Jun 1, 2015

Pentagon eyes three-year block buy of F-35s from fiscal 2018

The Pentagon said Friday it would talk to U.S. lawmakers about approving a three-year block buy of Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jets beginning in fiscal 2018 that would include U.S. purchases and international buyers.
Such a deal would not constitute a formal "multi-year buy," but would still require congressional approval.
A block buy of more than 400 jets would allow for "double-digit" cost savings from larger economies of scale when orders reach around 150 planes a year.
The Pentagon's chief arms buyer, said the $391 billion F-35 program was meeting or exceeding performance and cost milestones set during a 2011 restructuring of the program.
It remained on track for a key milestone this summer when the U.S. Marine Corps expects to declare an initial squadron of jets ready for combat use, followed by the Air Force in 2016.

1 comment:

  1. Multi-year procurements, which the Pentagon intends no matter what they call it, that would be Pentagon acquisition chief Frank Kendall, are covered by 10 U.S. Code § 2306b. Kendall intends to obfuscate by calling his MYP a "block buy" which is a Pentagon invention not covered by any statute. It's been done before, but never on this scale.

    So they intend to procure a huge number of faulty F-35 prototype planes which don't satisfy the law "That there is a stable design for the property to be acquired and that the technical risks associated with such property are not excessive." The law requires that F-35 production starts after Milestone C, April 2019, when the plane's design would be approved.

    As a result of engineering changes mandated by further testing these faulty planes will all be subject to retrofit at great cost, at depots yet to be built and staffed, a situation once called by Kendall "acquisition malpractice" when it was on a small scale not involving hundreds of aircraft as his new plan would. That would be mucho-malpractice and just plain wrong. There is no need to break the law, and it's stupid to so particularly when the only reason for it is to enhance LockMart profits.

    Money would be saved by obeying the law, and in the meantime improving quality at the F-35 Ft. Worth factory, which has been found deficient by the Pentagon Inspector General. Sloppy workmanship is expensive.