11-17 June 2013
L o c k h e e d M a r t i n
“The programme madeprogress in addressing key technical risks”
US GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY OFFICE
division head Larry Lawson leaving the com-pany for Spirit Aerospace. In Lawson’s placeOrlando Carvalho took the helm, while day-to-day management of the F-35 programmefell to Lorraine Martin. It is possible that new-ly-appointed Lockheed chief executiveMarillyn Hewson made the changes to helprepair the company’s fraying relationshipwith Pentagon leadership.Additionally, Tom Burbage, in many re-spects the international face of the F-35 pro-gramme, retired after more than a decade atthe helm. His position is not being directly re-placed, says Lockheed.Although there has been some consterna-tion in allied nations about the cost of buyingand sustaining the F-35, support for the pro-gramme has remained more or less stable,says Lockheed. In some cases, additionalcountries have jumped on board the pro-gramme as the security environment dictatesthe need for a ﬁfth-generation ﬁghter in lightof growing threats: particularly in the Paciﬁctheatre. Lockheed has 61 ﬁrm foreign militarysales (FMS) in hand for the F-35, but predictsa total of 758 FMS jets. Additionally, the com-pany projects that JSF partners will buy an-other 660. Total projected international salesfor the F-35 range from 800 to 1,500 aircraft. “Ithink we have good support both domestical-ly and internationally,” says Steve O’Bryan,Lockheed vice-president of F-35 programmeintegration and business development. “WhatI see is more of the international countriescoming in committing to the programme.”O’Bryan cites recent decisions by Norwayand Australia, ﬁrming up their commitmentsto the stealthy new type. In April, Norway an-nounced it intends to fully fund its purchaseof the F-35, while Australia recently reaf-ﬁrmed it will buy 100 A-model jets. There areeight countries under contract to buy the F-35so far, O’Bryan adds. Additionally, the ﬁrst Is-raeli and Japanese aircraft are expected to bedelivered in 2016, he says.Meanwhile, Lockheed is optimistic aboutsecuring an F-35 order from South Koreawhen it makes a selection for its F-X III con-test in June. Canada’s F-35 order, however, isin limbo and Denmark is now up for grabs.The F-35 has the ﬁrst ﬁve lots of productionaircraft under contract, O’Bryan says. Duringthe course of those lots, the cost of buildingthe F-35 has reduced by more than 50%, hesays. Contracts for the sixth and seventh low-rate initial production lots are expected to besigned this year. Lockheed has submitted its bid for those contracts, O’Bryan says, addingthat it is important to note that every produc-tion contract signed to date has come in belowthe government’s initial estimates. Thatmeans, says Lockheed, if the trend continues, by 2020 the F-35 will cost $85 million per air-craft in “then-year” dollars.
At present, Lockheed says it has completed 81aircraft, of which 64 are ﬂying with the USand UK militaries. Of those, nine test aircraftare participating in developmental ﬂight testsat NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, while adozen more are doing the same at EdwardsAFB, California. A further 23 aircraft are con-ducting aircrew training at Eglin AFB, Florida.USAF operational testers at Nellis AFB, Ne-vada, have received four F-35s, while the ﬁrstoperational USMC squadron at MCAS Yuma,Arizona has received four F-35Bs. The re-maining 26 are at Lockheed’s Fort Worth plantin Texas, awaiting delivery. Preparations arealready under way to ready the USAF’s andUSMC’s next F-35 training sites at Luke AFB,Arizona, and MCAS Beaufort, South Carolina.Flight testing of the F-35 is progressing, butsoftware development remains the primaryconcern.For 2012, the F-35 ﬂight-test plan called forthe completion of 988 ﬂights and 8,458 testpoints by 31 December, says Lockheed. In ac-tuality, the programme ﬂew 1,167 ﬂights andaccumulated an aggregate total of 9,319 testpoints, it adds. All three variants exceededtheir total test point goals for 2012.For 2013, the F-35 ﬂight-test plan calls forthe completion of 1,153 ﬂights and 9,362 test
The USAF wants1,763 F-35As
U S A i r F o r c e