Under Secretary of
Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Edward C.
"Pete" Aldridge Jr. announced on the afternoon of
26 October 2001 the decision to proceed with the Joint Strike
Fighter program. This approval advanced the program to the
next phase, the System Development and Demonstration (SDD)
phase. The Secretary of the Air Force James G. Roche announced
the selection of Lockheed Martin teamed with Northrop Grumman
and BAE to develop and then produce the Joint Strike Fighter
(JSF) aircraft. The contract, for $18,981,928,201 will produce
aircraft to be used by the U.S. Air Force, Navy, and Marines,
as well as the United Kingdom's Royal Air Force and Navy.
Also, Pratt & Whitney
Military Engines, East Hartford, Conn., has been awarded a
contract for more than $4 billion to develop the F135 propulsion
system. This contract will cover ground and flight testing
and production qualification of the Pratt & Whitney propulsion
The Joint Strike Fighter
acquisition strategy also calls for the development of two
propulsion systems. The Pratt & Whitney system will compete,
in production, with one developed by the team of General Electric
and Rolls Royce. GE/RR are expected to receive a contract
for the next phase of development of that system in the next
few weeks. The P&W and GE/RR engines will be physically
and functionally interchangeable in both the aircraft and
support systems. All JSF aircraft variants will be able to
use either engine. The competition starts in fiscal 2011 and
continues through the life of the program to reduce risks.
The Joint Strike Fighter
is a multi-Service/international cooperation warplane. The
cornerstone of the program is affordability based on a next-generation,
multi-role strike fighter aircraft that will have a 70 to
90 percent commonality factor for all the variants, significantly
reducing manufacturing, support and training costs.
During this Systems Development
and Demonstration phase, the program will focus on developing
a family of strike aircraft that significantly reduces life-cycle
cost, while meeting the operational requirements for the Services.
The requirements represent a balanced approach to affordability,
lethality, survivability and supportability. The program will
use a phased block approach that addresses aircraft and weapons
integration and provides a validated and verified air system
for the Service Initial Operational Capability requirements.
Also during this phase of the contract Lockheed Martin teamed
with Northrop Grumman and BAE will implement innovative management
and business practices focusing on achieving affordable unit
flyaway costs and reduced life-cycle cost for future production
of the Joint Strike Fighter.
The source selection culminates
a highly successful joint process with the Air Force, Navy,
Marine Corps, and United Kingdom Ministry of Defence. A number
of agreements between the U.S. and foreign governments are
in place for this phase of the program.
The System Development and Demonstration (SDD) phase of
the program has eight Cooperative Program Partners (CPP); the United Kingdom, Italy, Netherlands, Turkey, Canada, Australia, Denmark, and Norway. Foreign military sales participants include Israel and Singapore.
For the U.S. Navy, the JSF
will be used in a "first day" of war, as a survivable
strike fighter aircraft to complement F/A-18E/F. The U.S.
Air Force will employ it as a multirole aircraft, primary-air-to-ground,
which will replace the F-16 and A-10 and to complement the
F-22. The Marine Corps will use the Short Takeoff and Vertical
Landing (STOVL) variant of the aircraft to replace the AV-8B
and F/A-18A/C/D. The United Kingdom's Royal Navy and Royal
Air Force multirole aircraft will replace the Sea Harrier