Yup and even that is quite inflated as is evident from the last 3 years (could be 4) of DOTE, GAO and CAPE downward revisions. The CAPE was so crazy early on that they refused to believe very early on that the USMC that wanted a STOVL aircraft would be operating as CTOL most of the time. They simply couldn't wrap their head around it and calculated a majority peacetime STOVL flying throwing off fuel-burn numbers by a huge huge margin. Only after the USMC went public, and shoved decades of AV8 data at them did the CAPE adjust, and noted that peacetime STOVL ops are only performed to maintain a pre-defined level of profeceincy as opposed to routine flying.
Additionally, CAPE and GAO don't book cost reductions until they are demonstrated, so if you are on a path to reach X amount of system maturity that gets you on a glide path to $XXXX reduction in O&S cost, they won't gradually adjust each report but will book it once its been demonstrated. That is fine from a bean counting methodology perspective but bad for publicity since it makes the Program management and operators look like idiots the same issues come up each report, whether that is the smaller annual report or the more detailed 2 year report. It makes it look like no progress is made, until the PEO is allowed to give rebuttals in front of Congress, that are seldom reported with the same level of enthusiasm as Gillmore's report that inadvertently leaks to Bloombergs Tony Capaccio usually a few hours after congressional submission every year. Its a routine that folks that have been following this program since 2000 have gotten down
The Program office adjusts its numbers as soon as their dashboards start showing trend-lines so they are more real time. The gap between O&S numbers from the PEO and the CAPE was around $10,000 or so with the PEO projecting around 20% higher O&S for the F-35A compared to the current F-16C. CAPE has adjusted downwards but there is still a difference and a solid fleet wide multi-decade number that actually is worth taking note off won't arrive until the aircraft is fully tested, and delivered. They have only recently begun going through the block 3F build and the program's System Development, is still 3.5 years from completion.
Multi-decade cost projections require a certain level of system maturity to be of any real use. Otherwise their purpose would only be as an employment/welfare program for auditors since assumptions would require constant adjustments to account for progress made through development, testing and applications of lessons learned.
Some news on Israel's plans with the F-35 :Israel Seeks Greater Autonomy for F-35 Fighter Force
HERZLIYA, Israel — Israel is working with Lockheed Martin and the F-35 Joint Program Office to maximize autonomy of its planned stealth fighter force, including its own command, control, communications and computing (C4) system, indigenous weaponry and the ability to perform heavy maintenance in country rather than at predetermined regional overhaul facilities.
Once the first F-35Is arrive here in December, state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) will begin installing a tailor-made C4 system on top of the central avionics embedded in the joint strike fighter.
“It’s open architecture, which sits on the F-35’s central system, much like an application on your iPhone. So it doesn’t change anything in the aircraft itself, but it gives the Israel Air Force (IAF) the most advanced and adaptable processing capabilities with relative independence of the aircraft manufacturer,” said Benni Cohen, general manager of IAI’s Lahav Division.
In an interview Monday, Cohen said IAI is already producing the C4 system for installation in the first planes due here in December. “It introduces a new level of freedom for the IAF, as it paves the way for additional advanced capabilities to be embedded in the F-35I in the future,” he said.
As for weaponry, the Israel Air Force and state-owned Rafael Advanced Systems Ltd. have been working with Lockheed Martin to adapt the Israeli Spice 1000 electro-optic standoff precision strike system for internal carriage on the F-35.
“We’re still in the developmental process to make sure the weapon fits the airplane and the airplane fits the weapon,” said Mike Howe, Lockheed’s F-35 director of business development for Israel.
Similarly, Lockheed Martin is engaged with Cyclone Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Elbit Systems, on external fuel tanks to augment range beyond the 18,500 pounds of fuel carried internally by the F-35. At a later phase, Israeli defense and industry sources say they hope to develop with Lockheed Martin — and with the consent of JSF partner nations — conformal fuel tanks to significantly extend the range while in stealth mode.
As for maintaining, repairing and overhauling airframes and engines of Israel’s planned F-35 force, Air Force officers expect a formal exemption from the Pentagon’s Joint Program Office (JPO) to perform work in country, rather than at predetermined Lockheed Martin-established logistics centers.
Brig. Gen. Tal Kalman, IAF chief of staff, told an audience in Tel Aviv that Israel’s “unique requirements” demand independence in maintaining the stealth fighters. Speaking on Sunday at a conference of Israel Defense and the Fisher Institute for Strategic Air and Space Studies, Kalman said the IAF is going for a “phased and coordinated process” to establish an F-35 logistics center at squadron headquarters at Nevatim Air Base in southern Israel.
“The program was built under a certain concept and the IAF wants to maximize its independence in maintaining these planes,” Kalman said.
In an earlier interview, an IAF program official said the service expected to have full access to Lockheed Martin’s Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS), a worldwide sustainment network that gives operators the ability to plan, maintain and support the aircraft through their projected 55-year lifespan.
But in wartime, when Israeli airports and seaports may be compromised due to missile strikes, the IAF wants an indigenous capability to keep its F-35s operational.
“The ingenious, automated ALIS system that Lockheed Martin has built will be very efficient and cost-effective, but the only downfall is that it was built for countries that don’t have missiles falling on them,” an IAF program officer told Defense News.
The issue, however, is not yet fully resolved.
Lockheed executives noted that heavy maintenance must be performed under strict security, with program-mandated oversight measures. “When you tear an airplane down, you expose its magic. So that type of work was intended to be performed in designated places,” a Lockheed executive told Defense News.
In an interview Monday, Jack Crisler, Lockheed Martin vice president for F-35 business development and strategic integration, said the JPO and partner nations “deliberately went through a selection process to identify maintenance repair and overhaul facilities in North America, in Europe and in Asia for the airframe and the engines with the expectation that that’s where you would go for depot-level capabilities.”
But that said, “We recognized that Israel is also going to have sovereign sustainability requirements. They want to be able to do as much maintenance of the aircraft and engines as they can. … So we and the Joint Program Office are working through that now to see how this will be done.”
Meanwhile, Lockheed executives here said IAF logisticians are training at an F-35 logistics center at the US Air Force's Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, and that the IAF is about to send its first cadre of fighter pilots to train at the Air Force’s Luke Air Force Base, Arizona.
In his Sunday conference address, Kalman, the IAF chief of staff, said unique IAF requirements and the high operational tempo projected for the stealth fighters could provide opportunities for Israel to influence the F-35 program writ large.
“I’m sure this aircraft will bring excellent capabilities and there are opportunities for the IAF to influence the project,” Kalman said.
“From my knowledge of the Middle East, I’m sure this aircraft will accrue very vast operational experience very quickly here. The lessons and the understandings from our operational activities will be adapted in the developmental process of the project,” he said.
Israel has signed on for 33 of the 75 aircraft approved by Washington; a first batch of 19 in 2010 and another 14 in February. A follow-on order for another 17 planes is expected once Israel and the US conclude a new 10-year aid package, sources here say.
Israel is on track to declare an initial operational capability (IOC) of its F-35 force at the end of 2017, Kalman said.
“We’re building a plan that within a year of those planes touching down here, we’ll build up to IOC. They’ll be the first outside the US to be operational. This is a huge privilege and responsibility. The year building up to this will be very intensive, and we are prepared.”
On the underlined bit, the article doesn't mention that ALIS and the supply chain management feature is optional i.e. it is intended to support and aid in logistics by providing the most cost-effecting, big data driven utilization and logistics requirements however, if any operator for whatever reason wishes to not use ALIS they can fall back and use the legacy process followed by the teens. That is what the USMC, USAF, Norway, UK, Australia and the USN are using right now.
On the MRO, the security clearances are a MUST for the program, and the basis on which it was given blanket export clearance. Only option the Israelis would have is to develop secure facilities in house if they don't want to use the global MRO chain. It will be expensive, but should be doable.