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USAF Acquisition Nominee Will Roper Eyes F-35 Sustainment Cost Reduction

Will Roper

Will Roper, the Trump administration’s nominee for the U.S. Air Force assistant secretary for acquisition role, has said he plans to find ways on how to reduce the F-35 aircraft’s sustainment costs once confirmed, Defense News reported Thursday.

“If I get confirmed, one of the first things I want to look at is the sustainment plan to make sure that there are not optimistic assumptions for this confluence of events that all happen together to get the price down,” Roper told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee during his confirmation hearing Thursday.

He noted that failure to manage sustainment costs could result in a “bow wave” that could potentially prompt the service branch to block F-35 upgrades, look at force structure or expand inventory through procurement of more fighter jets.

Roper, who currently serves as director of the Defense Department’s strategic capabilities office, said he intends to subject the F-35 program to an in-depth analysis that seeks to identify emerging technology platforms and industry practices that could help reduce the aircraft’s sustainment costs, the report added.

 

 

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