Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

F-35 Fighter Costs: Six Ways To Make A Bargain Seem Unaffordable
Forbes Online ^ | 03/26/2012 | Loren Thompson

Posted on 03/26/2012 8:53:06 PM PDT by Neil E. Wright

The X-35 Joint Strike Fighter demontrator perf...

The X-35 Joint Strike Fighter demonstrator performs flight tests at Edwards Air Force Base, California (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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 ...

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Foreign Affairs; Government
KEYWORDS: aerospace; congress; departmentofdefense; f35; jointstrikefighter; military; pentagon; procurement
Interesting article articulating the Obummer regime's continued destruction of the military and the country.

“Where liberty dwells, there is my country." –Benjamin Franklin

Islam Delenda Est!


1 posted on 03/26/2012 8:53:11 PM PDT by Neil E. Wright
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Neil E. Wright

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.

2 posted on 03/26/2012 9:19:39 PM PDT by djwright (2012 The White House Gets Another Coat Of Shellac)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: djwright

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.

3 posted on 03/26/2012 10:00:47 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I'd like to tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Neil E. Wright
The way you distort economic decisions beyond recognition is to confound the average cost with the marginal cost of production. It costs billions to develop the ability to make a new modern aircraft, without building any for military inventory. Once that money is spent, it is gone - and becomes like “the three most useless things in aviation: runway behind you, altitude above you, and fuel used.” That is, from then on any economic decisions about the production of that aircraft should ignore that sunk cost.

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.

4 posted on 03/26/2012 10:19:41 PM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (DRAFT PALIN)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Secret Agent Man

Good point

5 posted on 03/27/2012 5:30:26 PM PDT by U-238
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson