Here’s a contract item for software upgrades to the F-35 that just stuns me.
Lockheed has been given a $17.6M contract to upgrade TWO F-35s to software Block 3F. Work is to be completed by Sep 2021.
Are you kidding me??! Almost $18M to upgrade software? For two aircraft? You plug in a jump drive and click on Copy or whatever the equivalent is in a military computer. Ten minutes and you’re done. The programming costs are already covered by the main F-35 contracts. This is just the upgrade when the new block is ready. Maybe they need a new hard drive or chip or something but those cost hundreds of dollars not millions.
Here’s the actual quote from the government website.
“Lockheed Martin Corp. …is being awarded a $17,599,996 not-to-exceed delivery order (550302) against a previously issued basic ordering agreement (N00019-14-G-0020). This order provides for the procurement of retrofit modification kits and associated engineering installation services in support of the Block 3F upgrade of two F-35A aircraft for
participants. Work will be performed in Fort Worth, Texas (90 percent);
and Baltimore, Maryland (10 percent), and is expected to be completed in
September 2021.” non-Department of Defense
The other baffling aspect of this is the completion date. Sep 2021? Why is a contract being issued six years prior to the need? Couldn’t the government hold onto the money and earn some interest?
We’re just spraying Lockheed with the money hose!