Lockheed, Pentagon Continue Negotiations on F-35 Purchase Deal
July 18, 2012 6:00 AM
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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
of the F-35 program continues to soar.
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RE: Has anyone else noticed the transformation of marketing?
7/19/2012 9:25:15 AM
Yeah, the AF has had a love/hate relationship with the A10s. Not because they have issues, but because defies the predominant philosphy in the AF. Air-Air. They were hell bent on getting rid of them until they proved themselves during the first gulf war. They then realized the stupidity of F16s taking there place and killed that idea. They want the F35 to replace it, but we dont have them yet.
Im not confused about the two. With the advancements in metalergy, testing they have been able to certify, retrofit some platforms to keep them in the sky. Doesnt always work out. (F15 cockpit separates from plane while in the air). Other advancements have allowed us to extend the planned service life of others. You're right. block upgrades dont normally address them but sometimes they are combined with retrofits.
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