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Lockheed Wins $200B Joint Strike Fighter Contract

Sat Oct 27, 2001 5:52 am

Posted for your reading pleasure. I was rooting for Boeing. Here is the text of the article:

Lockheed wins joint fighter contract

Pentagon award could hit $200 bln; int'l sales $200 bln

By Russ Britt & August Cole,
Last Update: 4:37 PM ET Oct 26, 2001

WASHINGTON (CBS.MW) -- Lockheed Martin Corp. was the big winner in the Joint Strike Fighter derby Friday as the Pentagon awarded it the largest contract ever in military history.

Lockheed (LMT) beat out Boeing Co. (BA) for the deal, Dow Jones reported ahead of the Pentagon's announcement.

The deal could mean as many as 3,002 planes for the U.S. Air Force, Navy, Marines and the United Kingdom under a $200 billion contract. International sales could double that number to $400 billion over the program's life, which could be decades.

The amount actually awarded Friday was for an initial $20 billion to develop the plane further. If the program goes through to full production for the Pentagon, it could become a $200 billion program. The $200 billion for international sales is a rough estimate, analysts say.

While the price tag makes the Joint Strike Fighter the biggest contract awarded by the Pentagon, it also is the first big-ticket jet program in more than a decade.

Lockheed was awarded the F-22 Raptor program in 1991, which was known before that as the Advanced Tactical Fighter. Originally, 648 planes were supposed to be ordered but that number since has been cut to 339.

After a decade, the plane has yet to become operational, having undergone a number of cost reviews. The first squadron of F-22s is scheduled to hit the skies in 2005.

And the Pentagon's newest bomber, the B-2, saw its original planned buy of 132 aircraft cut to 21 in the Cold War's wake. A sticker-shocked Congress balked at the per-plane cost of $2 billion when it first flew in 1989.

In other words, there is no guarantee that the Pentagon and the United Kingdom will order all the planes currently on tap, said Jon Kutler, president of Quarterdeck Investment Partners, an industry consultant.

Kutler said while the budget spotlight may be shining on the military due to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, that may only be a temporary condition. Prior to Sept. 11, it appeared the Pentagon was going to have to cut the Joint Strike Fighter, the F-22 or the F-18 E/F.

"We shouldn't be building all three of them. We should have made a decision a couple of years ago to kill one of them," Kutler said.

If the dust settles on the war against terrorism within a year, Congress may get back to a more frugal mindset when it comes to defense spending, Kutler added.

John Pike, director of, a Pentagon analysis group, said there also is a new-generation of unmanned aircraft that could take the place of many of today's jets. One experimental program called UCAV, for Unmanned Combat Air Vehicle, is getting some attention as a possible new pilotless fighter of the future, he said.

Some analysts suspected that the Pentagon might try to share the wealth on the Joint Strike Fighter, since there are so few new jet programs trickling out of the Defense Department.

Originally, the Pentagon was supposed to award a winner-take-all contract, but it appears likely that won't be the case, Pike said.

"They're going to spend the next several months tearing off 40 percent (of the program) for the loser," Pike said.

The Defense Department has spread the contracts out before. Northrop was given the award to build major pieces of the F-18's fuselage after rival McDonnell Douglas (now part of Boeing) won the pact in the late 1970s. Boeing now has a major part of Lockheed's F-22 program.

Kutler said there also is no guarantee that each service branch will want to keep the plane in its current form. Drastic changes between the Navy version and the Air Force already are set and more could be on the way.

Essentially, the Navy and Marine Corps versions will differ from the Air Force's in that they are designed to hover and land like a helicopter, much like the AV-8B Harrier jump jet, which they will replace.

The Air Force is looking to replace its aging fleet of F-16s and A-10s with the Joint Strike Fighter, so it wants the plane to land conventionally. All versions of the plane will be supersonic.

Lockheed's version of the plane looks much like its F-22, with a similar wing and tail structure. Boeing's has a triangular-shaped delta wing that is both reminiscent of past aircraft as well as McDonnell's canceled A-12 attack plane and futuristic stealth fighters.

The Pentagon is planning to build 1,763 fighters for the Air Force, 609 for the Marines and 480 for the Navy. The United Kingdom's Royal Navy and Royal Air Force plan to order 150 planes.

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RE: Lockheed Wins $200B Joint Strike Fighter Contract

Sat Oct 27, 2001 5:54 am

Comments? Ideas? Complaints? Let's hear 'em! I am sure you Boeing fans have something to say.... Hopefully this won't be cancelled before 2010.
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RE: Lockheed Wins $200B Joint Strike Fighter Contract

Sat Oct 27, 2001 5:58 am

I was hoping for Boeing as well...

Now the US will only have one fighter manufacturer. Industry consolidation and powerful lobbies are succeding in running the US aerospace insdustry into the ground.

Of course the better aircraft should be chosen, but looking at the overall trend for the last 30 years, its not encouraging.

What's next - a Boeing-LockMart merger?
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RE: Lockheed Wins $200B Joint Strike Fighter Contract

Sat Oct 27, 2001 6:00 am

Oops, make that a "McBoeing - LockMart merger"...  Smile
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RE: Lockheed Wins $200B Joint Strike Fighter Contract

Sat Oct 27, 2001 6:02 am

A buddy who flies for the Marines told me they all expected Boeing to win.

But, Lockheed gave more money to political races last year.

Oh well. I think the Lockheed ship looks better. Whether it does what they want it to is another thing entirely.
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RE: Lockheed Wins $200B Joint Strike Fighter Contract

Sat Oct 27, 2001 6:06 am

Oi! i wanted that exclwsive! Awwwwwww  Sad

Lockheed Martin Lands JSF Prize -- $200 Billion-plus Deal

By Stephen Trimble/

26-Oct-2001 4:30 PM U.S. EDT

The world's reigning attack fighter for the next four decades - the Joint Strike Fighter - will be developed and built by Lockheed Martin as the Pentagon on Friday chose the aerospace giant's more conventional concept in the roughly $200 billion competition with rival Boeing.

The winning team takes an initial $20 billion development contract to refine and field the first fighters in 2009. The contractor also wins follow-up production rights for 3,002 aircraft ordered by the U.S. and Britain worth roughly $200 billion. More foreign orders might add another $200 billion to the contract over its 40-year lifetime.

"All the airplanes on the planet are getting old,'' program director, Marine Maj. Gen. Michael Hough said at the Paris Air Show in June. "We're very optimistic we're going to sell roughly another 3,000 airplanes abroad.''

Boeing now faces the loss of the largest U.S. fighter program in history, but is unlikely to be completely excluded from the program. Most military analysts agree the Pentagon will offer some subcontracting work to the losing company.

The Pratt & Whitney-powered JSF is designed to assume the bulk of air-to-ground attack missions for the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps, largely replacing the fleets of Lockheed Martin F-16s, Fairchild A-10s, Boeing F/A-18C/Ds and AV-8Bs, which are jointly produced by Boeing and BAE Systems.

The JSF's three variants are specifically tailored to the needs of its four customers, including Britain's Royal Navy, although the aircraft family shares about four-fifths of its components.

Most analysts think Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed Martin's concept offered a less risky approach than Boeing's bid, while the Boeing team's approach was viewed as more radical.

Boeing's team essentially borrows the AV-8B Harrier's already proven vertical lift technology for the Marine Corps variant's key short-takeoff-vertical-landing (STOVL) requirement.

But Lockheed Martin's team developed an entirely new vertical-lift capability by engineering the JSF's Pratt & Whitney F119 engine to rotate downwards from the rear of the aircraft, plus drive a lift fan.

Both designs rely on crafty advances in stealth technology and avionics, but some concepts are still unproven.

The Pentagon allowed Boeing's X-32 and Lockheed Martin's X-35 demonstrators to employ a basic airframe and off-the-shelf avionics to prove merely the feasibility of each aircraft, especially the STOVL and carrier-landing capabilities of each design.

The untested manufacturing, stealth and cockpit advances central to the JSF program still worry the auditors of the General Accounting Office, who fear the program may run off schedule and drive up costs if major components don't function as planned.

Initial production was due to begin in about 2005, but could be accelerated as the Pentagon scrambles to meet perceived post-Sept. 11-attack firepower needs in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

Even before the United States and Britain began retaliatory airstrikes against targets in Afghanistan on Oct. 7, a panel appointed by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had urged that the Navy version of the JSF be rushed to put a radar-evading, "stealth'' warplane on carriers sooner than scheduled.

No orders to speed things up have been received, the Pentagon says.

Under current plans, the first operational aircraft is to be delivered in 2009 and enter service with the Marines in 2010, with the Air Force in 2011, and with the Navy and Britain in 2012. Space and Technology Editor Paul Hoversten contributed to this report.
Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
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RE: Lockheed Wins $200B Joint Strike Fighter Contract

Sat Oct 27, 2001 6:28 am

The U.S. government just made sure that Lockheed will have a monopoly on all U.S. military fighters probably forever. This knocks the last company (Boeing) out of fighter competition. Guess no matter who leads the U.S. government, it will always have its head up its ass.

"There is no victory at bargain basement prices."
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RE: Lockheed Wins $200B Joint Strike Fighter Contract

Sat Oct 27, 2001 6:32 am

A few observations.

1. When AW&ST said that Lockheed's version had sensors that were always operating, whereas Boeing's had to be swung out into the airstream when needed, thereby compromising stealth, I figured that was likely to be a decisive difference.

2. Lockheed's design hides the face of the fan from direct view, whereas Boeing's uses a radar diffuser. The committee may have preferred the former.

3. Boeing's model looks awfully homely from the front and side, offending the fighter jocks who run the Air Force. But I think it looks better than Lockheed's from the top.

4. Something must be wrong when the (flying) F-22 beat the (flying) F-23 in 1991, but won't be in service until 2005. JSF is flying now, but won't be going into service for 9 more years? WIHIH?

5. That reporter is way off base in saying, Northrop was given the award to build major pieces of the F-18's fuselage after rival McDonnell Douglas... won the pact in the late 1970s. Northrop developed the F-17, from which the F-18 was derived. They brought in McDD to navalize it, allowing MD to be prime mfr for naval variants, whereas Northrop would retain primeship for land-based variants. But none of the latter ever sold.

6. The article posted by Singapore Air claims that the Boeing design is more risky. That doesn't sound right. Lockheed's Stol version has that clutch which has to carry high power, whereas Boeing's is more like the Harrier.

RE: Lockheed Wins $200B Joint Strike Fighter Contract

Sat Oct 27, 2001 6:36 am

And all those poor ST Louis workers
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RE: Lockheed Wins $200B Joint Strike Fighter Contract

Sat Oct 27, 2001 7:09 am

Now I have heard a lot of bashing about the gov't picking Lockheed. I do not understand this. I personally thought that the Lockheed design was better. Also I think that this contract means more to Lockheed than it would to Boeing. Boeing has the contract for the F18, F15, and the C17. Lockheed and the other hand has the C130, F16, and F22, but Lockheed does not have a commerical airplanes division. So I think that this is a good contract because it strenghtens Lockheed while Boeing is already much bigger and stronger and can easily absorbe a blow like this.
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RE: Lockheed Wins $200B Joint Strike Fighter Contract

Sat Oct 27, 2001 7:33 am

I also voted for Boeing's X-32
BTW: It happend so that we are at civilan forum so i would like to ask if Boeing will try to beat AIRBUS, caus it lost in militry program?
Posts: 96
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2001 12:42 am

RE: Lockheed Wins $200B Joint Strike Fighter Contract

Sat Oct 27, 2001 7:47 am

I am glad that Lockeehd Won. From a business perspective, I agree with Jaws707, boeing is the larger and can easily do with out the X-32. But I do think that the final decision should be for the better aircraft. Boeing's aircraft was atrocious and offensive to the fighter community. They never really had a good fighter design and this proves that they should stick to airliners.
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RE: Lockheed Wins $200B Joint Strike Fighter Contract

Sat Oct 27, 2001 8:01 am

OK, where are the people bashing me for reminding people to use the Military Aviation Forum??? Is this some kind of a border-line case? "What difference does it make if one post makes it to the Civil Aviation forum..."  Yeah sure

Since this thread will soon be deleted, I would advise everybody to direct all further replies to:

As far as I'm concerned, Sccutler has got the "exclusive" on this story, as he is an intelligent member who knows how to use the forums around here properly!

Pacifism only works if EVERYBODY practices it
Jonathan L
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RE: Lockheed Wins $200B Joint Strike Fighter Contract

Sat Oct 27, 2001 9:57 am

I was hoping for Boeing too, but I have to admit that the Lockheed prototype does look quite a bit better.  Big grin

RE: Lockheed Wins $200B Joint Strike Fighter Contract

Sat Oct 27, 2001 10:00 am

I am glad that Pratt & Whitney has benefited from this deal to prevent any further layoffs.

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