Print 84 comment(s) - last by JW.C.. on May 29 at 3:57 AM

  (Source: Lockheed Martin)
After ten years and billions invested some in the Senate want alternatives to F-35

It's well known that the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) has turned into the most costly weapons program in history for the armed forces. When complete, multiple branches of the armed forces will use the F-35 and it will be sold abroad to allies.

The problem for some in Washington is that the delays in delivering the aircraft are mounting, as are the costs to build and maintain the aircraft over its lifespan. The F-35 program has been going for ten years now and some in the Senate Armed Services Committee are now indicating it's time to start looking for a backup plan. Most will find little sense in considering an alternative to the F-35 when it is finally so close to completion.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said, "It seems to me [prudent that] we at least begin considering alternatives."

The reason some in the Senate want to start looking for alternatives is the report published last week showing the costs to maintain the F-35 through 2065 spiraling to $1 trillion. Top acquisition official Ashton Carter has maintained that the $1 trillion figure will be reduced when he completes a "should-cost" review of the F-35 in the next few months. Carter is aiming at a 20% to 50% reduction in that $1 trillion figure.

Christine Fox, Director of the Pentagon cost assessment and program evaluation office, is skeptical of the cost reduction goals.

Fox said, "O&S [operation and sustainment] is hard. Whether we can get it all the way down to legacy [O&S cost levels] is something that I in my office doubt.” Fox points to the cost of fuel being hard to reduce over the life of the aircraft.

Lockheed Martin's general manager for the F-35 program, Tom Burbage, says that the sustainment costs for the F-35 can’t be fairly compared to the costs of older aircraft. He says that the F-35 was developed on performance-based logistics plan that is different from legacy sustainment process. He also notes that the F-35 O&S estimates are susceptible to ground rules legacy aircraft are not bound to.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: No surprise...
By Amiga500 on 5/23/2011 3:23:45 PM , Rating: -1
Thanks to liberals, we're forced to put all our eggs in one basket for cost reasons

Oh please. The F-16 and F-15 programs combined did not cost as much as the F-35 with inflation factored. It is downright dishonest to suggest otherwise.

But do you really think the Pentagon would be able to develop multiple jets.

Yes. Easily. Sack 90% of their "managers" and they would.

The F35 has thousands of times more computing power.

Indeed - which should make it easier to perform the same functions rather than harder.

Thus it requires software to be written to use all that computing power.

Yes - and for basic flight functions, it is much easier - yet they cannot even get that right.

For weapons systems, the complexity is more, but not absurdly so.

LM are taking the piss. The DoD are too stupid to realise it.

Gotta go now, otherwise I would frame a more complete response than this rather piss poor effort! :-)

RE: No surprise...
By FITCamaro on 5/23/2011 5:28:53 PM , Rating: 3
You seriously know absolutely nothing.

"The whole principle [of censorship] is wrong. It's like demanding that grown men live on skim milk because the baby can't have steak." -- Robert Heinlein

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki