The $114 million mistake
Due to the program involving testing the aircraft while building them, twelve aircraft had already been built before a problem was found. In Mr. DellaVedova's words the modifications are to "provide funding for the contractor to correct deficiencies in LRIP (Low Rate Initial Production) II hardware and software." The deficiencies were not disclosed, but what we do know is that those deficiencies are costing the Department of Defense over $100 million to fix it. The United Kingdom is even footing some of the bill, ponying up $10 million to fix these issues. Specifically, the contracts total approximately $114.2 million.
That's a lot of money to spend just because planes were built before we even knew they worked.
The planes that were already produced (and thus are being fixed) are 6 short-take off and vertical-landing (STOVL) and 6 conventional take off and landing (CTOL) variants.
Of course, this could have been easily prevented if everyone wasn't in a such a rush to get the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter into the air. Rather than building these incredibly expensive machines before they were fully tested they could have simply waited. Now there is a wait that, to quote the contracts, "will span multiple years." Couldn't wait to get them out there, and now we have to wait even longer because of problems that are in the software and hardware.
The software or the hardware, otherwise known as absolutely everything in the aircraft. Be happy to know your tax dollars are going towards a mistake that was caused by rushing a product instead of thoroughly testing it before production, and that the mistake is involved in the all-encompassing hardware and software.
Oh well, maybe this mistake will mean the DoD and Lockheed Martin have learned a $114.2 million lesson that everyone who's had to pay for printing at college already learned- "Make sure there are no errors before you print it out." Except this time instead of wasting a dollar to reprint a report, the government is wasting $114.2 million to retrofit 12 aircraft.