Lockheed Martin Corp. must find ways to reduce the Pentagon’s current $1.1 trillion estimate to own and operate the F-35 jet, the world’s costliest weapons program, according to the Defense Department’s latest annual program overview.
According to the document obtained by Bloomberg News, Lockheed “must embrace much-needed supply chain management affordability initiatives” to cut costs on the next-generation stealth fighter.
The $1.1 trillion estimate to sustain the U.S. F-35 fleet through 2077 was compiled in 2015 by the Pentagon’s independent cost assessment office but has not been updated, according to the Selected Acquisition Report, or SAR, obtained by Bloomberg News. The Pentagon said this week that the estimate will be updated next year before acquisition officials meet to decide whether the program should enter full-production.
Although the estimate is unchanged, the acquisition report focused at length on the importance of reducing the $1.1 trillion figure as well comments from the F-35 program office pointing out what it said are shortcomings of the independent estimate. (end of excerpt)
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