The military’s vanishing future

The military’s vanishing future

After this week, everybody is tired of hearing about austerity this, budget cuts that, etc. — but just one more thing: Defense commentator Loren Thompson argued in a blog post Friday that as bad as things appear now for the military-industrial complex, they might look like a picnic after another decade. As the services have been trying  to deal with their current challenges, he writes, many of the advanced weapons systems once were slated to enter service after 2020 have been disappearing.

Wrote Thompson:

Over the past four years, about half of the biggest weapons programs that the Pentagon was planning to equip the joint force with after 2020 have been killed or substantially scaled back. Few observers have noticed because defense spending remains high and each program change is reported episodically rather than as part of a pattern. Nonetheless, at the rate weapons plans are being trimmed, the entire next generation of warfighting systems may soon be gone.


He goes on to describe the Navy’s shattered shipbuilding dreams, and surveys the desolate, wreckage-strewn landscape of Army modernization. As it stands, Thompson warns, the Army might still be using Reagan-era gear 20 years from now, because it just can’t get anything going: Its armed reconnaissance helo, new air defense weapons, and, of course, there’s Future Combat Systems — ’nuff said.

In last place, Thompson argues, will be the blue suited:

And then there is the Air Force, which may be in the worst shape of all. It has seen production of its top-of-the-line F-22 fighter prematurely terminated with barely half of the official warfighting requirement met, both potential successors to its aged radar planes killed, its next-generation search-and-rescue helicopter scaled back, and its planned constellation of secure communications satellites — which would have delivered global connectivity to the entire joint force — canceled after spending billions of dollars. Now critics are complaining about the replacement for its 50-year-old aerial refueling tankers, and assailing the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program that is the only hope the service has for preserving global air dominance.

Some of these programs were too expensive and others weren’t well-matched to the emerging threat environment, but most of them will be sorely missed in the coming decades as U.S. warfighters march off to war without their traditional edge in military technology. The fact that so many have been killed even before the big budget cuts arrive is an ominous trend, one that argues strongly for focusing future military cuts outside technology accounts. People may still be the most important ingredient in U.S. military power, but many of those people will be put at unnecessary risk in future conflicts if the Pentagon doesn’t stop hemorrhaging the investment programs needed to keep pace with the military technology of potential adversaries.

What do you think?

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So we’d have been better off in ten or twenty years to buy over priced, ill suited, under performing systems? I don’t see how the guy can say some of the programs were too expensive and/or poorly matched and then say we’ll miss them, kind of contradictory. Sounds like someone having an intellectual tantrum to me.

Good Morning Folks,

Mr. Thompson is making a good case but for what? Who do we need these expensive weapons to defend ourselves against? The Chinese who convert the roof of an office building and tries to convenience the world that its a carrier pilots training facility. Or maybe its the Russian Federation, naw even Jamestown gave up on the Russian Federation.

One interesting items the F-22 production is “…prematurely terminated.” Now some other items like the B-3 Bomber, the USArmy’s AFV. Cut the tank program by three-fourths and cancel the F-35.

The current enemies to the US are stateless terror groups. They have no air power, they have on a row boat Navy and must be dealt with not by large Army’s, Navy’s and Air Forces, but buy unmanned air vehicles that can hang around a target for days to wait for the right opportunity to strike and small Spec. Ops. teams that don’t need permission from any Government or a large support/supply base structure, that can go in, do their mission, and get out.

The 20th. Century is past, it over.

ALLONS,
Byron Skinner

It’s what we get for taking a procurement holiday thinking it was a “peace dividend”,

I can never tell if you’re simply trolling or actually believe the tripe you post.

Sounds like the defense train wreck predicted in the early eighties is going to come true.
That’s what we get for demanding the latest bell’s and whistles on everything.

>Mr. Thompson is making a good case but for what?

It s the case you hear repeatedly by the contractors now — hollow out the force by cutting numbers and capability so that we can get a bigger slice of the pie.

“The fact that so many have been killed even before the big budget cuts arrive is an ominous trend, one that argues strongly for focusing future military cuts outside technology accounts.”

The pie is shrinking and the contractors have already got monopoly positions, they are already delivering late, over-budget and under-performing, there isn’t anywhere else to go, but to start eating into everyone else’s budget to keep up their profits.

Remember this is a culture where as the contractor shills will tell you, the ONLY thing wrong with 300 Raptors sitting uselessly on the tarmac is that there aren’t 2000 Raptors sitting uselessly on the tarmac.

It’s time for more Americans to realize that their security interests and the interests of the contractors are not aligned in fact they are at odds, and that a defense based on serving the needs of the contractors will leave a poorer less secure America.

I’m sure there is a formula somewhere in the Pentagon that equates diminishing capability to more deaths on the battlefield. It is a big gamble, especially when we have to go to bat with Iran in the coming months. Fly, Fight, and Whine.

“…Traditional edge in military technology…” Thompson’s asking for it there.

Go ahead and add up all the wars and other conflicts where our qualitative advantage in technology was the deciding factor in our favor. The atomic bomb? — The Japanese were already beaten, it saved us from a meat grinder invasion. I can’t think of another up til the Gulf War, and we screwed that up in the end too. Now there’s a Tehran-aligned Shia gov’t in Baghdad… some victory eh?

The belief in high technology is dogma, everyone believes in it for no good reason. What wins a war is people! The technology serves those people, and the best technology is the stuff you can afford enough of, and that works when it’s needed. Seems to me what really putting our troops in unnecessary danger is the belief that our magic silver bullets make us omnipotent.

Some resins why they cancal some stuff is because they have found better stuff just like the f/b 22 they say the canceled it because the found a better on and think about it all USA has been through there not going to go down throught a bad military it will take more than that

I hear a lot of whining about the contractors. Some justified. If our command structure can’t protect us from the contractors, how is it supposed to protect us from our enemies?

Whether you believe we might have confrontations with China and Russia or not the military equipment they are making will be up for sale on the arms market. In ten years we could face Russian and or Chinese weapons new out of the factories that are more advanced than current U.S. arms by other countries (like Iran, Venezuela, North Korea) that will buy them. If we are using Reagan era weapons systems against Russian/Chinese weapons of 2021 how smart is that?

We need to prepare to take on China. I usually like to see your point of view Byron and sometimes agree, but I think you are making big a mistake on thinking China is not a threat.

China has a significantly larger population to supply a manned force of which they are prepared to take significant loses. I doubt the Chinese military leaders would blink at loses of 20 to 30%. They have many more they can send to any front. They control access to the news so the people would not know.

The Chinese do not have to invest in research because they have gotten very good at stealing it. Or getting us to sell it to them. All they have to do is incremental upgrades.

We are not prepared to respond to any provocation from China.

We also have the problem of not having leadership in the DoD programs where we can develop what we need and in time and affordable in cost.

I have no idea. Is he under the impression that new threats don’t emerge? What’s this about the Chinese? Did he just ignore the real carrier that they almost have operational?

More Oblatski propaganda. “Wahhh wahh wahh. The big bad contractors are stealing my welfare money.” If you had your way we would still be using P-51s and M4 Shermans because you loathe the idea of money being spent towards national defense.

Get with the times Oblatski. Much of our equipment is 25+ years old and in need of replacement in the coming years. Iraq and Afghanistan have put a lot of wear and tear on our inventory.

One problem with Army procurement in recent years has been a constant switch of ideas. A new SecDef comes in with his own brilliant plan and everything else gets canceled. The whole ASM plan was cut as the ideas that became FCS emerged in the ‘90s. While some of the goals of FCS had solid-thinking behind them, the concept was taken too far.

Looking back, the XM2001 Crusader in its final form would have been a fine replacement for the M109A6 Paladin. Yet it was attacked as an “outdated Cold War relic” unlike the holy grail NLOS-C which was originally expected to be jammed into the back of a C-130. While later iterations of FCS were a bit more sensible, by then it was too little, too late.

The RAH-66 Comanche was a fine example of the Army’s inability to decide what they want, and the management of the “cheap and off-the-shelf” ARH-70 was nothing short of shameful.

Could your contempt for the American people be any clearer

@Byron Skinner, exactly this idiotic view led to the current disaster. How are the enemy of the USA and the free World? Sure Al Kaida and the Taliban are really surly enemies but make no mistake they are the harmless of all enemies and the World is not only Afghanistan it is also Nord Korea, Iran, Russia and red China the last two mentioned adversary are enable to all Americans in less them 40 Minutes. Peace is guarantees by the conventional and nuclear deterrence and not why the notorious USA hater like Putin has become friends or why the biggest dictatorship in the World Red China has become a free country with peaceful intentions. Really how believes what diabolical despots like Hu Jintao or KGB Agents like Putin means what they said and in there “peaceful intentions” should go to a psychiatrist.

The reality is what Red China and Russia is not and will never be the friend of the USA and they will be also not be ever a responsible or neutral partner and this simple why both have interests how are a direct attack against elementary US interests. So Red China will be the successor of the United States as the World leading Nation and World Power and the USA can impossible tolerate such a world order how is dominated by dictatorships and “friends” how consider the USA as there natural enemy. Also the same Problem with Russia, the USA cannot have also any interests in the rebuilding of the UDSSR and this is exactly what Russia tries since Putin has been in power. The Russians and the Chinese have never stopped to be enemy so in nearly every international Question or conflict the Russian and the Chinese are on the enemy side this is a fact. But the U.S. has even lied itself what this are false, the lied itself what cavemen like the Taliban are they only adversary but the reality is what the Chinese and Russian have never stoop to prepare their Military for a Word War 3 against the USA and this both nuclear and conventional. Or you really believe what the Russians and China developed new Nuclear Weapons, 5 Generations fighters, ASBMs and many other big ticket weapons systems to fight against terrorists?

And the US weakness give them now options, for example it is now possible what the Chinese will believe around 2020 what they can beat the US navy and their Allies and conquer Taiwan and take the supremacy in the pacific or they can believe what they can control the Oil supply from the middle east. The USA is losing is conventional and deterrence and this make the World more and more dangerous. And this is the consequence of the hallucination of the War on terror the US Military has focused all is energy on weapons how useless in real wars how become more and more possibly. The Chinese and Russians and all other enemy’s has never invest in asymmetric abilities but they have and they invest in Weapons for a large symmetric war against the USA. So the USA risk a situation in what they are enable to prevent a new 9.11 but not enable to deter a Chinese or Russian nuclear first strike or more realistic a large conventional conflict with one or both of this so called “friends”.

Quite the opposite. It is WAY beyond time for trolls like you to STOP deliberately & intentionally misrepresenting the defense industry. Contrary to what you want everyone to believe, defense contractors make money from PRODUCING weapons systems. The money they make in SDD is minimal in comparison & they actually LOSE money fixing problems because they always bere a portion of the costs.

Thompson may be having an intellectual tantrum, however the fact remains that when all is said and done he is largely correct in his assumptions. The last time when we were able to get systems off the drawing board and into active service in less than a decade is long past, with R&D development times now approaching the generational mark, any system we scrap today, we can kiss any possible replacement goodbye for the foreseeable future. The blame can be placed at the feet of Congress, DoD & the contractors, but the simple fact remains we will have glaring deficiencies in the coming decades.

While many may scoff at a Chinese or resurgent Russian threat now, what about ten or twenty years into the future? Has our nation truly gotten to the point that we are willing to place all of our chips on the long-shot bet that a traditional conventional war with a well-equipped opponent is out of the question? Problems with our current “legacy force” equipment continues to increase service wide. We are playing a dangerous game here, ultimately it may be the cost we paid for playing at nation building, but I do not wish to see our proud services begin wasting away while others become ascendant.

That was painful to attempt to read, both from a logical standpoint, let’s all be afraid of Russians and Chinese, and from your butchering of the English language. Honestly, I hope I’m being overly critical because English isn’t your first language, because this essay read like it’s your second, or third.

Yes, Russia and China are two State actors that don’t always agree with us. Russia is still on a decline however, and doesn’t look to be a credible threat for the foreseeable future, even if we continue in recessionausterity for the next couple decades. What makes Russia a potential problem, Mr.Putin, also makes them weak, their charade of a democratic government and poorly run despotic economy cripple any chance Russia has to compete on a world or even serious regional level.

China is on the rise, yes, but a rise and a military eclipse are far different things. We outspend China by a disgusting amount and are still a generation, 20 years, ahead of them technologically. Do we need to fix our greedy dysfunctional military complex in the next 40 years before they could concievably catch up? Yes, but that is not happening in the near term.

I would just like to take this moment to point out that we militarily outspend the next 17 countries COMBINED. And that most of those 17 countries are our allies like France, the UK, Japan, South Korea etc… Any potential threatening state actor, Russia or China, will have to contend with not just US capabilities, but also those of our European and Asian allies which when put together make challenging the US in Europe or Asia absurd to comical.

Can we ban Byron Skinner already? It’s OK if someone has a different opinion, even a stupid one, but this guy is as biased and misinformed as they get. I got fed up with him when he kept insisting that B-2 stealth bombers flying over Libya dropped 45 JDAMs onto empty desert, because everyone in the USAF is apparently a moron…even after pictures of the blasted remnants of a Libyan airfield were shown to him.

The guy is nuts, and it’s obvious that he has an axe to grind against the Air Force. But it’s the occasional outright slander and lies that should get him banned from posting anymore.

If he’s wrong, correct him. If he says something stupid, point it out and enlighten the rest of us. But asking for him to be banned? Stop being such a pussy, it’s called discourse…you don’t have to agree with him or even read him.

I draw the line at outright lies. Were you here when, a couple months ago, Byron was spreading fabricated nonsense about B-2 bombers dropping no less than 45 JDAMs on empty desert? A total lie that he didn’t just chalk up to a technical glitch, but claimed was the result of people throughout the Air Force being a poorly trained idiots, from the guys on the ground to the pilots? When others challenged him to provide proof, he refused but insisted that the newspapers said so. When asked which newspapers he could name, he went right back to insisting that he was right.

When someone has a proven history of making serious lies, you ban him. Allowing him to continue his slander and craziness is not “discourse,” it’s enabling.

And I see he’s lying and exaggerating AGAIN. Claiming that the Chinese carrier pilot training facility is just a mock up on an office building meant to fool people, when there are PICTURES of the actual training facility, and the ex-Varyag carrier is close to setting sail.

Total BS. Byron continues to embarrass not only himself, but DOD Buzz.

I only have contempt for faux Americans like yourself.

Did your grandpa work for Radio Berlin?

Great. Let’s keep paying defense contractors more to screw us, more to drag out development, jack up prices, and never build a weapon. That’s working so damn well, why would we ever want to change? Whatever we do, we certainly don’t want to go back to the procurement system that won the Cold War, because we enjoy losing so damn much.

Yeah, Oblat, after all if we can’t trust the defense contractors to have our own best interests in mind always, who can we trust? They would never do anything motivated by profit. They are purely motivated by an altruistic believe in capitalism… Wow, I can’t even type that with a straight face. Fools and their money are soon parted. Don’t be a fool.

I see everybody blaming defense contractors for the delays in getting weapons on line but if memory serves it’s really Congress’s and the military’s fault do to not wanting to pay for them and changing requirements.

I think what Byron Skinner is not the only hear in Dodbuzz how lies to defend their left ideology. But I think also what this are a good sign what this people must lie to underpin there assertions because that this mean what they are wrong with their position. But this people will also never change their world view but to ban them is undemocratic and make no sense, why is change nothing.

Yea it’s congress’s fault for not writing the contractors a blank cheque and accepting whatever rubbish they produce.

This is the attitude that makes contractors un-employable in the rest of the economy. The rule of thumb we use after painful experience is that they are damaged goods after 3 years working for a contractor. Once they are taught to embrace failure as normal and see that the main requirement is to blame the customer and other such lame excuses.

What a joke. When the contractor fails to deliver what was promised Bill claims it is “a change in requirements”.

Why is it a lame excuse to put the blame on the customer and Congress?
While the contractors are not perfect they try to do what the customer asks.

In the case of Lockheed, massive cost overruns on F22, and on a much larger scale, JSF, are harming our military capability. A good case can be made for cancelling JSF and awarding new fighter contracts to Boeing or Northrup. No program should be too big to fail. Our military deserves much more than what they have been getting from certain contractors. The fire the engineers but hire more MBAs making powerpoint presentations has caught up with some of our largest contractors.

Good Morning Folks,

I believe everything i say. That is all.

Allons,

BS =bullsh!t

please can we next time not spend 52 billion borrowed dollars before we cancel a failing program. But maybe the F-35 program is not failing. Maybe the IPP is ok and the airplane does not overheat. Maybe there is a way to carry 6 missiles internally and maybe the heads-up-display finally works. We will know by fall. The USAF may have to swallow its pride and may have to accept new more powerful stealthier F-18s SHs instead of neverland F-35s and the Navy may be forced to cancel the LCS and buy Eurofrigates and the Army may put diesel hybrids in their M-1 tanks. If we think out of the box with an Israeli attitude to make most our of limited resources we may be ok.

in every other industry that question means the company is going out of business,that’s how capitalism works. only defense contractors think it’s a reasonable position to blame the customer

more likely
to see pigs flying to the moon

more than can be said for the contractor shills who are proud to drink contractor koolaid, and even go as far as to boast about it.

unfortunately, you may be right. It may not be the lack of dollars which is threatening our security, but the inert mental attitude of our leaders.

Ok, so if we look at this reasonably (what a concept) the procurement dude does get some additional job security by dragging out a program. Senators and representatives bring more federal money into their districts by jacking up costs and dragging out programs. Contractors get a direct monetary benefit of increasing their net profit by jacking up costs and dragging out programs. But clearly the problem is all congressmen and military officers who work in procurement? Oh yeah, that seems reasonable to me, how about you?

Reasonably one might look at a procurement system that greases the palms of everyone but the US taxpayer and think, “hey, I’d better do something about this myself, because clearly waiting around for a congressman, procurement officer, or defense contractors to look out for my interests is not going to happen.” But then we have the fools who never seem to tire of getting used as cash pinatas. Defense contractors love these guys, ’cause they can beat them like a rented mule and they just keep asking for more. How about the rest of y’all? Are you tired of bleeding money every time someone gives you a whack?

Well in context of the ARH Will is correct. When you say you want “off the shelf” then pack it full of the latest goodies… its no longer “off the shelf.” It becomes a shelf frame with the need for upgraded avionics, transmission, engine.. etc.. I’m not defending all contractors, but to say they just failed to deliver is just plain wrong. Our leadership has to realize to buy off the shelf items to keep to the bare minimum for warfighter support.

Head mounted display, not head up display. They’d have a lot harder time milking you for a head up display.

good point. Do you know where things stand with 6 internal missiles for the F-35?

In a well run program, the end users get the capablity that they need, industry makes a profit, and the program office folk get kudos from everybody concerned. AND when the program is over, the next programs down the pipe get the advantage of the technologies and manufacturing capabilities developed, the technical and managerial lessons learned, and the time to come on line effectively. In a badly run program, the program office folk get embarassed, the vendor ends up not making a good profit (or loosing money!), the next program out has an even greater technical gap to “cover” and the end users get zip!

Worst case, the PEO folk and the vendor management team from the badly run program all still get promoted and they get to repeat the failures from one notch further up the food chain since now they all have the Pavlovian response down in terms of getting promoted! LOL!

I guess we have to wear the shoe that fits! Accountability, accountability, where fore art thou.….accountability!

“In a badly run program, … the vendor ends up not making a good profit (or loosing money!)” Ba ha ha, like that ever happens. It’s pretty damn hard to lose money when you get a 10% profit on top of everything you spend. It’s like losing money on the $100 bill printing press the government just gave you.

Sorry, I don’t. The F-35 has a lot more internal volume due to the radar return efficiency of using a bifurcated inlet and only having one engine to feed. So it, unlike the Raptor, is something more than a huge flying set of intake ducts, but then there’s always the fuel volume vs. weapons volume trade to make. Since their last big program problem was range, it stands to reason they’d be looking at the weapons bays as the easiest place to add fuel.

If you were a defense contractor, would you rather make 10% profit off of the development program for the F-4 aircraft and then see the plug pulled (like it was for the A-12 for example!), or 10% profit on the sale and product support (for MANY years!) for 5000 F-4s that rolled out of StL? Contractors have no interest in developing bad systems and a great deal of interest in producing a product that everybody wants to buy and continues to happily use for many, many years.

In a capitalistic economy, the corporate objective is to make money, and hopefully from the corporate perspective, make a LOT of money. $100M profit on a $1B development program is NOT pocket change, but 10% of $10M (or whatever the initial cost of an F-4 might have been) times 5000 plus the yearly product support over decades of use (still continuing by the way!) is a LOT more!

Given that one approach ends up embarrasing your potential future client, which would be called a “Good Profit” to you? This is not higher math. Even contractor PMs and board directors understand it without using their fingers and toes! LOL!

Hundreds of billions are being spent keeping a redundant workforce in their offices while our kids are told to get off the MRAPS and walk down dirt roads where the road side bombs are and now we have over 3,000 dead and 19,000 wounded. Every dime spent by DOD should be focused on how to defeat road side bombs and tracking down the sources and trail of the components that make them. Investigations for war crimes should be done on the miltary brasss who order kids off the vehicles to walk the bomb laded roads. Am I and a few of the wise folks who tell the truth being heard on this or will the current trillion dollar a year bureacy be kept in place with false statements like “doomsday” if they get spending increases slowed down. Who will rise to expose thsi fiasco of how we run things in DOD.?

No you don’t, you really, really don’t.

Now it appears that Army leadership is considering putting all of the current combat vehicle modernization on hold because they think that it will drain money away from Ground Combat Vehicle (GCV) development. GCV is being designed to replace the fighting vehicle part of the Bradley fleet at a published target price above $10M each. Not sure that this is the biggest “need” that the Army has considering they still have M113’s in units that Soldier’s and Commander’s will not risk using in combat situations. Maybe they should adjust their priorities and find out if they can get a better deal using current vehicles?

I am tired of taking whacks from a know nothing hack like you.

It does happen. Many well known aeronautical names are gone and many more nondescript subcontractors went with them. The work forces for all those companies got scattered, including the executives. Money wasn’t printed for them. Again, you don’t know what you are talking about.

Our English challenged poster is quite right.…the Russians and Chinese were and never are our friends. Fact is, they lay, and wait until the perfect moment comes along, and then they strike. What we are now seeing is not the first time in world history that a country has been brought to its knees by other countries engaging i what is called economic warfare. And with considerable debt being held by the Chinese, Russians, and other potential enemies we have no way to counter such a massive strike against our country. Is this an out right lie? No, this is a sad reality.…and watch the coming months carefully as the United States defense establishment succumbs to pressure from the radical right in congress to slash and leave us with no counter to coming Chinese and Russian global influence. Heck, there is even talk of cutting not one but 2 carrier battle groups from the Navy, canceling or cutting the F35 and KC46 tanker deals, retiring vast amounts of “aging” aircraft like the B1, and cutting fighter wings. And the Army and Marines, are facing the problems of losing manpower while saving modernization programs…a major recipe for disaster.

If these pending massive cuts in defense happen, as to the delight of Byron Skinner, Oblat and the other foolish and idiotic would love to see happen, what capabilities would be lost? Would our capability to defend our interests in the middle east be hampered if Iran decided to close the straights of Hormuz? Would we be able to defend our interests off the coast of the horn of Africa as pirates and civil war and famine ravage the region? Would we be able to prevent Venezuela from becoming a new powerhouse in South America threatening our interests down there? And lets not forget the Pacific area…China and its threatening of Taiwanese sovereignty, disruptions in trade routes and control of the south China sea, and so on.

MRAPS, golden goose eggs and silver lined clouds aside.…our country and its ability to defend us from enemies far and near is about to become unable to blow its nose because its supply of tissue got cut…if you catch my snotty meaning.

Matt1951…I would be inclined to agree with you, except one small detail.…A good case for canceling the F35 is already in the works. And the problem is, there will be no alternative…and we will be stuck with a fleet of un-flyable and decrepit paper weights to defend our skies.

First of all, the government contractors made more than 10% profit back in the days when they actually risked their own money on developing new aircraft. They had to or failure to capture a single contract would put them out of business. The F-4 was developed in those days and thus did not take 30 years to develop like the F-22 did or F-35 will. Contractors have an interest in making as much money as possible, and if you can make a guaranteed 10% for 30 years or make a possible 40% for maybe a year or rarely a couple of decades, which would you pick? Now imagine you have an opportunity to make 10% of billions of dollars either designing an airplane in an environment where you can put a happy spin on all the news or make that same percentage on a similar amount of money on building a real airplane where parts don’t always fit and holes aren’t always drilled straight and perfectly good tools become FOD in an instant. Which would you choose? It is pretty damn obvious which choice the contractors have made. They like to do decades of development work and provide no weapons at all. And people like you make it all possible. You should be so proud!

The blame falls directly on the leadership of the various DoD programs. Since we got rid of the capability to do in house technical oversight of the development of complex program, the product quality has significantly diminished. There are no longer skilled engineers and scientist on these complex programs. They have been replaced by history and art degrees. We now longer have people in house who can tell the difference between a Hugo and a corvette. The tax payers pay for a Corvette but they get a Hugo.
It is understandable when a contractor brings in low level skills if that is what will keep the program leaders happy. That will maximize profits to the contractor. It is all good business sense but bad for the defense of our nation. The onus is on the leaders at the DoD to correct this. So it will probably never happen or at least happen in time to prevent significant budget cuts.
To correct this problem the DoD needs to clean house and that takes leadership.

Try harder Oblat. The history of these programs isn’t that hard to find. LHX went through many iterations and we all know about FCS.

Better to get started on a replacement now, than five years from now.

As one of those few poor unappreciated engineers, may I say “BRAVO!”. But I might add that you may be unnecessarily disparaging honest history and art degee’d folk.

I have actually been a part of more than one “internal” technical analyseis that was overruled by “management” by hiring a compliant technical consultant, thoroughly confident in his ability to arrive at the “expected” answer.… no matter what! Of course, when you hold the purse-stings and the contractor is hungry, just about any answer can be obtained!

If our jobs as government engineers is to sit, brain dead, and watch “incentivized” contractors arrive at preordained answers, is there any wonder that so many have flown the coop?

Should we list the high priced government studies, by folks with impecable credentials, and flexible professional ethics, all of which arrived at the “proper” answer, only to be proven incorrect in the cold steely stare of 20–20 hindsight? Even worse, we could list those technical studies that came in with an honest answer but were pushed aside for program management efficiency! LOL!

Quotes like “meatgrinder” operation anger me. As a serviceman, killing more of the enemy so that my brothers in arms can avoid a “meatgrinder” operation is fine by me. I think our country is more concerned about our enemies loss of life than ours.

Our vaunted military leaders can defend us from everything EXCEPT the politicians and evil contractors? Grow a set and get over yourself. Any sucker that walks into a store NOT KNOWING what they need, will always pay more. Want something odd or additional? Get out your wallet. Maybe we’ll ask the contractors to supply the desired high tech for free?! Yippee!

This is how the world works, please don’t ask me to suspend reality.

I am simple minded.

2 wars in 3rd world countries for over a decade without victory.

These are not conventional wars as some will argue. The reality is these are military action with no clear vision of a military victory or one that cannot be defined.

In terms of the programs cancelled, those were oversold in terms of performance and ignored known risks, they are failures of management and the zeal of contractors, lobbyists and politicians who cared more about the promise of jobs instead of military capability.

Yeah, I’m sure Lockheed wanted to have the F-22 canceled at 187 aircraft instead of twice as many, along with decades of maintenance and upgrade contracts. I’m sure Northrup screwed the pooch the same way on the B-1, and Lockheed is doing it again on the F-35. Can you imagine how much potential profits Lockheed would lose to foreign customers ALONE if the F-35 were canceled? Not only that, but when you fail in your ability to deliver a product that the gov’t paid for, you lose money in future opportunities lost as a result of your failure to deliver. Do you think Boeing is going to get a big satellite contract any time soon? I doubt it. No, Dfens, you are wrong and Thinking_ExUSAF is completely right. Your emotions as a result of your hatred for defense contractors has clearly made you irrational and incapable of performing basic math.

excuse me, B-2, not B-1

Not sure you understood what I said, there. Our use of the A-bombs *saved* our forces from tens of thousands of casualties, even though they killed hundreds of thousands of Japanese. Apart from the atomic bomb, we didn’t hold any real technological advantages. Where do we disagree?

I don’t know if Skinner has ever actually served, but here’s an idea if he has. Let’s call him back to active duty, place him on a mountain top in Afghanistan without any communication, and forget about him——forever. Maybe only then would we not be suscetible to his drivel!

Some programs are vanishing because there is no future in or for it. Nothing is forever, all things pass away, but if a foundation is build solid new things can be built upon it. A seed must die before a plant can grow.

Remember Pearl Harbor.….… Our Military is going back to 1940 size. All the bells and whistles are for naught if there is no one there to ring and blow them. How many times must history repeat itself before we learn something. How many platforms have to be terminated before we learn to share with our fellow services. Remember Pearl Harbor„„, America has changed from a land of doers to a land of “let some one else do it”. The future is interesting and a good legacy for our children and grand-kids. Rember Pearl Harbor and the World Trade Center! We’ve done well.…..

It is always easy to blame the innocent ones. http://​www​.slovak​-translator​.com/​s​l​o​v​a​k​-​t​r​a​n​s​l​ati

The military is facing the same future it faced when the war in Vietnam came to a close. The budget cuts will cause many experience personnel to leave the military. Those remaining are seeing a reduction of benefits. It is the begining of a hollow Army. To balance the force, you don’t down size both the active & the reseveforces together. If we down size the active forces, we then need to increase the National Guard for a Army in reserve. All reserve troop units should be in the National Guard and the Army Reseves needs to be just personnel to back fill stateside positions when the active Army personnel are deployed for war.

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