Skip to comments.Lockheed Martin girds for battle (for F-35)
Posted on 11/30/2011 5:03:09 AM PST by sukhoi-30mki
Lockheed Martin girds for battle
After the debt supercommittee's failure, defense contractors are preparing for turbulent times. Can Lockheed save the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter?
Perilous times await Lockheed Martin, the world's largest military contractor. Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are winding down. Because the congressional supercommittee failed to agree on a plan to curb the federal deficit, the Pentagon faces spending reductions that could add up to about $1 trillion over the next decade. One likely target: Lockheed's controversial F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the most expensive weapons program in history.
Robert J. "Bob" Stevens, Lockheed's CEO, can't be happy about any of this, but the 59-year-old ex-Marine is not the complaining type. A tall, trim, bespectacled man of sober mien who chooses his words carefully, Stevens will say only that important decisions about national security should not be "a function of automatic budget triggers." Further spending reductions "would have a significant impact" on military readiness, the company says. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has sounded an alarm of his own, warning "the impacts of these cuts would be devastating." If they are allowed to stand, he says, the military will be "forced to terminate most large procurement programs," including the F-35.
Thus is the stage set for yet another Washington budget battle. A great deal is at stake of Lockheed. The company will fight to protect its weaponry, particularly the F-35, which accounts for 13% of its revenue this year and is expected to grow in importance to the firm. "It's going to be a very challenging time for Lockheed," says William Hartung, an industry analyst and the author of Prophets of War: Lockheed Martin and the Making of the Military-Industrial
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Well, if not the F-35 then what? If they think that they can start from scratch and build another fighter more cheaply, they’re delusional. The smart thing to do would be to re-open the F-22 lines, but I don’t think they’ll opt for that either.
Unfotunately, the cost of manned fighers probably makes their future pretty dim in the West. Hey, maybe we can import our fighers from China? [/s]
Could someone please explain to me why this plane is so far behind and what is causing the cost overuns? Are the problems due to the military changes or manufacturing issues?
Most likely a combination of the two.
At every line item in the list of changes you would be right to ask, “but wouldn’t any smart plane designer have included that in the first place?’’
But that is NOT how it works in Defense Acquisition.
If “it” isn’t in the System Requirements Spec, you don’t include it in the design....because the gov’t won’t pay for it!
“Rust proof structure”....added in the last year!
We should close all forward bases in Europe and Asia before we touch these programs. We need to retain a dominant military, we don’t need to protect other first world allies from third world enemies.
Also, we’re not running an empire are we? Close the foreign bases.
I think the Defense Industry is probably very similar to the Health Care Industry.
Remember this downgrade from the F22 was supposed to be to save money. It isn’t saving money. Instead we just get a less capable aircraft.
Anytime our rulers in Washington think they need a little extra all they have to do is threaten to kill something that one party or the other deems necessary. Then like manna from heaven, the money starts to flow.
1. Its market
2. F-35 is just a product
3. F-35 is without competitors
4. Producers want as much as money as they can get.
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The problem with the option of re-opening the F-22 lines is that we have tons of export customers lined up for the F-35 (allies galore), and we’re not willing to export the F-22. If we kill the F-35 a lot of countries are going to be riled.
Back in the 1980s, Norm Augustine (former CEO of Lockheed Martin) predicted that by 2050, the US Military would be down to one jet fighter, shared by all the services. Don’t think he’s that far off.
If we kill the F-35 a lot of countries are going to be riled.
I think you have uncovered Obama's plan.
It doesn’t even look like a good airplane. Most of us know by now that I think this is a poor excuse for an aircraft.