Lockheed Martin Disputes Report, Sees "No Substantial
Revised Pentagon estimates are that the F-35 Lightning Joint
Strike Fighter will cost billions more than originally anticipated,
and require more time to build, though prime contractor Lockheed
Martin disputes those findings.
The online publication "InsideDefense.com" said a military
"joint estimate team" found the F-35 program is "not markedly
improving," according to a source who requested anonymity.
Lockheed Martin, along with principal subcontractors Northrop
Grumman and BAE Systems, is developing three versions of the
next-generation stealth fighter for use by all branches of the
service, as well as for international customers.
Reuters reports that the story on "InsideDefense.com" indicated
that the project could cost as much as $15 billion more than the
original estimate, and take at least two additional years. Lockheed
Martin says it disagrees with the conclusions presented by the
joint estimate team. "Lockheed Martin acknowledges that
modest risks to our cost and schedule baselines exist," said John
Kent, a company spokesman, "but we envision no scenario that would
justify a substantial delay to completion of development or
transition to production milestones."
Reuters reports that last month, Air Force Major General C.D.
Moore said he is confident the program could meet all scheduled
cost and production targets. Moore is the F-35 program's deputy