Saturday, July 29, 2017

Latest F-35 sales announcement sounds fishy!

via AOL Breaking Defense.
After the markets closed on a sleepy and rainy summer Friday afternoon, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus was ousted and DHS Secretary John Kelly named to take his place, and, oh, by the way, a $3.69 billion contract was awarded Lockheed Martin for 50 foreign F-35s and work on the Lot 11 LRIP.

What’s in play here?

Most of the money, $2.2 billion, goes to buy one British F-35B, one Italian F-35A, eight Australian F-35As, eight Dutch F-35As, four Turkish F-35As, six Norwegian F-35As aircraft, and 22 F-35As for Foreign Military Sales customers.

Separately, Lockheed won an interim payment of $5.6 billion in early July to help pay for the 91 American F-35s jets in LRIP 11.

The F-35 Joint Program Office said the Pentagon would continue to negotiate the 11th low rate initial production contract with Lockheed Martin and expected an agreement by the end of 2017. The full contract should be finished by the end of the year, the JPO said in a statement. At the same time, they said they are negotiating a separate deal with Pratt & Whitney for the F135 engines, which should be done about the same time.
Is it just me or does that sound suspicious as hell?  The F-35 program office HAS NEVER listed a purchase of the F-35 under "foreign military sales customers"!

Is the Pentagon and the Program Office playing games?

Are they actually buying F-35's now in the hopes that they can sell them later?

Are they so desperate to "push down the cost curve" that they would once again flaunt US law and play lawyer to skirt the OBVIOUS intent of Congress to control military waste?

Looks that way to me.

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