US reaps US$4.5 billion in F-35 savings

written by australianaviation.com.au | May 24, 2013
A file shot of F-35As from Eglin AFB flying in formation. (USAF)

The US Pentagon has reported it expects a US$4.5 billion saving in the cost of acquiring its planned fleet of 2,443 F-35s, equating to a one per cent drop from the earlier projected US$395.7 billion to US$391.2 billion.

Lockheed Martin said it would continue to work with defence officials to drive the cost of the F-35 program down further, while labour rates and software issues remaining the issues of greatest risk.

“This is the first year a cost reduction was noted. We will work with the F-35 Joint Program Office to implement further cost saving measures which will result in additional significant decreases to the total program cost,” Lockheed Martin spokesman Michael Rein told Reuters.

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The Pentagon said the average cost of the conventional F-35A model, excluding R&D costs, had dropped to US$76.8 million per aircraft from the earlier projected cost of $78.7 million.

Partner nations to the F-35 program including Australia will also benefit from flow-on cost improvements.

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