McCain: F-35 among the ‘Great, National Scandals’

McCain: F-35 among the ‘Great, National Scandals’

Days after the U.S. Defense Department signaled an improving relationship with Lockheed Martin Corp. over the cost of the F-35 fighter jet, Sen. John McCain called the program “one of the great national scandals.”

McCain, a Republican from Arizona and the 2008 Republican presidential candidate, was speaking during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing to consider the nominations of several White House appointments, including Deborah Lee James to become the next secretary of the Air Force.

McCain criticized the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter as the government’s first trillion-dollar acquisition program (including sustainment costs). Its repeated cost overruns “have made it worse than a disgrace,” he said. Despite recent efforts to reduce prices on the next batch of aircraft, “it’s still one of the great, national scandals that we have ever had, as far as the expenditure of taxpayers’ dollars are concerned,” he said.

McCain, who also noted that the Navy’s new USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier is more than $2 billion over budget, was responding to James’ comment that the current budget environment is “chaotic” and makes planning difficult.

Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, who oversees the F-35 program, this week said the relationship between the service and Lockheed — the plane’s manufacturer and the world’s biggest defense contractor — along with engine-maker Pratt & Whitney, part of United Technologies Corp., is “orders of magnitude” better than it was a year ago.

“I’m encouraged by where we are today,” he said Sept. 17 at the Air Force Association’s Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition at National Harbor, Md. “I’d like to be a little further along.”

The comments were a stark contrast to those Bogdan made at the same forum last year, when he called the relationship the “worst I’ve ever seen.” This year, Bogdan indicated his previous remarks were deliberate. “I threw a hand grenade into the crowd … that was intended,” he said.

At the hearing, McCain also pressed James on the issue of sexual assaults in the military. The Air Force, in particular, has faced criticism over a spate of high-profile sexual assault scandals.

Lt. Col. Jeffrey Krusinski, the chief of the Air Force’s sexual assault prevention and response branch, was arrested and charged with sexual battery in May after allegedly groping a woman outside a strip club near the Pentagon. A month earlier, Air Force Lt. Gen. Craig Franklin, commander of the 3rd Air Force at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, ignited a firestorm when he overturned the conviction of Lt. Col. James Wilkerson III, a fellow fighter pilot who was accused of fondling the victim as she slept in his guest bedroom.

“Can this committee have confidence that this is one of your highest priorities and that you can come to this committee and present to all of us a plan and a policy that will put this issue on a sharp decline and lead to a renewed confidence in the American people that young women who join the United States Air Force will have confidence that they will not be subject to a sexual assault?” McCain asked.

“This will be one of my top priorities,” James replied. “I intended to work on it very, very hard and I absolutely welcome the opportunity to do that.”

“Got any ideas?” McCain interrupted.

“One I put forth … is to hold commanders more accountable, to include in their performance assessments a measure of the climate within their unit and how well they’re doing,” she replied. “Being a commander — it’s not an entitlement, it’s an honor and a privilege, and if they’re not living up to the measure, they need to go.”

James most recently worked as an executive at the defense contractor SAIC Inc. and also served as a former assistant secretary of defense.

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Interesting how many times you see some use the term, “orders of magnitude” , when it does not apply.

Ok they make good progress, no wonder they seems to have put the emphasis on lower cost, but what about finding a way to recycle this program into something not too big to fail instead?

There is an article from vanity fair that present an interesting point of view:
“VII. Political Engineering
The political process that keeps the Joint Strike Fighter airborne has never stalled. The program was designed to spread money so far and so wide—at last count, among some 1,400 separate subcontractors, strategically dispersed among key congressional districts—that no matter how many cost overruns, blown deadlines, or serious design flaws, it would be immune to termination. It was, as bureaucrats say, “politically engineered.”

And my favorite: BAE’s hmd is 100 to 150 thousands cheaper. And I wonder why I like competition.

I have no doubt that Bogdan shaked the tree pretty hard. And no doubt that it make a difference by now, contracts were looking less like a gift as cost for retrofit seemed to have been taken in consideration this time. But I think that we would need to be inside to quantify that “order of magnitude”.

So I thought we elected representatives to Congress to prevent such scandals and ensure wise and cost effective use of the public money. Well that is the theory anyway. Why did everyone watch this slow motion train wreck without saying “boo”? McCain claims to have saved the day with the tanker, saving something like ‘$5B’ according to him. Yet he just watched the F-35 cost and schedule spiral out of control with cost consequences about 40 times greater? Only in the parallel universe known as WDC.

So what exactly changed in one year that made the USAF/Lockheed relationship go from “worst” to “orders of magnitude better?”

Is the congress victim of the Abilene paradox? https://​www​.youtube​.com/​w​a​t​c​h​?​v​=​z​_​i​G​d​i​Y​O​7gI

F-35 to be featured in third edition. :-)

LockMart did a masterclass in spreading out the subcontracting jobs and lobbying to ensure that no congressman would boo the project. After all, it creates a handful of jobs in your district, and campaigns don’t pay for themselves. At least some international buyers have been balking at the cost overruns.

I’d be interested to see DAS+HMD backported to the legacy platforms.

Should we look to Israel for leadership?

So uh, what alternatives are there? Nationalize Lockheed Martin or something?

“James most recently worked as an executive at the defense contractor SAIC Inc. and also served as a former assistant secretary of defense.” — And here is 90% of the problem with our procurement system. Why do we allow people to bounce back and forth between government and contract jobs. Who are these people really working for?

Ever notice that with every weapon system that has been developed, there is always a SCANDAL? The M-16 rifle, the Abrams tank, the Bradley, the B-1 Bomber, the F-111, on and on it goes.….. And all the “over watch” that takes place, systems development, cost modeling, computer based accounting and on and on it goes.…. More Congressional and Senate hearings, where compliments are exchanged by both sides.….“Thank you for your years of true and faithful service Admiral/General.”.….. “No, Senator/Congressmen. thank you for the opportunity to come here and testify.” .….….All the while, bored staffers and aides roll their eyes, and bored Senators play computerized poker.….…

Is there not a more perfect example of ‘too little, too late’?

Sorry Mr. McCain but the F-35 still sputters along today largely because of the powerful leadership role you personally had in endorsing the stay-the-course F-35 Program and advocating to to Kill the F-22, etc (and discounting any other Plan B alternative stopgap solutions). Back in FY10.

I’m very sorry comrade, but simply pointing a finger at a ‘scandal’ is not a show of leadership at this late stage in the game. There mere fact you are only now publicly ‘pointing a finger’ is a major part for the catastrophic scandal we face today. And it’s a substantial part of why the acquisition process today remains so constipated and broken… There is flat out, still no strategic restructuring of the strategy-setting and acquisition process today! It simply sputters along…grinding into deeper unsustainability and catastrophe.

God speed.

I figure that they can put grease pencil marks on the canopy to denote mil settings for A2G gun use. Since, there is no other way to cue the gun.

Block IV will cue the gun, ELP.

IOC in 2023? It might cost a little extra, but could probably be justified.

It’s on track and making steady progress, right? Stay on course.

You don’t even need DAS in the interim!

Truly, USAF can’t even afford or has never even seemed to require (for whatever reason) integrating off-the-shelf ‘MAWS/MLD’ systems onto it’s F-16 and F-15E fleet! Why not?

Too much capability for any Air Force to have??

Somewhere within the apparatus there are some flaws, I’m afraid.

…I wish I could dig up the original article, but I do clearly remember a much younger Senator McCain railing against the “waste” of the F-14 Tomcat…!!!…

…wouldn’t it make more sense to etch them into the canopy, or use permanent magic marker…???…

Yep…remember that…it had 2 do with the change of engines… Grumman was “forced” to utilize the TF-30 which left the large aircraft under-powered & unresponsive to power increase demands for landings & vairable geometry manuevers… when the F-110/400’s were installed it gave the aircraft greater manuverability & a better thrust to weight ratio.… many a good pilot & aircraft were lost to those sub-pare TF-30“s!! My dad use to rail about it when “the line in Bethpage” started & Grumman lost its best test pilot at Calverton N.A.S. due to a engine power failure & loss of hydraulic power causing the variable geo-metry wings to “sweep back” causing a loss of lift & crash upon landing approach.… a very sad day for Grumman.…..

Such is the eternal cycle of Washington DC.

So is the 2nd or 3rd time McCain has changed his opinion about the JSF/F-35?

McCain also happened to be among those leading the charge against the F-22 program. The eventual cuts to that program mean the F-35 has even larger shoes to fill.

Or when they start testing it, and there are a few crashes, people want to crucify the company that it is not perfect going from paper to completion. But if you check with the pilots who fly it, or will fly it, they say that they still want it because of what it will offer them in safety after they work the bugs out. Everyone is a critic except the ones who will be flying it and working on it.

If we hadn’t gone ahead with new technology in the 30s, we would have been using bi-planes throughout WWII.

So the “relationship” is orders of magnitude better — does that mean they’re going to pay back a bunch of the money they wasted? I didn’t think so.

Lee — The problem isn’t about developing new technology, this is more about abuse of the contracting system, AND a bridge too far. The cost overruns in these huge programs are actually “expected” now-a-days and that shouldn’t be the case. As for the F-35 itself, they have tried to do too much at one time in one platform and that is biting them (and us) regularly. Did you know there was supposed to be an electronic warfare package included with this aircraft so the Marines could replace their EA-6Bs? Well, that part of the plane isn’t even on the drawing board yet and the B model if well over $300 million a copy and the EA-6Bs will go away by 2019. There will be NO F-35 replacement anywhere inside that timeframe.

Maybe you should read the latest round of F-35 test results published by Aviation Week (a well-known pinko-run liberal trade-rag).

The F-35 has had its mission profile changed several times because it can’t reach even its most basic goals (unless of course, the conversation is changed to Lockheed profits for this taxpayer-funded corporate welfare program).

Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, who oversees the F-35 program, this week said the relationship between the service and Lockheed — the plane’s manufacturer and the world’s biggest defense contractor — along with engine-maker Pratt & Whitney, part of United Technologies Corp., is “orders of magnitude” better than it was a year ago.
Considering the relationship was at ZERO, an “Order of Magnitude” improvement isn’t saying much — unless Lockheed has upped the political gift giving (i.e. paying of bribes) to a point to where the system is so corrupt no one cares.

The taxpayers are getting reamed on this one.

See, I told you Lockheed doesn’t want to build this airplane. They are ready to scrap this program and move on to the next one. When you make a profit off of designing airplanes, and make more profit off designing them than you do building them, then why ever build an airplane? Building airplanes is tricky. It requires lots of capital equipment and lots of pieces actually have to work. Designing them is easy and nothing has to work. McCain has been on Lockheed’s payroll for so long now, he doesn’t even remember a time when he wasn’t.

The money flowing here goes to engineers and manufacturers. The money flowing in the food stamp program goes to supermarkets and farmers. Why is one “waste” sacred and the other regarded as harmful giveaway? The food stamp program contributes to the physical health of people who live within our borders, a plus for … everyone, I would think.

Isn’t it nice that Johnny passes blame on the F-35 troubles off on someone else when Congress can take most of the blame for program changes in funding, second sourcing, budgeting screw ups. Oh wait a minute he doesn’t accept blame like 0bummer it’s someone else who is to blame.

Surprised AvWeeks “Boeing to stop C-17 production in 2015″ hasn’t hit DoDBuzz yet.

John McCain’s comments is reason why he never became President as the concept of the JSF program was set up by the Pentagon, Lockheed Martin presented the F-35; this was not a Black program as everyone in Government and at the Pentagon has been looking over the shoulders of Lockheed Martin at every stage of the F-35’s development and could have pulled the plug to start over, Where was John McCain a decade ago and why didn’t he tell George W Bush that the program was flawed or why doesn’t McCain tell Obama.

All this hand wringing could be ended if only there was a man in the White House who had even a modicum of economic acuity, who could be trusted with the National finances! Instead we’ve been saddled with a destructive economic illiterate — Baraka Obeelzebub — and that makes military procurement extraordinarily difficult and until he’s gone and the economy can be brought back in line, even a bullet will be a marginal purchase!!!

The fact still remains that this country has spent billions of dollars on other country’s and project’s that have put us in the RED literally. the Pentagon is getting ready to basically close it’s doors. Our leader goes on luxurious vacations on tax payer dollars. We have been fighting a 12 year war with no end in sight and no full accountability for being there in the first place. As some have said. The media and military made up the word for the terrorists that brought havoc to American soil on 9/11 yet we are fighting the wrong people in my opinion. People who helped finance all the operations to hurt this country. I will not make my thought of who we should have been fighting from the start. As far as all the budget money and political crap. That is what it is.

He’s right, you know. The f-35 IS a tremendous waste of resources. But wait! That “waste” put a lot of people to work and a lot of bread on the table. Practically speaking, however, continually evolving these already– exceedingly complex weapons simply to satisfy the need for a military advantage might put us momentarily ahead, but effectively, we might just as well be back in the days of Spads and Fokkers.

He does.

Don’t forget it probably put a lot of money in politicians pockets

The “waste” IS sacred, John, on both counts. We ALL benefit from this reality in many ways. The money downflow, after all, doesn’t stop with the engineers and manufacturers. Ultimately, a lot of it ends up in the hands of the poor through philanthropies, charities, government largesse, etc. The “harmful giveaway” you refer to is another reality…the reality that far too many people receiving this money, especially the government largesse, are quite capable of gainful employment or of satisfying whatever need they have without government intervention. Meanwhile, we, the Enablers, continue to work, sometime even hard, to support them and, to me, that’s offensive.

McCain is a hater and mad because he backs Boeing.

Well put.

I for the first time in a long time agree with the Senator. The JSF is a waste and killed wanted weapons productions face it Obama killed F-22 production to force this slower far less maneuverable and shorter range plane down out thoughts. I wish they kill this do some Eagle upgrades and restart raptor production. The DoD is wasting so much time and money for crap that’s inferior or we dont need we need Congressional intervention to stop this pork from going on.

Why is it that we see all these cost overruns from a company that has been building planes for many decades? I truly believe the flaws are designed on purpose. Of course I could be wrong. Lockheed Martin needs to live within the budget. They also should eat any cost overruns. F-16/F15 as well as the F-18 fleet is aging. Build new ones with updated technology. These airframes have proven their worth. But the fear of other nations having 5th. generation fighters seems to loom over the Pentagon.

It’s easy to sit and criticize and all that but Mr.McCain has been on the Senate Armed Services Committee for several years and why has he not done anything but sit there and criticize.If you’re not part of the solution as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee then you’re part of the problem. ( and i like John McCain I voted for him) Somebody has to fix this mess and Mr.Gates ( Mr​.so called “Fix it” when it came to fixing our defense’s acquisition break down in the DOD. In fact he made it much much worse, he picked the wrong plane we should have went with the F-22 (formally the F/A –22 due to its ability to drop JDAMs and still kick the crap out of every other jet in the world. Instead we got stuck with the F-35 , which many experts say , can not hold it’s own with fourth gen ++ aircraft. Pathetic!!!

The USAF is jumping from traditional HMD to DAS, the latter itself is worth its own research program, but conveniently coupled to a fighter program.

McCain is well situated to comment on what is a “national disgraced”

Wasn’t he for this air craft at one time, and something about two engines????

It also ignores that unlike previous generations in the past when they were looking to replace the F-4 and before that F-100 and F-8 and before that the F-9 and F-86 all of which at least as far as the US was concerned were no longer in production that is not the case with the F-15, F-16 and F-18 and unlike the peviuos examples wherethe forst and last aircraft were basicaly unchanged all thre current “legacy fighters are loaded with the latest and greatrest of “new Technology” as well as the fact that with each previous replacement the new plane was no contest “better” than what it replaced. The F-100 and F-8 was better than the F-86, and F-9 The F-4 was better than both of those. The F-14 and F-15 was better than the F-4 and the F-22 was better than the F-15. You could not really say that about the Super Hornet and you sure can’t say that about the F-35. And then there is the cost and the delays as well.

Sure, make Lockheed pay for the flaws, and then guess what happens? If you guessed that they hide the flaws and stonewall the government, then you guessed correctly. Believe me, they’ll find other ways to get that money. You can’t make a company do what you want them to do when you are paying them more to fail. They will simply find new ways to screw up. That’s why the Soviet Union failed.

Building them also entails deadlines and problems with subcontractors, along with meddling Congressmen who want to see this widget or that dohickey built in the great state of __________(fill in the blank). The only ones who aren’t represented fairly are the services…and of course the taxpayers

Yeah, buzzwy, and if it wasn’t for all you “hard working” guys holding 2, or even 3 jobs, SOME of us unemployed might be able to find even *ONE* job…yur an idiot…Yur “trickle-down” economics theory died with Ronnie Raygun…

YO!, Bobby, remind us again what Bush-puppet junior did with the BUDGET SURPLUS he inherited from Clinton…

Bogdan’s retirement plans

Many pretentious writers have begun to use the expression “orders of magnitude” without understanding what it means. The concept derives from the scientific notation of very large numbers in which each order of magnitude is ten times the previous one. When the bacteria in a flask have multiplied from some hundreds to some thousands, it is very handy to say that their numbers have increased by an order of magnitude, and when they have increased to some millions, that their numbers have increased by four orders of magnitude.

Number language generally confuses people. Many seem to suppose that a 100% increase must be pretty much the same as an increase by an order of magnitude, but in fact such an increase represents merely a doubling of quantity. A “hundredfold increase” is even bigger: one hundred times as much. If you don’t have a firm grasp on such concepts, it’s best to avoid the expression altogether. After all, “Our audience is ten times as big now as when the show opened” makes the same point more clearly than “Our audience has increased by an order of magnitude.”

If there was ever an imposter its McCain, he is a democrack in a republican suit, this man needs to retire and get out of the way foir a real senate republican to take over, he is a disgrace to America. He talks this BULL S__T today but kept voting for it in the past. Is he going to make another run for president? He hasn’t got enough balls to be president. I have to admit, he is better than what we have now.

Lockheed was happy to kill the F-22: it put America all-in on the Joint Strike Fighter.

I’d much rather have the inevitability of the F-35A, B, and C than the next 3+ years of the worst man to have ever crossed the White House threshold, no contest!!!

That would solve some problems but it’s not magic either. Two things would clearly benefit. One, no more patent trolling. Second, you don’t need to make something that will please the stock holder first.

The first is getting heavier years after years, and I bet it’s the main factor that reduce innovation and creativity –for example there are many patent regarding software that are simply invalid. The latter, by removing the need of profits, mean that the engineer can put all their efforts at solving the main problem, and it also minimize the risk that some critics gets “lost” because it wasn’t compatible with profits or the company core interests.

NASA is a good example of what could be a nationalized defence development branch, but I doubt it could be done, for the very same reason that ObamaCare is doomed for failure. The defence industry is simply so much capitalistic that such change cannot happen on the next day and could result in a devastation.

I say tight the screw. I don’t know how it should be done, but something like giving part of the R&D to the NASA, which would have access to all the patents of participating contractors, and then give contracts to those companies for making parts. I am not sure what should be done when a part X depend of both patents from company B and C. Or perhaps simply dictate it?

Stop giving jobs to private contractors that the contry can do itself.

Example of suspicious case that would be avoided. When Sylvester Davis found critical flaw in the computer system of the f-35 (hardware of software) and literally crashed the system, he got a reward of 10,000$ along with a mutation…
(Case: 1:06-cv-00013-RLF-GWC)

The “imposters” are BOTH Demo-cracks & Repubtards…
They are BOTH a DISGRACE to America…
They are BOTH the puppets of the Global Banksters, and super-rich…
The biggest disgrace is the armed Plutocracy we have allowed America to become…

Seriously, honestly, Michael, you have the start of a good idea there…work with it a while…

You are absolutely correct. The taxpayers lose money, but the soldiers are the ones with their lives on the line. They’re who pay the ultimate price for the failure of the military procurement system.

There was a time when all construction was overseen by military engineers. This use to reduce some of the overruns. But that was long time ago. When the Scorpion went down, Navy put Hull Techs to oversee then they put the sections together. This use to include X-Rays of the weld. Not sure what goes on anymore. This plane is going to cost so much money, it would not be worth it.

Who cares about the relationship improving? If the damned thing actually did what Lockheed said it would, promised it would and was even vaguely near budget the relationship wouldn’t be an issue. Of course the fools who accepted that one aircraft would do everything also share the blame. Prediction: nothing will change. Lockheed will toddle off with a HUGE profit, the taxpayers will foot the unspeakable bill and the poor devils in the military will have to make do. The Sergeant York debacle taught us nothing, the criminal behaviour over DECADES with Colt and the M-16 taught us nothing (well, apart from how good Colt was with PR, lies and giving top brass jobs after their military careers of course). We never learn. We never will.

The biggest scandal of all is that the people of a great state have re-elected McCain to the senate repeatedly. This old fool wants to arm Syrian rebels who are or are allied with Al Qaeda, change immigration laws and allow millions, 11 or 12 million or more illegals to gain American Citizenship without first doing the simple act of legally entering America. Criminals are just that criminals, and illegals is a nice politically correct for a criminal. Now he says that the new fighter which he helped get this far is a scandal. After all that money he and his pals got to get it this far, now he cries wold. If we do not need it, do not buy it, or pay for its development at all. As for other items, the same goes for them. This old fool just wants his name out front on everything so Americans will notice he is still alive {is he really? } Congress as a whole got us in this mess, they all made big bucks doing so, so why now cry wolf. Nobody will believe them anyway. McCain like all Congressmen is a crook and thinks he can BS everyone by asking questions and making silly statements while all the time he has his hand out for more and more money.

Scrap the F-35 too much money for a pretty shitty fighter. Instead get the F-15SE for the Air Force and the F/A-18E/F Advanced Super Hornet for the Navy and be done with it.

The cost of the F-35B has been well under $300 million for some time now. It’s less than half of that last I read.

Where do you get the impression that “Lockheed doesn’t want to build this airplane”? I must have forgotten that Lockheed was run by madmen who would prefer not to control the largest share of the fighter market in the west. Yes that makes perfect sense from a business airplane. Make minimal if any profit from not delivering as opposed to large profits from what could be thousands of aircraft.

Regardless of how insane the world of business has become I don’t think the above prospect makes any sense.

Grand Standing in a political charged environment will not begin to solve this recurring problem. Sexual misconduct and harassment has blighted the uniform services, as recent history documents. Solving the problem requires making each unit commander responsible and answering to the entire command structure up and down the chain of command. Such exposure , pardon the pun, will ensure compliance by underscoring education and responsibility. Attitudes, ethos and a culture of hung ho machoism lead down the wrong road to sexual abuse. One step in the right direction is to place a female in charge of sexual abuse prevention and education across the board and in each unit commanders bailiwick.

Pretty nasty Bradford. But buzzwy is correct. There are actually many jobs out there. But they require a degree or a skill.

The problem with the M16 was the stupidity of the top brass. Stoner used a cleaner firing ammo. The brass decided to use dirtier gunpowder just to gain an extra 50 yds. That is the debacle. If they kept their noses out, the M-16 would have done well, just not great. Trying to make one plane to cover the 3 services may be a little far fetched. Instead of saving money the cost will exceed the cost od designing 3 separate aircraft.

What does this have to do with the F-35?

…that just makes too much sense, ralph…

…“nasty”…???… Yo!, “Docsenko”, SOME of us prefer to deal with REALITY as it is — not as we want to believe it is, or as Flush Limpbaugh claims it is…
Those “philanthropies, charities, government largesse”, etc., are part of the PROBLEM, *NOT* the solution…Most are tax-shelter scams, and most of the “501©3″ agencies are really *employment agencies*, that employ mostly college-educated folks who would otherwise have good paying jobs as Supervisors, or Admin., in industries that have been largely eviscerated and shipped overseas…
The worst parasites are the super-rich, and the Wall Street types, who HOG way more than they will ever need, or use…Try again, kiddo…

As CONGRESS pays the bills; if I was in congress, I would DEFUND the F-35 and would immediately REFUND production of the F-22, incorporating ALL NEW and PROVEN to WORK upgrades. When our country reached 1500 F-22s, than and only then would I end production. I would also DEMAND in an OPEN hearing to be presented on a monthly basis ALL documents that regarded monetary expenditures. There WOULD NOT be ANY COST OVER RUNS allowed EVER or for any item. The manufacturer/s would EAT ALL COST OVER RUNS.
Yeah, I know this is a “pie-in-the sky” dream; but this is how OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS should be functioning when it comes to military weapon systems.

They were all told to play ball as well as the Airforce, who also endorced ending the F-22 production line because they knew if they didn’t go along with Mr.Gates they would be flying Cesnas . The Airforce are in the business of keeping our troops as well as our country protected , and they are no dummies. They knew they needed more F-22s , there was enough information out about the ability of the F-35 and they already knew the potential of the F-22 once all the software mods and upgrades are done on the F-22 that it would be the best the world has ever seen.

The Airiforce had made a lot of moves to get as many F-22s as possibly they eleccted not to do upgrades until they had gotten as many F-22s as possible, they also started retireing older Aircraft and some newer ones as well ( F-117s) in an effort to free up money to buy more F-22s. They downsized both the B-52 and B-1Bs and retired all the F-117s and that was back in 2008. The Press put their spin on it , that it was troubled and that the Airforce didn’t want it , they wanted the F-35 instead. Then Mr.Gates told the Press that Russia ans China wouldn’t have anything even on the drawing boards until 2020. that was all the brown stuff that gets ejected out the backend of bovines with horns.

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Kiddo, have not heard that in an eon. The super-rich like the very poor will always be with us. There should never be a hungry mouth or an entire family in the streets, but this is ever growing. Most large corporations no longer invest in the American people, they invest in themselves. They are afraid that paying a decent wage will take away from all of their vast wealth. Wally World is a prime example. But the government is going to be in further trouble. The middle class is dwindling. Less tax revenue. The have nots far outnumber the haves. This will continue until it turns really ugly. With most of the manufacturing base either overseas or south of the Rio Grand, things will only get worse in the near future.

Poor old Mr McCain, he lost his marbles and he just can’t seem to find them again.

Builds F-22. Tries to build “low cost” variant in three different versions for half the price. Gets upset and makes rambling speeches when never been used before technology turns out to be immature. Trying to use software to solve hardware problems is hard.

You 2k of the aircraft, then cut it back to 500 what happens. You want technology that doesn’t exist in it, what happens. You take 10–20 years to develop an aircraft because you dozens and dozens of layers of tests and reports and 99 masters to placate what do you get? An expensive aircraft, ship, whatever. We’ve NEVER had a modern weapon system come in at the original cost. Then of course because it took so long sometimes it’s obsolete by the time the troops get it. What is amazing is that much of what the services get actually is the best and works.

Yep and this is coming form the guy that helped push out future F-35 training from Holloman AFB, move F-16 training from Luke AFB AZ so the F-35 training can be move there and spend Millions to build infrastructure for Low Observables, which by the way was already at Holloman AFB since F-117 was there. That is a waste of $$. He is a KNUCKLEHEAD!

The root cause is that the air force is running this program, they seem to think money grows like grass does on their golf courses

We need someone like Adm. Rickover to run this program, he’ll shove his boot so far up Lockhead’s a.. that they will “finish” the program in six months!

Back in 1968, I rewrote the tech manual one ALQ-86, and the ALH-5 systems on the EA-6A. And have followed their development over the years since, and Know about adding them to the F-35. It was because of our work back then that we got the EA-6B, and the systems were added to every platform that came out after that. Your argument could have been used that they were trying to put too much on the EA-6B, but it worked VERY WELL. So think positive, not negative.

Obviously you have never been in the military, or you would be singing a different tune. Why in WWII did we have all of those different fighter aircraft, or different bombers? Why did we pay to build the plant that turned out the B-24s at Willow Run in Michigan, and then the auto industry got to own it and use it until now it is being torn down? Sometimes you spend, just to let the other guy know that you are willing to spend to keep safe, and to keep yourself out of the BIG WAR. You will punch someone, just to let them know that they can not walk all over you. These are reasons that we have a military, TO KEEP US SAFE.

Maybe if you would ask the guys who will be flying these aircraft, you might get some better answers on this subject. Did anyone ever bother to think of doing that? After all, it is their lives that are on the line with these aircraft.

After all, his Phantom had 2 engines.

Dale, if you will recall, the Super Hornet had more equipment on it and better engines to carry the extra 4000 pounds of load.

I am not quite sure that they got that kind of liberty of expression. Those test pilots got a biased point of view , it’s part of their duty. And the pilots don’t pay the bill, they fly.

There were some critics from pilots complaining about the poor aft visibility.

It’s not about just work, it’s about being productive. Whats the point of working, if you’re not productive? I always thought if you’re going to build something, make sure you or somebody is going to use it…otherwise, what you end up doing is building a bridge to nowhere.…..thats a waste of tax payers money.

Meanwhile Lockheed is crowing in the financial press about how the F-35 is giving a big boost to their profits.

By delivering a lot less Lockheed can still have profit growth even as sales decline.

Ok, read this article and see if you see a pattern emerge: http://​defensetech​.org/​2​0​1​1​/​0​7​/​1​9​/​4​6​-​b​i​l​l​i​o​n​-​w​ort

I don’t see what is so hard to figure out. Defense companies probably make 10% in pure profit off of development. In case you didn’t notice, the F-35 and F-22 had nothing but good press when they were in development. With most programs, they get no press at all while they are in development. It’s not until they start into production that all the negative press starts. Must just be a pure coincidence, right? When they set up the assembly line for production the risks are the highest and failure is a common occurrence. I have no doubt the defense companies lose profit at that point. Once the assembly line is running steadily, then they make less than a 10% profit, but it’s steady so most defense contractors don’t mind keeping a well established assembly line running.

(1) It doesn’t matter who’s president, democrat or republican, none of them can reign in the Defense Department. Believing they can is a false and naïve political assumption to start with.

(2) The Pentagon (supporting nonsensical estimates from an eager contractor) low balls it program prices to get them approved by a blind Congress. The “cost overruns” on the F-35 were known in 2000 when I headed up the first joint Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, OSD budget review and cost estimating team. Seven major problem areas and six minor problem areas were identified. The “system” only addressed the first. So, don’t be surprised when the “real” costs (based on underlying design, technology and engineering issues) become public.

(3) The current Congressional hearing process and staff briefings is seriously flawed and doesn’t thoroughly look through the program status, highlight and address issues in real time. There should be ongoing joint team from both the House and Senate, with enginnering experts, constantly on site at these programs. Such a review team should be required for ALL major program over a billion dollars. An occasion VIP visit from a Congressional is not acceptable.

(4) Advanced technology is tough. Engineering takes time and costs money, and is levels of effort more complex and difficult than originally guesstimated. Giving the warfighter is all that counts, although providing the taxpayer with a fair price should be a major consideration.

(5) This can be fixed. Just not with the current bunch of unprofessional “professionals” both in and out of uniform.

No way, Defens. Lockheed, the DOD, the State Department and the Congress are all in on the F-35. They have bet the ranch on making thousands of them. The F-22 was sacrificed to make sure there was no internal competition for the money. It does confuse me that the bid to stop the F-18 production a couple of years ago in an attempt to achieve a monopoly for the F-35, was countered with a multi-year procurement of the F-18 instead. Perhaps some people are hedging their bets?
I also disagree with you that “designing them is easy”. Proposing Buck Rodgers technology is easy, and selling it with modern media is easy. Actually designing a machine with predictable performance requires expertise, even on paper.
Incidentally, have a Powerpoint pitch on an anti-gravity machine I’d like to give you, if you can get a few $Billion together for seed money. No, really…it will revolutionize the air battle…you’ve never seen anything like this…It’s Buck Rodgers in the 21st Century…Honestly! You can’t pass this up.
John McCain is not on Lockheed’s payroll. He may be extorting them, but that is different from being employed by them.

McCain’s rants not withstanding, the F-35 has been the most consistently funded and accommodating to technical “challenges” I have seen in 40 years. Funding for F-35 development and LRIP production was monumental…and adequate. It is the performance of the premium price hardware that has been delivered extremely late that is controversial. Thank the Congress for throttling mass production, or many more militarily useless F-35’s would have been bought at the expense of useful equipment. Most of the blame for F-35 program is deserved by program executives in the DOD and Lockheed, who made bad decisions and have been deceptive to cover their mistakes. Why doesn’t the media hold them to account?

The good Senator was busy being a Maverick. Wasn’t it about a decade ago the USAF tanker leasing deal was being pushed? Maybe he was working too hard, and missed the F-35 memos.

McCain backs himself.

Hide the flaws? Believe what you want. We are both powerless anyway. Know this. Cost depends on capability. Oversold capability means underestimated cost. Lockheed can’t absorb this cost. You indicate that a reduction in profit will make up for the increase. Please look at the numbers. The jets are arguably 100% over projections. They only had a maximum paper profit of 9% allowed. If the capability is needed, then pay the increase. Otherwise, stop. As I have said before, the executives making the decisions made huge mistakes that underestimated costs to get to a capability. As soon as the massive magnitude of this underestimation was discovered, a “come to Jesus” event should have happened. An opportunity existed in 2004. We got this. Who are they who decided to stay the course?

Thanks Jim, but you would first have to fund the development of a time machine to take us back 3 years in order to make more F-22s. No can do. I would say write your Congressman, but he is probably guilty of the mistake too.

The tools are said to be in storage, they can produce more if they badly need to but it comes with a penalty.

McCain is a jerk career politician with dirty pockets and ego to match arrogance.

If we’d stuck with bi-planes maybe the great hero wouldn’t have crashed a couple of planes before getting shot down.

I’ll bet your anti-gravity machine works just great on paper. Hell, you can design anything on paper. As for the F-22, it was in production and its production line was threatening the F-35 development program. That’s why F-22 got the axe. It was pretty damn obvious.

We can kill the F-35 or we can wait for a Chinese fighter pilot to do the job either way this turkey is going to be dead.

McCain is a bleeding heart liberal (RINO) that hates our nation and our values. He talks out of both sides of his mouth, or you might say his A** is speaking when he should be listening and remember where he was in Nam.

Good idea — How about McCain retiring IMMEDIATELY. He has done more to harm the military in the last years to wipe pout all the good he did. The man has switched from a moderate support to a liberal who has meet with the leader of the Syrian rebels (the guy who cut out the dead Syrian and ate the heart). It is also known the rebels are getting support for Al Quida. What in the world is McCain thinking.

Aren’t American politicians a major national scandal in their own right?

This midget never liked Lockheed Martin.

Obama didn’t kill shit he was not even a Senator when the F-22 was being built.


The greatest scandal is Congress!

Thanks for the announcement. Take a look at some great F-35 JSF photos:

You are looking at the wrong end of the puppet strings — that could just as easily have been attached to McNuts — why are we paying interest to a private central bank that conjures fiat currency out of nothing? Answer: corruption — that both “Left” & “Right” have in common.

Well, It’s definitely not being built i AZ otherwise it would be the best thing since sliced bread to John M.

DoD and government in general are professionals when it comes to wasting taxpayer dollars.

F-22 program was killed (de-funded) in 2010 in favor of the JSF F-35

They replaced the government Executive program Manager.


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