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Final value of the contract will be determined in 2012

The F-35 program is facing more delays, this time at the urging of some military officials that want to slow down production in an effort to fix issues on the aircraft before there are large numbers in service. Defense News reports that the DoD now wants to stretch out its F-35 buy according to General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Dempsey said, "We are committed, that is to say, the U.S. military, to the development of the fifth-generation fighter, clearly. There are some fact-of-life changes that we'll probably have to make based on the ability to procure it on timelines that we'd like to have."
The F-35 program is now feeling the threat of an issue from across the pond with European partner nations feeling the economic pinch that could result in reduced purchases of the F-35.
In addition, main F-35 contractor Lockheed Martin has signed a contract with the Pentagon that is “undefinitzed” and establishes a price ceiling for the F-35 aircraft. The Pentagon has granted the contract to Lockheed martin worth $4 billion to build 30 F-35 fighters for the USAF, Navy, and Marines.
Lockheed Martin spokeswoman Laurie Quincy wrote in an email, "Lockheed Martin has signed an undefinitized contract that establishes the funding for Lot 5 up to the level announced by the DoD today. The final Lot 5 contract amount will not be known until we have a definitized contract sometime in 2012."
The fixed price contract is for 21 conventional F-35A fighters, three F-35B STOVL aircraft, and six F-35C carrier fighters. The contact also allows for associated ancillary mission equipment and flight test instrumentation for the aircraft that will allow for flight test instrumentation for the UK. 
Quincy wrote, "This [contract] … will help ensure we continue to meet production schedules outlined by the program. This is an important first step in paving the way for full LRIP 5 production contract negotiations with our government customer."

Sources: DefenseNews 1, DefenseNews 2

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By Raiders12 on 12/12/2011 2:29:52 PM , Rating: 2
Wasnt the original appeal to this plane its price reduction compared to the "expensive" F22 and versatility? I understand they are different in an operational standpoint, but really air-air combat is becoming old school. Israel probably has more Aces than anyone in our AF. $4 billion/30 plans = $133 million per plane, flyaway cost of F22 Raptor is around $150 million. Also the F35 VTOL has been plagued, one of the crown features. This is just a classical overbudgeted/under managed military project funded by the hard workers of the US.

RE: Typical
By Mudhen6 on 12/12/2011 2:40:25 PM , Rating: 2
Bloat. The F-16 was originally a cheaper alternative to the F-15, but late-model F-16Cs are just as if not more expensive than the equivalent F-15C.

Whoever advertised the idea that the F-35 is a cheaper F-22 was mostly full of fecal matter. It's the successor to the F-16C and F/A-18C, which means that right off the bat that it had to assume all the bloatware that was implemented into its predecessors.

The last Israeli pilot to become an ace was in the 70s/80s. Since then, the U.S. has been engaged in more air-to-air engagements than the IAF has. One pilot, Col. Rodriguez, picked up two kills in '91 over Iraq and another kill in Allied Force over Serbia, putting his tally at 3 kills. Another pilot in Allied Force, a then-Captain Hwang, scored a double kill in a single sortie against two Serbian MiG-29s when flying a MiGCAP mission over Bosnia in an F-15C.

RE: Typical
By Amiga500 on 12/13/2011 8:08:57 AM , Rating: 2
Whoever advertised the idea that the F-35 is a cheaper F-22 was mostly full of fecal matter.

That would be the USAF.

The hi-lo mix, with the ATF (F-22) being hi and the JAST/JASF/JSF (F-35) being lo has been their principle plan for decades now. It was enshrined within the USAF development policy in the 80s and has not changed since.

Except the lo is still comparatively lo on capability but almost hi on expense.

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