Friday, March 19, 2010

Australia Unruffled By F-35 Delays

SYDNEY - Australia's minister for defense, Sen. John Faulkner, is unruffled by the latest cost and schedule difficulties afflicting the Joint Strike Fighter program. And senior defense officials in Canberra say they believe that Australia's plans to acquire up to 100 F-35A Lightning II aircraft aren't much affected by the JSF project's cost overruns.That's because of budget and schedule buffers built into the Royal Australian Air Force's New Air Combat Capability (NACC) program, which is buying the planes, he said.A senior defense official in Canberra said March 18 that Australia's budget for the program, and the timing of its orders, are based on the NACC program office's own independent estimates of the JSF program's cost and schedule. These take into account the estimates from the Joint Program Office in Washington and from Lockheed Martin, the JSF's prime contractor, but they include a contingency margin, he said...................................DefenseNews

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