Friday, March 01, 2019

Lockheed expects F-35 flying costs will take time to come down: executive

via Reuters
 Lockheed Martin Corp expects it will take around 15 to 20 years to bring the cost per flight hour of the F-35 below fourth-generation fighter jets such as the F-16, the head of the F-35 program said on Wednesday.
 “If we project that out based on the initiatives we have in place, we believe as we move out to the 2035-2040 timeframe we can get that cost down to under what a fourth gen is today,” in the range of $20,000-25,000 per flight hour.
Story here. 

And now the other shoe has dropped.  Now we know why the F-15X is being pushed on the USAF.  Now we know why the USN is being able to get away with their reduced buy of F-35C's without opposition from the Pentagon despite the F-35 mafia wanting to push it.

The damn thing won't meet it's promise of being as affordable as 4th gen jets till 2040 (if then).

Forget what this means to the US military with our comparatively HUGE budget.  What does it mean for smaller air forces?

My fear?

What if they've low balled this estimate?  What if they're NEVER able to get the cost down? Does that mean we've effectively neutered the air arms of our allies by pushing this plane on them?

This generations leadership is making a HUGE gamble with the F-35.  It's almost to the point of them having to make it work.  The problem with that is it might be impossible to do so!

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