[quote=BigJKU,reply=14] The question is do you want the F-35 at the prices it will be offered at or do you want something else?
For the USA and Israel, it'll be F-35s all the way but far fewer as the money isn't there to buy as many as planned. For most international "buyers", it'll be something else, I am pretty sure. The political engineering that the US defense industry has been so good at within the USA, does not work nearly as well internationally. Many countries will simply not order it beyond what they're already (most have ordered zero) for reasons of price. Whether they have industry work on the F-35 or not, is not relevant, except for Italy, as manufacturing can not be moved away now anyway, whether the host country itself orders or not.
Coming down 4% from around $200 million, is still totally unaffordable. You have to include all the parts, the engine, the long lead contracts awarded a long time ago and all other contracts for these tranches, etc..and the price is still astronomical.
LRIP-5 costs have been to date:
-- F-35A: $172 million per aircraft;
-- F-35B: $291.7 million per aircraft;
-- F-35C: $235.8 million per aircraft.
Retrofit not included.
So take off 4% from here, and I am not surprised almost no international orders have come in and the few international planes delivered are basically stored. In LRIP-7, some international "orders" are listed, that have not actually been ordered by those countries. International countries are under no obligation to order the F-35 and most wont at these prices, IMHO. Apparently, LM
can not manipulate foreign countries like it can Washington.
The fact that the Italian FACO can compete from day 1 on price against the LM
line in Texas which has years of experience and a long learning curve already behind it and more volume, shows how there is something way wrong with the prices for the Texas built planes. What the Italian FACO is pulling off should not be possible.
I am glad the international countries are pushing back at LM
, as Washington apparently can't.