Defense

July 14, 2014

DOD official discusses F-35 at Farnborough Air Show

Jim Garamone
DOD News

Safety is the first consideration in whether the F-35 Thunderbolt II joint strike fighter appears at the Farnborough Air Show in England this week, a senior Defense Department official said July 14.

The F-35 fleet was grounded July 3 pending an investigation of an engine fire that occurred June 23 on the runway of Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.

Frank Kendall, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, told reporters at Farnborough that senior Air Force and Navy officers are assessing data to determine the root cause of the fire.

Hopefully, they’ll be able to come to a conclusion and begin flying again, but we don’t want to prejudge that, he said. We don’t want to get ahead of it, and we put safety first.

Even with setbacks like the grounding, the F-35 program is a much more stable program than it was four years ago,” Kendall said. We’ve got a lot more confidence in the design today. We have the costs much more under control than we did four years ago.

In 2010, the services were only about 10 to 15 percent into the flight test program. Today, it’s up to about 60 percent.

It is still a development program, Kendall said. We’re still finding things as we go through the testing phase. We’re still finding things that we need to correct and fix, but it’s a much more mature design.

Cost is a major factor, and Kendall said the new program has brought expenses down, and expects to continue to do so.

We’re beating our own projections in terms of production costs year by year, he said. So the cost growth that plagued the program in the earlier phase of its cycle, I think, in the production side, is behind us.

The goal, Kendall said, is to bring the cost of this aircraft down to where it is comparable to that of a fourth-generation aircraft by 2019.

The biggest opportunity we have to reduce cost is probably in sustainment, the undersecretary said. We’re looking at that very closely. We were able to reduce our estimate for future sustainment costs by about 10 percent this year, but there’s a lot more work to be done there, and we think there’s a great opportunity there.

All of the original partners in the joint strike fighter are still in the program, Kendall said, adding that there are two foreign sales candidates outside the partnership with more expected.

The reason for that is very simple: this is a quantum improvement in air dominance, he said. It’s going to be an aircraft that will set the countries that have it apart from countries that don’t by a significant margin for the next few decades. So that’s why it’s such a valuable investment to us, and that’s why we remain committed.




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


 
 

 

Headlines August 22, 2014

News: GAO: Pentagon violated law with Bergdahl swap - Congressional investigators say the Pentagon violated the law when it swapped five Taliban leaders for Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, who was held prisoner in Afghanistan for five years.   Business: U.S. Air Force issues RFI for new rocket engine - The US Air Force is officially looking into...
 
 

News Briefs August 22, 2014

U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,200 As of Aug. 20, 2014, at least 2,200 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count. At least 1,821 military service members have died in Afghanistan as a result...
 
 
navair-triton

MQ-4C Tritons to arrive at Pax River this fall

  MQ-4C Triton test air vehicles at Northrop Grumman’s facility in Palmdale, Calif., will fly cross-country to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., this fall. The MQ-4C completed a test flight Aug. 19 with updated ...
 

 
Boeing photograph

Boeing program completes critical design, safety reviews

Boeing photograph Boeing recently completed the Phase Two Spacecraft Safety Review of its Crew Space Transportation-100 spacecraft and the Critical Design Review of its integrated systems, meeting all of the companyís Commerci...
 
 
global-hawk2

Air Combat Command loans Global Hawk to GVCTF

Air Force photograph by Jennifer Romo The 412th Test Wing’s Global Vigilance Combined Test Force received a Global Hawk Block 40 Aug. 6, on loan from Air Combat Command. Tail number 2035, from Grand Forks AFB, N.D., is jo...
 
 

NASA awards program analysis, Control Bridge III Contract

NASA has awarded the Program Analysis and Control III Bridge contract for support services to ASRC Research & Technology Solutions of Beltsville, Md. The cost-plus-fixed-fee, indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity basic contract has a minimum ordering value of $1 million and a maximum ordering value of $37 million, with a performance period beginning Aug. 30 through Feb....
 




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>