F-35s Lined Up In The Sky
The life expectancy of the F-35 Lightning II aircraft has been extended by six years to 2070, after the US military services adjusted to the number of flight hours to their fleets must be connected before retirement.
According to the report selected Pentagon acquisition (SAR), published on March 25, the total cost of development, construction, building, operation and maintenance of 2,457 aircraft increased 6.8% to US USD 1.5 trillion (2015 dollars) compared to a year ago. Most of this increase is attributed to the US Air Force, which has altered the course number of hours each of its conventional variant F-35As will fly in your life.
Consequently, the life of each jet has been extended by two years, culminating in an extension of the life cycle of six years from 2064 to 2070. The US Air Force added 1.3 million flight hours the anticipation of its 1,763 troops from the fleet, while the Navy has added 300,000 to its fleet.
Breaking down the number of flight hours, the F-35A records 26,000 flight hours then the F-35B records 18,000 flight hours then the carrier variant F-35C records the lowest among all, just 6,000 flight hours. These statistics taken between 2006 - 2016 from all US Military's F-35 operator.
According to a statement from the Office of the Joint F-35 program, these adjustments have pushed the estimated operation and support (O & S) costs of the F-35 by 45 billion dollars in the base year dollars 2012. "If not for these life extensions and additions hour flight, the estimate of O & S would have shown a reduction of 22 billion dollars," says the program office.
F-35 chief Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan is pushing for a reduction in both acquisition and operating costs in the long term for the F-35, and targets a 30% reduction in O & S compared to the current estimate, I'm about USD 1 trillion of 2,457 F-35. It is also pushing to reduce the cost jet model "between USD 80 and USD 85 million for the year 2019", and those numbers are declining steadily, as reported by selected acquisition 2015 (SAR).
The cost of the flight path of F-35A aircraft including engine and contractor fees decreased by 2% to USD 100.6 million (2015 dollars), while the F-35C was reduced to 4.1% 110.7 million. The short takeoff-landing vertically F-35B unit cost by 2.5% to USD 122.9 million reduced.
For the first time, the Pentagon has estimated the potential savings obtained through a purchase in large quantities or multiyear acquisition of F-35 over the types of annual contracts. If implemented, the United States Department of Defense could save USD 2.6 billion in the acquisition of aircraft and other engines 1 billion purchase Pratt & Whitney F135, the SAR states.
Bogdan says the Pentagon is considering a purchase of several years from Lot 13 - fiscal year 2019 amounts. However, international partners and foreign military sales customers are pushing for more than three years from purchase in 2018 (Lot 12), with the United States to join a year later in Block 13. "This option still be in significant cost savings, "he said in written testimony.
Lockheed and P & W have provided approximate order of magnitude called savings and the Pentagon has also run the numbers. Rand Corporation has been hired "to confirm the potential savings" and present its findings soon, according to Bogdan.