D.C. Joint Strike Fighter procurement thinking in 1998 #military

What was D.C.’s Joint Strike Fighter thinking in 1998?

It was:

$191B in procurement dollars (1998$)
2852 aircraft (400-some more than today)
$67M each (1998$)

Optimistic?

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4 thoughts on “D.C. Joint Strike Fighter procurement thinking in 1998 #military

  1. I see alot of dollar estimates for this program and I think we should be clear on exactly what cost we refer to. If we’re comparing the F-35 to another aircraft then it’s also essential we use a comparable cost basis. I read a helpful primer recently that establishes ground rules (I’m not going to provide the link because over most of the rest of the site the blogger is unhinged).

    All costs are in 2010 USD. State that.

    I’d suggest we should be using the Unit Recurring Flyaway Cost (URFC) and state which version (F-35A, B or C) we are referring to. It’s the closest analogy to the sticker price of a new car. The URFC includes management, hardware, airframe, vehicle systems, mission systems, propulsion and ECO’s

    Some estimates for the program may often take the Total Ownership Cost (TOC) and simply divide by the number of aircraft produced. The TOC includes URFC plus fuel, maintenance, parts, labor, crew and basing costs. Over the service life (30 years ?) the difference between the TOC and URFC per plane will be huge.

    If we’re discussing the Total Ownership Cost (TOC) then make it clear in the discussion exactly what that means.

    Often the cost quoted refers to the Average Process Unit Cost (APUC) – essentially the URFC with a bunch of other costs added to it. There’s also the Program Acquisition Unit Cost (PAUC) which adds R&D to the APUC.

    This all leads to confusion and a plethora of different cost estimates. Again – let’s be clear and honest regarding what we’re actually talking about here.

  2. The price is what you pay at the time you buy for what you want/need.
    There are many costs that contribute to and build up to form the price, but there is only one price.

    Polaris: LM would love for everyone to use the unit recurring flyaway cost and have even encouraged this further, recently, by referring to the URFC as the unit recurring flyaway price.

    However, URFC is only a part of the overall unit price and the way this has been presented for the JSF has become a relatively minor part at that.

    Don’t be fooled by what is known as the “URF Costing Strategy” that was put in play back in 2001/02. This is yet another part of the pile of ‘a total indifference to what is real’ that was and continues to be the basis of the JSF marketing strategy.

  3. I have no strong opinions one way or the other. I’m merely stating that when comparing and analysing the cost of the program we should be clear and consistent what each figure actually represents.

    There’s a lot of disingenuous statements out there that do just the opposite. The URFC is a good start with comparison’s to other aircraft such as the F/A-18. Don’t load up the cost estimate for the F-35 without stating what the number includes and without doing the same for other aircraft.

  4. URFC is a good baseline to provide simple comparisons however, with the unit cost having nearly doubled, we, being Australia, will not be buying anywhere near 100. (With a bit of luck, common sence has long ceased to exist within the DMO, we wont be buying any).
    Fortunately, as of today, we now have members of the US Senate Armed Services Committee questioning the legitamacy of the bottomless money pit known as the JSF programme & even suggesting the possibility of looking at alternatives.
    From an engineering perspective, I would have thought it to be more simple to create a strike optimised version of the F22 (FB22?) rather than create a new aircraft from scratch, seeing that the design is proven. I really do not understand why the requirement to create a whole new aircraft. Even de-tuning the F22, so to speak, would have been more cost effective & provide greater capability.

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