Sunday, February 17, 2019

F-35 to get a 16 BILLION DOLLAR software patch in Block 4...

via National Interest.
Over eight million lines of code have already gone into the F-35’s highly sophisticated networked computers, and Lockheed’s proprietary ALIS logistics system ties F-35 maintenance and repair activities directly to the company. However, early production Block I and II F-35s were delivered at full price lacking software for full combat capability. Only with the Block IIIF model entering service in 2019 will fully combat capable F-35s enter service.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon is planning a major patch for F-35 software and hardware called Block 4 that will add or fix fifty-three capabilities—including nine capabilities planned to be in Block IIIF, but which were deferred due to implementation challenges. These include major performance upgrades and new weapons integration, as well as bug fixes and minor performance improvements.

And because this is the F-35 we’re talking about it, it’s also the most expensive patch ever. An earlier GAO cost estimate of $3.9 billion for Block 4 implementation was revealed to have quadrupled to $16 billion in hearing in March 2018: $10.8 billion for development and testing, and $5.4 billion for procurement of the upgrades. And according to an analysis on Defense-Aerospace, even $16 billion is likely inadequate.

Meanwhile, though the Pentagon has begun outlaying hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts for Block 4 development, it doesn’t have the funding to pay for it all—even though foreign F-35 partners are on the hook to pay $3.7 billion in development costs, whether or not they procure Block 4.
Story here.

No commentary on this one.  I'll just leave that right there for you to see and discuss.

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