Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Joint plane too costly?

The F-35, designed for the Air Force, Navy and Marines, is likely to end up costing more than it would to build separate planes for each service. That's according to a Rand study. The report questions the idea that building different versions on a common base will reduce costs. The initial goal was to have 80 percent of the airframe components in common, but by 2008 that had dropped to between 27 and 43 percent. (Source: Bloomberg, 12/17/13) But at a briefing for the rollout of the 100th F-35, Lockheed Martin's general manager for the F-35 pledged that by 2019, the F-35A will cost $75 million a copy in current dollars, "less than any fourth generation fighter in the world." (Source: Breaking Defense, 12/17/13) PreviousGulf Coast note: Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., is home of the F-35 training center.