Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

F-35 soaring costs trouble Australia
by Staff Writers
Surry Hills, Australia (UPI) Feb 28, 2013

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighters to be bought for the Australian air force will cost about $90 million apiece, officials said.

The fighter's soaring costs have produced rising consternation in Australia, with a number of politicians questioning whether the air force can afford to purchase the 100 fifth-generation stealth aircraft it initially intended to buy.

Australia had originally intended to purchase up to 100 of the Joint Strike Fighter jets, officially known as the F-35 Lightning ll, to replace both its U.S. built McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet jet fighters and its already retired General Dynamics F-111 bomber fleet.

U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan, principal executive of the Pentagon's JSF Program Office, candidly addressed the issue of F-35 cost overruns recently met with Australian defense officials at the Avalon air show in Melbourne, Victoria.

Bogdan said that his survey of the JSF program had uncovered "ugly" problems with the program but that his office had sought to have the F-35 manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, to share the costs of fixing faults and covering delays, The Australian reported Thursday.

Bogdan said his role wasn't to be a cheerleader for the F-35, remarking that the JSF would probably cost Australia $90 million-$92 million apiece.

"You hear Lockheed Martin keep talking about $65 million, $67 million. Well, guess what? That's the cost back in 2004 or 2003. Who cares about that? I want to know what it costs the day I buy it," Bogdan said.

Alluding to the recent grounding of all 51 of the U.S. Air Force's F-35 fleet after a crack was found on an engine turbine blade, Bogdan said" "It is not unusual in development programs for these things to happen. Don't be shocked in the future if we find other things wrong with the airplane that will result in us doing the same thing."

He said he expected to know the cause of the cracking within a week.

After the F-35 groundings, former Australian Labor Defense Minister Joel Fitzgibbon criticized Australian air force commanders for their "obsession" with the F-35, saying: "I think there is an almost obsession with the JSF within the uniformed ranks. This is their brand new toy."

Lockheed Martin chief F-35 Joint Strike Fighter chief test pilot Al Norman, speaking at the Avalon Australian International Air Show, promoted the aircraft to the Australian air force.

"We have been at 1 1/2 times the speed of sound," he said. "We have been to all those edges of the envelope already. The F-35 brings an unprecedented amount of survivability and lethality; that's really what air forces of the future need."

The Australian's air force's first pair of F-35s is to be delivered at the end of next year. Canberra is to decide this year if it will commit to buying a dozen more, with 2016 being another milestone by which time the Australian government will decide whether to buy an additional 58 F-35 JSFs.


Related Links
Aerospace News at

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

US chooses Brazilian plane to outfit Afghan force
Sao Paulo (AFP) Feb 28, 2013
The US Air Force has chosen a Brazilian firm for a $427 million contract to supply light attack planes to Afghan forces, the company said Thursday, despite competition from an American bid. Brazilian planemaker Embraer said 20 of its AT-29 Super Tucano aircraft would be manufactured in Florida in partnership with an American firm, after winning a prolonged competition with US rival Hawker Be ... read more

Water On The Moon: It's Been There All Along

Building a lunar base with 3D printing

US, Europe team up for moon fly-by

Russia to Launch Lunar Mission in 2015

Lab Instruments Inside Curiosity Eat Mars Rock Powder

First-ever space tourist plans mission to Mars

Mars rover ingests rock powder for tests

Opportunity Is On A Rock Hunt

Stanford scientist closes in on a mystery that impedes space exploration

U.S. research to be free online

NASA Creates Space Technology Mission Directorate

Educator Teams Fly On NASA Sofia Airborne Observatory

Welcome Aboard Shenzhou 10

Reshuffle for Tiangong

China to launch 20 spacecrafts in 2013

Mr Xi in Space

Record Number of Students Control ISS Camera

NASA briefly loses contact with space station

Temporary Comm Loss Interrupts Crew's Day

Low-Gravity Flights Will Aid ISS Fluids and Combustion Experiments

'Faulty Ukrainian Parts' Blamed for Zenit Launch Failure

The light-lift member of Arianespace's launcher family is readied for its second mission

SpaceX 2 Launch Set for March 1

NASA Releases Glory Taurus XL Launch Failure Report Summary

Scientists spot birth of giant planet

NASA's Kepler Mission Discovers Tiny Planet System

Kepler helps astronomers find tiny exo planet

Searching for a Pale Blue SPHERE in the Universe

Ancient Egyptian pigment points to new security ink technology

Laser mastery narrows down sources of superconductivity

In probing mysteries of glass, researchers find a key to toughness turns heads with 3-D iPad app

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement