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DOD Is Stuck with a Flawed expensive Fighter Jet

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."

DOD is so far down the F-35 rabbit hole both in terms of technology and cost -- $400 billion for 2,400 planes -- that it has no choice but to continue with the program. Still, it’s not too far gone to send a message to the plane’s manufacturer, Lockheed Martin.


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TwelveOhOne's picture

Let's hear it for the numerologists!

$400 billion divided by 2,400 is 166,666,666.6666667, which is just a whole lot of Numbers of the Beast.

(Although a few years back, I read an article saying that it was intended to be the number representing Julius Caesar, because it's not a good idea to insult the ruler directly. That article went on to say that the calculation was wrong; his name actually corresponds to 616.)

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SteveMT's picture

Lockheed Martin IS the government!

Where did some of that $2.3T of untrackable DOD money go? The F-35 program took a big chunk of it, possible backpay to Lockheed for their "intense four-year competition."
Title: F-35
Following an intense four-year competition, the U.S. Department of Defense on 26 October 2001, named the Lockheed Martin lead Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) team as the winner of the contract to develop the F-35 Lightning II. The F-35 team immediately entered the program’s 10-year System Development and Demonstration (SDD) phase.

The SDD period involves the development and testing of the entire aircraft system, including its manufacture. During SDD, the team will build a total of 22 test aircraft. Fourteen will undergo flight-testing, seven will be used for non-airborne test activities, and one will be used to evaluate the F-35’s radar signature.

Nine nations are partnering in the F-35’s SDD phase: The United States, United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Canada, Denmark, Norway and Australia.

Even worse, we are stuck with an expensive flawed government.


Free includes debt-free!

on unrelated news:

War in Afghanistan/Iraq is costing 1 billion/day.

The F-35 "Program" Is A Complete Success

It did exactly what it was designed to do. It made Lockheed Martin and its suppliers loads of money and likely helped plenty of incumbent politicians get reelected.

does it surprise anyone that when they design a jet to do

everything that it will be a flop? They tried this once before with the same result. Dumbasses will never learn. You just can't replace the A10 and F22 with one aircraft. They perform different functions that are incompatible in the same aircraft. A plane that needs to go slow and linger around a battlefield for ground support just can't be a superfast air to air fighter. And these dipshits also added on the Harrier vertical take-off into the design. Can you say STUPID? The trillion dollar plane that does it all but none of it great.

tasmlab's picture

Just give them the money

If they are going to give Lockheed Martin the money either way, I'd prefer that they never produce a working weapon. We'd still be fleeced but at least fewer people would die.

Currently consuming: Morehouse's "Better off free", FDR; Wii U; NEP Football

Did We Expect A Different Response From the Military?

I saw that "60 Minutes" segment. The general who oversees the program said, "Oh, we're not going to pay for Lockheed's mistake," as if he cared about the American taxpayer. It was all for show.

Then a Marine fighter pilot lied to the camera when asked about how this one aircraft will rule the skies despite all the technical problems and the 24 million lines of complicated computer code needed to make this plane fully operational.

So what happens when the pilot engaged in a live combat situation gets a "blue screen of death" displayed on his virtual vizor? Does he tell his adversary, "Hey, I got to press reset and re-boot this pig. Could you hold off and not shoot an air-to air missile my way? Thanks, buddy."

tasmlab's picture

Who is going to shoot a air-to-air missile?

I thought we just dropped bombs on brown people cowering in their tents?

Currently consuming: Morehouse's "Better off free", FDR; Wii U; NEP Football