Det er en dyr fornøjelse, at F-35 Joint Strike Fighter kampfly-projektet er skruet sådan sammen, at flyet bygges, samtidig med at det fortsat udvikles. I den amerikanske rigsrevisions årlige statusrapport om JSF-projektet kan man således læse, at det i flyets udviklingsfase forventes at koste 10 mia. kroner at fejlrette ting, som bliver opdaget i tests.

Rigsrevisionen, kaldet Governments Accountability Office (GAO), anslår, at de fejl, der er fundet i de tests, der er gennemført indtil nu, vil koste omkring 900 mio. dollars at rette op på. Og i de kommende år anslår GAO at nye fejlrettelser vil beløbe sig til omkring 827 mio. dollars. I alt 1,727 mia. dollars, svarende til 9,9 mia. danske kroner.

GAO skriver i sin rapport:

“In addition to contract cost overruns, the program is incurring substantial costs to retrofit (rework) produced aircraft needed to fix deficiencies discovered in testing. These costs are largely attributable to the substantial concurrency, or overlap, between testing and manufacturing activities. The F-35 program office projects rework costs of about $900 million to fix the aircraft procured on the first four annual procurement contracts. On average, rework adds about $15.5 million to the price of each of the 58 U.S. aircraft under these contracts.

Substantial rework costs are forecast to continue through the 10th annual contract (fiscal year 2016 procurement), but at decreasing amounts annually and on each aircraft. The program office projects about $827 million more to rework aircraft procured under the next 6 annual contracts.”

Men GAO påpeger også, at det ser ud til, at producenten af F-35 JSF, Lockheed Martin, er begyndt at få bedre styr på produktionen og har nedbragt antallet af fejlrettelser per fly.

”While initial F-35 production overran target costs and delivered late, there are several encouraging signs indicating better outcomes in the coming years. Overall, manufacturing and supply operations are improving with the latest data showing labor hours to build the aircraft decreasing, deliveries accelerating, quality measures improving, and parts shortages declining. That said, the program is working through the continuing effects from the F-35’s highly concurrent acquisition strategy. For example, the program is continuing to incur substantial costs for rework to fix deficiencies discovered in testing, but the amount per aircraft is dropping. Nevertheless, continuing discoveries in testing will likely drive additional changes to design and manufacturing processes at the same time production rates increase.”

Det amerikanske forsvar har skruet ned for tempoet for hvor hurtigt man skal modtage nye F-35’ere. Og det er faktisk en fordel for Lockheed Martin i arbejdet med at fejlrette parallelt med produktionen af flyene, påpeger GAO.

“DOD’s substantial reductions in near-term procurement quantities have decreased–but not eliminated– the risk from investing billions of dollars on hundreds of aircraft before testing proves the aircraft design and verifies that its performance and reliability meet requirements.”

Læs mere om dette års GAO-rapport her, her og her.

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