The estimated cost of the F-35 strike fighter program has grown by some $17 billion from $379 billion to $396 billion, according to the Pentagon’s latest reporting figures provided to Congress. According to the newly released selected acquisition reports, which reflect the period through December 2011, F-35 aircraft costs have increased by some $10.7 billion to $332 billion compared to the previous SARs that ran through December 2010. Among the reasons for the cost hike were the impacts of slowing the ramp-up of aircraft production, state the SARs. For example, the Air Force has extended its 1,763-aircraft production run by two years out to 2037, they state. F-35 engine costs went up by roughly $5.6 billion to $63.9 billion through December 2011, state the SARs. That was primarily due to an increase in initial engine spares and the cost impacts of the slower production ramp-up, they state. (See also SARs table.)
Lessons from the KC-46 and F-35 will prove useful for the testing community in the years to come, said Nickolas Guertin, the nominee to be director of operational test and evaluation for the Pentagon, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Oct. 19.