|F-35 program management.|
Well, it looks like Lockheed Martin's PR department is on the full offensive in Canada. After a year of criticism, controversy, and "reset buttons", LockMart has is now extolling the virtues of its so far under-performing Lightning II.
LockMart's F-35 Vice-President Stephen O'Bryan went on the record as saying:
"I read in places that the cost is increasing, dramatically increasing," O'Bryan said. "The truth of the matter is the F-35 cost is dramatically decreasing. From the first year of production to the fifth year of production we have reduced the cost by over 50 per cent. Every single year, we have reduced the cost of the aircraft."Good to know that costs have come down somewhat compared to the early hand built prototypes. He doesn't really do into much detail about the projects numerous delays, cost overruns, and projected performance downgrades however.
Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/F35maker+makes+public+case+stealth+fighter+skeptical/7939542/story.html#ixzz2KPxGBvWg
O'Bryan goes on to say that the F-35 will cost an unbelievable $67 million a copy by the time Canada is ready to take procurement, this, despite recent estimates that it will cost $100-150 million each and probably won't be ready for prime-time in 2020.
Meanwhile, former RCAF CF-18 pilot, and current LockMart PR hack Billie Flynn states that the F-35's radar and other sensor will allow it to act as a "battle space commander" to support other units. With all due respect to Mr. Flynn, there are already aircraft that allow allied forces to have a god's eye view of the battle space, they are called AWACS. What those AWACS need are actual fighter aircraft capable of keeping them safe.
Possible future threats like the PAK FA, J-20, and J-31 all look like capable fighters that also happen to be stealthy. They will also have the advantage of being supported by current "generation 4++" fighters like the Su-35 and J-10B.
Maybe it's time for Canada to adapt a similar strategy. Procure a capable and affordable "workhorse" fighters while getting to work on new "uber-fighter" for high level threats.