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Production Scenarios for the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II

by Asif Anwar | 12月 16, 2011

The F-35 is the leading edge strike fighter of the moment, epitomizing the "fifth generation" of platforms and leading the field in terms of pushing the technology envelope in a host of areas through the development of numerous electronic subsystems. However, the program has been beset with problems including rising program costs, production and testing delays, partner nation commitment, the US and global economics and budget constraints.

Strategy Analytics analysis of the F-35 2011 baseline program projections points to a potential global production of 3,340 planes through 2036. Taking just the recent reduction in order quantity by the US DOD for F-35 fast-jets in 2012, and continued uncertainties in budget expenditures suggests continued shrinkage in the F-35 program. Couple escalating platform costs and delayed deliveries with budgetary constraints at partner nations increases the risk for order reduction or order cancellation. This suggests that the base line projections represent the most optimistic—but arguably least realistic outcome for the F-35 program.

Strategy Analytics has developed a range of alternate scenarios bracketed between the present expressed interest scenario and lower, more limited production case. Early curtailment could be one option with production limited to as few as 877 units but we believe total cancellation of the F-35 program is unlikely. The current environment fits a modeled projection of 2074 units produced through 2036—reducing production over the baseline by 37.5 percent.

See "Production Scenarios for the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II" for additional information.

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