Procurement: April 15, 2000


The Pentagon is on the verge of changing its acquisition strategy for the Joint Strike Fighter. Under the plan (which has been expected for some time) one JSF design will be picked, but both contractors will build it, competing each year with the low-bidder getting more of the work. Records of similar programs in the past show that the idea produces excellent products but no real savings. Companies that win one year have to hire extra people, only to fire them the next year if they do not submit the low bid. The Air Force version of the JSF was expected to cost $28 million, but this is creeping up to $29 or $30 million due to software development costs. The Navy version, reinforced to land on carrier decks, is expected to cost as much as $38 million each. The vertical-take-off-and-landing Marine Corps (and British) version is a major technological challenge. The Marines want the aircraft to fly to the target, and then be able to fly home carrying two AMRAAM missiles and two JDAM bombs that were not used. Worse, once it gets home, the Marines want their plane to hover for five minutes (burning 250 pounds of fuel per minute) and then be able to taxi to a rearming area. All of this "bring back" capability adds weight quickly, and there are questions if the engines can deliver the required performance. --Stephen V Cole


Article Archive

Procurement: Current 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close