Live Fee or Die

Much of the award fees that Lockheed Martin stands to make on the F-35 program are still to come, program executive officer Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan said. In a recent interview with Air Force Magazine, Bogdan said F-35 program award fees are largely tied to achieving specific milestones that haven’t happened yet. About $100 million is tied to declaring initial operational capability for the Marine Corps’ F-35B in July of 2015, he explained, and “the remaining $230 million or so is tied to the final capability that they deliver in 2017,” when USMC and the Air Force are operational and the 3F version of the software is fully delivered and tested. “But, they don’t get it unless they meet the criteria that we set forth,” he said, noting that some fee will be sacrificed if the program is late. Pratt & Whitney, maker of the fighter’s F135 engine, has “in the last two years … had an opportunity to earn about $36 million, and I think they have … lost the opportunity to earn about $10 million” of that amount, Bogdan said. Pratt is laboring to correct an engine deficiency that led to an F-35 catching fire in June.