Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Lockheed gets $114M to fix its mistake jets

New from Eric Palmer's blog
New DOD contracts for mistake-jet fixes on F-35
Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded a $68,284,013 modification to the previously awarded cost-plus-incentive-fee F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Low Rate Initial Production II contract (N00019-07-C-0097) for changes to the configuration baseline hardware or software resulting from the JSF development effort. This modification defines the contractor’s responsibility to incorporate government-authorized changes for the U.S. Air Force conventional take-off and landing and the U.S. Marine Corps short take-off vertical landing aircraft and provides funding for such efforts...Lockheed Martin Corp., Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded a $45,900,000 modification to the previously awarded cost-plus-incentive-fee F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Low Rate Initial Production III contract (N00019-08-C-0028) for changes to the configuration baseline hardware or software resulting from the JSF development effort.  This modification defines the contractor’s responsibility to incorporate government-authorized changes for the U.S. Marine Corps and United Kingdom short take-off vertical landing aircraft, and provides funding for such efforts.
Let me explain...
Due to the unprecedented level of concurrency in the design and build aspect of the F-35 program, i.e. they are building the planes well before they are "done", it has been anticipated that there would be a great many "mistake jets" built which would require expensive retrofits. Well, this is the first round of those retrofits, The $68M applies to the conventional take off model and the additional $46 M applies to the Marine version vertical take off or STOVL variant. So, that's $114M to retrofit planes that were built despite the fact that no one expects the plane to be design complete for another 5 years.
It takes some doing to get a single program to cost $1.4 trillion and this kind of absurdity is just one small part of how you do it.

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