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Posts Tagged ‘F-35’

Too big to fail: With millions invested, the F-35 is here to stay

Posted by M. C. on April 5, 2019

“The military industrial congressional complex has perfected its methods for ensuring programs of this kind can endure despite disappointing performance in almost every objective military measure,”

https://www.opensecrets.org/news/2019/04/too-big-to-fail-with-millions-invested-the-f-35/

By

In 1997, Lockheed Martin was selected to compete to design and build what would become the F-35 Lightning II. Over that course of time, this fighter jet program has become one of the most expensive in American history and has faced a variety of serious technical and functional challenges. The plane was finally deemed ready for combat in 2018, despite remaining concerns about the plane’s ability to fly and fight.

Even with all the controversy regarding the plane, bipartisan members of Congress this week asked their colleagues to adjust President Trump’s 2020 budget request to include more F-35s. As Lockheed has invested millions in congressional candidates and created jobs in nearly every U.S. state, the political support of the project remains strong.

The House members that wrote the letter asking for more F-35s are part of the Joint Strike Fighter Caucus. The group, led by Reps. John Larson (D-Conn.), Martha Roby (R-Ala.), Marc Veasey (D-Texas) and Mike Turner (R-Ohio), was formed in 2011 by Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas) and former Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Wa.). All five of the current caucus members mentioned above received the maximum in PAC contributions from Lockheed Martin in the 2018 cycle. In a press release announcing the caucus’ formation, Granger and Dicks called the fighter plane program “an absolute necessity,” citing the number of jobs it would support.

Initially, the planes were supposed to cost $38 million each, however even though it often dramatically underperforms each individual plane costs the U.S. government an average of $158.4 million. Lockheed Martin is the prime contractor, while Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems contributed parts…

“The military industrial congressional complex has perfected its methods for ensuring programs of this kind can endure despite disappointing performance in almost every objective military measure,” he said.

A recent report by the Project on Government Oversight (POGO) laid out the litany of problems facing the aircraft. Some of the issues include malfunctioning combat computer systems, cyber vulnerabilities which could allow hackers to access the planes’ network, problems with the accuracy of the planes’ guns and a tendency to develop cracks which require numerous repairs.

Dan Grazier, a former Marine Corps captain and military fellow at POGO and author of the report, said that even with all the program’s problems it will continue on.

“The military industrial congressional complex has perfected its methods for ensuring programs of this kind can endure despite disappointing performance in almost every objective military measure,” he said…

Since the 1990 cycle, Lockheed employees and the company’s PAC have contributed almost a combined $39.7 million. The 2018 cycle saw the most contributed by affiliates in a midterm with almost $4.7 million.

Granger was the top recipient of money from Lockheed’s PAC and employees in 2018 with $131,940, more than double the next closest recipient. Granger, the ranking member on the House Appropriations Committee, received $549,990, mostly from Lockheed employees, over the course of her career making it her top all-time donor.

Granger has been a member of the Appropriations Committee since 1999 and at different points served as Vice Chair and Chair of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee. One of the F-35 assembly plants is in Granger’s district and she has been described as a “champion” of the program…

“Even if the engineers can eventually complete the design and make it function the way we have been promised it would, the program comes with a high cost of ownership,” he said. “This is by design as it ensures Lockheed Martin receives lucrative, sole-source sustainment contracts for as long as the aircraft flies.”

He also laid out another unforeseen consequence of the program’s struggles — the possibility of pilots leaving the service as there will be “a difficult time keeping the aircraft flying.” And with fewer aircraft in the air, top pilots could get frustrated and leave the service, Grazier warned…

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f35-moneydump

 

 

 

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U.S. “Gets Its Ass Handed To It” In World War III Simulation: RAND

Posted by M. C. on March 11, 2019

FACEBOOK BLOCKING SHARES DIRECTLY FROM ZEROHEDGE.

You have to ask why is government funded, MIC master of propaganda Rand broadcasting this potential disaster scenario.

The comments on the F-35 are bogus: the F-35 rules the sky when it’s in the sky…The F-35 is slow, heavy, short range, massively over budget, massively late and to my knowledge has not been tested in combat.

Then what I was thinking showed up in the last paragraph:

With the defense budget stuck around $700 billion per annum for the remainder of President Trump’s term, America’s Warhawks are inciting fear through simulated wargames with one purpose only: demand more taxpayers’ money for war spending.

Pratt & Whitney produces the F135 engine that powers the “next generation” F-35 fighter jet, which according to a study by the Rand Corporation “can’t turn, can’t climb, can’t run”. Beginning with a $4.8 billion development contract awarded just weeks after 9/11 gave our defense industry the keys to the Treasury, by 2010 the cost to “complete” the F135 engine was estimated at over $7.28 billion. On top of that, earlier this year the Department of Defense (DoD) awarded Pratt & Whitney $1.13 billion for F135 engine production, and this month the U.S. Navy gave them another $75 million “to fund a set of studies on feasibility, operational readiness, cost, and implementation of the Joint Strike Fighter engines, which are already in production. [The money is] in addition to the roughly $16 million each engine costs the government…”

Remember when the congress increases next year’s pentagram budget by 5% instead of the planned 10%, that is considered a budget CUT.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-03-09/us-gets-its-ass-handed-it-world-war-iii-simulation-rand

by Tyler Durden

In simulated World War III scenarios, the U.S. continues to lose against Russia and China, two top war planners warned last week. “In our games, when we fight Russia and China, blue gets its ass handed to it” RAND analyst David Ochmanek said Thursday.

RAND’s wargames show how US Armed Forces – colored blue on wargame maps – experience the most substantial losses in one scenario after another and still can’t thwart Russia or China – which predictably is red – from accomplishing their objectives: annihilating Western forces.

“We lose a lot of people. We lose a lot of equipment. We usually fail to achieve our objective of preventing aggression by the adversary,” he warned.

In the next military conflict, which some believe may come as soon as the mid-2020s, all five battlefield domains: land, sea, air, space, and cyberspace, will be heavily contested, suggesting the U.S. could have a difficult time in achieving superiority as it has in prior conflicts. Read the rest of this entry »

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US Air Force Admits F-35 Will Harm Health and Learning of Vermont Children

Posted by M. C. on October 25, 2018

A moment of truthfulness. Someone slipped up.

Let’s hope Uncle doesn’t start a burn pit near the school. Think Subic Bay in Vermont.

https://truthout.org/articles/us-air-force-admits-f-35-will-harm-health-and-learning-of-vermont-children/

James Marc Leas

In its 2013 Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), the US Air Force disclosed that operation of the F-16 fighter aircraft in the Chamberlin School neighborhood of South Burlington, Vermont, assaults children with noise sufficient to cause learning impairment. The EIS also shows that 45 percent more children will have their learning impaired if the Air Force executes its plan to base F-35 jets in that neighborhood…

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f35-moneydump

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Watch “Most EXPENSIVE Military Mistakes” on YouTube

Posted by M. C. on October 8, 2018

Remind me to repost this in April. This is did not do the F 35 fiasco justice.

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Trigger-Happy Defense Earmarking Leads to Even More F-35s | The American Conservative

Posted by M. C. on September 30, 2018

US armed forces, NATO and the military/industrial/bankster complex are basing their future, and ours, on this piece of junk.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/trigger-happy-defense-earmarking-leads-to-even-more-f-35s/

By ROSS MARCHAND

The plane has cost taxpayers an estimated $1.5 trillion and it’s still not ready for action.

Well into the second year of the Trump administration, “draining the swamp” is more of a hapless zigzag than a charge against Washington’s sacred cows.

Case in point: the earmarking process. Despite a 2011 ban on congressional earmarking, lawmakers have found ways to bake “inducements” into massive defense and infrastructure bills. Tallying and tabulating the earmarks found in the fiscal year (FY) 2019 Defense Appropriations Bill, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) found 679 earmarks totaling $19.3 billion. These earmarks fuel unnecessary and unaccountable programs that harm taxpayers and service members alike… Read the rest of this entry »

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Navy’s F-35 doesn’t have range for real stealth strikes, House report says | Ars Technica

Posted by M. C. on May 24, 2018

This article is mild compared to others we have seen. The F-35 is one of the biggest boondoggles in US military history.

The F-35C suffers somewhat from the length of its development cycle. Competition for the Joint Strike Fighter program began in 1993—25 years ago

25 years and still stumbling. The military will keep on trying until it kills us.

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2018/05/navys-f-35-doesnt-have-range-for-real-stealth-strikes-house-report-says/

The F-35C suffers somewhat from the length of its development cycle. Competition for the Joint Strike Fighter program began in 1993—25 years ago—when the military threats facing the United States were significantly different. In 1993, there was no concern about Chinese “carrier killer” anti-ship ballistic missiles, for example; but in 2010, China introduced the Dongfeng (or Dong-Feng) 21D, an anti-ship ballistic missile with a range of 900 miles and a circular error probability of 20 meters. That’s accurate enough, with satellite tracking and terminal guidance, to hit an aircraft carrier far offshore. Read the rest of this entry »

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US Navy canceling program to turn gas-guzzling destroyers into hybrids

Posted by M. C. on March 9, 2018

Remember one administration ago when climate change was our greatest enemy. Now we find out the green navy’s biggest enemy is reality.

The navy wasted only $52M. Cheap for government work.

Of course reality didn’t stop the F-35 program.

https://www.defensenews.com/naval/2018/03/08/the-us-navy-is-cancelling-a-program-to-turn-gas-guzzling-destroyers-into-hybrids/

The Navy is canceling a program to install fuel-efficient hybrid electric drives in 34 destroyers, leaving only one destroyer with the technology, the Navy confirmed in a statement.

Citing “department priorities,” the service requested $6.3 million for 2018 to finish the installation on the destroyer Truxtun, but has zeroed out funding in 2019 and in the out years. The service has spent about $52 million on the program to date. The whole program was expected to cost $356.25 million, according to the Navy’s FY2017 budget submission…

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2017 Was a Banner Year for the Arms Industry – Antiwar.com Original

Posted by M. C. on December 21, 2017

Every day is Christmas at the pentagram! It makes sure of that!

When all that armament ends up in “enemy” hands it will just keeping arms trade pot stirred.

Drugs, poverty, terrorism-it is no accident all our wars just keep on going.

http://original.antiwar.com/Harry_Blain/2017/12/20/2017-banner-year-arms-industry/

Half of Pentagon spending goes to contractors, the military budget is set to skyrocket, and the Trump administration is peddling arms all over the world

$110 billion from Saudi Arabia, $2.4 billion from austerity-ravaged Greece, $1.4 billion from Taiwan – all these deals have been set in motion by the Trump White House. Even if they’re not completely fulfilled, as can often be the case in such an opaque and unpredictable market, the financial outlook for America’s arms companies will keep making other (less lethal) industries look like mom-and-pop stores. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Government Will Make The F-35 Work, Or A lot Of People Will Die Trying

Posted by M. C. on April 5, 2017

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/04/03/gilmore_farewells_trump_government_slamming_the_f35_again/?mt=1491228049829

Now-retired Dr Michael Gilmore, until recently the Director of Test and Evaluation for the US military, has published his final evaluation of the F-35 program, and it’s a treat.

In his parting report (PDF), deliciously dated April 1*, Gilmore details a host of issues remaining with the US$391 billion-and-counting project, with everything from its combat-readiness to its wing design under the microscope.

“The Services have designated 276 deficiencies in combat performance as “critical to correct” in Block 3F, but less than half of the critical deficiencies were addressed with attempted corrections in 3FR6”, the report states. Read the rest of this entry »

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F-35 Continues to Stumble

Posted by M. C. on April 1, 2017

http://www.pogo.org/straus/issues/weapons/2017/f35-continues-to-stumble.html?referrer=http://www.antiwar.com/

Here is just a sample.

Another structural issue yet to be resolved on the F-35C involves the wings. During test flights, engineers discovered the ends of the wings were not strong enough to support the weight of the AIM-9X short-range air-to-air missile. The F-35C’s wings fold at the ends to save space in the crowded confines of the deck and hangars on aircraft carriers. When the missiles are carried past the wing fold, the weight exceeds structural limits when the plane maneuvers hard and during landings. According to DOT&E, until the problem is corrected, “the F-35C will have a restricted flight envelope for missile carriage and employment, which will be detrimental to maneuvering, [and] close-in engagements.” It’s more detrimental, even, than the F-35’s other inherent maneuvering limitations. The problem is bad enough that Lt. Gen. Bogdan has admitted the F-35C will need an entirely redesigned outer wing.
Complete and total disaster. $100 billion worth so far and counting…

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