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Thu Aug 22, 2013, 09:13 AM

Pentagon cuts F-35 operating estimate below $1 trillion: source

http://news.yahoo.com/pentagon-cuts-f-35-operating-estimate-below-1-015322974.html

Pentagon cuts F-35 operating estimate below $1 trillion: source
Andrea Shalal-Esa 11 hours ago
Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government has slashed its estimate for the long-term operating costs of Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jets by more than 20 percent to under $1 trillion, according to a senior defense official, a move that could boost international support for the program.

The Pentagon has been under pressure for over a year to revise its estimate of maintaining a fleet of more than 2,000 F-35s over 55 years, with industry and military officials arguing that many of the assumptions were outdated and off base.

The new estimate of $857 billion could help ensure the new plane turns out to be as affordable as advertised and comes days after South Korea determined that only a bid by Boeing Co for its F-15 Silent Eagle came in below a $7.4 billion price ceiling for its plan to buy 60 new fighter aircraft.

Lockheed's F-35 and the Eurofighter Typhoon remain in the running, but Boeing's pricing marked a step toward winning the contract, according to sources close to the process. A final decision is expected in mid-September.


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