Wednesday, September 18, 2019

F-35 News. Lockheed Martin asks for a long term contract to do what should already be done...

via Defense One.
The Pentagon currently pays Lockheed more than $2 billion per year to sustain about 400 jets, or roughly $5 million per jet per year. But within four years, the global fleet is expected to reach nearly 1,200 aircraft as production ramps up.

Lockheed estimates that the tab for the five-year arrangement could come to $15 billion, and that it would save the Pentagon a total of $1 billion.

Company officials figure that both sides will do better with the half-decade-long deal, which will allow the aircraft maker to lock in longer-lead parts contracts and assure its suppliers of steady work at known prices. Lockheed also says that if the Pentagon signs the deal, the company will immediately invest $1.5 billion to buy parts, sign long-lead contracts, and improve the F-35’s ALIS logistics/maintenance software.

And Lockheed say the arrangement would require the company to make sure 80 percent of the fleet is always mission-ready.

Fewer than half of the Air Force F-35s were deemed mission-ready in 2018, according to Air Force Times. Those numbers have improved this year, particularly for jets deployed overseas. Last year, former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis ordered the military services to boost fighter readiness to 80 percent.

Finally, Lockheed’s proposal includes a vow to reduce the cost per flying hour from the current $44,000 — for an Air Force F-35A in 2018 — to about $25,000. Company officials say they would absorb the risk.

“We are accepting a lot of the risk in the deal,” Merchant said.
Story here. 

Two things.  First.  Shouldn't Lockheed Martin be working to improve the ALIS software and be buying long lead items to keep this plane in the air?

Second. Chris Rock said it best.  The dope man don't get you on the sale of dope.  He gives you the first hit free.  The dope man makes his money on the comeback.  That's what we have here.  Lockheed Martin is trying to lock govts worldwide into a long term maintenance deal.

They're trying to lock in the comeback.

I hope the JSF Program Office isn't stupid enough to fall for it but confidence IS NOT high.

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