The Air Force will be absorbing 72% of the F-35 fighter domestic production run, so Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson is pressing contractors to reduce costs — not just for building the plane, but for operating it once it is fielded. Her efforts seem to be paying off. This week lead airframe contractor Lockheed Martin and lead engine contractor Pratt & Whitney both unveiled initiatives aimed at reducing costs to users. Wilson eventually wants to get the cost of operations and support down by 38% from what they otherwise would have been, and both companies seem to be signaling that is feasible. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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