F-35 Block Buy Will Save $2 Billion in Three Years

Those F-35 partners that are buying jets in Lot 12, 13, and 14 will save a collective $2 billion “conservatively” using the “block buy” approach, program director Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan told reporters at ASC16. The block buy is akin to the “multi-year buy” approach in the US, but would include foreign sales as well. “Everyone in Lot 12 is on board,” he said, seeing the value in the group purchase, which allows suppliers to buy materials and schedule production more efficiently. The three years of production amount to about 450 of the fighters, Bogdan noted. However, he said Denmark is one of the countries that was not scheduled to buy jets in Lot 12. Bogdan also said ongoing “tough” negotiations continue with Lockheed Martin on Lots 9 and 10, which are “not done” yet. Asked about Canada’s continued participation, Bogdan said that country is “doing their due diligence” in evaluating the right way to address their future fighter needs. Asked how long he will remain in his job—he took up leadership of the Joint Strike Fighter in 2012—Bogdan joked “there’s no end in sight,” but quickly added that he serves “at the pleasure of the President” and the Secretary of Defense.