The development programme of the fifth-generation jet has also suffered from numerous cost overruns and missed deadlines, making the F-35 one of the costliest jets ever made. And still, the fighter faced multiple issues in the course of its not-so-long usage by the air forces of several countries.
The F-35’s price tag might jump (again) due to the increased costs of manufacturing the details for its F135 engines, Matthew Bromberg, chief of the military engines division for Pratt & Whitney, the company which assembles the part, told US lawmakers.
He explained that the spike in pricing happened due to the expulsion of Turkey from the programme – a move initiated by Washington itself in 2019. As it turned out, Turkish companies had been producing 188 parts for the jet’s engines and did so at a much cheaper price than the firms that replaced them.
The US is yet to qualify the suppliers for the remaining 25% of the details currently manufactured by the Turkish companies. The Pentagon hoped to finish the process by 2020, but, in fact, it will be relying on Turkish suppliers for two more years until their contracts end.
The Pentagon, in turn, told the lawmakers on the House Armed Services Committee that it will be working with Pratt & Whitney to try to limit the growth of F135 engine costs, F-35 programme’s executive Eric Fick said. It is unclear so far, however, if these negotiations will be successful.
Turkey was excluded from the programme by the US in response to Ankara’s…