Keep It Profitable

In order to preserve the team effort between government and industry on the F-35 strike fighter program, the Pentagon is doing all it can to keep the project appropriately profitable, said defense acquisition chief Frank Kendall. Although the Pentagon is urging contractors to invest in efficiencies, “we want to make sure this is a win-win, so that industry … recovers their investment and a reasonable profit, but we get good cost reductions out of it as well,” Kendall told reporters during a teleconference on June 12 following an F-35 steering committee meeting at Eglin AFB, Fla. Navy Assistant Secretary Sean Stackley said the government has set some “pretty aggressive targets” for cost reductions “beyond the normal learning curve.” But industry is “out front in terms of the investment,” an indication of their commitment and “the level of confidence they have in the initiatives they’re putting on the table,” he said. (See also Cutting F-35 Sustainment Costs.)