U.S. Air Force Lt. Gen. Eric Fick, head of the F-35 joint program office, said fighter aircraft technicians use automated software testing and joint simulation approaches as part of cost reduction measures, DOD News reported Friday.
He told attendees at a recent McAleese & Associates event that military branches seek to drive down not only the program's flight costs but also maintenance and repair expenses.
Fick noted that the cost per flight hour for USAF F-35s decreased from $37,000 in 2019 to $33,300 in 2020.
The Lockheed Martin-built aircraft is in operation with the U.S. and eight foreign countries.
Lockheed's aeronautics segment received a $903.6 million contract modification in late 2020 to obtain long lead materials and support services needed to produce 133 Lot 16 F-35s for domestic and international defense customers.