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LRIP5 purchase may be smaller than wanted  (Source: Lockheed)
The Pentagon is asking for $151 million to cover cost overages

The F-35 is the most expensive acquisition program in the history of the U.S. armed forces. The overall price tag for the program is pegged at somewhere in the $380 billion range and the costs keep moving upward. The Pentagon is making moves to cut the costs of the program and that means that fewer aircraft will be purchased as a result.

The Pentagon has asked congress to approve a $151 million funding transfer to cover the increased development costs that were associated with the program before most of the new cost cutting measures were in place. The cost overruns were incurred with the first 31 of the aircraft to be built and purchased over the last five years. The aircraft were part of the first three low-rate initial production (LRIP) buys.

The Pentagon made the request for the funding transfer to Congress in a 91-page document dated June 30. The document stated, "If the reprogramming request is not approved, additional funding within the JSF program will be diverted to cover these costs." That diversion could result in fewer of the jets being purchased in the coming LRIP 5 contract.

The document also notes that the funding transfer of $151 million would cover additional costs to develop both the airframe and the propulsion system. Defense News points out that the cost increase came before the F-35 plan was restructured by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

The document presented to Congress also noted, "The JSF program is already working to cover most of the cost overruns internally."

The Pentagon expects to publish an updates cost estimate for the program this fall. While costs are still a concern for the F-35 Program things have been moving forward with flight tests being completed. This is despite some other issues with the program that have surfaced recently.

Earlier this month the F-35 fleet was grounded due to a failure of the aircraft's integrated power supply. The Pentagon is also pushing hard to further reduce the costs of the program and is seeking to cut the costs of subcontractors.



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RE: Summed up for me...
By Mudhen6 on 8/10/2011 2:57:24 AM , Rating: 2
Other References: http://www.defensenews.com/story.php?i=6525163&c=A...

The F-35 program is also making headway in clearing the flight envelope to begin training at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. There have been few surprises, Kelly said.

Operational pilots should be thrilled with the F-35's performance, Kelly said. The F-35 Energy-Management diagrams, which display an aircraft's energy and maneuvering performance within its airspeed range and for different load factors, are similar to the F/A-18 but the F-35 offers better acceleration at certain points of the flight envelope.

"The E-M diagrams are very similar between the F-35B, F-35C and the F/A-18. There are some subtle differences in maximum turn rates and some slight differences in where corner airspeeds are exactly," Kelly said.

Thomas, who is also an F/A-18 pilot and a graduate of the Navy's Top Gun program and the Marines' Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course, agreed that all three variants should be lethal in the within-visual-range fight.


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