Caught Pants Down With All Our Eggs In One Basket

Remember less than a year ago when Obama and Robert Gates cancelled the F-22 Raptor progam, the world’s premier air dominance fighter, which was already in service, because it was a “waste [of] billions of taxpayers dollars”? In their infinite wisdom, the dynamic defense duo decided to gamble almost America’s entire air combat future on a single, unproven design, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, that has yet to be put into production and won’t enter service in the foreseeable future.

Well, guess what?

GAO analyst says cost overruns, delays continue to plague F-35 program

A congressional auditor said Thursday that the Joint Strike Fighter, the Pentagon’s most expensive weapons program, “continues to struggle with increased costs and slowed progress,” leading to “substantial risk” that the defense contractor will not be able to build the jet on time or deliver as many aircraft as expected.

Michael Sullivan, the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s top analyst on Lockheed Martin’s jet fighter, also known as the F-35 Lightning II, told the Senate Armed Services Committee in a hearing that the cost of the program has increased substantially and that development is 2 1/2 years behind schedule.

The United States plans to buy about 2,400 of the fighter jets for the Air Force, the Marine Corps and the Navy. The projected cost for the program appears to have increased to $323 billion from $231 billion in 2001, when Bethesda-based Lockheed won the deal, according to Sullivan. Eight other countries — Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, Turkey, Canada, Australia, Denmark and Norway — also plan to buy the jets.

The cost to build the plane is now expected to be $112 million per aircraft, according to a GAO auditor.

Sullivan said the program’s “negative outcomes” were “foreseeable as events have unfolded over several years.” He said that the cost increases are largely because Lockheed and the Pentagon are “trying to invent things and build them at the same time,” leading to costly changes in how the plane is being developed, built and tested. That continues to take “more time, money and effort than budgeted.”

He criticized the Defense Department, saying it “does not have a full, comprehensive cost estimate for completing the program,” and noted that it has “fallen short” of its expectations year after year. He said, “Constant program changes and turbulence have made it difficult to accurately and confidently measure progress and maturity of the aircraft system.”

See also:
Pentagon: F-35 fighter jet cost doubles
UPDATE 2-Price of Lockheed’s F-35 fighter soars
F-35 Fighters Now Double the Cost
Cost of F-35 Has Risen 60% to 90%, Military Says
Pentagon tells Senate panel that F-35 is more than 50 percent over cost
DoD: F-35 costs rise at least 50 percent
Joint Fighter Faces Critical Period
Donley: No JSF Alternatives Exist
Air Force: F-35 jet delayed by 2 years
Air Force: F-35 will be delayed, to cost significantly more
Joint Strike Fighter
F-35 Lightning II | Lockheed Martin
F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Lightning II
F-35 Lightning II
Joint Strike Fighter Program

It continues to amaze me as to how they fit all those government clowns into such a tiny car.

/as far as birds go, it’s quite clear now that one F-22 Raptor, already in the hand, is worth way more than two F-35 Joint Strike Fighters, still in the bush

Obama Does A Happy Dance On The Raptor’s Grave

    Did Obama really say that a measly $1.75 billion to build seven more F-22 Raptors, the world’s premier air dominance fighter, was wasteful and that we couldn’t afford it? How wasteful is a $1 trillion “stimulus” fiasco that can’t be shown to have “created or saved” one job and spends money on ridiculous nonsense like $1.191 million for sliced frozen ham , $1.5 million on mozzarella cheese, and almost $17 million on canned pork? Or how about another trillion dollars for socialized healthcare that will degrade the overall level of medical care in this country and which the Congressional Budget Office has calculated will only increase our already unsustainable budget deficits and national debt, can we afford that?

    Are you [expletive deleted] kidding me, we can borrow trillions of dollars to fund every Democrat and left wing pet project ever conceived, trillions it’ll take a miracle for us to ever hope to repay, and yet we can’t spend a comparative drop in the bucket $1.75 billion to defend ourselves against the Chinese and Russians, because it’s wasteful and we can’t afford it? We can’t spend $1.75 billion to save tens of thousands of highly skilled F-22 Raptor design and manufacturing jobs, because it’s wasteful and we can’t afford it, but we can spend more than $50 billion to bail out inept car companies to save Obama’s UAW buddies and their gold plated pensions?

    Obama and the Democrats’ spending policies and priorities are not only depraved and thoroughly disgusting, they border on psychopathy and criminal insanity.

    Shooting Down The Raptor

    Defense Spending: The TARP bailout may hit $24 trillion, but the Senate says the F-22 is too expensive to build and maintain. So why are the Japanese so desperate to buy this “unnecessary” Cold War weapon?

    By a vote of 58-40, the Senate on Tuesday voted to remove $1.75 billion set aside in a defense bill to build seven more F-22 Raptors, adding to the 187 stealth technology fighters already in the pipeline.

    After some hope the production lines would be kept open, the Senate succumbed to arguments by the administration and others that the fighter was too expensive, too hard to maintain and not built for the wars America is fighting these days.

    President Obama welcomed the Senate vote, saying he rejected the notion that the country has to “waste billions of taxpayers dollars” on outdated defense projects.

    Well, the inspector general in charge of overseeing the Treasury Department’s bank-bailout program now says the massive endeavor could end up costing taxpayers almost $24 trillion in a worst-case scenario. Yet we can’t afford to build just seven more F-22s?

    Keeping the F-22 production lines open would be a real stimulus saving real jobs. Lockheed Martin, the main contractor, says 25,000 people are directly employed in building the plane, and another 70,000 have indirect links, particularly in Georgia, Texas and California. Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., a supporter of the program, says there are 1,000 suppliers in 44 states. That’s wasteful?

    Speaking to the Economic Club of Chicago last Friday, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates repeated his assertion that “the F-22 is clearly a capability we do need — a niche, silver-bullet solution for one or two potential scenarios — specifically the defeat of a highly advanced enemy fighter fleet.”

    But the “F-22, to be blunt, does not make much sense anyplace else in the spectrum of conflict,” he added.

    Air dominance is not a “niche scenario,” and while we’re lucky the Taliban does not have an Air Force, other potential opponents do. It would prove quite useful over the skies of North Korea, if necessary, or in thwarting a Chinese threat in the Taiwan Straits. Gates forgets that it was high-tech “Cold War” weapons such as the stealthy F-111A that shattered Saddam Hussein’s air defenses and infrastructure and controlled the skies during Operation Desert Storm in Iraq.

    Retired Lt. Gen. Michael M. Dunn, chief executive of the Air Force Association, notes that in last year’s conflict in Georgia, the Raptor was the only aircraft in our inventory that could have penetrated the defended airspace and had a chance of surviving.

    The F-22 Raptor is also perhaps the only plane that could evade the sophisticated S-300 surface-to-air missile defense system Russia has contracted to sell Iran. Russia’s S-300 system is “one of the most lethal, if not the most lethal, all-altitude area defense” systems, according to the International Strategy and Assessment Service, a Virginia-based think tank.

    Gates and the Pentagon prefer the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. But many believe its lesser abilities have been further compromised by making it a one-size-fits-all aircraft for all services in all conflicts.

    Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., in whose state final assembly occurs, says, “The F-35 was designed to operate after F-22s secure the airspace and does not have the inherent altitude and speed advantages to survive every time against peers with counter-electronic measures.”

    In an interview with Human Events, Japanese ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki said Tokyo wants F-22s to replace its aging F-4s and F-15s. Japan is facing an increasingly capable and unstable North Korea armed with nuclear weapons and the weapons to carry them. It also confronts a future superpower in China, with which it has territorial disputes.

    Japan wants the F-22 to deal with both threats. It will soon have to deal with fifth-generation Chinese fighter aircraft and aircraft carriers to carry them. Japan is wise to prefer the F-22, which can fly 300 to 400 mph faster and two miles higher than the F-35.

    We would be too.

    See also:
    Obama victory: Senate votes to kill additional F-22 funding
    Obama Praises F-22 Funding Shut-off; Sen. Chris Dodd Upset
    Senate Votes Against Funding For New F-22s
    Senate kills production of F-22 Raptor
    Senate votes against F-22 Raptor
    Senate strips extra F-22 funding from defense bill
    Senate Votes To Halt Production Of F-22 Fighter Jet
    Governor Rell blasts U.S. Senate vote to strip F-22 Raptor funding
    We Cannot Afford to Lose the F-22
    Obama Plucks The Raptor
    The Air Force Association (AFA)
    International Assessment and Strategy Center
    S-300 (missile)
    S-300PMU
    S-300PMU (SA-10) Air Defence Missile System
    Israel’s Red Line: The S-300 Missile System

    Well, hey, that’s another $1.75 billion that Obama can now spend on ham and cheese.

    /for the first time in my adult life, I’m not proud of my country