Mark Collins – USAF Plans to Cut F-35 Production Ramp-Up

Just not enough money to go around.  This will mean costs will go down more slowly and could well discourage some foreign orders (of course Congress will eventually decide on the budget requests–US FY 2017 starts Oct. 1, 2016) :

US Air Force Defers 45 F-35As Over Next Five Years

‘We Simply Can’t Afford’ What We Need: Air Force 17 Budget 


Credit: Todd Harrison CSIS

As for money going around:

The Coming Dogfight Between the F-35 and the New Bomber

Bomber Money Down, Missile Money Up In Budget Request


Long-Range Strike, or, New USAF Bomber: All-Singing, All-Dancing?

USAF Funding Woes, Esp. F-35, New Bomber

F-35 Software Woes, Cont’d

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds


15 thoughts on “Mark Collins – USAF Plans to Cut F-35 Production Ramp-Up”

  1. Overall Pentagon aircraft budget requests:

    Plus the current stressed state of Marine Aviation:

    Mark Collins

  2. Big hmm–about those foreign F-35 orders:

    ‘Joint Strike Fighter chief plays down F-35A deferrals

    The head of the multinational F-35 programme Lt Gen Christopher Bogdan is playing down the US Air Force’s decision to reduce its annual purchase of F-35A Lightning IIs from 60 to 48 per year until fiscal year 2021. He says the overall adjustment translates to just 20 fewer orders in the six years from 2016 to 2021 when accounting for other adjustments by the US Navy and Marine Corps and international orders.

    That math doesn’t delete Canada, which remains a programme partner but intends to withdraw and hold a competition to replace its CF-18s…

    Bogdan said at a briefing in Washington DC today that the deferral by the air force would raise the overall unit cost by “less than 1%”.

    “We have all kinds of puts and takes with our eight partners and three [foerign military sales] customers, both in 2017 and in the future,” he says. “The plan last year was to build 893 airplanes [from fiscal 2016 to 2021]. Now we’re going to build 873 airplanes.”

    Of those 873 aircraft, 54% are being procured by the US government. “Relative to the cost of the airplane and FMS commitment, it’s a non-news event,” Bogdan claims…’


    Mark Collins

  3. Meanwhile foreign partners want to get those costs down:

    ‘International F-35 customers pushing block-buy plan

    International buyers of the Lockheed Martin F-35 are considering leading the US government in entering into a three-year “block buy” arrangement for planned orders between 2018 and 2020.

    The process of lumping everybody’s orders into the one multi-year contract with Lockheed Martin and F-35 propulsion system manufacturer Pratt & Whitney could generate over $2 billion in savings, according to F-35 Joint Programme Office director Lt Gen Christopher Bogdan.

    The F-35 chief said at a press briefing in Washington DC this week that the programme partners and foreign military sales customers are keen to bulk-purchase the jets starting in fiscal year 2018 even though the Pentagon has decided not to enter into that type of “economic order quantity buy” until fiscal 2019.

    Last year, US under-secretary of defence for acquisition Frank Kendall first floated the prospect of ordering up to 450 domestic and international jets in one three-year deal to start in 2018, but his office has since postponed those plans by one year.

    “The issues that we have now is that our FMS customers and our partners, they still want to do a block-buy starting in [fiscal year 2018] because there is a massive amount of savings to be had with or without the services starting in FY18,” Bogdan says. “We’re talking right now of savings across the 14 partners of well over $2 billion in three years. I’ll tell you that’s a conservative estimate, quite frankly.”..’

    Mark Collins

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