Monday, December 3, 2012

F-35: DoD and Lockheed Martin reach agreement on LRIP-5

LRIP 5 being the 5th low rate production batch of F-35s.  A total of 32 aircraft will be built under this contract, 22 F-35A's, 3 F-35B's and 7 F-35C's.

The key part of the news release is as follows:
WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 30, 2012 – The U.S. Department of Defense and Lockheed Martin have reached an agreement in principle to manufacture 32 F-35 Lightning II stealth fighters as part of Low-Rate Initial Production 5 (LRIP-5). The contract will also fund manufacturing-support equipment, flight test instrumentation and ancillary mission equipment. 
Note the last sentence.  What that means is there's also a lot more to the contract that just buying jets.  So, and it's already out there among the usual suspects, simply dividing the number of F-35s by the amount of the contract is not - let's repeat that and underline it - NOT indicative of the unit recurring flyaway cost (URF).

Regardless of whose math you use, the cost of the aircraft in each of the LRIP's continues to come down and it is already well below the cost predicted by the people doing the incorrect math on this latest contract.

Just keep that in mind as you watch them flog this numerical strawman to death over the next few weeks.  Things are just not going the way they predicted, not that you'd know it by reading them.


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