The contract for the low-rate initial production lot of 43 F-35s with Lockheed Martin, agreed to on Monday, came out to be $4.55 billion, program manager Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan reported at a press conference Thursday. He revised a previous estimate, which said the per-plane cost dropped 3.6 percent from Lot 7 to Lot 8; it actually dropped 3.4 percent, due to currency fluctuations regarding partner funds. Pratt & Whitney also agreed to a $1.05 billion deal for Lot 8 engine production, for 48 engines, with a price reduction from Lot 7 to Lot 8 of 4.5 percent, Bogdan said. Including Lot 7, the price has dropped nine percent. Both Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney are getting “back on the curve” for desired cost reductions, Bogdan said, reiterating that if things stay on track, F-35 flyaway unit costs will be in the $80 million to $85 million range by 2019. Those costs might be lower still, since they don’t count savings that may accrue from doing multiyear buys, or a quasi-multiyear buy that adds in partner purchases before then, as well as “Blueprint for Affordability” savings initiatives that begin in Lot 9.
May 23, 2022
The Department of the Air Force announced the retirements of several key leaders within the Air Force and Space Force on May 23, while also unveiling more than a dozen new assignments for current or future one-star generals.