Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

DOD Is Stuck with a Flawed $1.5 Trillion Fighter Jet
The Fiscal Times ^ | 2/18/2014 | David Francis

Posted on 04/02/2014 9:21:58 AM PDT by Blood of Tyrants

On CBS’s “60 Minutes” on Sunday night, national security correspondent David Martin chronicled the seemingly never-ending list of problems with the Pentagon’s next-generation F-35 fight jet, from cost overruns of $160 billion to technical problems that have plagued the plane’s development.

When asked if the F-35 program, which is expected to cost some $1.5 trillion over the four-decade life of the program, is now under control, the Pentagon’s acquisition chief, Frank Kendall, said, "Yes, it is."

But that commitment came with a warning.

“Long gone is the time when we're going to pay for mistake after mistake after mistake," said Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, the officer who took control of the F-35 program last year. He added that the planes are necessary, however, to keep pace with the technology being developed by U.S. rivals Russia and China.

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


TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 60minutes; 737; a12; aerospace; cbs; china; christopherbogdan; davidfrancis; davidmartin; defensespending; demagogicparty; f25; f35; fiscaltimes; frankkendall; lockheed; memebuilding; partisanmediashill; partisanmediashills; russia; seebs; stealthfighter
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-82 next last
The F-35 has been in development for over a decade and they are STILL not correct.
1 posted on 04/02/2014 9:21:58 AM PDT by Blood of Tyrants
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Blood of Tyrants
a DOD Inspector General report found 719 problems with the plane and said “Lockheed's failure to make sure subcontractors' work was not up to snuff.”

REALLY?

Lockheed is supposed to make sure work is "not up to snuff" ? ? ?

2 posted on 04/02/2014 9:24:38 AM PDT by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Blood of Tyrants

The concept is that stealth trumps range, firepower and maneuverability. But stealth is affected by computing power and radar networking. Computing power is increasing so rapidly that this short range, under powered poorly armed plane will have a short useful lifespan when and if they do get it right.


3 posted on 04/02/2014 9:25:30 AM PDT by Gen.Blather
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Izzy Dunne

isnt this Brave New world Just Exhilarating??


4 posted on 04/02/2014 9:25:50 AM PDT by MeshugeMikey ( "Never, never, never give up". Winston Churchill)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Blood of Tyrants

The F-35(like the “A-12”) IS A First Class PIECE OF LOCKHEED MARTIN SHIT!


5 posted on 04/02/2014 9:27:37 AM PDT by US Navy Vet (Go Packers! Go Rockies! Go Boston Bruins! See, I'm "Diverse"!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Blood of Tyrants
Look at the history of the 737. A very good and reliable plane since 1968 yet still has nagging design questions about the rudder actuator.

Such is the nature of airplanes. The cost of leading edge technology is constant change and improvement either to make the system better or to deal with surprises the designers didn't foresee.

6 posted on 04/02/2014 9:29:49 AM PDT by pfflier
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Blood of Tyrants

Misleading headline...

They should say the same about Obamacare, but they won’t


7 posted on 04/02/2014 9:30:15 AM PDT by Mr. K (If you like your constitution, you can keep it...Period. PALIN/CRUZ 2016)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: US Navy Vet

I don’t think any company could produce a plane like the govt is asking for.

It has to do everything for everyone.

They had a great plane, the F22 and threw it away.


8 posted on 04/02/2014 9:31:37 AM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Blood of Tyrants
Yes. Try to design a single airplane that satisfies the wildly disparate needs of multiple end users, and you will end up with a design that doesn't satisfy anyone's needs.

You'll also end up with a platform that may have an unseen flaw that an enemy can can exploit to eliminate ALL branches' ability to fight and survive.

9 posted on 04/02/2014 9:31:50 AM PDT by null and void ( Everything evil in the world may not be Islamic but everything Islamic is evil.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: pfflier

The 737 does its main job exceedingly well.

This aircraft doesn’t do anything well.


10 posted on 04/02/2014 9:32:24 AM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Blood of Tyrants

Whatever happened to the F-22? ....................


11 posted on 04/02/2014 9:33:39 AM PDT by Red Badger (LIberal is an oxymoron......................)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: driftdiver

They need to revive this bird.


12 posted on 04/02/2014 9:34:20 AM PDT by US_MilitaryRules (Tastes like Heaven, Burns like Hell! Mmmmmm. What is it?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Blood of Tyrants; All

And I keep hearing that we shouldn’t be cutting the Defense Budget. This is what happens when you have more money than you need. You tolerate things like this.


13 posted on 04/02/2014 9:34:56 AM PDT by bigdaddy45
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Blood of Tyrants

I’ve long felt the flaws in the F-35 stem from the concept that the airframe could be adapted to be all things to all people. McNamara tried this with the F-111. He learned (eventually) that trying to make a plane that can do everything for everyone, especially in the hopes of saving costs usually ends up with a design that always costs far more than expected, and also usually results up in a compromise design that doesn’t excel in any particular area.

All in MHO, of course.


14 posted on 04/02/2014 9:36:07 AM PDT by DemforBush (The scourge of mariachis and polka bands everywhere.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: driftdiver

The F22 had its own share of issues - but overall, it was probably the better choice, and yes - truckloads of $$$ were flushed down the toilet when it was cancelled.

Follow the $$$$....


15 posted on 04/02/2014 9:36:56 AM PDT by TheBattman (Isn't the lesser evil... still evil?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Blood of Tyrants

Its easy to say we aren’t paying for mistakes but this is a CPIF contract so, yes we are paying for mistakes. Ordering fewer jets doesn’t really punish LM so much as it punishes tax payers. It just means the cost per plane goes up, so we pay the same or higher total contract price for fewer units. It really just makes it harder to justify the increasing bill and hastening the death spiral.


16 posted on 04/02/2014 9:39:05 AM PDT by CPONuke
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: driftdiver

I am not defending the F-35. I was just illustrating that an airframe is exceedingly fluid and full of surprises in its lifecycle.


17 posted on 04/02/2014 9:39:45 AM PDT by pfflier
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Blood of Tyrants

well, thank goodness we have the F-22 ...

oh wait...

thx 0bama


18 posted on 04/02/2014 9:41:48 AM PDT by sten (fighting tyranny never goes out of style)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Red Badger

Discarded after spending billions, with the features rolled into the F-35.


19 posted on 04/02/2014 9:44:15 AM PDT by Cyber Liberty (H.L. Mencken: "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: pfflier

I would agree that any complex system is going to have problems.

In my ignorant opinion the F35 has an excessive number of issues and exists solely on its political supporters.


20 posted on 04/02/2014 9:45:02 AM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: DemforBush

What’s interesting - why can different aircraft not be designed that use at least a base of same parts (weapons, propulsion, and other parts), while still having two distinct aircraft (or more)? What is the suppose logic behind a SINGLE aircraft that supposedly can be all things to all branches and purposes?


21 posted on 04/02/2014 9:46:22 AM PDT by TheBattman (Isn't the lesser evil... still evil?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Blood of Tyrants

more than a decade, the contest between boeing (boing!) and mcd-douglas was back in the late 90s. so they were working on the prototypes a few years before that late-90s contest date.


22 posted on 04/02/2014 9:47:33 AM PDT by Secret Agent Man (Gone Galt; Not averse to Going Bronson.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Secret Agent Man

sorry’ lockheed martin, got my hyphenated companies wrong... :-)


23 posted on 04/02/2014 9:48:32 AM PDT by Secret Agent Man (Gone Galt; Not averse to Going Bronson.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Blood of Tyrants

F 111 redux. Trying to make 1 platform all things to all services.
We never learn.


24 posted on 04/02/2014 9:51:58 AM PDT by Kozak ("It may be dangerous to be America's enemy, but to be America's friend is fatal" Henry Kissinger)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Blood of Tyrants
...the F-35 program, which is expected to cost some $1.5 trillion over the four-decade life of the program

Unfortunately, too many so-called "budget hawks" think the Pentagon is the one government entity off-limits for audits, criticism, reform, cuts, etc.

25 posted on 04/02/2014 9:53:08 AM PDT by gdani
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Blood of Tyrants

The F-35 is going to make the F-111 look brilliant by comparison.


26 posted on 04/02/2014 9:59:26 AM PDT by DesScorp
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: driftdiver
This is failure to study history. McNamara thought the Air Force, Marines, and Navy could use the same airplane. It was the FB-111. It eventually became a decent tactical bomber, but the Navy version was a failure.

Here we go again with an even more complex tri-service compromise. The Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps can use the same rifle. Not so with aircraft.

The mantra during F-15 design was "not one pound for air to ground". The result of this focus on air combat with no compromise is the only fighter plane in history never defeated in air combat. The F-22 could have been the next fighter to do this. So we dump it for a tri-service turd.

27 posted on 04/02/2014 9:59:52 AM PDT by SpeakerToAnimals (I hope to earn a name in battle)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: driftdiver
The F-111 had a very similar background in almost all aspects including mcnamara's "one size fits all" and concurrent design approach.

It ultimately became the most feared weapon for the soviets when it matured. It was the only weapon system singled out by them in early arms limitation negotiations.

Some eagles look like turkeys, some turkeys soar higher than eagles.

On a totally different note, Warthogs forever!! Now the A-10, that's an airplane!!

28 posted on 04/02/2014 10:00:01 AM PDT by pfflier
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Gen.Blather

You’re likely to wind up with something that could be shot down by a sharp pilot in an F-16... and when was that airframe designed?


29 posted on 04/02/2014 10:00:38 AM PDT by Oberon (John 12:5-6)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: DesScorp

It will make it look cheap, too.


30 posted on 04/02/2014 10:07:03 AM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Haven't you lost enough freedoms? Support an end to the WOD now.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: Oberon

The F-16 won the flyoff in the mid 1970’s. The Northrop YF-17 lost the competition. Later it became the FA-18.


31 posted on 04/02/2014 10:08:43 AM PDT by SpeakerToAnimals (I hope to earn a name in battle)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: driftdiver

“They had a great plane, the F22 and threw it away.”

They should cut the F-35 buy and reopen the F-22 assembly lines. The flyaway cost for the F-35 is now right at the figure for the F-22, for a much less capable airframe.

The original F-22 buy was supposed to be for 650 planes. We ended up with 187 (now less after attrition). We should go ahead and double that number at least. The F-22 is operational now, and all-around superior to the F-35 except for the number of bombs it can carry internally. After the F-22s have cleared the battlespace of threats, any legacy fighter or bomber would do fine dropping bombs from high altitude.


32 posted on 04/02/2014 10:08:57 AM PDT by PreciousLiberty
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Kozak

The F-111 actually turned out to be a pretty good aircraft...for the RAAF. The company I retired from made parts for the F-22. We lost that work when it was cancelled. We made parts for the Boeing JSF entry (the Monica). It lost the competition. We made a bunch of stuff for the Comanche stealth helicopter. Twenty years of R&D and billions of dollars and the whole project was scrapped. And then there was the V-22...

If you broke all this waste down to dollars per taxpayer, what do you suppose it would come to?


33 posted on 04/02/2014 10:09:58 AM PDT by beelzepug ((you can't fix a broken washing machine by washing more expensive clothes in it))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: US Navy Vet
The F-35(like the “A-12” and the F-22) IS A First Class PIECE OF LOCKHEED MARTIN SHIT!

There, fixed it.

34 posted on 04/02/2014 10:10:55 AM PDT by Yo-Yo (Is the /sarc tag really necessary?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Blood of Tyrants

We TAXPAYERS are stuck, not DoD. They got paid off and paid well as did the contractors. Everyone but us got something out of this F-35 scam.


35 posted on 04/02/2014 10:12:05 AM PDT by CodeToad (Arm Up! They Are!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Blood of Tyrants
The F-35 has been in development for over a decade and they are STILL not correct.

It's like deja vu all over again.

They've been made to follow the same political path that doomed the Dornier Do 335 with constantly changing requirements forcing redesign after redesign to meet each new requirement.

The Dornier Do 335 was an amazing airplane, possibly one of the finest piston aircraft ever built, but it, like the F-35, was doomed by the ever changing whims of clueless politicians spending other people's money.

36 posted on 04/02/2014 10:12:41 AM PDT by GBA (Here in the Matrix, life is but a dream.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: null and void
Yes. Try to design a single airplane that satisfies the wildly disparate needs of multiple end users, and you will end up with a design that doesn't satisfy anyone's needs.

You'll also end up with a platform that may have an unseen flaw that an enemy can can exploit to eliminate ALL branches' ability to fight and survive.

This is why Bill Clinton forced through the Joint Strike Fighter Program. picked the damn thing. The Globalists needed to slowly erode the military capability of an independent, sovereign United States.

37 posted on 04/02/2014 10:12:50 AM PDT by Count of Monte Fisto (The foundation of modern society is the denial of reality.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: Cyber Liberty
"Discarded after spending billions, with the features rolled into the F-35."

That's not correct, the F-22 is the "F-15" to the F-35's "F-16" role.

Here's a discussion from Feb. 4 this year regarding the current state of the AF from U.S. Air Force Air Combat Command Gen. Michael Hostage (ironic name really). The money quote:

But, the F-22 Raptor will have to support the F-35. And here comes another problem. When the Raptor was produced it was flying “with computers that were already so out of date you would not find them in a kid’s game console in somebody’s home gaming system.” Still, the U.S. Air Force was forced to use the stealth fighter plane as it was, because that was the way the spec was written. But now, the F-22 must be upgraded through a costly service life extension plan and modernisation program because, “If I do not keep that F-22 fleet viable, the F-35 fleet frankly will be irrelevant. The F-35 is not built as an air superiority platform. It needs the F-22,” says Hostage to Air Force Times.
Those 180+ F-22s will be awfully busy protecting the 1600+ planned F-35s...
38 posted on 04/02/2014 10:13:25 AM PDT by PreciousLiberty
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 19 | View Replies]

To: beelzepug

Actually it was a pretty good bomber for the USAF, and a major electronic warfare platform. But it was a total bust as a fighter, which it was originally designed to be, and the Navy never bought a single plane. The fact that they rescued it, doesn’t make it any less McNamaras Folly.


39 posted on 04/02/2014 10:14:58 AM PDT by Kozak ("It may be dangerous to be America's enemy, but to be America's friend is fatal" Henry Kissinger)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: TheBattman

“What’s interesting - “

I seem to recall that there were a lot of F-16 parts used in the F-117. Is that true?


40 posted on 04/02/2014 10:16:35 AM PDT by beelzepug ((you can't fix a broken washing machine by washing more expensive clothes in it))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: PreciousLiberty

If I’m not mistaken I think they destroyed the jigs and tooling for the F 22...


41 posted on 04/02/2014 10:16:53 AM PDT by Kozak ("It may be dangerous to be America's enemy, but to be America's friend is fatal" Henry Kissinger)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: US Navy Vet
Yep, I remember the Navy's canceled A-12, its documented in the book the Pentagon Wars.

GD went to the Navy and threatened to default on their fixed price contract unless the US renegotiated for more $$.

Dick Cheney told them to pound sand.

A decade later the Navy was still trying to get back the progress payments, which GD got by lying about progress.

42 posted on 04/02/2014 10:17:14 AM PDT by sickoflibs (Obama : 'You can keep your doctor if you want. I never tell a lie ')
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Blood of Tyrants

The ATF (for example) started with a Request For Information (RFI) in 1981 just 5 years after the F-15 was introduced to line units.

In 1983 study contracts were awarded.

In 1986 Request For Proposals went out.

In 1986 Lockheed and Northrup were selected to further develop and test their designs.

They made their maiden flights in 1990, and the YF-22 won in late 1991.

The first flight of the F-22 was in 1997, and entered operational service in 2005

Even to this day the F-22 has bugs in it... It’s the price of complexity and a limited production run.

With the F-35 it’s because of everyone wanting newer and better stuff added on to an airframe that’s compromised to suit too many roles.

A majority of the cost overruns and delays can be traced back to les aspins decision to force the Air Force, Navy, and Marines to use a common airframe.


43 posted on 04/02/2014 10:18:10 AM PDT by 2CAVTrooper (Politicians and diapers need to be changed for the same reason)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: SpeakerToAnimals

“The F-22 could have been the next fighter to do this. So we dump it for a tri-service turd.”

A lot of people have this impression from the trashing it’s received in the media. Instead, it’s an operational fighter being deployed where we really want to intimidate an adversary.

Reflect on the fact that the main reason the F-22 lines shut down is that no foreign sales were allowed - it’s considered too good (and too classified) for even our closest allies. Japan and Australia both wanted F-22s.


44 posted on 04/02/2014 10:18:57 AM PDT by PreciousLiberty
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: pfflier
Now the A-10, that's an airplane!!

Friend of my brother's is an AF/ANG vet with about 1500 hours in the "Hog".

When he was in flight training, of course everybody was a true-blue drinker of the blue-suit koolaid and wanted to fly F-15s and F-16s.

He was totally let down when assigned an A-10 slot, thought it was the next thing to driving a farm tractor.

Six months in, he'd decided that nothing was more fun than working down at treetop level and learning how to target with the Mk.I eyeball......he would not have traded his seat for anything else in the USAF.

45 posted on 04/02/2014 10:19:23 AM PDT by Eric Pode of Croydon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: Izzy Dunne

They were saying that Lockheed’s quality control proceedures relating to the sub contractors were not “up to snuff”


46 posted on 04/02/2014 10:20:09 AM PDT by 2CAVTrooper (Politicians and diapers need to be changed for the same reason)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: beelzepug

Lots of “off the shelf” stuff from other aircraft were used to get the F117 flying, not just F16. Later upgrades to keep it compatible with upgrades to other platforms in terms of C3I and LINK systems.

The F117 was in “mod” until it was deactivated, as is the case with just about any aircraft in service.


47 posted on 04/02/2014 10:21:38 AM PDT by SZonian (Throwing our allegiances to political parties in the long run gave away our liberty.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: sickoflibs

Iirc Pentagon Wars was about the Bradley. The A-12 book was “$3 Billion Misunderstanding”


48 posted on 04/02/2014 10:31:31 AM PDT by tanknetter
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 42 | View Replies]

To: Kozak

The F-111 program was not a total loss since they did quite well as a strike aircraft for the Air Force for many decades, and for the Navy the lessons learned from the F-111 as well as many of the subsystems and design innovations such as the AWG-9 radar, the AIM-54 Pheonix missles, and variable geometry wings were rolled into the F-14 which served the Navy well for 30 years.


49 posted on 04/02/2014 10:32:14 AM PDT by 2CAVTrooper (Politicians and diapers need to be changed for the same reason)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: Eric Pode of Croydon

It’s one of the few modern AF jets that has to be flown by stick an rudder. It is simply a plane for a skilled pilot, no triple redundant flight management system limiting the control inputs or optimizing the flight.


50 posted on 04/02/2014 10:35:09 AM PDT by pfflier
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 45 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-82 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson