F-35 program chief rips defense firms

F-35 program chief rips defense firms

The head of the Joint Strike Fighter program has once again publicly ripped the defense companies chosen to build the fifth generation fighter that happens to be the most expensive military weapons program in U.S. history.

Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, the F-35 program chief, scolded Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney at the Australian International Airshow for not properly partnering with the U.S. military and failing to “invest in cost reductions” that would prove to him that the companies hope to build the F-35 for the next 40 years.

“What I see Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney doing today is behaving as if they are getting ready to sell me the very last F-35 and the very last engine and are trying to squeeze every nickel out of that last F-35 and that last engine,” Bogdan said Tuesday according to a Reuters report.

Bogdan’s comments come just days after the U.S. military grounded their three versions of the F-35. Military leaders chose to ground the fleet on Feb. 22 after a crack was discovered in the one of the engine’s turbine blades. A Pentagon official said Tuesday the military has yet to set a timeline for when the F-35 will resume flying.

Lockheed Martin is the primary defense contractor on the F-35 program. Pratt & Whitney is the sole supplier of engines for the F-35 following a controversial decision by the military to only have one defense company build the F-35’s engine.

Bogdan, who took over the program in 2012, said he’s concerned about the manner in which the two defense firms have treated the program.

“I want them both to start behaving like they want to be around for 40 years,” Bogdan said. “I want them to take on some of the risk of this program, I want them to invest in cost reductions, I want them to do the things that will build a better relationship. I’m not getting all that love yet.

This is not the first time Bogdan has publicly slammed Lockheed Martin over it’s handling of the F-35 program. Days before he took over the program, Bogdan called the relationship between Lockheed Martin and the U.S. military on the F-35 “the worst I’ve ever seen.”

“I haven’t made any determination if there’s anybody wrong yet, but what I can tell you is my position is we have to fundamentally change the way we do day to day business with Lockheed Martin. And if there’s anybody not on the bus for that ride, we have to have a conversation,” Bogdan said last September 2012 at the Air Force Association’s annual conference.

Bogdan was chosen to lead the F-35 program to get it back on track. He is noted for salvaging the Air Force’s tanker program and landing the fixed-price contract for the program.

When asked in Australia on Tuesday if Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney had made progress since his AFA comments, he noted a small amount of improvement.

“Are they getting better? A little bit.” Bogdan told reporters. “Are they getting better at a rate I want to see them getting better? No, not yet.”

Bogdan also questioned a Reuters report that the F-35 problem was minor and the fifth generation fighters would return to the air next week. Reuters cited two Pratt & Whitney sources for the article who said they were 99 percent sure the engine problem was minor. Pratty & Whitney engineers are working on the F-35 with the cracked turbine blade in a Connecticut hanger.

“Until all those tests are done and I see the results, I don’t know what’s going,” Bogdan said. “My gut would tell me it’s on the spectrum on the minor side — 99 percent is bold, flying next week is bold.”

The U.S. military plans to buy 2,443 F-35s in the $396 billion program. Bogdan was in Australia to help convince the Australians to stay in the F-35 program and buy the 100 F-35s they had promised at the onset of the program.

Losing Australia would lead to additional price hikes in a program that has seen the price estimates sky rockets and the deadlines fall further behind.

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Keep the heat on. Better yet, restart the F136 program and fund it with monies allocated to Pratt to develop a follow on version of F135.

I donot think Lockheed has bid on a Aircraft program that they have not been over budget and behind schedule. They were Over budget and behind schedule on the F-22, they were behind schedule and over budget on the ACS program which the Army cancelled on them for those problems and the follow on to Shuttle they were over budget and behind schedule and look what happened

I want them to cancel F-35 and buy F-18 Super Hornets and more F-15s. Yes we might fall behind a bit but really with the quality of our flight crews , we are still the greatest military out there. Truthfully what country could defeat us now or in the next ten to twenty years. I know I will hear crap from the people who want the F-35 but to what end. Do we bankrupt the military with this spending and maintenance for this weapon system, I hope not.

“I want them both to start behaving like they want to be around for 40 years,” Bogdan said. “I want them to take on some of the risk of this program, I want them to invest in cost reductions, I want them to do the things that will build a better relationship. I’m not getting all that love yet.”

“I want them to…I want them to…I want them to…” Saying that over and over isn’t a successful business model.

Of course the argument is that we can’t afford to support two engines. I would argue that we can’t afford not to with a single engine fighter. With two engines you can accept a little more risk and assume the odds of both engines failing simultaneously is very small. No such luxury when you only have one. If we had two engines the GE jets would still be flying.

I also argue that we can’t afford to build only one fighter. There is no competition, LM has us by the scrotum. The flyoff was just a decision point to decide which contractor we let grab us by the scrotum. We could afford to develop 4 “teen” fighters (14/15/16/18) and at one point or another all those programs were threatened with cancellation and replacement with another. It’s not too expensive to develop two competing fighters, it’s too expensive not to.

Lockheed and Whitney better watch out. We have a recently re-elected President and his Defense Secretary puppet looking for any excuse to cut back the program.

The blame game take a crappy design and when it doesn’t work blame the maker not the general who picked the design.

Who could have predicted that monopolist would act like they had a monopoly? It’s just hard to fathom.

Q: So after having this hissy fit what will they do? A: Send truckloads of cash to the F-35 contractors and do nothing to promote competition.

Remember we deliberately put ourselves in this situation because that was supposed to make the program affordable. Now the program is unaffordable and we are killing off all competition. Brilliant!

Time to ax the F-35. We cannot afford 200 mil dollar fighter jets with the flight envelope of an F-4, the combustability of a gas can, the wet pavement stopping power of a Ford Pinto and the Hackability of a lap top.

“What I see Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney doing today is behaving as if they are getting ready to sell me the very last F-35 and the very last engine and are trying to squeeze every nickel out of that last F-35 and that last engine,”

He just can’t wrap his tiny brain around the fact that Lockheed doesn’t want to build the F-35. They want to design it for as long as they can, and then end it. They do not want to build it because they will lose money building them. A 10% profit margin is too small to cover the risks associated with building the jet. How can the USAF continue to be so stupid? How can they not see what is obvious? Defense contractors should make little to no profit on development, and the profit they make on building weapons should be proportional to the risks. They continue to live in a bubble, not recognizing any of the financial realities the contractors are faced with, then they blame the contractors for what is essentially their own stupidity. And the contractors, for their part, continue to blow smoke up the USAF’s ass with regard to these financial realities, because they are making record profits with the system just like it is, and they never want it to change.

Kill the F35 !!
No enemy ever made so much damage to the USAF. This calamity is taking biblical proportions.

Ike said be ware of the Military Industrial complex. We are paying for it now. Two wars and nothing to show for it but brave men and women.

Unfortunately it looks like we’re already neck-deep into the F-35 program.

The F/A-18 has proven it’s capabilities well beyond expectations! The real reason behind it’s success is the management of the programs. When the program faltered in the late 90’s Boeing, GE, and the US Navy stepped up and implemented many innovative ideas. Performance Based Logistics (PBL) to name just one of the major hitters. The reliability of all the major weapons systems in this aircraft surpass most in it’s class.

What do you expect to “show for it” ? Do you expect the US to now own the lands? Enslave the people? Have Iraq and Afghanistan for the 51st and 52nd states?

I really don’t know what you’re looking for here. I can tell you this though, having deployed to the Gulf in the late 90’s when Saddam routinely engaged out forces with fire control radars and missiles, that doesn;t seem to be happenng any more. And the series of attacks gains the US that emanated from Afghanistan (First World Trade Center Bombing, Khobar Towers, Kenya, Cole, 9/11) seem to have stopped as well.

The whole acquisition system stinks and should be put under a form of receivership.

Thank you for your comments.

Could sequestration herald the rebirth of the Raptor? A good read on “Flight Global ” and Lets hope so, Cancel the ” F-35 Junk Strike Fighter and build more F-22’s . If it’d there , Someone is Actually Thinking About it.
. http://​www​.flightglobal​.com/​b​l​o​g​s​/​t​h​e​-​d​e​w​l​i​n​e​/​201

F-35 JSF Up-Date —–WASHINGTON — The Pentagon said on Monday an F-35 test plane was involved in an incident on February 14 that caused smoke in the ****pit” .

F-35 “Long History of Engine Problems Since 2006 ” http://​www​.defense​-aerospace​.com/​a​r​t​i​c​l​e​s​-​v​i​e​w​/fe

Time to Junk this Monstrosity once and for All!

Lockheed had it’s mouthpiece, the Lexington Prostitute, give this response: http://​www​.lexingtoninstitute​.org/​g​e​n​e​r​a​l​-​b​o​g​d​ans

The funniest part is where it infers that the F-35 program is performing well. “It isn’t as if this is the only example of a program which the Pentagon cut back or cancelled outright, even though they were performing well.” Since when is 2X program cost and 2X schedule and 2X unit price, and 2X the maintenance cost “performing well”?

The Military has always had problems with Privately owned Defense Contractor’s.What the Military has to do is to figure out what they want to go into a program,how much it is willing to pay for the program and a delivery date for that program.Then present it to the Defense Contractors for Bids.Then the Conreactor’s that get the bid has to agree to the bid cost and the delivery date.The Military has to make sure that the defense contractors who get the bid sticks tothe original cost​.To make sure that the defense contractor’s are folloeing their side of the bid contract The Military has to Have a No nonsence Person on the scene where the program is being built.

Maybe the Aircraft engine that caused all this trouble picked up a lpiece of a Foreign Object.Foreign Object’s are known to cause problems in Jet engines You have to police the take area constantly to make sure the F.O’s don’t get picked up by the aircraft’s engine

You’ve been losing for so long you don’t even know what victory is anymore.

Nothing will change until defense contractors are regularly sentenced to jail time for fraud.

You cant reform the mafia by getting them together and asking them to play nice.

Sigh… time to build more F-15s and F-16s. Those were PROPERLY-built platforms.

I know that the Acquisition System is a shambles and it ‘s ashamed that is is.Thatis why I said that the Military has to have No Nonsense people inthe Acquisition system who willsee to it that the progeams that they are assigned to are finished at cost and on time​.No Nonsense people are people who will nt take a bribe to let thimgs slip by them.

The contractors have a two pronged approach to making sure their share of the shrinking defense pie gets larger…
1) take money from the salaries and entitlements of active duty servicemen and veterans.
2) deliver less.

The first is like taking candy from a baby — there is zero political backlash because the military is full of people who will rather vote for their own funeral rather than gay marriage or a black president.

The F35 is an example of the second, a aircraft designed to be less capable than the aircraft it replaces right from the start — and then managed so that at every step margins were maintained at the expense of capability.
Aerodynamically it is an aircraft from the early 60s.

And Lockheed even has some ideas about how the F35 should be armed too — replace the AMRAAM with a less capable missile. One so reduced that it cant afford to have a proximity fuse — it needs to impact the target to have any effect, with a range that is barely just BVR.

The problem is that even the cancellation of the F35 will not stop this strategy from unfolding. The F35 is such a fiasco that only a couple hundred aircraft will ever be built. But the replacement for the F35 will be even worse because it has to be, to maintain the margins.

The bitter truth is what the USA has killed with the F22 is only serious alternative to the F35 program because why Russia and more important red China started to equip their forces with 5 generations Fighter like the PAK-FA, J20 and the new J31. Because of this it makes no sense to buy additional legacy Fighter because why all this Models will become obsolete in 10 Years from now. The Solution or better said the only alternative is simple but not optimal.

First kill the F35 Program and restart the F22 line. A new F22 will cost around 186 Million Dollar so you can buy around 40 additional F22 for a price of 7, 4 Billion Dollar peer Year an affordable and necessary investment for the USAF even under Sequestration.

Second the US Navy and the USMC should use the freed funds to develop a F22N and to field the X47C how fast as possible and also a replacement for the Tomahawk Cruise Missile. This is possible them the USMC waived of an AV8 replacement and transfer their funds to the navy Programs.

Thirdly left the export ban for the F22 and sell it to Japan, Australia and South Korea to lower the cost and to strength there defense against Red China. The Japanese with their new Government will immediately buy the F22 instead of the F35 and Australia is also likely to do the same and also South Korea will do it sooner or later.

As I said this Solution is not optimal, because why it will leave the USMC without a replacement for is AV8 and as consequences also the America Class LHD will lose strongest weapon. The USAF will also suffer because why even with additional 400 to 500 F22 is fighter Fleet will dramatically decline because why the F22 will never be able to replace the F16. And the USA will also lose a large potential Export Market because why with exception of Japan, South Korea, Australia and Israel now one will buy the F22. But I think it is better them the Alternative to continuing with the F35 because why Sequestration will trigger a dead spiral for the Program how will left the USA without a 5 generation fighter and with hundreds of Billions of waste Money.

Agree with you in most of what you said. But the Air Force should also go with the Stretched F-22B version that would fulfill their need for a Stealth Ground Attack Fighter. As for the Marines with their America Class ships, turn them into Helicopter Assault Ships. With the new Cobra Z able to fire the New Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System (APKWS) by BAE. That would allow the Cobra Z to carry 8 Hellfires & 38 APKWS’s for a total of 46 Precision Guided Weapons plus the 20mm gun. It also is equipped to carry the new Sidewinder Air to Air missile to be used against Aircraft and Helicopters. Then Up-Grade the current F-15C’s to the latest F-15S version and do the same with the F-16 C/D’s.

I’m an LM shareholder. They are behaving exactly how I want them to. They have contracted with a foolish and unsophisticated party. This party can either wise up, or continually enter into ill-conceived contracts.

Alternatively, the entire M-I-C complex is operating exactly as intended. No matter who the players are on either side, the results will always be the same, because that is precisely what is supposed to occur.

Disgraceful show of impotence. A three-star general chastizing a defense contractor in public. Probably would have fied the company a long time ago if it was possible.

Lockheed and Raytheon are the two most notoriously undependable and shifty military contractors. Suspend the F-35 contract and review it for once!

Drones. Enough said. Just like Navy ships don’t need Bridges anymore. Planes don’t need pilots.

The Problem with the F22B is what it is a High risk Design what will need a lot of Time and Money to become Reality. And in face of sequestration and an outdated and worn Fighter Fleet the Air Force will need above all a Figther what can face the new Chinese and Russian Jets for the next 20–25 Years and the only US Figther Design how can match these requirements is the F22.

Therefore, the priorities are as follows:

Immediately after the cancellation of the F35 Program:

1. Restart the production line and build about 40 F22 in year to replace all remaining F15C/D.

2. Left the export-ban and find foreign buyer in the pacific like Japan, South Korea and Australia.

3. Start a Program for the navalisation of the F22 to give the Navy a viable Fighter how can face the J20 and J31.

4. Start a program or better buy even superior Air to Air Missiles like the MDA Meteor to improve the Air to Air skills of the Fighter fleet.

To happen in the medium term: (in 10-15Years)

5. Improve the Multirole skills of the F22 and start a study about the practicality and the cost of a Bomber Version of the F22 as replacement for the F15E and also as partial replacement for classic Bombers.

6. Field the X47C how fast it is possible to give the Navy an Unmanned Long-Strike Option against China.

7. Field a stealthy long-range Version of the Tomahawk Cruise-Missile how can be fired from Surface and Underwater vessels to improve the strike abilities against Red China.

To happen on long term: (in 15–25 Years)

8.Start a Program for a highly improved F22 or them not enough a 6 Generation Fighter Program what has to be guided by the skills of potential High End adversary like Russian and China. The USA must on all cost avoid to create again a F35 Concept how is contradictory in the objective and as consequences good for nothing. So it will be better by the next Fighter Program to act like the enemy’s (Russia, China) and this mean develop a Fighter what is better them there’s or can asymmetric strike there Fighter force.

The problem is the Money and the Time, I think the fastest and cheapest solution is to concentrate how many resources as possible on the F22 and to use this design wherever possible to avoid costly programs how face big delays and die at last.

Again, the F35 fiasco is a re-run of the older TFX-F111 problem. Anyone in his or her right mind can ascertain that the basic airframe for a USAF fighter is clearly different that the airframe needed to withstand the cats and traps of Naval Aviation. Why, oh why have we tried again to build an aircraft with sub-marginal performance for the missions of either Service.

Hey gang, I’m normally a hawk on weapons systems and wanting the best for our services, but this program is bleeding us dry and I do not see any light at the end of the tunnel.

Here’s what what I would do if I was SecDef

–Cancel the F-35 and invest savings in F-15 silent Eagle and F-18 roadmap upgrades, until such a time that LM can produce an alternative for a 5.0gen aircraft with THEIR OWN MONEY. (like the way it used to be)
–Fire all Air Force Generals involved in the F-22 oxygen coverup. Replace defective system with traditional O2 system and forget about the weight difference-lives are more important.
–Cancel the LCS and invest money into new Frigate (possibly a modified National Endurance Cutter) and put lots of weapons on it (unlike the un-armed LCS).
–Get rid of 1/3 of flag ranks and their staffs in all four services. Use the savings for maintenance and upkeep of existing systems and weapons. The Navy, Army and Marines are in dire need of maintenance after years of neglect.
–Stop any weapons program that goes over budget or time (or doesn’t work as advertised) and fire the person in charge and fine the contractor for our money back
–Get rid or 1/4 of DOD civilian staff and contractors, use savings to bolster pay and benefits for active duty personnel and put sailors back on ships-that’s where they belong.
–Get rid of those stupid blueberry overalls the Navy is wearing and go back to traditional uniforms for crying out loud (you don’t need fickkeen camouflage on a ship) and stop changing the uniforms every two years-that alone will save millions of dollars.
–Reduce the size of the Army by 1/5, put savings into warship building (thinking about the next war ya know)
–Prohibit retired flag officers from working for any defense related firm or consultants for a period of 5 yrs after their retirement date. If they do work for one of them then they will forfeit their military retirement and benefits.
–Think and plan for the next war (HINT-it will not be in Iraq or the ‘stan) and look to the Pacific.

And now outdated. We need something newer.

I don’t see anything about new aircraft in this plan. Just upgrades to old designs that will be outclassed by 5th generation Russian and Chinese designs. Waiting for Lockheed or Boeing or anybody to develop a 5th generation fighter on their own isn’t going to work. Developing such a modern aircraft to a completed status is a massive undertaking, one that no company would be willing to undertake without the government guaranteed as a customer.

Do you honestly expect our current government to fund two or three separate fighters to meet the requirements of all three services?

No, I don’t think so. FOD damage would have been more widespread than just a crack in a turbine blade.

No doubt, but I think the Government needs to share some of the blame. The Government is known for submitting change order after change order which effects scheduling and budget tremendously.

hey MF’s look you don’t even care about this wonderful country so get the fuck out

And if we got the F-15 Silent Eagle it wouldn’t be that much of a step back stealth wise from the F-35 and would be a more capable aircraft for the Air Force.

You are right. There are a lot of factors here that lead to cost and time overruns. This said, they should be accounted for…LM and Boeing both undoubtedly misled the services in their platform proposals, but LM’s version of an Ironman suit won out. I also have to couch this with my belief that pushing the technology further is necessary for the United States to maintain an edge on adversaries and allies alike. This will never be 100% the case and it will always come at a high cost. We relinquish this ability and willingness to China or others and we seal not just our fate, but that of the West.

Great aircraft…for either the Smithsonian or some other aviation museum. Let’s kill this pig and share the pork with other more deserving programs.

General, this is to be expected when you remove competition out from a program. Hopefully, for all of us tax payers this blade issue will be minor.…but, rest assured it’s only the beginning of what is going to be found wrong once this aircraft gains more operational cycles/hours. Stay tuned.

I agree, the USG is also to blame. But, I still like the Boeing and GE business models when it comes to building aircraft/engines for our Nations defense.

Everyone acts amazed that Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Witney would act like they are squeezing every nickel out of the US Government. That is nothing new!! Boeing, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon all are doing teh same thing. That’s the name of the game.

If that’s what you wanted, that’s how you should have written the contract. Or that is the contract modification you should be writing right now instead of publicly insulting them.

Maybe we can trade all the hulks in on a proven, dependable defense system: the Osprey. Now that’s flyin’ !!

William, what we are doing isn’t working, and to suggest we keep doing what we’re doing is madness. It won’t be long before a single F-35 cost over 200 million a piece!

William might be right. That is the position the aerogiants have taken that they won’t do the work without a guaranteed customer. That’s why the USAF should stand up their own design house to design their aircraft from now on. If Boeing and Lockheed want to play, they can pony up their own cash. I’m sure the development of manned fighters will go back down to 3–5 years as if by magic. Paying a “for profit” company $1.10 for every $1.00 they spend is just begging them to screw the US taxpayer, and it has got to end.

It is great.
keep going.

please keep in touch .

The entire procurement system is ridiculous and needs to be overhauled. Let’s go back to having the companies build the complete weapon system on their own dime and then have competitions to determine the winner (and not just a competition to determine who goes forward with R&D). The flip side of that is making sure the government folks don’t create bogus tests to determine the winner.

Have the Islamic radicals forced you to obey Sharia law yet?

Is that a quote from George Washington, Benjamin Franlin, or John Hancock?

After 20–30 years in development. The Osprey program should have been killed in 1985.

Nice Tidbit: “Lockheed Martin is forecasting record profits for 2013 – possibly over $9 per share and well above analysts’ expectations.“

We could have accomplished that task for far less than the actual bill in lives and treasure.

Enslave, no, but its hard to see any tangible benefit for the last 10 years of war.

I wish we would learn from our past mistakes with these guy’s, they think because they are the sharks in a guppy infested pool that they can go around and say it cost this and that, and on the tax payers backs. Mind you, because of the sole source, it’s a monopoly and we are going to pay one way or another. However for an American company what they are charging, and what they are throwing away in process, and putting there hand out for more money is in-excusable.

In Russia they would have been shot, again the down fall of America is not rom outside but from within.…hmmmmm.……can you say sequester

24 Less F-35s for Australia ?:

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress Feb. 27 of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Australia for up to 12 F/A-18E/F Super Hornet aircraft and 12 EA-18G Growler aircraft and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support for an estimated cost of $3.7 billion.

Yesterdays CBCNews Canada: Boeing touts fighter jet to rival F-35 — at half the price!
Canada will most likely go with the Super Hornet, and with Boeing offering to meet or beat the amount of contracts — known as “industrial benefits” — that Lockheed Martin would steer to Canadian companies as offsets?

YOU TELL ‘EM!, General…!!!…God Bless you, Sir!…

Stow it Bogdan.….F-35’s are operational again.…as in flyin’.……

I totally agree stop the foolish buying of the F35 and procure FA-18 Super Hornets and along the way F15. While Im on my soap box leave the A10 alone CAS and CSAR love to know they have a great plane inthe game.

This guy Bogdan sounds like somebody who really doesn’t like his job.

Lessons learned, knowledge gained, R&D — its only useful if you apply it somewhere. Is the F-35 design so fundamentally flawed that the lessons learned need to be applied to the NEXT fighter program, rather than this one? I don’t think so. Take your lessons learned, apply them now, to the F-35. Every program that pushes the envelope in terms of design will have problems. If you don’t have problems, are you really cutting edge? The real issue with the F-35 is that because the program is so big (2,443 planes) with so many customers (joint, international partners) program risk is magnified. All this public talk is USAF trying to convince our International Partners (who are paying for the product, but have little say in program management, and are starting to doubt the wisdom of signing up for this) that we are doing due diligence to keep the developers in line.

Huh? You blame “nothing to show for it” (whatever that means) on the Military Industrial complex? You are confused. You want to object, but are not quite sure what, or who, you want to object against. So you object against it all, vaguely — the military, the defense contractors, the president who led us to war.…the entire complex…

While you are at it (and just to add some clarity to your thinking) how about putting blame at the real source — Muslim jihadists?

What do we have to show for it? — several hundred thousand dead jihadists, hopefully.

.……that works and we can afford, would be the follow on.

All this about the F35 and it’s many shortfalls is really a side bar to the much larger issue and problem with the DoD and that is a complete lack of a coherent strategy. We here all this pivot to the Pacific baloney and that is a talking point, not a plan. Air Sea battle is all well and good but besides ADM Greenert’s mention of maybe tacair isn’t the most cost effective way to do things, there hasn’t been a real top to bottom look at how we do business, where we want to do business and then apply the best way to do business.

Quite frankly when you look at how we wage campaigns, and where we are likely to wage campaigns, investing an overabundance in tacair at all is pretty stupid. We are so risk adverse we aren’t flying waves of short range tacair into defended air space. Tacair doesn’t show up until an IADs has been disassembled by stand off munitions launched from very comfortable distances so I fail to understand why we would bother with wasting R&D $ on a system that we have no intention of ever using anywhere near its alleged full potential.

The $ ought to be steered towards expansion of the VA class SSNs, a new bomber, and new stand off munitions like the arclight program, and next gen TLAM weapons. Not a bunch of short range tacair money pits we don’t have anywhere to base to make them relevant anywhere we care about.

No system is ever perfect, but the one where contractors built prototype aircraft at their own expense certainly worked a lot better than our current system. Really, though, the failure of a procurement system that rewards failure over success could have been very easily predicted. In fact, the government procurement officials, most of whom where against going to this system, predicted its failure even as the federal acquisition rules were being changed to allow it. The problem was, these people did not have a public forum in which to complain. Kelly Johnson died in 1990. Ben Rich retired in 1992. All of the high profile engineers were out of the way just in time to put this system in place without reasoned debate.

Do not forget the F/A-18 anothet Boeing excellent program. And thanks to our last Chief of Staff he would rather wait the bugs out than spend the money on the F-15, The F-16 and the F/A-18e,f,g.What a sorry state of business we live in when a contractor thinks they can get away with the money were giving them.
One good thing on this program that showed its ugly head was called Cost Plus everytime lockheed/boeing went over budget the government picked up the check this is not the way to do business.

The shame of it is that the government has set up a procurement system where “squeezing every nickel out of” them involves dragging the program out and jacking up the cost of everything. Just think of what would be happening right now if we had a system in place that gave them more money for coming in on-budget and on-schedule. The fundamental premise behind capitalism is that people will act in their own best self interest, so why don’t we have the good sense to set up the rules of procurement such that they reward the kind of behavior we want instead of rewarding the kind of behavior we neither want nor need?

Now there is the hard truth!

Yeah, remember the ACS program where Lockheed won the contract with a foreign built jet platform that was half big enough? Are you saying that the program should have gone to NG who proposed a domestically built airplane platform for those sensors that was only one fourth large enough? Then there is the JSF competition where Lockheed proposed a design that actually would take off vertically per the request for proposal as opposed to the Boeing airplane that despite a decade of assurances that it would take off vertically, once the prototype was actually built, would not. Hmm, kind of a big OOPS, don’t you think. Big enough to be considered an outright lie? Yeah, most likely. Maybe you should remember that you get what you pay for. When you pay a contractor more to screw you, then it shouldn’t surprise you when they do just that. Obviously you like the screwing, right, or you wouldn’t pay them extra for it?

Hello Tee

More nicknames for the F-35:

Joke Still Flying

Junk Still Flying

Just So Farcial

Just So Failed


And now the F-35 is outdated. We need something newer and far better.

I acknowledged that restarting the F-22 production line would be cheaper way to go rather than going ahead with the Joke Still Flying (JSF) programme and it will not eat up any potential savings gained by cancelling the F-35 program. I reckon it will be the best idea, and by doing this it will be necessary in order to maintain the fifth generation capability needed to ensure the US military’s F-15/F-16 fleets survive future changed threat environment.

Shove the F-35 Joke Still Flying programme in Lockheed Martin, pentagon and Congress backsides.


Exactly, I certainly would acquire more late model F-15s/F-16s and restart the F-22 production line.

Time to kill the failed Joke Still Flying (JSF) programme.

The F-35 program, along with many other over-budget, behind-schedule programa like LCS, is one reason why we can’t seem to field wepaon systems until after they are obsolete; by the time they reach the warfighter, it’s been 10 to 20 years in devlepoment and testing!

Hmmmm…. lets think about that for a moment, Old 391. The F-22 and to a degree the F-35 have been in “development” for over 30 years in one form or another. Go that long “diddling” with anything and the end result is probably only a vague shadow of what it was supposed to be. But. . lets look at the specific of your charge. And lets play on your nom de guerre a bit. Lets go “old” and Lockheed. Lets go all the way back to the U-2! (Which has notably been a very good warhorse serving well beyond at least two determined efforts to replace it!) The U-2 was developed on a very tight budget and in a very few MONTHS! Yes, I did say months!! IIRC, about 18 months from initial contract to design to a flying prototype. And with the U-2 very little of its mission was “evolutionary” or “low risk” or any of the euphemisms for “simple” that we try to use in our marketeering these days. Consider the U-2 program for a while and then look at how the F-35 “evolved”, “devolved”, “mutated” and “convoluted”. Where are the Kelly Johnsons (in the DoD AND at Lockheed when we need him!)

australia bail out of jsf deal — they had the simulator in 1998 or something & yet still no viable aircraft…just buy the typhoon fighters from europe, that can actually fly now & the strella SAM systems from russia –yes latter would go completely against anzus treaty but seriously nothing will get past that.

Maybe its you wno sounds like someone is likiing the F-35 even if its over priced and countries are bailing out on this plane. Should have stayed with more F-22 and Build F-15Silent Eagles. So All you F-35 flyers stow it the General has it right on the money all Lockheed is thinking of is Dollar Signs.
Kelly Johnson rules should be the same for the F-35 Flying Brick.

Cost Plus programs are cost plus. Not a lot of companies can afford to loose the kind of money Northrop did by cost sharing in development of the YF-23, or the self funding of the F-20. The general is asking the F-35 contractors to eat some of the costs, which is tantamount to reducing the profit margins they must have to do the R&D that they have to fund in house, while keeping stockholders in the game. Beating them up isn’t going to change the basic rules of business.

As always no accountability for the military and government folks who change there mind about the specifications like people change cloths. I wonder what the engineering changes look like for this plane? It does cost money everytime they ask for a light to be changed from red to blue, but the company should just eat the cost right? That’s good business? Definately not.…

Having worked in defense weapon system management (acquisition) for many years, I can assure you that defense contractors are in bed with many in the Department of Defense. Not only that, but Congressional pressure on the Defense Department in support of particular contractors only adds to the problem. Sole source procurement’s are also a basic and integral part of the problem. All production contracts should be competitively procured and corporate profits based on performance (both technical and schedule).

Cost plus fixed fee contracting for anything but R&D is a waste of taxpayer money and only leads to inefficiencies, prolonging the program and mismanagement.

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