최근 포토로그


미 국방부 "F-35 생산 연기 검토" Sloppy F-35

美 "F-35 생산 연기 검토"

미국 국방부가 단기적 비용 절감 움직임의 일환으로 가장 비싸고 논란 많은 무기 프로그램 (most costly and controversial weapons program), F-35 스텔스 전투기의 생산을 연기하는 방안을 검토중이라고 6월 28일자 월 스트리트 저널지가 Pentagon Mulls Delay to Lockheed's F-35 Program, Move to Slow Stealth Fighter Plane Production Is Weighed to Cut Spending 라는 제하의 기사를 보도하였다.

Tiger Meet 2013 행사중 견인되어 이동중인 노르웨이공군 도색 F-35 모의 기체 (
Fake F-35 at Ørland (ENOL), Photo @ flyingkab)

WSJ는 Chuck Hagel 미 국방장관이 국방예산 감축 태스크포스가 제시한 F-35 프로그램의 2015년 이후 (the second half of this decade) 연기 방안을 고려하고 있다고 전했다.
연방정부의 ‘자동 예산삭감(시퀘스터)’ 조치에 따라 국방예산을 줄여야 하는데 무기 도입 프로그램 가운데 가장 비싼 F-35의 본격 생산 시기를 뒤로 미루는 게 가장 손쉬운 방법으로 거론되고 있다는 것이다.
그러나 이를 통해 충분한 절감이 주어지지 않을 것이라는 단서도 추가하여 보고한 것으로 알려졌다.

F-35의 완전한 생산을 펜타곤이 검증할 수 있는 시기인 2015년부터 2019년 사이로 연장하면 약 10억에서 25억 달러의 절감 효과가 있을 것으로 예상한다.

이하 원문 첨부.( 예산 절감 효과가 미미하고 어차피 비용이 추가될 것이라는 분석,미 해군과 공군등 전투기 교체 지연 불가피, 이 기사중 가장 중요한 언급은 F-35가 대당 4천만달러에서 현재 122백만달러까지 치솟았으며 결국 92백만 달러 수준이 될 것이라고 펜타곤은 예상. 그러나 전문가들은 더 인상될 것이라는 의견이 많음.
만약 한국이 F-35를 선택한다면 엄청난 재앙을 예견할 수 있는 대목이다)


Any delay to the program could be a blow to the fighter plane and its prime contractor, Lockheed Martin Corp., LMT +1.02%and comes at a time when many defense analysts say the once-troubled program has righted itself, overcoming various problems that have delayed the aircraft and added to its costs.
Delaying the program was an option raised by the Pentagon's Strategic Choices and Management Review, a task force of senior leaders examining ways to reduce spending to comply with the across-the-board budget cuts mandated by Congress.
Officials declined to say how long the F-35 could be delayed under the proposed option or how much money the Pentagon estimates would be saved. Earlier, officials participating in the review had weighed a two-to-three year delay limited to the Navy variant of the fighter plane, but that option was rejected by the task force.

If Mr. Hagel opted to delay the program, the Pentagon likely would continue to purchase small numbers of the plane, but would hold off a move to full production in 2015, according to defense analysts. Because the Air Force plans the fastest increase in production for its variant of the plane, any slowdown would likely fall heaviest on that service, analysts said.

Jennifer Allen, a spokeswoman for Lockheed Martin, said it wasn't appropriate for the company to "speculate on internal DOD discussions and decisions."

Since the F-35 is the military's largest weapons program, many officials consider it the easiest to cut, said Jim McAleese, a defense analyst.
Richard Aboulafia, a defense analyst with the Teal Group, said delaying the F-35 from full production could cover about 30% of the reductions needed in the procurement budget under the mandatory spending reductions.

But analysts agreed short-term savings will come with long-term costs.
"You are going jeopardize the export market and that will keep costs high," said Mr. Aboulafia. "It is not a death spiral, but it is a pain spiral that could really damage the program."

Loren Thompson, a defense analyst who advises Lockheed, said the delay makes little sense, and over the long term will add to the costs.
"There is a reflex to look at the F-35 program as bill payer because it is the biggest program. But since it is the biggest, any change in the plan has outsized fiscal consequences," Mr. Thompson said.

The strategic review is considering delays to other weapons programs as well, although officials declined to outline specific proposals.
The senior advisers recommending against the delay are worried that slowing the program could discourage other countries from purchasing the plane, officials said. Fewer countries buying the advanced plane would make each one more expensive.

According to the military's most recent report to Congress, the Marine variant of the plane, the F-35B, is due to begin military operations in 2015. The Navy variant, the F-35C, is due to begin operations by 2019. The Air Force variant, the F-35A, will enter operations in 2016.
Slowing production would likely delay that timetable, particularly for the Navy and Air Force variants.

Originally designed to be a low-cost plane costing about $40 million a copy, costs have grown to about $122 million each for the Air Force version. The Pentagon estimates that the unit cost eventually will decline to $92 million.
But some officials worry that any cuts to the size of the program, or too long a delay, will drive up those unit costs, putting the entire program in danger.

Mr. McAleese said many of the F-35's past problems have been addressed, and the program seems stronger now than it has in the past.
The plane has encountered cost overruns, developmental delays and questions about the reliability of its technology.
"The trend lines are not all perfect, but the trend lines are all moving in the right direction now, for the first time," he said.