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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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By MikeSar on 9/7/2011 12:10:13 AM , Rating: 2
Why are two engines being developed for the F-35? Don't they know how much thrust will be required to do vertical take off at high altitude, fully loaded? I think this is a relatively simple calculation.
The hot exhaust air circulation problem could have been studied, and resolved, in a platform, with a mock up to study the air patterns. Did they learn nothing from the V-22?
To optimize weight, they must have excluded armor plating, this makes it vulnerable to long range rifle fire.
Imagine this: You are flying directly towards a tree that may have a riflemen behind. The pilot does not see the soldier and drops below 5K, then below 2K, who wins?
The ol'Bronco, OV-10 had armor plating and a Gatling gun, could they simulate a comparison? The price of one F-35 would cover the cost of a dozen OV-10s.
The F-35 will be cancelled because the US cannot afford it and join the pages in "Worst Airplanes in the world". Do you think India will buy it? There were some comments but it has died down. How smart are their engineers?




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