Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Lockheed - Arm Twister Extraordinaire?
What Lockheed wants, Lockheed intends to get especially when it comes to the F-35 stealth light attack bomber.
Last week the company tried to stiffen spines here in Canada by warning that Canadian businesses stood to lose over $10-billion in contract work if their government tries to play wise guy and cancels the F-35 purchase. Nice little place ya got here. It'd be a shame if anyting was to happen to it.
Now Lockheed seems to be doing a full Wall-Mart on its own contractors. Seemingly desperate to cut costs that are scaring off potential buyers, Lockheed has told the contractors they'll have to accept a little water in their wine. Now major contractors BAE, Northrop Grumman and engine builder Pratt & Whitney have agreed to do their bit to enable "huge cuts" in F-35 costs.
If big players like these can all simply deliver "huge cuts" you might be forgiven for asking if maybe they weren't richly padding the tab to begin with?
Then again, time has not been kind to the F-35. The years of delay and re-design have given its potential adversaries time to whittle away at its once vaunted invincibility. It is, after all, a prototype - a Beta model - rushed into production with predictable results.