F-35C_calendar_2008DoDBuzz is reporting new cost estimates for the JSF program are going to jump by over $17.1B.  Apparently the concurrent nature of the program lies at the heart of the massive revision upwards of program costs.  So much so that Nunn-McCurdy is starting to be invoked:

“Unfortunately, DoD has put all its eggs in the JSF basket and it is now too big to fail, just like Wall Street. The JSF program has shown no signs of getting back on schedule, and I think a Nunn-McCurdy is fairly likely. Gates should get out in front and restructure the program,” said one congressional aide.J-UCAS-Sunset

While the scope of the program may dissuade a Nunn-McCurdy cancellation action, it is possible that certain parts – second engine source & naval version (F-35C) could get the axe as both are still in the very early stages of development.  Color me not surprised, especially if the above comes true.  Boeing, not to long ago, was green-lighted on a limited multi-year production run of F/A-18E/F for Navy and if it wins the MRCA competition in India, that will extend the production run possibly making available aircraft to replace the legacy Hornets – which was to be the role of the F-35C.  In the meantime, if the UCAV-N pans out and demonstrates effectiveness at penetrating triple-digit SAM defended airspace, then the original rationale for the one-trick pony F-35C will have been met.

h/t: DefenseTech.org


Good discussion going on over at USNI blog with Solomon over this topic.