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Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Lockheed Martin’

How F-35 Fighters Will Siphon An Extra Trillion Dollars From Taxpayers – The National Memo – Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Posted by M. C. on May 2, 2019

https://www.nationalmemo.com/how-f-35-fighters-will-siphon-an-extra-trillion-dollars-from-taxpayers/

When you buy a new car, you aren’t required to go back to the dealership for oil changes, but our nation’s taxpayers are stuck with billions of dollars in bills to maintain pricey weapons systems and aircraft from politically connected firms like Lockheed Martin and Boeing after they sell them to the government.

These “sustainment costs” for the next generation of F-35 fighter jets, already the world’s most expensive weapons program, are expected to top $1 trillion over the life of the program.

“Contractors want the government to accept whatever costs or prices they offer with little review or recourse for overpricing, regardless of contract type or the level of competition involved,” said J. David Cox, the national president of the American Federation of Government Employees.

Cox was criticizing a recent government report that recommends ways to ease regulations on contractors to make it easier for our country’s military to compete with China and Russia in modernizing weapons.

“Nothing could be farther from the truth,” Cox wrote in his letter to the chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees. “If these changes were implemented, they would compound the effects of previous misguided ‘reforms’ and result in large unnecessary costs.”

Will Roper, the assistant secretary of acquisition, technology and logistics for the Air Force, wants to get away from the sustainment model. He suggested paying a license fee or royalties to contractors.

The Air Force could make contracts for upgrades and repairs part of a bidding process and use software that allows different companies to design add-ons for it.

Contractors are pushing back.

“I’m more convinced than ever that would be a mistake,” said Tim Matthews, a retired rear admiral and vice president of F-35 sustainment for Lockheed Martin.

In 2016, Lockheed Martin employed 55 former Defense Department officials as board members or lobbyists, according to a report by Project on Government Oversight.

Boeing, whose KC-46 tanker aircraft were temporarily rejected by the Air Force because of trash and tools left inside, has even more former Defense Department officials on its payroll – 84 in 2016. Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan spent 31 years at Boeing…

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F-35 helmet costs $400,000 — 4 times that of predecessor

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2015/10/26/f-35-helmet-costs-400000-4-times-predecessor/74650574/

 

 

 

 

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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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f35-moneydump

 

 

 

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Hiding in Plain Sight – US Military Sales Gone Rogue? – Antiwar.com Original

Posted by M. C. on February 18, 2019

Hillary Clinton, the former Secretary of State, wrote a memo in 2009 that was released by WikiLeaks. The memo acknowledged state “donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide… Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qaida, the Taliban, LeT [Lashkar e-Tayyiba], and other terrorist groups, including Hamas, which probably raise millions of dollars annually from Saudi sources.”

https://original.antiwar.com/kimberly_dvorak/2019/02/17/hiding-in-plain-sight-us-military-sales-gone-rogue/

In the 60s the US military had the ingenious idea to purge the armed services of excess and dated weaponry that would increase operational capability of US forces and allow America’s allies to purchase military equipment that would improve interoperability. Congress formally created the Foreign Military Sales program (FMS), however, like any well-intentioned government program, it morphed into something other than its intended purpose, in this case, an international arms trafficking business… Read the rest of this entry »

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Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson sends out mass email attacking CODEPINK and appealing to Congress not to stop the war in Yemen | CODEPINK | AGR Daily 60 Second News Bites

Posted by M. C. on December 11, 2018

Certainly a brazen hussy!

Keeping Lockheed Martin’s and Saudi Arabia’s pockets lined by paying for the Yemen war. Yemen is the big loser. You and me somewhat less so…unless you are in the US military and dying or dismembered in Yemen.

War_Is_a_Racket_(cover)

https://agrdailynews.com/2018/11/10/lockheed-martin-ceo-marillyn-hewson-sends-out-mass-email-attacking-codepink-and-appealing-to-congress-not-to-stop-the-war-in-yemen-codepink/

GENERAL NEWS

Lockheed Martin CEO Marillyn Hewson sends out mass email attacking CODEPINK and appealing to Congress not to stop the war in Yemen | CODEPINK

Marillyn Hewson, the CEO of Lockheed Martin, has sent out a mass email toady attacking the peace organization CODEPINK and asking U.S. citizens not to let Congress curtail weapons sales to Saudi Arabia by voting for new legislation introduced today that would do that. In her email, sent to over 200,000 people, she calls CODEPINK “bad for business” and openly criticizes H. Con. Res. 138, the War Powers Resolution to End US Military Involvement in Yemen…

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profiteering

War Is A Racket

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Bombing Yemeni School Children for Profit – Antiwar.com Original

Posted by M. C. on September 12, 2018

https://original.antiwar.com/mbenjamin/2018/09/11/bombing-yemeni-school-children-for-profit/

by 

As if the horrific Saudi bombing of a Yemeni school bus that killed 44 children on August 9, 2018 wasn’t bad enough, CNN reported that the bomb used in the attack was manufactured by Lockheed Martin, one of the major U.S. defense contractors. Nima Elbagir, reporting for CNN’s Situation Room, showed a map of Yemen pinpointing several other attacks where large numbers of civilians have been killed by bombs from not only Lockheed Martin, but also General Dynamics and Raytheon. It was a rare moment when a mainstream US media outlet made the connection between US weapons and the devastation they wreak.

The footage of the Yemen attack is heartbreaking, showing bloodied and screaming children (the ‘fortunate’ survivors) still wearing their blue backpacks. A global outcry for the Saudis to stop bombing civilians and for the US to stop selling weapons to Saudi Arabia arose immediately. Read the rest of this entry »

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Seamus Bruner: Comey-Mueller ‘Cash in Through the Revolving Door’ of the Swamp

Posted by M. C. on August 26, 2018

Schweizer concluded, “What Seamus shows is this pattern where, when Mueller is in the private sector and Comey is in government, there seem to be contracts and resources that flow in that direction, as well. It’s kind of a tag team arrangement that these two have. It speaks to the financial underbelly that exists even at the Department of Justice. … There are lots of ways in which these officials self-enrich themselves.”

https://www.breitbart.com/big-journalism/2018/08/23/seamus-bruner-comey-mueller-cash-in-swamp/

by Robert Kraychik

Seamus Bruner, Government Accountability Institute (GAI) researcher and author of Compromised: How Money and Politics Drive FBI Corruptionexplained how former FBI Directors James Comey and Robert Mueller leveraged their government positions to enrich themselves. He joined Peter Schweizer, GAI president and Breitbart News senior editor-at-large, for a Wednesday interview with Sean Hannity.

“This is a familiar story [about] the revolving door; turning public service into self service,” said Bruner. “We followed the money. We followed it to the top, and we found that these choir boys or boy scouts — as the media likes to depict them — James Comey and Robert Mueller, they’re really no better than anyone else in the swamp. They use their public service [and] their contacts and they cash in through the revolving door.”

Bruner described Lockheed Martin’s — the country’s largest national defense and security contractor — hiring of James Comey in 2005 to the dual position of general counsel and senior vice president as unusual. Comey was 44 at the time and without requisite corporate experience.

Listen to the discussions below: Read the rest of this entry »

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Lockheed Martin wins $8 billion U.S. special forces contract

Posted by M. C. on August 13, 2017

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-lockheed-pentagon-idUSKBN1AR2E3?il=0

Wrong! This is a US “war” contract.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) has won an $8 billion U.S. defense contract for global logistics support services for special operations forces, the Pentagon said on Friday.



Since 1917 and likely beforehand, this is what war is about.

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Lockheed Martin-Funded Experts Agree: South Korea Needs More Lockheed Martin Missiles

Posted by M. C. on May 10, 2017

http://fair.org/home/lockheed-martin-funded-experts-agree-south-korea-needs-more-lockheed-martin-missiles/

As tensions between the United States and North Korea continue to rise, one think tank, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), has become a ubiquitous voice on the topic of missile defense, providing Official-Sounding Quotes to dozens of reporters in Western media outlets. Read the rest of this entry »

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