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F-35 Makers Chip in $170M to Shrink Costs

Defense News // July 12, 2014

FAIRFORD, ENGLAND — The F-35 Joint Program Office (JPO) is trying anew to drive cost out of the plane, with industry partners agreeing to spend $170 million on internal research and development (IRAD).

Although both the program and corporate sides were clearly disappointed they could not show off the fifth-generation fighter on the first day of the Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT) here, the two sides instead tried to focus on what Lorraine Martin, vice-president for the F-35 program at Lockheed Martin, called a “landmark approach” to cost savings.

That involves the IRAD investment by Lockheed and its corporate partners BAE Systems and Northrop Grumman. The companies will use those funds to find ways to shave costs off the plane, in turn handing those savings over to the Joint Program Office during negotiations of future lots of F-35s.

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