“We must use all of our energy finishing development within the time and money we have, we must continue to drive the cost of producing F-35s down, and we must start today to attack the long term life cycle costs of the F-35 weapon system.” Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher C. Bogdan have set these three goals in his testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee’s airland subcommittee Wednesday, April 24, 2013.
Bogdan, the Program Executive Officer for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) told the committee the program has made progress, but obstacles still remain, in software integration, affordability and future operating and support costs. Sequestration further complicates the acquisition as well, he added.
Sequestration has the potential either to stretch the development program out or reduce the capabilities warfighters can get, Bogdan said. By cutting funds from the program Sequestration is likely to stretch out, causing the more cost overruns for the troubled program that has just recently recovered from major delays and cost increases. “This will have impacts on international partners,” Bogdan warned. “The increases may result in reduction of their aircraft quantities, which would, in turn, increase unit costs even more and cause them to relook their commitment to the program” Bogdan said.
Other topics addressed by Bogdan were: