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The Pentagonís Self-Inflicted Wound (Updated)
DOD Buzz ^ | April 2, 2012 | Phillip Ewing

Posted on 04/03/2012 2:03:38 AM PDT by lbryce

General Motors would never try to sell you a Chevrolet by telling you how much it really costs.

Depreciation; fuel; insurance; maintenance; interest on your car loan; parking; taxes — all of it can mean the sticker price on your new car doesn’t approach what you’ll actually spend over the years you own it.

But GM and your dealer don’t want you to factor in those longer-term costs; they want you to buy it and pat yourself on the back for getting such a good deal. AT&T doesn’t show you what you’ll pay for your new handset and, let’s say, two years of coverage — it wants to sell you a new phone today.

So when everyone from Secretary Panetta on down continues to tell Congress and the world that DoD needs the F-35 Lightning II yesterday, no matter what, why did the Pentagon roll out another eye-popping total cost estimate?

Let’s take last week’s F-35 program estimate at face value — though you’d better believe that skeptics and industry advocates argue that it’s flawed: DoD already has a cost-shock problem with the F-35; at nearly $400 billion just for acquisition, it could start to rival the cost for the entire Afghan war. Why make things even worse by unveiling an even more astronomical figure for the total “lifecycle cost” of about $1.5 trillion?

UPDATE: Defense Department spokeswoman Cheryl Irwin said Monday the methodology here has been in effect for awhile, and she explained it this way:

[I]nitially, DoD provided only average annual Operating and Support (O&S) costs. Later, in 2001, the Department expanded the O&S cost section of the SAR to include total O&S costs in base-year and then-year dollars (the latter includes all anticipated inflation).

(Excerpt) Read more at dodbuzz.com ...


TOPICS: Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: f35; pentagon
Still, the way it was ultimately done left congressional and industry sources scratching their heads. One veteran analyst said “bundling every conceivable direct and tangential cost together, from initial research to museum relocation expenses, is unprecedented.”

Lockheed Martin spokeswoman Laurie Quincy raised this point in her response to last week’s news about the F-35 costs: “Never in the history of U.S. aviation has the Pentagon tried to project the cost of an aircraft program over a 55-year period,” she said. “The F-35 is the first aircraft program to undergo this type of review.”

With everyone scratching their heads trying to understand why the f35 procurement process makes so little sense, perhaps seeing it through the political lens of the likes of Leon Panetta and his ilk puts things somewhat clearer in focus. (Panettta: F-35 to cost $1.45 trillion over next 50 years)

So when everyone from Secretary Panetta on down continues to tell Congress and the world that DoD needs the F-35 Lightning II yesterday, no matter what, why did the Pentagon roll out another eye-popping total cost estimate?

1 posted on 04/03/2012 2:03:44 AM PDT by lbryce
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To: lbryce

Because Leon Panetta has the capability to talk out of both sides of his mouth. A common trait in this administration.


2 posted on 04/03/2012 3:25:28 AM PDT by Portcall24
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To: lbryce
One would think that since THEY were attacked
they MIGHT have an interest in who took out their
building, country, and friends.

But THIS regime is for Obama's 57 States and Obama's Islam - First and only.


3 posted on 04/03/2012 3:28:52 AM PDT by Diogenesis ("Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. " Pres. Ronald Reagan)
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To: lbryce
I don't like the F-35and never did, as multi-role *fighters* pretty much suck. Our last one was the F-4 Phantom and despite revisionist history, that plane sucked(1) big time.

And it was because it sucked as a multi-role *fighter* the USAF issued bids for a REAL Fighter and came up with the the F-16 Fighting Falcon. That Fighter was developed with input from actual FIGHTER PILOTS (what a concept). And it was CHEAP, only $3 Million per plane. The F-16 is such a good, pure FIGHTER, it's still being used today by our allies. And even today by the USAF Thunderbirds.

The Navy also dumped the Phantom due to its short comings, coming up with the F-14 Tomcat and F-15 Eagle.

Anywho, as much as I'd like to blame Barry and Panetta for this FUBAR F-35 boondoggle of a program, I can't. It started a loooooong time ago. Even when all the bugs get worked out and production of all the variants begin the dam thing will be too expensive to use and loose. The F-35C will be $236.8 Million per plane -- that's INSANE. It makes the then outrageous cost of the F-117 Stealth Fighter Bomber of $42.6 Million each look like peanuts.

(1) Back in HS I'd read a Chi newspaper during my last Study Period (had nothing to do) and recall vividly all the complaints and flaws with it that were being reported during Vietnam. (Chi had 4 papers in the good old days)

4 posted on 04/03/2012 6:49:13 AM PDT by Condor51 (Yo Hoffa, so you want to 'take out conservatives'. Well okay Jr - I'm your Huckleberry)
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To: Condor51

F-15 was USAF, but I agree with some of what you are saying - a jack of all trades is usually a master of none.


5 posted on 04/03/2012 11:14:18 PM PDT by af_vet_rr
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To: af_vet_rr
*** F-15 was USAF ***

Yep you're right. I made a typo, F15 Eagle is USAF, the F18 Hornet is Navy
[I even had a ref page open on Fighters - Duh ;-)]

(It's no real excuse but I edit my comments a lot before posting and at times things get goofed up or 'lost' even after I preview)

6 posted on 04/04/2012 6:23:58 AM PDT by Condor51 (Yo Hoffa, so you want to 'take out conservatives'. Well okay Jr - I'm your Huckleberry)
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