The article below will be printed in tomorrow's Flight Daily News. Here's your sneak-peek.
Top JSF official blasts Boeing for barbs
Stephen Trimble / London
Boeing is "spreading lies and half-truths" about the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) programme in a "desperate" effort to bolster domestic and foreign sales of its F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, JSF programme executive Lt Gen Charles "CR" Davis tells Flight Daily News.
In an unusually candid, exclusive interview on the eve of the Farnborough Air Show,
blasted Boeing executives for making what he thinks are grossly inappropriate statements about the health of his acquisition programme. Davis
"If Boeing has to say something negative about JSF to sell their aircraft, that tells me there is something wrong with their aircraft,"
Contacted for a response, Tom Bell, a Boeing business development official, said he was unaware of the specific comments that triggered
' outburst, and so he could not give a direct response. Davis
More generally, however,
Bellpointed out that two JSF development partners - Australiaand - have already acquired or are considering acquiring F/A-18E/F's instead. Denmark
"People with greater insight than I are looking at the offerings available,"
said. "Let people draw their own conclusions about why." Bell said he has neither contacted Boeing executives about his accusations, nor does he intend to. Asked if he was waiting for Boeing to initiate contact, he quickly repied: "Yes, I am." Davis Davissaid he has read two recent articles - one in the press and one in the foreign press - quoting Boeing executives saying the JSF programme would likely be delayed again and further exceed development costs by more than $10 billion. US
It was pointed out to
that Boeing had delivered hundreds of Super Hornets ontime and on-budget, while the F-35's programme costs have increased by about 50% and the development phase has been delayed more than 18 months since contract award in 2001. Davis responded that the F-35's record can not be compared to the F/A-18E/F. The F/A-18E/F is based on an existing airframe and re-used the avionics of the original aircraft. Davis
"That's the baseline they're measured against. How hard is that?"
said: "I think characterizing the F/A-18E/F as a just a simple programme is maybe a little simplistic in and of itself. Boeing is very proud of delivering increased capability at decreased costs and delivering real capability to the warfighter now." Bell