From 30 to 13

The sweeping restructure of the F-35 strike fighter program will turn what might have been a 30-month schedule slip into just 13 months, Pentagon acquisition czar Ash Carter confirmed Thursday during a media telecon. Carter said prime contractor Lockheed Martin could get back “some” of the $614 million in award fees being withheld due to schedule slips, but he wouldn’t say exactly how much, since this is a negotiating point. Lockheed would have to share some of the costs of getting the program back, he said. Having just completed an F-35 summit at Lockheed’s facility in Fort Worth, Tex., Carter said representatives of the F-35 partner nations are on board with the changes and recognize they will “add some cost to initial aircraft,” but stave off bigger problems. None of the partners or US military services are backing off their planned F-35 buys, he said.