what his company can do for him.

RE: Funding "Problems"
By spread on 7/31/2013 1:41:29 AM , Rating: 2
America needs to become more competitive with engineering, math, and science" they cry, then they turn around and pay engineers mediocre wages and furlough us.

That's how your competition overseas is paid. America is simply offering competitive, market wages.

RE: Funding "Problems"
By inperfectdarkness on 7/31/2013 3:58:48 AM , Rating: 2
No, you're giving up 16 hours per pay period because the US congress can't pull its head out of its collective ass when it comes to the budget & sequestration.

Austerity is the only cure for America's woes--and Americans are aghast at the very idea. Meanwhile, national defense is NOT an optional budget item. Maybe 150 years ago you could do without a standing army and get to full-fighting strength for war within a few months. That's not at all possible with high-tech, advanced weaponry. Flying is a perishable skill, not to mention the combat tactics utilized for dogfighting, interdiction and CAS.

The DOD isn't guilt-free on this--but it is hardly the root cause. There's at least 10,000 other federal programs that should be cut entirely, well before the DOD budget starts getting axed yet again.

By Amiga500 on 7/31/2013 3:11:33 AM , Rating: 2
LM and their congressional puppets are a proper bunch of crooks. The figures quoted don't include:
- engines
- planned retrofits
- unplanned retrofits (the govt bearing the entire tab for this - not the LM powerpoint promise wizards who insisted parallel production and testing would work).

The actual prices (inc. engines and planned retrofits) are approx:

F-35A (LRIP6) = $120.5 million
F-35A (LRIP7) = $116.5 million

F-35B (LRIP6) = $150.6 million
F-35B (LRIP7) = $145.9 million

F-35C (LRIP6) ~ $155 million
F-35C (LRIP7) ~ $146 million

Which leaves the real cost of LRIP6 and LRIP7 in excess of $9 billion. Sure whats a few billion dollars between friends right?

By eggster007 on 8/2/2013 7:46:38 AM , Rating: 2
The F35 and to some extent the F22 appear to be disasters - the F22 looked to be the less capable of the two competing models, the F35 is trying to be too many things to too many factions - How do costs spiral they way they have? why are the original costings so far off of the mark?

At a time when all countries should be tightening their belts America is no different and a reduction in spending in all areas is required as well as potential tax increases (Gasoline being the most likely target).

As a Brit, I've always been a huge fan of the USA's military planes, since the first time I saw the SR-71 but the two latest piloted craft started as a dream come true and has developed into a terrible nightmare of catastrophic nature.

Lockheed should hang their heads in shame.

By MrBungle123 on 7/30/13, Rating: 0
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