The average unit production cost (APUC) for the F-35 is now predicted to be as high as $112 million in current dollars, according to a Pentagon review of the program conducted later last year, which led to a restructuring of the program. The APUC estimate does not amortize the cost of system design and development (SDD). That cost has now risen by $3.2 billion, to $53.2 billion.
If Lockheed Martin is to be believed, there’s not much wrong with the F-35 program. In a briefing here yesterday, vice president F-35 business development Steve O’Bryan stuck doggedly to the company mantra that development is moving right along, with plenty of accomplishments despite the slow pace of flight testing.
Confirmation of the serious problems in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter development came yesterday when U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates dramatically fired the Marine general running the program. Maj. Gen. David Heinz, the program executive officer, took the blame for the delays and cost increases that have mounted in recent months. Gates also withheld $614 million in performance fees from prime contractor Lockheed Martin.
Singapore’s choice of an advanced jet training system is due next month and could be crucial to the future export prospects of Italy’s M-346 Master and Korea’s T-50 Golden Eagle. These dissimilar training jets have been bid here by rival prime contractors, ST Aero and Lockheed Martin, respectively.
When Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) developed the T-50 Golden Eagle in partnership with Lockheed Martin in 2001 hopes were high in South Korea that the only supersonic trainer jet would become a hit around the world. Nine years later, industry opinion remains divided as to whether this potential will be fulfilled and what has actually been achieved to this end since KAI entered a joint marketing effort with Lockheed Martin in 2006.
The VH-71 presidential helicopter program, which was terminated in May by the Secretary of Defense, received life support on December 19 when the President signed the FY2010 Defense Appropriations Bill. Earlier last year, Obama had threatened to veto the bill if it contained funding for the program.
Sonny Perdue, governor of the U.S. state of Georgia, is here
leading a 30-member strong delegation of government officials and representatives of aerospace and aviation companies headquartered in his state. Georgia is a first-time Dubai show exhibitor at Stand E636B and Chalet A67.
Lockheed Martin is showing off its Airborne Multi-intelligence Laboratory (AML) here at the Dubai Airshow as part of its campaign to offer the aircraft’s unique talents to a variety of users, both in the U.S. and overseas. In August, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration issued the OEM an experimental airworthiness certificate for its AML, based on a Gulfstream III business jet.
Lockheed Martin has developed an Airborne Multi-INT Laboratory (AML), based on a Gulfstream III business jet. The AML provides a platform for trials, experimentation and evaluation of intelligence-gathering and -dissemination systems, and of operational techniques. The U.S. defense group has also established ground vehicle-based and fixed-site Multi-INT laboratories.
Never forgetting who it is working for, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics has stepped up a gear in its mission to reduce the costs of operating aging aircraft and weapons systems, as countries strive to cope with deflating economies. Its solution is what it calls global sustainment.