Joint Strike Fighter Rivals
Ready To Work Together
by Norval G. Kennedy and Jim Mathews
04/19/00 02:22:14 PM U.S. EDT
As the Joint Strike Fighter program nears a decision from the Pentagon in the next two or three weeks on whether to preserve the winner-take-all procurement strategy, rivals Lockheed Martin and Boeing say they are ready to share production (Lockheed version shown).
Boeing said yesterday that it was already considering where the Lockheed team might fit into its plan. Today Lockheed’s Director of JSF Business Development James H. Schaefer told AviationNow.com at the Navy League’s annual meeting that it would have to determine how to accommodate another prime contractor.
“We have already formed a prime team with BAe and Northrop, and now we have to look at Boeing,” he said. Schaefer felt it would take at least six months to study splitting the workload if a shared contract is mandated.
BAe is providing the software for the Lockheed team, and the Pentagon’s JSF Director USMC Maj. Gen. Michael A. Hough said in a separate briefing that “open architecture is the most challenging aspect of the design. We have millions of lines of code to integrate.” He had no comment about the pending acquisition strategy decision.