Lockheed F-35 Program Costs Plummeted $4.5 Billion in 2012
May 24, 2013 8:00 AM
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All programs covered in the annual selected acquisitions report state under their spending caps
The Pentagon and military leaders in the U.S. have been under intense pressure concerning the F-35 Lightning II program and
how far over budget it has climbed over the years
. With the
past history of cost overruns
, the Pentagon is now letting everyone know that costs for the program fell by $4.5 billion last year.
This is the first time in the F-35 Lightning II program that estimators have lowered the projected cost of the Pentagon's most expensive acquisition program. The annual Pentagon selected acquisitions report, which was published Thursday, is currently projecting the cost to develop and procure the F-35 Lightning II at a little more than $391 billion.
The F-35 Lightning II is one of 78 acquisition programs that was covered in the selected acquisitions report. It's worth noting that the F-35 Lightning II wasn't the only program able to stay under the spending cap covered in the program. The Pentagon undersecretary for acquisition, technology, and logistics, Frank Kendall noted that this was the "first time in my memory" that no program covered in the SAR went over the federal spending cap.
The F-35 Lightning II is broken down into two sub programs by the report including Lockheed Martin's portion of building the actual aircraft and
Pratt & Whitney
, the engine builder. $4.9 billion in savings actually came from Lockheed Martin, while Pratt & Whitney actually saw a cost increase of roughly $442 million due to development and procurement of the engines.
Currently, total flyaway costs the F-35A are $76.8 million with the Navy carrier-based version costing $88.7 million. The Marine Corps version, the F-35B, saw costs decline the most to $103.6 million per unit.
The entire F-35 Lightning II fleet had been
earlier this year when a crack was discovered in an engine component on one fighter. The aircraft were cleared to fly again in March.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
5/24/2013 9:20:28 AM
Interesting issue with the F135 engine. You would think this engine would have very few issues by this time. The design is based on that same design as the F22's F119 engines. Perhaps the 5-7K extra thrust is taking a toll on the internal components. I thought the majority of that additional thrust came from extra afterburner stages.
RE: Engine cracks
5/28/2013 9:56:11 AM
If you are referring to the recent grounding due to the crack found in one of the engines, you should be aware that the crack was found in an engine that was repeatedly pushed well past its specified limits. Of all the nasty issues Shane could have pick out with the program, he had to go for one with a legitimate cause (not a design flaw). Of course, that doesn't excuse the other problems, but I digress.
"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer
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