Checking DND’s math

by Aaron Wherry

From QP yesterday, Rona Ambrose explains why new cost estimates for the F-35 won’t be released for awhile yet.

Mr. Speaker, it is true that the costing figures are available from the joint strike fighter program in the United States, but what we have said is that we want those figures, that would be cost estimates from the Department of National Defence, to be independently validated. The secretariat has asked for more time to do that. It wants to do this comprehensively. It is also looking at independently validating the cost assumptions that the Department of National Defence is using and meeting the recommendation of the Auditor General.

In other news, it’s now been 50 days since I asked Julian Fantino’s office to account for the auditor general’s suggestion that National Defence already had the numbers for a 36-year lifecycle estimate.




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Checking DND’s math

  1. Ambrose should just say that no actual, useful numbers can be produced because the program is following usual pattern of government spending and Americans won’t know the true costs until they finish building the plane. At the moment, everyone is just pulling numbers out of their arses.

    Bloomberg June.19.2012:
    The Pentagon and Congress should press Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT) to reduce soaring costs of its F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the chairman of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee said.

    The F-35 contract awarded to Lockheed in 2001 called for three variants of an affordable stealth fighter for the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps. The Pentagon’s most expensive weapons program, its total cost is estimated at $395.7 billion, a 70 percent increase from a 2001 estimate equal to $233 billion in current dollars, according to the latest Pentagon Selected Acquisition Report.

    The first four contracts for 63 jets are exceeding their combined target cost by $1 billion, according to congressional auditors. The U.S. Government Accountability Office said in a review released on June 14 that the F-35 will require $12.7 billion a year on average through 2037. That’s up from $9.1 billion requested for fiscal 2013.

    The program’s projected “lifecycle cost” — including development since 1994, production of 2,443 jets and 55 years of support — increased to $1.51 trillion from $1.38 trillion in 2010, Pentagon officials told reporters March 30.

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