The F-35 (Joint Strike Fighter) is out of control

DefenceNews.eu – By Mikkel Egesberg – Though it has already been pictured in US movies such as “Die Hard 4” from 2007, the Joint Strike Fighter is far from ready, and the costs are just going up and up.  This plane may even end up like the failure program we saw with the F-22, where despite a 70 percent reduction in quantities for the program, total acquisition costs have only decreased by 14 percent. As a result, program acquisition unit costs for the F-22 Raptor have almost tripled, from $139 million to $425 million per airplane. Will the JSF follow this path? Here is the latest cost overview from :

As you can see, the R&D cost have increased by 49,8% since the contract was awarded to Lockheed Martin in 2001. Procurement cost have increased by 54,7% and the total program cost have increased by 52,8%. With an expected quantities of 2457 planes, the program unit cost have gone up by 78,2%, since 2001, and this is just for now. DefenceNews.eu expects the total program cost to go up much more, and there will also be an even larger cut in total quantities, because the huge budget deficits in the US can’t continue, in short, the increase of 78,2% in the program unit cost from 2001 is just the beginning – this program is doomed to fail, and there ought to be a public outcry in the foreign nations that have so far paid  more than 4 billion USD toward the development costs of the program.  These countries will now face much higher unit costs.

Take the small European country, Denmark , that has already paid US$110 million to JSF in development cost. Denmark was due to pick a fighter aircraft in 2009, There was a rigged competition that favored US planes, which made the companies behind the eurofighter draw from the “competition”. The Danish Government has not picked any winner of the competition yet, perhaps because the Danish Air force can’t select a plane like the JSF, that is nowhere finished as the winner, vs. a planes such as Eurofighter or Swedish Gripen that are already in service. Instead the Danish government has delayed picking a winner.  In short, Denmark had what can best be described as corruption in the Danish ministry of Defence. We don’t think Denmark can buy with JSF before it’s developed, if it does, it will backfire on them, when the price of the JSF skyrocket even further. The question is if Denmark will allow the Eurofighter back in the competition, once the failure of the JSF is obvious to everyone. The 110 million USD paid by Denmark is sunk cost, an expensive lesson in corruption and on how you should not make weapon procurement…

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