Sequester And the JSF


National Journal has a worthwhile piece on how sequester and other defense spending cuts work through the multiple layers of the supply chain, focusing on the F-35. One example is 30-employee Faustson Tool of Colorado:

Six years ago, it bought a 17,000-square-foot building to prove it could house the milling machines to meet the F-35’s needs for two decades. The facility sat vacant as Faustson struggled to meet the demand for price reductions from its customer, Ball Aerospace and Technologies, after the large orders that Ball—and ultimately, Lockheed—had promised never materialized. Finally, last year, Faustson put the building up for sale. Now, Hostetter says, there’s no guarantee that the company would be able to meet the manufacturing demand should production return.

Read the whole thing, particularly for an interesting analogy between high-tech metalwork and eggnog.

What's missing, however, is that the JSF supply chain's problems date back to a time when nobody in Washington could spell "sequester", and we were reporting the issue in 2010.

Take another look at the chart that we used here almost three years ago. The numbers shown are linked to delivery years, so if these projections had been accurate, Lockheed Martin would be signing definitive orders now for 130-150 aircraft to be delivered in 2015, and long-lead contracts for 200 jets in 2016. Compared with that shortfall, the effects of sequester are trivial. 

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