F-35: Life-Cycle Cost Problem Acknowledged

“F-35 PEO Executive Officer Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan criticizes some important decisions, such as concurrent testing and production, and he’s also unhappy with the vendors. There’s some back-and-forth in the news reports regarding production cost, which he pegs at about $120 million for a Lot 5 F-35A with engine, and whether cost reductions per lot have been adequate. His AuBC interview also includes this remark, which got less attention but is more important:

‘The real big elephant is how much it costs over the life of this plane to maintain it, and sustain it…. I think today, looking at what we have, the cost to maintain and sustain this plane is too high…. What I’ve told Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney is “you have yet to earn the right to become the product support integrator for the life of this program.” So what I’ve done is, I’ve tried to take pieces of the life cycle, and I’ve tried to introduce some competition [from domestic and foreign companies]….'”



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