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Analyst: F-35C to Cost $337 Million Apiece in FY15
DOD Buzz ^

Posted on 07/30/2014 6:27:11 PM PDT by ClaytonP

A longtime defense analyst and critic of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program says taxpayers next year will pay between $148 million and $337 million per jet, depending on the model.

Winslow Wheeler, a staff member at the Project On Government Oversight who has worked on national-security issues for the Senate and the Government Accountability Office, detailed his cost estimates for the Lockheed Martin Corp.-made fifth-generation stealth fighter in a recent article on Medium​.com.

Wheeler puts the per-plane production price tag at $148 million for the Air Force’s F-35A, which can take off and land on conventional runways; $251 million for the Marine Corps’ F-35B, which can fly like a plane and hover and land like a helicopter; and $337 million for the Navy’s F-35C, which can take off and land on aircraft carriers. The average cost for all three variants is $178 million, he wrote.

“This data is the empirical, real-world costs to buy, but not to test or develop, an F-35 in 2015,” he wrote. “They should be understood to be the actual purchase price for 2015—what the Pentagon will have to pay to have an operative F-35.”

Wheeler derived the estimates using recent figures from the Senate Appropriations Committee. The figures don’t include research and development costs, but do include funding from the previous year’s appropriations act for “advance procurement” and from aircraft modifications.

Wheeler rejects the use of an aircraft’s so-called flyaway cost to describe its true expense because, he wrote, “those airplanes are incapable of operative flight. They lack the specialized tools, simulators, logistics computers — and much, much more — to make the airplane usable. They even lack the fuel to fly away.”

Michael Rein, a spokesman for Bethesda, Maryland-based Lockheed’s F-35 program, didn’t immediately return an e-mail seeking comment to the article.

Joe DellaVedova, a spokesman for the Pentagon’s F-35 program office, disputed Wheeler’s estimates, saying they’re misleading and don’t reflect what the department contracts for the planes.

Under the most recent production contract with Lockheed, the department in 2013 agreed to pay $112 million per F-35A, $139 million per F-35B and $130 million per F-35C, DellaVedova said. Those figures, known as unit recurring flyaway costs, include the airframe, engine, mission systems, profit and concurrency, he said.

The government has also shifted from bearing all the financial risk in the program to sharing it with Lockheed and Pratt & Whitney, which makes the F135 engine for the single-engine fighter, DellaVedova said in an e-mail. The contractors now cover 100 percent of any cost overruns and 50 percent of concurrency costs, he said.

“Affordability is the No. 1 priority for the F-35 program,” he said. “You can have the best airplane in the world, but if nobody can afford it, it does you no good. We are doing all we can to drive prices down and we are making a difference.”

Kevin Brancato, a senior defense analyst at Bloomberg Government, said in an e-mail that Wheeler’s estimates appear to be correct, but emphasized that the vast majority of the differences between the unit cost of the variants in fiscal 2015 is due to spreading nonrecurring and support costs over fewer aircraft.

Nonrecurring costs include production tooling, money for buying out parts that will be difficult to source later and money for cost-reduction initiatives, while support costs pay for engineering related to production, he said.

“The Navy’s C variant will be far more expensive in FY15 than the other variants because the Navy will pay $170 million in nonrecurring costs and $247 million in support costs while buying only two aircraft,” Brancato said. “That’s $416 million in total, or $208 million per jet, before the cost of airframes, electronics and engines.

“In contrast, the nonrecurring and support costs are $78 million for each Marine Corps B variant, and just $37 million for each Air Force A variant,” he said. “For fiscal 2015, the Marines requested six jets and the Air Force requested 26.”

Meanwhile, recurring unit production costs — the airframes, electronics and engines — will continue to decline for the F-35A and F-35B, Brancato said. For the F-35C, the number being built will drop to two from four, which will drive up the cost of the airframe, yet the cost of the electronics and engines will still go down, he said.

The Joint Strike Fighter is the Pentagon’s most expensive weapons acquisition program, estimated to cost a total of $398.6 billion for a total of 2,457 aircraft. That breaks down to a per-plane cost of $162 million, including research and development.

The Pentagon in its budget for fiscal 2015, which begins Oct. 1, requested $8.3 billion for 34 of the aircraft, including 26 F-35As, 6 F-35Bs and 2 F-35Cs. The House Appropriations Committee voted to buy an additional four aircraft, for a total of 38, while the Senate panel agreed with the Pentagon’s request — a difference that will have to be resolved in conference negotiations.

The fighter jet missed its highly hyped international debut in the United Kingdom earlier this month. It was scheduled to appear for the first time at three events in the U.K., culminating with a flight demonstration at the Farnborough International Air Show outside London. But the aircraft was a no-show after an engine fire in one of the planes resulted in a fleet-wide grounding and subsequent flight restrictions.


TOPICS: Government
KEYWORDS: boondoggle; f35; pos; wasteofmoney

1 posted on 07/30/2014 6:27:11 PM PDT by ClaytonP
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To: ClaytonP

The F-22 was cancelled for costing $150 million/each


2 posted on 07/30/2014 6:27:43 PM PDT by ClaytonP
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To: ClaytonP

3 for a billion.. crash and carry


3 posted on 07/30/2014 6:29:01 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi - Revolution is a'brewin!!!)
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To: ClaytonP

The Navy would be better off buying more FA-18s.


4 posted on 07/30/2014 6:29:10 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (The cure has become worse than the disease. Support an end to the WOD now.)
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To: ClaytonP

My SIL is an engineer on the VTOL fan.
He makes good money.... ;-)


5 posted on 07/30/2014 6:30:56 PM PDT by nascarnation (Toxic Baraq Syndrome: hopefully infecting a Dem candidate near you)
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To: Blood of Tyrants

I was always partial to Phantoms F4-Bs


6 posted on 07/30/2014 6:35:15 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi - Revolution is a'brewin!!!)
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To: ClaytonP
There won't be many more fighters that will require a pilot. I know that sounds sacrilegious to all the flyboys out there, but that day is coming.
7 posted on 07/30/2014 6:35:31 PM PDT by Cry if I Wanna
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To: ClaytonP
"The F-22 was cancelled for costing $150 million/each "

Yep.

I have always been an advocate for putting up another couple hundred Raptors...another 300 BRAND NEW/UPDATED F-15c and probably 500 or so of the newest F-16.

Augmented by a few thousand combat drones controlled by the manned aircraft via local links.

MUCH MUCH cheaper and very likely far more effective.

8 posted on 07/30/2014 6:35:52 PM PDT by Mariner (War Criminal #18)
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To: ClaytonP

The Designer Of The F-16 Explains Just How Stupid The F-35 Is.

Pretty alarming interview from a guy who certainly sounds like he knows what he is talking about.

http://digg.com/video/the-designer-of-the-f-15-explains-just-how-inanely-stupid-the-f-35-is


9 posted on 07/30/2014 6:37:26 PM PDT by DJ Taylor (Once again our country is at war,and once again the Democrats have sided with our enemy.)
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To: Cry if I Wanna
" I know that sounds sacrilegious to all the flyboys out there, but that day is coming. "

I usta drink with a guy who ran the training program for the Raptor. He was adamant (I didn't believe him at the time) that the F35 would be the LAST manned aircraft purchased by DOD. There were strategic thinkers even then that wanted that distinction to fall on the Raptor.

10 posted on 07/30/2014 6:38:31 PM PDT by Mariner (War Criminal #18)
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To: ClaytonP

Exactly what was this plane supposed to do that the F-22 doesn’t do? I forget.


11 posted on 07/30/2014 6:39:17 PM PDT by SeeSharp
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Obsolete..? still mess up a tent party at the al qaeda inn..

12 posted on 07/30/2014 6:39:51 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi - Revolution is a'brewin!!!)
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To: NormsRevenge

Those were junk compared to the F-86 Sabrejet.


13 posted on 07/30/2014 6:40:27 PM PDT by smokingfrog ( sleep with one eye open (<o> ---)
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To: NormsRevenge

The F-4 is proof that a brick will fly if you put an engine big enough. (snicker)


14 posted on 07/30/2014 6:41:27 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (The cure has become worse than the disease. Support an end to the WOD now.)
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To: ClaytonP

I have read more than once that the F-15 is the most successful fighter ever.


15 posted on 07/30/2014 6:44:58 PM PDT by yarddog (Romans 8: verses 38 and 39. "For I am persuaded".)
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To: SeeSharp

Land on carriers, replace harriers, attack ground targets, and be supplied to allies.


16 posted on 07/30/2014 6:45:38 PM PDT by TexasGunLover ("Either you're with us or you're with the terrorists."-- President George W. Bush)
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To: DJ Taylor

Thanks for that link.


17 posted on 07/30/2014 6:48:21 PM PDT by ClaytonP
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To: SeeSharp

Cost more?


18 posted on 07/30/2014 6:49:49 PM PDT by Flick Lives ("I can't believe it's not Fascism!")
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To: Blood of Tyrants

lolol.. 2 engines and it made a lot of noise.. and smoked like the dickens..


19 posted on 07/30/2014 6:53:16 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi - Revolution is a'brewin!!!)
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To: ClaytonP

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away..They were flying these cool X-wing fighters.


20 posted on 07/30/2014 6:54:31 PM PDT by yarddog (Romans 8: verses 38 and 39. "For I am persuaded".)
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To: Cry if I Wanna
There won't be many more fighters that will require a pilot. I know that sounds sacrilegious to all the flyboys out there, but that day is coming.

Farther away than you think.

21 posted on 07/30/2014 6:54:57 PM PDT by Yo-Yo (Is the /sarc tag really necessary?)
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To: ClaytonP

I notice the typical liberal hypocrisy with current Pentagon budgets. They moan about DoD spending, but look who is funding projects like the F-35, two LCS designs, etc, and who is getting rich off of all of it.


22 posted on 07/30/2014 6:55:16 PM PDT by yawningotter
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To: NormsRevenge

Yep, a cloud of black smoke followed the F-4 everywhere.


23 posted on 07/30/2014 6:55:24 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (The cure has become worse than the disease. Support an end to the WOD now.)
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To: NormsRevenge

I remember watching the F-4s at Eglin back in the 60s and 70s. You could always find them just by following the black trails, sort of like the broom the Wicked Witch of the West flew.

Didn’t they eventually replace those engines which smoked so much?


24 posted on 07/30/2014 6:57:01 PM PDT by yarddog (Romans 8: verses 38 and 39. "For I am persuaded".)
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To: yarddog

I was always wondering if they could replace the skin with lighter composites and radar absorbing material and kept them active?

You are right though, more fuel efficient engines, new computers and stuff would have also been needed. Maybe it was easier to build new planes


25 posted on 07/30/2014 6:58:44 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: ClaytonP
somewhere, PukinDog is laughing...
26 posted on 07/30/2014 7:02:46 PM PDT by Chode (Stand UP and Be Counted, or line up and be numbered - *DTOM* -vvv- NO Pity for the LAZY - 86-44)
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To: yarddog

Last I heard the 15C has never been defeated air to air. Real life that is, not exercises.


27 posted on 07/30/2014 7:11:20 PM PDT by ThunderSleeps (Stop obarma now! Stop the hussein - insane agenda!)
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To: ClaytonP

I thought it was closer to $200 million, but your point stands.


28 posted on 07/30/2014 7:13:46 PM PDT by Gene Eric (Don't be a statist!)
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To: ThunderSleeps

I saw a picture of one an Israeli pilot landed with a wing missing from and air to air collision. The way he managed is the root of the wing also had a lot of lift.

Still an amazing feat.


29 posted on 07/30/2014 7:15:45 PM PDT by yarddog (Romans 8: verses 38 and 39. "For I am persuaded".)
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To: DJ Taylor
.


Thanks !!!!


I expected some mild "quasi-technical" MSM infobabe interview ... with lots of ridiculous questions ...


Instead ... a "genuine" air combat expert "devastates" the F35 ... mismatched for every one of it's six or seven mission profiles ...


and guaranteed to "kill" U.S. pilots by the hundreds.




.
30 posted on 07/30/2014 7:23:19 PM PDT by Patton@Bastogne (.)
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To: NormsRevenge
The A4 was a great plane. So easy to fly that even John McCain managed several carrier takeoffs and landings with it.

But let's not drag up that old story of him wet-starting his plane as a practical joke on the guy behind him ... which cooked off the guy behind's Zuni rockets, which punctured John's fuel tanks, causing him to dump his bomb ordinance into the fire and scamper away across the tightly packed planes to safety (on film).

The crew was so pissed off at him that he had to be immediately transferred.. Great guy. What's one heavily damaged carrier and 295 casualties, including 134 KIA when compared to a fabulous practical joke?

31 posted on 07/30/2014 7:39:45 PM PDT by Kenny Bunk (The GOP is dying. What do we do now?)
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To: ClaytonP

A camel is a horse designed by committee.

The f35 was doomed the second a general got his finger in the pie.


32 posted on 07/30/2014 7:44:04 PM PDT by Organic Panic
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To: huldah1776

BFL


33 posted on 07/30/2014 7:47:10 PM PDT by huldah1776
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To: ClaytonP

I think we’d do better with more F-16’s and F-18’s and for God’s sake, bring back the F-14! I’m also a big fan of an upgraded F-4 and one of my fave, the F-5 and F-20. The F-15 Silent Eagle is a good plane too.


34 posted on 07/30/2014 7:48:57 PM PDT by Nowhere Man (Mom I miss you! (8-20-1938 to 11-18-2013) Cancer sucks)
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To: DJ Taylor
Great link, DJ. Was very uneasy with the F 22/F 35 rationale. I was always unimpressed by stealth. This "seagull X-section" stuff is hogwash. Totally mystified by what's supposed to come after the F 15, F 18, F-16, A-10, especially since the new stuff doesn't look all that much of a leap forward.

It's OK for me to mystified, because that does not cost a lot of money. What ain't OK, if Pierre is to be believed, is that those whom the whimsical gods hath placed above us in the food chain are also mystified to the tune of many many billions..

35 posted on 07/30/2014 8:25:44 PM PDT by Kenny Bunk (The GOP is dying. What do we do now?)
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To: DJ Taylor

A friend said the F-35 was a “grape”. You squeeze it twice and it’s all out of juice. The F-105 was a better strike fighter.


36 posted on 07/30/2014 9:27:03 PM PDT by gura (If Allah is so great, why does he need fat sexually confused fanboys to do his dirty work? -iowahawk)
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To: yarddog
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_F-15SE_Silent_Eagle
37 posted on 07/30/2014 9:28:25 PM PDT by gura (If Allah is so great, why does he need fat sexually confused fanboys to do his dirty work? -iowahawk)
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To: ClaytonP; All

38 posted on 07/30/2014 9:31:17 PM PDT by gura (If Allah is so great, why does he need fat sexually confused fanboys to do his dirty work? -iowahawk)
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To: ClaytonP

need more f-22 /cowbell

and update the f-15s to f-15se’s and do the same stealth updates/on the f-16s and f-18s.


39 posted on 07/30/2014 11:05:56 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man ( Gone Galt; Not averse to Going Bronson.)
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To: Secret Agent Man

Interesting! I wonder what the actual “real cost” is to produce this plane. Having previously been involved with the manufacture of automobiles, I know there are sooo many inflated costs, no one can tell what the “actual” cost really was/is. Same goes for these aircrafts.
(Obviously much of these costs are labor)


40 posted on 07/31/2014 4:09:05 AM PDT by DaveA37
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To: Secret Agent Man

Interesting! I wonder what the actual “real cost” is to produce this plane. Having previously been involved with the manufacture of automobiles, I know there are sooo many inflated costs, no one can tell what the “actual” cost really was/is. Same goes for these aircrafts.
(Obviously much of these costs are labor)


41 posted on 07/31/2014 4:09:05 AM PDT by DaveA37
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To: TexasGunLover

An aircraft designed to do that many things will likely do none of them very well.


42 posted on 07/31/2014 5:37:22 AM PDT by riverdawg
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To: riverdawg
......designed to do that many things will likely do none of them very well.

Drawers full of broken Swiss Army Knives have brought that point home to me.

43 posted on 07/31/2014 12:36:50 PM PDT by Kenny Bunk (The GOP is dying. What do we do now?)
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To: Kenny Bunk

That’s impressive! Not too sure that it’s true, though

The video of the incident shows a Zuni rocket shorting and striking McCain’s plane which was on the other side of the flight deck...


44 posted on 07/31/2014 4:04:19 PM PDT by bt_dooftlook (Democrats - the party of Amnesty, Abortion, and Adolescence)
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To: SeeSharp

Drop bombs


45 posted on 07/31/2014 6:42:13 PM PDT by Oztrich Boy (Wikipedia is wrong. who knew?)
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To: Oztrich Boy
Drop bombs

The F-22 has an internal weapons bay, as does the F-35.

46 posted on 07/31/2014 6:45:14 PM PDT by SeeSharp
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To: Kenny Bunk
But let's not drag up that old story of him wet-starting his plane as a practical joke on the guy behind him ... which cooked off the guy behind's Zuni rockets, which punctured John's fuel tanks, causing him to dump his bomb ordinance into the fire and scamper away across the tightly packed planes to safety (on film). because it's total bunk.

McCain is in 416, facing inward, no guy behind him. 405 was hit by a missile fired by an electrical fault in Phantom 110 on the other side of the Flight deck

47 posted on 07/31/2014 6:51:06 PM PDT by Oztrich Boy (Wikipedia is wrong. who knew?)
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To: Oztrich Boy; bt_dooftlook
That’s impressive! Not too sure that it’s true, though

Gentlemen that's exactly why I said

But let's not drag up that old story of him wet-starting his plane as a practical joke on the guy behind him ....

and uh .... sorry (if that's true .. we'll review the films.) Got it from ...among others ... my EX-Bro-in-law, who was aboard that day and has been quite useless ever since. However, that MacCain's "career" in the military was a little out of the ordinary is quite true.

48 posted on 08/01/2014 9:41:31 AM PDT by Kenny Bunk (The GOP is dying. What do we do now?)
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To: Kenny Bunk; bt_dooftlook
Here ya go Episode 4: Aircraft Carrier Explosion
49 posted on 08/01/2014 6:24:25 PM PDT by Oztrich Boy (Wikipedia is wrong. who knew?)
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To: SeeSharp

The only bombs an F22 can carry/deploy are the small 250lbs. SDB’s...the F35 can carry up to ~12k in weapons including 2k class precision, not GPS, but precision bombs. Electro-optically guided...similar to laser.

In addition, the F35 is designed to be a strike aircraft, not necessarily a fighter first. The F22 provides CAP while the F35 ingresses into hardened targets to neutralize AADS.

Think F117 during the first few days and then it transitions to bomb truck once the AADS are down.


50 posted on 08/01/2014 6:38:57 PM PDT by SZonian (Throwing our allegiances to political parties in the long run gave away our liberty.)
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