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Negotiations continue between Lockheed and the Pentagon

Negotiations between the Pentagon and Lockheed Martin started last year to iron out all the details for the purchase of 32 F-35 fighters. The reason negotiations on pricing have dragged on for so long is due to the Pentagon's use of new pricing data according to Defense News. DOD officials are now using what's being called a "should-cost" estimate for the purchase of the F-35 fighters based on data from the previous four F-35 purchases.
 
Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition Technology and Logistics, Frank Kendall, says that the Pentagon's move to "should-cost" estimates were used to develop a "bottoms-up cost estimate based on that previous history."
 
“We started negotiations on the government side with a very well-documented set of costs, called the should-cost, and then we were able to compare that to the bid that we received, item-by-item, line-by-line,” Kendall said during a July 16 meeting with a small group of reporters in his Pentagon office. “Going through and trying to resolve the differences has been the process that has taken so long.”
 
Kendall also notes that once negotiations conclude, "We’ll be in a very good place to go ahead and negotiate for future lots."
 

A group of Lockheed F-35B Lightning II fighters [Source: Lockheed Martin]
 
The Pentagon has been working hard to put pricing pressure on Lockheed Martin for F-35 purchases despite reducing the number of aircraft required over the next five years by 179 units. Typically, every time purchase plans are reduced by any partner nation, pricing for the F-35 increases.
 
Kendall also believes that sequestration, or mandatory spending cuts that will go into effect in January, will not affect every F-35 acquisition contract. Sequestration only applies to funding that is not yet obligated according to Kendall.

The Pentagon is fighting for every penny it can save on the F-35 fighters as the overall lifetime cost of the F-35 program continues to soar.

Source: Defense News



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By shplatt on 7/18/2012 9:40:57 PM , Rating: 3
All it takes is a war with a reasonably capable opponent. One can argue how far away country Y or Z are away from threatening the US's doctrine of overwhelming force. The bottom line is that those countries are accelerating their rate of development while the US is stagnant, at best. Those countries will inevitably come within striking distance *some day*. A war or "major conflict" with such a country may some day precipitate sufficient funding.


By Ringold on 7/18/2012 9:51:55 PM , Rating: 2
The days of WW2 are over, where carriers could take a kamikaze strike, spend a couple months at an island patching up, then go right back to the fight. I can't remember how many years the USS Cole was out of commission.

By the time a serious war starts, everything a modern country needs it already must have, because it'll long since be over (except maybe an occupation) by the time the military complex can respond.


By shplatt on 7/18/2012 11:32:17 PM , Rating: 2
I agree that the days of WW2 are, thankfully, over. Wars will never be fought like that again... at least this side of a nuclear holocaust.

Military complex time tables in peacetime are much different than those in wartime. Your first paragraph is one such example. Granted, it would take considerably more resources to repair such an advanced ship in comparison to a WW2 vessel. However, in wartime, I wouldn't necessarily make the statement that it would take more time. Especially because survival is a necessity, many "impossible" things often happen in a short period of time when pressed. To be clear, I'm not saying the time frame would be similar or even scaled appropriately... I'm simply stating that it's not so cut-n-dry when you factor in man's capacity for doing difficult things when necessary.

I'll concede, at the end of the day, it's hard to tell either way. That's largely why I would never want the US to get to a point where it can no longer enjoy the application of its overwhelming force doctrine. It's also why I would never want it to lose its nuclear capability. But another day, another conversation, I guess.


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