F-35 Production












Costs are coming down. Testing continues. International deliveries and orders are taking place. The JSF program is clearly moving ahead. LRIP 9 looks to see a large uptick in total airframe numbers, with forty five F-35A’s, thirteen F-35B’s, and six F-35C’s. LRIP 9 will see the largest delivery to international partners yet. Full rate production is closer than we think.


~ by arcturus415 on August 25, 2013.

6 Responses to “F-35 Production”

  1. I am glad that to hear that F-35 costs are coming down and international deliveries and orders are taking place. My only disappointment has nothing to do with the fighter,but the fact that Canada is a Level 3 partner and will be one last countries to receive their order. That is if Canada does not do something stupid and cancel it’s order or procurement being delayed until
    a decision being made after the next Canadian national election which is slated for October 2015.

    • The Canada/JSF situation is a mess, and one that will exist for some time to come.

      • Yes you are correct the Canada/JSF situation is a mess, unfortunately we need a replacement for our aging CF-18s. The plan which seemed simple to me was to purchase 65 F-35s to replace the existing older 80 CF-18s for $16B (with all ancillary costs included) with deliveries planned for 2016. This bickering over F-35 fighter would not be a problem if it was not for the fact we need replacements for older fighters to patrol Canadian air space.

      • The CF-18 airframe has useful airframe life into the 2020-2025 timeframe. I believe its closer to 2025 though. At some point, I’m waiting for the Canadian public at large to clue in on the economic benefit Canadian work-share in the JSF program brings. The best Canada could hope for now, assuming approval of procurement, would be LRIP 10, as LRIP 9 is already being put together. Barring that, they will be forced to wait until FRP commences, which should be sometime in the 2015-2016 timeframe.

      • Well whatever the government’s past rationale, the tide appears to be turning. There is now an expectation within the defence industry circles that the government intends to either announce a competition for the fighter contract sometime early next year, or defer the matter until after the 2015 election, or a combination of both.

        It is also expected that Canada could eventually choose to stay within the international F-35 consortium but buy a much smaller number of planes than the original 65 say 20 and open up the remainder of the contract to international bids, which could mean a mixed fleet. Such a course would allow the Harper government to cover its bases politically, but would also be costly and controversial. Mixed fleets are notoriously expensive to operate, due to the doubling up on maintenance, training, parts and the like.

      • A mixed fleet would be the worst possible choice. Canada’s defense budget could never support such a choice.

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