Trump Saves $600M On F35 Program By Dropping GLX Spec. Goes for G Spec Family Wagon Instead.
President Trump announced a $600M saving on the F35 fighter program today, ended months of speculation on what he meant by his threats of renegotiating the deal.
“Obama just ticked all the option boxes like he wanted the best air-force in the world. GLX is the top-of-the-line. Everyone knows the options are where they get you. We’re bringing that back down to G Spec. We don’t need all that fancy stuff.” Trump explained.
The GLX spec Lockheed F35 is officially described as “Advanced Stealth, Extreme Performance, Information Fusion, Unprecedented Survivability” and is priced at $100M a piece in a deal done by the Obama administration.
The G spec F35 is officially described in the Lockheed catalogue as “Basic levels of equipment and comfort to suit the needs of any small family” and is priced at $3M each.
The United States had ordered 30,000 of the top spec F35 GLX fifth generation warplanes at a program lease cost of over $3 trillion. Trumps new terms change that to 30,000 of the G-Spec family vehicles for a savings of $600M.
Lockheed spokeman Martin Hughes said that Lockheed would survive the cuts. “For us its great. We’re being paid almost exactly the same, and we can give them basically just the airframe. All the value is in the tech. The F35 airframe is basically just a refurbished F16 with a flare kit. Without the GLX features, its not even stealth. The G is completely manual. The autopilot is really what keeps these beauties in the air, but thats only an option on the GL models and higher. Most customers get the GL package with its better trim.”
Pilots were generally disappointed with the news. “I really need that cup holder. I can live without the auto transmission, but you just cant balance a coffee in your lap when you’re flying a plane, especially when you have to work a clutch. And the lack of power windows means you have to ask the kids nicely to wind up the window. It just doesn’t happen. And without leather I’ll be cleaning up food stains forever.”
US Allies in the F35 program jumped at the news. “Lockheed is now to going to have to dump all those top GLX planes onto the market at a pretty stiff discount to clear their inventory. We’ll get them at half price, easy” said sources in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway and Turkey.
Indeed, at the time of writing, Lockheed’s website was offering a sale on the F35 GLX at 30% off, and countries like Israel had already placed orders. “We got 10,000 of the GLX warplanes for just under 100Bn, thats about a tenth of what Trump’s paying for his G.” a gloating Israeli source said.
The real kicker for the US was the original lease agreement. Under the original terms, at the end of the 3 year lease, the US Government could own the entire fleet for a payment of just $30,000 dollars. Under Trump’s renegotiated deal, the US must return the 30,000 planes in their original condition, or risk paying additional fees of up to $185M PER PLANE for any damage that might be found.
In addition, since the high tech GLX aerial superiority killers had already been mostly built, Lockheed now have to build all the basement spec G planes, meaning an extra 7 year delay on delivery.
And what is the saved $600M being earmarked for?
“I dont know yet. Probably Russia.”