The idea that one American fighter jet could fit with every service and country just has NOT worked….
Building it and running it is even worst….
Taxpayer money seems to begoing down a hole on this….
The cost of Lockheed Martin F-35s for the U.S. Air Force is expected to grow this year, after years of a downward trend in price, because of delayed negotiations with prime contractor Lockheed Martin.
As the price rises, the decision to move to full-rate production is also appearing likely to slip to 2024, as required high-tech simulations are also delayed.
- Long-awaited full-rate production decision could slip to fiscal 2024
- Program Office and Pratt & Whitney say engine “crisis” will be improving soon
Despite this double shot of negative news for the program, officials are voicing some optimism in addressing one of the biggest issues facing the fleet. The “crisis” of engine capacity across the program, which had grounded more than four dozen of the aircraft in 2021, could be alleviated by increased depot output. Pratt & Whitney says a quality improvement program it has funded will show results.
“I think 2021 was a pretty good year for the program, despite all of the chaos that seemed to surround it,” F-35 Joint Program Executive Officer Lt. Gen. Eric Fick says….
“We only have so much money, and we need to buy so many airplanes,” Fick says. “So we’re trying to figure out how . . . to find a place that allows us to get the aircraft we need at a cost that we can afford while still recognizing some of those [factors],” Fick says.
The lower quantity of aircraft and other “key differences” from the prior Lot 12-14 contract have made it more difficult than expected to agree to an appropriate cost baseline, Lockheed says…
The F-35 fleet in 2021 saw two notable deployments at sea: F-35Cs aboard the USS Carl Vinson in the South Pacific and F-35Bs aboard the HMS Queen Elizabeth II in the Mediterranean. Each ship lost one F-35 while underway: An F-35C struck the ramp of the Vinson while landing in January, and an F-35B fell from the flight deck while attempting to take off from the Queen Elizabeth II in November. Fick says neither incident caused a fleetwide stand-down or other notification, and the Joint Program Office is continuing to support investigations of both incidents.
Beyond these mishaps, of which video leaked not long after they happened, the deployments are providing extensive lessons for the F-35 fleet. The first emerged when pictures of the F-35Cs aboard the Vinson were posted online with extensive corrosion to the jets’ low-observable coating….