Skip to comments.US withholds funds from Lockheed over F-35 problems
Posted on 02/01/2010 4:43:22 PM PST by ErnstStavroBlofeld
The Pentagon will withhold 614 million dollars in fees from Lockheed Martin over cost overruns and delays in the F-35 fighter jet program, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said on Monday.
"The progress and performance of the F-35 over the past two years has not been what it should" be, said Gates, saying "a number of key goals and benchmarks were not met."
Gates said he took the decision because "the taxpayer should not have to bear the entire burden of getting the JSF (Joint Strike Fighter) program back on track."
The move was taken with the agreement of the lead contractor, Lockheed Martin, he told a news conference to present the Pentagon's defense budget.
Gates said the Defense Department also bore blame for the "troubling performance record" of the Joint Strike Fighter, saying he would install new leadership of the Pentagon office overseeing the program.
The F-35 is the most expensive weapons program in the Pentagon's vast 708 billion dollar budget, and contractors have repeatedly fallen behind on production and cost schedules.
Gates, who has not hesitated to sack a number of top officers and officials during his tenure as defense secretary since 2006, said the move was part of his effort to set a tone that "when things go wrong, people will be held accountable."
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
Hold this Administration accountable for our national debt!!!
The list, ping
Good thing we stopped making the F-22 because now we can focus all of our time and attention on the F-35 since it is only years/billions behind schedule.
A few months ago Gates pointed to the F-35 and said we could cancel the F-22. What does he now know about the F-35 that he did not know then? Of course Russia just announce that they would start cranking out their fifth generation stealth fighter. Does Gates even understand what department he is is suppose to lead? Idiot!
Which F35 are we talking about? There are essentially 3 different aircraft in the same program. I’ve heard that the STOVL model (-B) is overweight.
By reading the aricle, it looks like the entire program(all models)
I did read the article. No specifics, other than they (still) want to cancel the alternate engine — which I consider to be a separate issue since it doesn’t really come into play with the first Block aircraft.
The Russians aren't close to cranking out anything. That test flight was a publicity stunt to show they had wings and an airframe. A combat-capable radar-evading craft with the effectiveness of an F-22 and the requisite logistics tail supporting it isn't going to happen anytime soon.
A new fighter jet is experiencing cost overruns? Who could have seen that coming? They need to build it and sell it and then bring the F22 back on line after everyone has already blown their defense budgets on the F35.
Not counting the F-22, what is the average age of our fighter fleet, 20 something years old? We have barely a handful of F-22s, far less than what the Air Force believes is required now and will be required well into the future. We have a teeny, tiny number of B-2s and B-1s. And the B-52? Why yes, it is your grandfather's B-52.
Should we ever have to fight someone with an actual air force and missile defenses and the fight lasts more than a weekend, we are done. The Russians, Indians and Chinese are building fighters and fighter/bombers. The Russians (with help from the Indians) just flew their 5th generation answer to our F-22, the T-50, and it will certainly numerically surpass our F-22s and possibly match and exceed it's performance as well. It was hardly an act of genius to stop building the F-22, but maybe the Russians will sell us some of their T-50 in addition to carrying us into space.
Should we lose a few of our satellites in a fight, how smart will our smart bombs be? How well will our drones/UAVs perform? How will we replace our handful of highly trained pilots and our handful of state of the art fighters and bombers lost in battle?
The bottom line is we are willingly surrendering our air superiority. When the next war breaks out, perhaps we should ask the French how to surrender on the battlefield.
In my experience that means that the people that actually cause the problem are in positions above reproach.
So is the carrier version.