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Posts Tagged ‘F-35’

DOD tester’s report: F-35 is still a lemon | Ars Technica

Posted by M. C. on February 3, 2020

https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2020/01/not-a-straight-shooter-dod-review-cites-fleet-of-faults-in-f-35-program/

The latest report on the progress of the US Defense Department’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is due out soon from the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s director for operational test and evaluation (DOT&E), Robert Behler.

Last year’s report was full of bad news. And based on Bloomberg Government’s Tony Capaccio’s early access to the new report, we know much of that bad news is still bad news. In fact, the only real good news is that there are no new major flaws in the $428 billion aircraft program reported by Behler’s team.

But the bad is still bad. For starters, the Air Force version of the F-35 can’t hit what it shoots its gun at.

There are a total of 13 Category 1 “must fix” issues still unresolved with the F-35 that stand between the program and final production. And even as the long list of less critical problems is addressed, new ones keep popping up. “Although the program office is working to fix deficiencies,” Behler wrote in the report viewed by Bloomberg, “new discoveries are still being made, resulting in only a minor decrease in the overall number.” And “many significant” issues remain to be addressed, he noted.

The report does not include data from the current round of combat testing, so even more problems may soon be added to the list.

ALIS doesn’t live here anymore

One of the major sources of problems with the F-35 program is the Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS)—the software that drives maintenance and logistics for each F-35 aircraft. ALIS is supposed to intelligently drive the flow of maintenance parts, guide support crews in scheduling maintenance, and ensure the right parts get stuck in the right places. Aircraft health and maintenance action information is sent by the ALIS software in each aircraft out to the entire distributed logistical support network.

But ALIS has had some problems—including the fact that the software was not complete when Lockheed Martin began shipping aircraft, and each group of the 490 aircraft already delivered arrived with one of six different versions of the software. All of them will require extensive software retrofits when the seventh is complete, along with the other 510 or so that are expected to have been delivered worldwide by that point.

There are still 873 specific problems in ALIS and other F-35 software (down from 917 in 2018). In fact, the DOD has announced it will replace ALIS outright, eventually.

And those have been a contributor to the F-35 fleet’s poor reliability. According to OT&E, the overall fleet of F-35s fell far short of being 80-percent “mission capable”—meaning that they could be used in at least one type of combat mission. The Navy’s F-35C fleet “suffered from a particularly poor” mission-capable rate, the OT&E team stated.

In addition to just functional software problems, the OT&E office also reported that cybersecurity issues that had been identified in previous reports on the F-35 program had still not been resolved.

Do you even shoot, bro

While the Navy and Marine Corps versions of the F-35 may have more availability problems than the relatively less-complex Air Force F-35A, they can do at least one thing better: hit what they’re shooting at.

The F-35B and F-35C have externally mounted guns, while the Air Force’s 25-millimeter cannon is mounted internally. Problems with the alignment of the gun’s mount, and the fact that the mount occasionally cracks after the gun has fired, have made the accuracy of the gun “unacceptable,” according to test officials, and have made the Air Force restrict use of the gun. While the F-35 program office has worked on improvements of the gun mount for the F-35A, these have not yet been tested.

But none of this is really slowing down acquisition of the F-35—now the most expensive DOD weapons program in history. Considering that the F-35 was originally supposed to be the “low” in the “high-low mix“—with the F-22 being the more capable aircraft—the huge cost overruns and flaws make the F-35 look increasingly like the world’s most expensive lemon.

 

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Pentagon racks up $35 trillion in accounting changes in a year

Posted by M. C. on January 22, 2020

The Defense Department acknowledged that it failed its first-ever audit in 2018…

FIRST EVER!

While auditors found no evidence of fraud…

Of course not. The government is auditing itself. Like when the justice department investigates the (justice department’s own) FIB.

All that money and we haven’t won a war since 1945 and have been in a stalemate with a couple of almost stone age countries since 2002.

Pentagon: The definition of failure…is rewarded more money by Government: The definition of failure.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/pentagon-racks-up-dollar35-trillion-in-accounting-changes-in-a-year/ar-BBZcVdy

Tony Capaccio

The Pentagon made $35 trillion in accounting adjustments last year alone — a total that’s larger than the entire U.S. economy and underscores the Defense Department’s continuing difficulty in balancing its books.

The latest estimate is up from $30.7 trillion in 2018 and $29 trillion in 2017, the first year adjustments were tracked in a concerted way, according to Pentagon figures and a lawmaker who’s pursued the accounting morass.

The figure dwarfs the $738 billion of defense-related funding in the latest U.S. budget, a spending plan that includes the most expensive weapons systems in the world including the F-35 jet as well as new aircraft carriers, destroyers and submarines.

“Within that $30 trillion is a lot of double, triple, and quadruple counting of the same money as it got moved between accounts,” said Todd Harrison, a Pentagon budget expert with the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

The Defense Department acknowledged that it failed its first-ever audit in 2018 and then again last year, when it reviewed $2.7 trillion in assets and $2.6 trillion in liabilities. While auditors found no evidence of fraud in the review of finances that Congress required, they flagged a laundry list of problems, including accounting adjustments.

Although it gets scant public attention compared with airstrikes, troop deployments, sexual assault statistics or major weapons programs, the reliability of the Pentagon’s financial statement is an indication of how effectively the military manages its resources considering that it receives over half of discretionary domestic spending.

The military services make adjustments, some automatic and some manual, on a monthly and quarterly basis, and those actions are consolidated by the Pentagon’s primary finance and accounting service and submitted to the Treasury.

There were 546,433 adjustments in fiscal 2017 and 562,568 in 2018, according to figures provided by Representative Jackie Speier, who asked the Government Accountability Office to investigate. The watchdog agency will release a report on the subject Wednesday after reviewing more than 200,000 fourth-quarter 2018 adjustments totaling $15 trillion.

‘Sloppy Record-Keeping’…

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f35-moneydump

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Andrew Yang: Government Takeover of Drug Manufacturing, Licensing Would Lower Prices

Posted by M. C. on December 11, 2019

He also advocates for punishing businesses who do not cooperate with the government.

Government already punishes businesses.

Military, education, health care, annual trillion dollar deficits. A 17 year long war, $trillion+  war with no end in sight that we were told would pay for itself. The  F-35 a $billion over budget. The first deployed $12 billion Ford class aircraft carrier has a launch system that won’t launch F-35 aircraft for years (if ever?).

Government has quite history of keeping costs down.

The sad thing is the sheeple will buy Yang’s story.

https://www.breitbart.com/2020-election/2019/12/10/andrew-yang-government-drug-manufacturing-lower-prices/

by Penny Starr

Democrat entrepreneur Andrew Yang is a long shot to win the White House in 2020, but he is still rolling out his presidential plans, including more federal government control over the medical prescription industry.

Andrew Yang’s plan includes using international standards for drug pricing, licensing drug companies that cooperate with the government’s regulations, and public manufacturing of medications.

Yang makes a pitch for his plans on his campaign website:

We need to put pressure on these companies to get their prices under control and more in line with the rest of the world. Americans pay twice as much as Australians and three times as much as the Dutch on prescription drugs due to lack of price control. We have to give the federal government authority to negotiate drug prices and use standard international price reference points so pharmaceutical companies can no longer exploit our market and the American people.

If these companies are not willing to compromise, we need to ensure the U.S. government has the ability to force licenses for these drugs to companies who will. Additionally, we need to authorize the creation of public manufacturing facilities to make these drugs, as well as other necessary drugs and unprofitable but necessary medications, for the American people.

Yang also said that Congress should legislate to make it possible for Medicare — or the government — to negotiate drug prices. He also advocates for punishing businesses who do not cooperate with the government.

“If a company is charging too much, someone willing to charge a reasonable amount will be granted a license to make the medication,” Yang said on his campaign website.

“According to his campaign, Yang would also allow for importing prescription medication from other countries ‘if all else fails,’” the Hill reported.

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f35-moneydump

 

 

 

 

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Price of the Alliance: The F-35 Undermines Korean Peace, South Korea’s National Security – Antiwar.com Original

Posted by M. C. on October 16, 2019

One might wonder why South Korea is even taking delivery of a plane that, as a model, is still being evaluated and is by no means near full development seventeen years into the program. This is because Lockheed Martin is fast-tracking the rollout of units for foreign purchase to offset the outrageous cost of the program. Essentially South Korea is buying a fleet of unfinished, defective jets.

I wonder what the Boltonesque non-refusable deal was that would make SK buy and flaunt a piece of junk to jeopardize peace.

https://original.antiwar.com/Stu_Smallwood/2019/10/15/price-of-the-alliance-the-f-35-undermines-korean-peace-south-koreas-national-security/

South Korean President Moon Jae-in did something very unusual in early October for a leader who once deemed the Korean peace process among the highest priorities of his administration: He promoted the very fighter jets that North Korea says undermine diplomacy.

President Moon was on hand to celebrate the first delivery of the Lockheed Martin F-35A “next generation” fighter jets that, with 40 in total set to arrive by 2021, represent the most expensive weapons purchase in South Korean history according to Reuters.

“The war of the future will be a fight of science and intelligence against all elements that threaten our people’s safety and property,” Moon said in a speech to promote the jets, noting that he felt “secure about the might of [South Korea’s] military armed with new … F-35As.”

Diplomacy with North Korea aside, one could accept South Korea’s introduction of the F-35A as a necessary evil for national security if the jets were crucial to addressing a critical shortcoming in military capacity. But the evidence suggests the opposite – that there is, in fact, nothing “scientific” or “intelligent” about the purchase. Nor is there any clear need to publicly celebrate the delivery of these jets, using them as a prop to appear strong on national security (itself an acquiescence to South Korea’s hawkish right wing) at a time when the peace process is hanging over the abyss by a thread.

The F-35 Fuels North Korea’s Ballistic Missile Advancements

Perception rules when it comes to national security and the F-35A is, in theory, a game-changer for South Korean force projection. Official claims suggest the jet threatens North Korea’s ability to retaliate in the face of a US-South Korean invasion. This is hugely problematic because a basic element of military strategy is maintaining not only the capacity, but (just as importantly) the appearance of the capacity, to respond with prohibitive force in the event of an enemy attack.

This appearance alone should be enough to discourage any rational actor from considering a pre-emptive strike. This concept is commonly referred to as mutually assured destruction in nuclear warfare, but the principle is the same for conventional weaponry. North Korea relies heavily on ballistic missiles and artillery targeting South Korea for this purpose. As things currently stand, the threat of massive casualties in Seoul is enough to prevent overt attempts at North Korean regime change.

Yet, the F-35A is said to be a stealth jet that can travel undetected at unprecedented speeds to deliver payloads to a target. This would – again in theory – allow the South Korean air force to fly into North Korean territory undetected and destroy their ballistic missile launchers, dealing a serious blow to their retaliatory capabilities and potentially making the price of an invasion much less prohibitive…

Problems Abound for the Unfinished, Inadequately Tested F-35A

Without access to the F-35A, North Korea is forced to believe the hype – and respond to the potential threat it represents. But one would naturally assume South Korea, as an ally of the United States and reliable purchaser of US weaponry surely has in-depth knowledge of just what the F-35A is – and isn’t – capable of. This makes President Moon’s use of the jets as a national security prop all the more disconcerting because even official reports indicate the F-35A is a turkey.

Not even the US military knows whether the jet will ever be reliable because it hasn’t even come close to being adequately tested and still faces myriad issues. Dan Grazier, an F-35 expert at the Project On Government Oversight, reported in August that the F-35 test fleet has only achieved an 11 percent “fully mission capable rate” – embarrassingly low when the initial goal was to reach 80 percent readiness by the end of operational testing.

One might wonder why South Korea is even taking delivery of a plane that, as a model, is still being evaluated and is by no means near full development seventeen years into the program. This is because Lockheed Martin is fast-tracking the rollout of units for foreign purchase to offset the outrageous cost of the program. Essentially South Korea is buying a fleet of unfinished, defective jets…

The purchase of the F-35A must be viewed in this context – in the same vein as the introduction of the THAAD system, which itself is an unproven technology that strains South Korea’s relationship with China as well as North Korea. If the acquisition of flawed and untested weaponry is the price of the alliance, at what point does the alliance itself become prohibitively expensive, both in terms of raw tax dollars and the threat to regional stability?

It is bad enough that a supposed peace president not only fails to address this question; that he flaunts the dubious and provocative F-35A as a political prop is all the more troubling and indicative of South Korea’s unfortunate role in relation to the US – a loyal customer of US weapons above all, regardless of its national interest.

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Screenshot of Korean War from American History Lux

 

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The Pentagon’s new nuclear doctrine is scary as hell — RT Op-ed

Posted by M. C. on July 23, 2019

…maintaining a stranglehold over its empire…

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/464467-nuclear-weapons-doctrine-american/

Darius Shahtahmasebi

The Pentagon is actively contemplating the use of nuclear weapons to win wars that need not be fought in the first place. As expected, opposition to the US nuclear doctrine is almost non-existent in the mainstream media.

It used to be the case that the idea of using nuclear weapons in a real-world conflict was such a taboo idea that no one was ever openly to contemplate it. We need only look back to the end of World War II to realize how catastrophic and harmful nuclear weapons can be on civilian populations; yet we shouldn’t have had the blueprint of Nagasaki and Hiroshima to know that the use of nuclear weapons would be a frightening and criminal act. They are deadly and unnecessary, end of story. You can all save me the cliched response “But they ended a war.”

Firstly, the use of nuclear weapons didn’t end a war – it started one (the Cold War). Secondly, anyone who knows even a little bit of history knows that Japan was on the verge of defeat. But don’t take my word for it – I wasn’t there. But those who were typically made statements to the effect that “[t]he use of [the atomic bombs] at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender.” But I digress.

The United States military has decided that the only chance it has of maintaining a stranglehold over its empire is to actively contemplate the scenarios and situations in which it should deploy the use of nuclear weapons.

 

According to the Pentagon’s June Nuclear Operations or Joint Publication 3-72 (which was unsurprisingly made private not long after its release), the US believes that “developing nuclear contingency plans sends an important signal to adversaries and enemies that the US has the capability and willingness to employ nuclear weapons to defend itself and its allies and partners”.

Nuclear weapon capabilities constitute a vital element of national defense,” the document states. “Nuclear operations are those activities within the range of military operations, to include deterrence, crisis response, strike assessment and return to stability.”

The Pentagon apparently believes that it is “necessary” and “prudent” to “preplan nuclear employment options for contingencies prior to a crisis,” which includes “a means to assess the anticipated effectiveness of options prior to execution,” as well as a “means to assess the nature and extent of unintended consequences.”…

Somehow, the use of nuclear weapons is only scary or worthy of discussion if that discussion involves countries such as Russia and China. Just take the bombshell admission that the US stores nuclear weapons in Turkey as an example. The US is saying it will remove Ankara from its F-35 fighter jet program – but only because Turkey has purchased the advanced S-400 missile defense system from Moscow. The US barely blinked as a failed coup in 2016 could have put advanced nuclear weapons in some very unsavory hands…

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e4dd4-iu

 

 

 

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Turkey Trolls Trump – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on July 18, 2019

Turkey’s Erdogan has been trying to suck US into a full blown war in Syria. Instigating poison gas attacks for example which we know about thanks to Seymour Hersh.

Turkey is wooing Russia. Erdogan rightly fears regime change. He knows what happens when you don’t do as the US says.

That is why he is buying the Russian defense system.

Will the US do war on Russians doorstep?

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/07/yvonne-lorenzo/turkey-trolls-trump/

By

Moon of Alabama published an article recently on Turkey’s purchase of the Russia S-400 system and included a tweet from “government controlled Turkish news agency Anadolu made it abundantly clear what the system is supposed to target. When it announced the news of the arrival it attached the picture below to its tweet” and here’s a screen capture of the Tweet:

Moon of Alabama posted the entire image and I couldn’t help laughing. All that’s missing from the potential targets is the F-35. But you’ll note all of them are American systems. It’s easy to guess that Turkey is defending itself from any bombing campaign instigated by Washington to initiate “regime change.”

As I’ve written on LewRockwell.com, backed by experts, VLO or stealth is essentially marketing hype. Russian historian and military analyst Andrei Martyanov discussed the S-400 deal on his blog:

I want to clear the air from the very start: Turkey knows what [the] F-35 is and that is why she will “survive” cancellation of F-35 deliveries. F-35 for Turkey, who produced a number of parts for this aircraft, was primarily of industrial interest. So, all this contrived BS about security issues is just that, BS. Modern Air Defense complexes, such as S-400, even in their export version, can detect, track and shoot down all those VLO (Very Low Observability) targets such as F-35. The only “security issue” here for the United States was the fact that having “live” F-35 and S-400 simultaneously by the key member of NATO would have revealed publicly (in professional circles it is known well already) all [the] massive faults with F-35 in general and ONLY-VLO-centric combat aircraft concept in particular.

Martyanov wrote an entire short piece on “Radiophotonics” here, entitled, “Radiophotonics, Again” and this is a relevant excerpt, since I have no engineering or technical background:

This morning, however, some interesting news—it does exist, it is in the process of trials and addressing its inevitable issues (in Russian), and that means the end radio VLO as such in a very near future. Not that VLO is that much useful now in high end peer-to-peer warfare but ramifications of radiophotonics radar being deployed in the modern battle-field are immense and have strategic implications. This also explains Russia’s rather calm and confident reaction in the last 20+ years to US radio VLO (Stealth) developments since modern signal processing and sensor fusion techniques allow for a very effective countering of “stealth” targets.

In fact, at this stage any further investment into VLO technologies seems to be just a waste of time and money or, as Commanders Gattuso and Tanner wrote 17 years ago (in relation to CVN(X)), it is:

like polishing cannonballs so they will fly a little farther

An article on the “massive faults” of the F-35 posted on Defensenews.com entitled, “The Pentagon is Battling the Clock to Fix Serious, Unreported F-35 Problems.” No doubt the taxpayer will be on the hook to fix these problems—more billions, at the least. I lack the expertise to determine whether the F-35 will be viable but an informed source in private communication opined:

My personal guesstimate is that the F-35 will eventually become a capable command post and a capable ground strike platform. It is stealthy enough to be used against primitive enemies but has absolutely NO chance against Russia [and China] and her integrated air defense network (including ground stations, AWACS and the typical mix of MiG-31BM, Su-34, Su-30SM, Su-35S and Su-57).

In terms of air-to-air, the F-35 (all versions) suffers from bad aerodynamics, poor thrust-to-weight ratio, poor range, poor speed, poor armament and an inadequate (under-powered) radar.  One US specialist said that a first-generation F-16 could beat the F-35 in a one-on-one air-to-air combat. So they will be used under the protection of F-22s and only in theaters where the opposing forces has poor to medium air defenses (Syria and Iran are both in that category, with the exception of some better protected locations).

Bottom line: the US is screwed. There are BILLIONS riding on the F-35 program and no alternatives in the foreseeable future.

What the US should have done is modernize its fleet of F-16, F-15 and F-18 aircraft like the Russians did with the Su-27 or Tu-22M3…

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Trump’s “Salute to America” Is a Salute to Government Employees | Mises Institute

Posted by M. C. on July 8, 2019

Slavish displays of patriotism and loyalty to the state are inimical to the real meaning of the holiday.

https://mises.org/power-market/trumps-salute-america-salute-government-employees

Ryan McMaken

…More observant readers will note, of course, that the event is not a salute to “America” at all. It is a salute to the Pentagon. According to the presdient, the purpose of the event is “showing to the American people, among other things, the strongest and most advanced Military anywhere in the World. Incredible Flyovers & biggest ever Fireworks!”

Were the event actually a salute to America, it would celebrate the private sector and all the taxpayers who are forced to pay more than $5,000 per year, per taxpayer, just to fund the Pentagon and its related agencies.1

Rather than a grotesque display of military hardware — such as the trillion-dollar boondoggle known as the F-35 — the “Salute” would line up tractor trailer trucks and commercial airliners to be admired by the people who benefit daily from the goods and services made possible by them. Meanwhile, the Salute would honor the truck drivers, airline pilots, insurance brokers, and janitors who produce all the wealth that is eventually skimmed by tax collectors to pay for — among other things — giant DC government parties…

At the Salute, government employees would be allowed to express their admiration to these productive taxpayers, with phrases such as:

Of course, if the president and members of Congress want to pay for a fireworks display out of their own pockets to show their thanks to the people who pay the bills, that would be fine…

Independence Day should be a celebration against government and a reminder that Americans can once again walk away from tyranny, even if force of arms is required.

This does not defame or insult the American troops, but rather reminds us that we are a civilian nation and the government, and its troops, are supposed to be our servants rather than our masters. Slavish displays of patriotism and loyalty to the state are inimical to the real meaning of the holiday.

If Americans really wanted to celebrate the spirit of the Declaration, they’d demand a parade of smugglers, tax cheats, and secessionists. But then again, those people are usually busy working for a living, and it might be hard to get them to show up. Government employees, on the other hand, have plenty of spare time for yet another salute to themselves.

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America's sport

Government’s favorite sport-War

 

 

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The Pentagon’s Days of Future Past – Antiwar.com Original

Posted by M. C. on April 27, 2019

None other than Robert McNamara alerted us 25 years ago that high-tech military forces and equipment are tragically limited in so-called small wars against motivated adversaries. But, the Pentagon refuses to accept this lesson.

https://original.antiwar.com/dave_foster/2019/04/26/the-pentagons-days-of-future-past/

Polish cavalry didn’t really charge tanks as the Germans rolled into their country in 1939. But they did have an outmoded military. Last War-ism played a part: Polish cavalry (along with effective code breaking) fended off the numerically superior Soviets in 1920. But the Poles weren’t the only ones who had not kept up with the times.

On December 7, 1941, the U.S. had 19 battleships and eight aircraft carriers. Eight battleships were damaged that day, two permanently. By the Battle of Midway six months later it was becoming clear that carriers were the future of the surface fleet. Yet, eight new battleships were commissioned after Pearl Harbor, showing the enduring strength of the 19th century idea. The remaining battleships played useful roles, but by war’s end the battleship’s day in the sun was over. Several were used as targets during the Bikini Atoll atomic tests in 1946. Virtually all of the rest had been sold for scrap or donated as local museums by the end of the 1940s. However, four decommissioned soon after WWII but not cut-up for scrap famously reemerged for a time in the 1980s and early-1990s, and calls for their return still happen from time to time.

The Pentagon’s reverence for the stealth is a more recent example of over-investing in a fleeting technological advantage is. Stealth, or low observability, was discovered by a Russian scientist in the early-1960s. It took decades of research and development to put into practice, but military value of stealth was short-lived… Read the rest of this entry »

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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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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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