Germany is in talks with Lockheed Sikorsky about a deal for 40 King Stallions, US Marine Col. Henry Vanderborght told reporters on Monday, following an annual sea-air-space conference held outside Washington, DC.
If Bundeswehr signs the deal for 40 King Stallions, Lockheed Sikorsky claims everyone would get the aircraft at a lower price. “You add another 25 percent to your production run, production unit cost goes down,” Vanderborght said.
The Marine Corps is on the books to buy 200 King Stallions for around $122 million each, Sputnik reported in March.
The Corps’ King Stallion began like many Pentagon projects: the initial cost estimates said one thing, but the reality of building the new military equipment meant those costs would inevitably rise as unforeseen factors popped up.
Looking at program costs is infrequently an accurate indicator of how much the Pentagon’s toys will cost. The King Stallion could be anywhere from 22 percent over budget per aircraft, which is how the $122 million is calculated, to $131 million per unit after taxes, titles and tags are factored in, Defense News reported in a new calculation on April 3.
The US Navy’s new USS Gerald Ford has come in at least 20 percent over budget, at a price of $12.9 billion.
And of course the “scandal and tragedy” that is the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program is at least five years behind schedule and $13 billion more expensive than expectations, Popular Mechanics reported.