Skip to comments.F-35 Fighter Costs: Six Ways To Make A Bargain Seem Unaffordable
Posted on 03/26/2012 8:53:06 PM PDT by Neil E. Wright
The tortured path of the Pentagon’s biggest weapon program is beginning to look like a case study in poor management. The problem isn’t the F-35 fighter, which is making steady progress towards becoming the best tactical aircraft ever built. The problem is a federal acquisition culture that has grown so risk-averse it no longer cares about long-term consequences.
That bureaucratic myopia will be in abundant display next month, when the Department of Defense releases updated cost estimates for the fighter program. The estimates will reveal a modest increase in the cost of each plane, and Pentagon policymakers will repeat for the umpteenth time all of the heroic steps they have taken to rein in a wayward contractor. But don’t expect them to take any responsibility for the cost increases because, after all, they’re the good guys.
If you follow the F-35 program closely, which almost nobody outside the Pentagon does, a different narrative emerges. It is the story of what happens to major technology programs in a balkanized, distracted political system when there is no urgent danger to push them forward. Bureaucratic and personal agendas fill the vacuum once occupied by the threat, and so programs seldom stay on track — leaving the nation unprepared when the next big threat appears.
(Excerpt) Read more at forbes.com ...
Where liberty dwells, there is my country." Benjamin Franklin
Islam Delenda Est!
It was nuts to stop making F-22s before the F-35 came on line.
If Obama wanted shovel ready jobs he could have saved those.
Two separate issues.
It was nuts to stop making the F-22, PERIOD.
Whether the F-35 came online or not is irrelevant as the F-22 and the F-35 are not meant to deal with all of the same missions.
When you then compare the cost of that plane, with production capability in being, with a paper tiger newer, better, cheaper aircraft the capability to produce which would have to be developed at the cost of billions of dollars, you then must compare the marginal cost of production of the old model with the projected average cost of the new model, based on a realistic projection of how many of the new model will be built. Only thus can you keep from making better be the enemy of good enough, and produce enough of a given old model to make development of it be worthwhile.
Actual average cost can only be determined after the project is finally cancelled. Estimates of average cost while a program is ongoing (or afterward) and after the development costs are sunk are relevant only for judging the extent to which the development money was well spent based on how much the services and foreign customers are willing to spend per unit to by the aircraft.