Fixed Price Engine Offers Could Restart Debate On F-35. Flight International (9/17, Trimble) reported, "A General Electric/Rolls-Royce team has proposed a fixed price to deliver the fifth lot of low-rate initial production for the F136 alternate engine to power the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter." Pratt & Whitney also has a fixed price proposal if requested. "Both proposals are likely to reset debate about the alternate engine in the US Congress, which is considering the Department of Defense's request to cancel the F136."
Reminds one of Feynman's experience on the text book committee, give those suppliers a chance to compete that they didn't have before, and prices magically come down.
Here's what the GAO's report had to say:
In supporting the decision to cancel, officials focused only on the potential up-front savings in engine procurement costs. They did not, however, consider the full long-term savings that might accrue from competition for providing support for maintenance and operations over the life cycle of the engine. Both prior studies had recommended proceeding with the alternate engine program, despite the lack of significant procurement cost savings, because of a number of other benefits competition was likely to provide. Also in supporting the decision to cancel, officials cited favorable progress made by the primary JSF engine and its predecessor F-22A engine as reducing operational risks from a single source. However, the primary JSF engine has completed only a small portion of its ground tests and has not yet been flown, while the F-22A engine has completed about 10 percent of its hours needed for system maturity and is not currently meeting some reliability goals.In response, DoD stated "data showing savings from competition do not exist." Wonder if this new data is enough to reconsider things?