Look at Requirements

Among design requirements for the F-35 strike fighter is one to be “twice as reliable and take half the time to repair as the airplanes it is replacing,” according to a statement Lockheed Martin issued late last week in response to numerous news reports that the Navy believes the F-35 life-cycle costs may be too high. Lockheed noted that the F-35 program differs from previous fighter programs because “supportability is a major contractual requirement … with half of the program’s key performance parameters dedicated to sustainment.” The company currently is in negotiations with the Pentagon over program restructuring, but it believes that the figures cited in Naval Air Systems Command’s “leaked internal document” “are not definitive” and do not reflect the results of the “annual detailed life cycle cost estimating process which involves all the participating services.”