Defense

July 23, 2012

Carter addresses Joint Strike Fighter program

by Karen Parrish
American Forces Press Service

Many countries that are partnering with the United States in the F-35 joint strike fighter program will have a role to play in the aircraft’s assembly, but the U.S. government will not decide which country does what, Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter said in Tokyo, Japan, July 21.

During a press conference with Japanese media representatives, Carter explained that the supersonic stealth fighter’s prime contractor, Lockheed Martin Corp., will decide where the fighter’s various manufacturing processes will be located, based on two factors: the partner nation’s desire to participate in the aircraft’s production, and economic efficiency.

Carter arrived in Japan on the first international stop of an Asia-Pacific tour that has already taken him to Hawaii and Guam, and will continue to Thailand, India and South Korea. He discussed the F-35 program while responding to a reporter’s question on whether Japan will be the site of the aircraft’s final assembly and check out.

Lockheed Martin officials have explained that process, known in the industry as FACO (Final Assembly and Checkout), which involves putting together the four major structural components of the airplane, installing the engines and electronics systems, and coding and test-flying the aircraft.

“The F-35 program is obviously very important to us,” Carter said. “It’s the linchpin of tactical aircraft inventories for the United States for decades to come, so we’re completely committed to it.”

The deputy secretary noted that in his previous position as the department’s undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logistics, managing the JSF program was one his central responsibilities.

“I wouldn’t have told you this three years ago, but I can tell you now: I think it’s getting on the path to finishing its development [and] ramping up to full-rate production,” Carter said.

Nations currently partnering with the United States on the aircraft’s development include the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Canada, Denmark, Norway and Australia.

Many of those partners will participate in building the airplane, Carter noted.

“We can’t all do everything; we can’t all build all parts of the JSF,” he said. “Otherwise, that will be economically inefficient, and we’ll be wasting our taxpayers’ money, and that’s not fair.”

What makes sense, the deputy secretary said, is for each country involved in producing the fighter to make some of the parts for all of the other partner nations.

“So it’s a very complicated matter of apportioning, in an economically efficient way, all of these technical tasks,” Carter said. “And that’s what Lockheed Martin … does in discussions with all the partners.”

Defense Department leaders care about the outcome of manufacturing decisions “because we want an affordable airplane, as does the Japanese government,” he said.

Carter added, “I’m sure that that will be done in a way that is satisfactory to Japan, just like it has to be satisfactory to the United States, has to be satisfactory to Turkey, to the U.K. … That’s the way international programs work today.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines March 4, 2015

News: Pentagon: Another BRAC will save money - Pentagon planners have a new pitch to lawmakers skeptical of a fresh round of base closings: We promise we’ll save money this time.   Business: China’s new C919 will begin test flights this year - China’s new superjet will take to the skies for the first time later this...
 
 
Air Force photograph by SrA. Jensen Stidham

World War II pilot reunited with P-47

Air Force photograph by SrA. Jensen Stidham Retired Air National Guard Chief Warrant Officer 2 Robert Hertel, laughs while under the wing of a P-47 Thunderbolt during the Heritage Flight Training and Certification Course Feb. 2...
 
 

News Briefs March 4, 2015

General: 8,500 Islamic State fighters killed in Iraq so far The U.S.-led military coalition in Iraq has killed more than 8,500 Islamic State fighters since its bombing campaign began in August, the top general overseeing the coalition said March 3. Army Gen. Lloyd Austin, the commander of U.S. Central Command, said the Islamic State, which...
 

 
Lockheed Martin photograph

Turning up the heat

Lockheed Martin photograph Lockheed Martin ATHENA laser weapon system defeats a truck target by disabling the engine, demonstrating its military effectiveness against enemy ground vehicles. Latest evolution of Lockheed Martin l...
 
 

USO Visit

Air Force photograph by Jet Fabara Actor Vince Vaughn speaks with Edwards Airmen and 412th Security Forces Squadron members at the base library before introducing an advance screening of his new movie, “Unfinished Business,” at the base theater Feb. 28.
 
 

Sikorsky S-97 RAIDERô team begins final assembly of second aircraft

Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp., announced March 4 the start of final assembly of the second S-97 RAIDERô helicopter at the company’s Development Flight Center. Along with a team of industry suppliers, Sikorsky is developing two RAIDERô prototypes to demonstrate the revolutionary new capabilities in improved maneuverability and flight speed. The...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>