Paul Lewis/Washington DC

Boeing has outlined a range of refinements to its Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Programme that it claims will eliminate a projected 5% budget overspend and ensure full Preferred Weapons System Concept (PWSC) compliance with the final joint operational requirements document (JORD).

"Rebaselining the programme involves looking at the work to go, the dollars to do the work and what you have to do that equals those dollars," says Frank Statkus, Boeing JSF general manager. "Now we do not have a potential overrun at completion and we've even gained a small reserve to cover anything in the future."

The Department of Defense's JSF programme office recently approved changes to Boeing and Lockheed Martin concept demonstration contracts. These will not affect the concept demonstrator aircraft each company is building and planned flight test schedule.

Boeing says that in addition to "incorporating a management reserve," it will trim costs with a "small change to technical maturation and demonstrations." This involves trimming avionics and supportability risk reduction work, which the company says there is no need to take further at this stage.

The other major change Boeing intends is a reduction in the number of design iterations beyond the current -373 configuration before finalising a PWSC submission. "We realised we're close enough to the requirement to drop an iteration-we've just about reached-374 now and you don't need two more configurations to get to 100%," says Statkus.

Boeing is waiting for the release by the JPO of the draft JORD before completing -374, which it claims will be 98% compliant. The planned final -375 configuration will incorporate a number of yet-to-be-decided weight saving measures to ensure the short take-off vertical landing JSF variant meets a stipulated 1,820kg (4,000lb) payload bringback requirement.

Lockheed Martin, reportedly $100 million over budget, has also reduced the number of remaining PWSC design iterations by one. It has just completed interim configuration 230-4 and is planning only one more iteration, 230-5, to comply with JORD, which is due for release by early 2000.

It will also establish a one month cash reserve, but unlike Boeing, is making no changes to PWSC avionics and supportability related work. Instead there will be an "across the board" cut in lower risk demonstration work. "In terms of PWSC we're two to three months ahead of schedule and this has given us a luxury to save money there and concentrate on other risk areas," adds Lockheed Martin.

Source: Flight International