Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Pentagon buys 63 more F-35s?

Thanks to Nico for this depressing piece of news.

he Senate on Tuesday approved a final defense authorization bill, legislation that has generated its share of drama this year, paving the way for an increase in defense spending in Connecticut and the nation.
The $607 billion bill, a compromise between separate House and Senate defense authorization bills, approves congressional spending for 63 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters – six more than the Pentagon had requested and nearly 20 more than were authorized in 2015. The F-35 engines are made by Pratt & Whitney.

The rage has subsided ... a bit.  One question.  They gave us purchase price for almost every other big ticket item but the F-35.  I wonder why?

Update:  Give me help on the language here...
SEC. 145. LIMITATION ON AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS FOR F–35A AIRCRAFT PROCUREMENT.Of the funds authorized to be appropriated by this Act or otherwise made available for fiscal year 2016 for aircraft procurement, Air Force, not more than $4,285,000,000 may be obligated for the procurement of F–35A aircraft until the Secretary of the Air Force certifies to the congressional defense committees that F–35A aircraft delivered during fiscal year 2018 will have full combat capability, as determined as of the date of the enactment of this Act, with Block 3F hardware, software, and weapons carriage.
And then this...
 SEC. 241. INDEPENDENT ASSESSMENT OF F135 ENGINE PROGRAM.(a) Assessment.—The Secretary of Defense shall seek to enter into a contract with a federally funded research and development center to conduct an assessment of the F135 engine program.
(b) Elements.—The assessment under subsection (a) shall include the following:
(1) An assessment of the reliability, growth, and cost-reduction efforts with respect to the F135 engine program, including—
(A) a detailed description of the reliability and cost history of the engine;
(B) the identification of key reliability and cost challenges to the program as of the date of the assessment; and
(C) the identification of any potential options for addressing such challenges.
(2) In accordance with subsection (c), a thorough assessment of the incident on June 23, 2014, consisting of an F135 engine failure and subsequent fire, including—
(A) the identification and definition of the root cause of the incident;
(B) the identification of potential actions or design changes needed to address such root cause; and
(C) the associated cost, schedule, and performance implications of such incident to both the F135 engine program and the F–35 Joint Strike Fighter program.
(c) Conduct Of Assessment.—The federally funded research and development center selected to conduct the assessment under subsection (a) shall carry out subsection (b)(2) by analyzing data collected by the F–35 Joint Program Office, other elements of the Federal Government, or contractors. Nothing in this section may be construed as affecting the plans of the Secretary to dispose of the aircraft involved in the incident described in such subsection (b)(2).
(d) Report.—Not later than March 15, 2016, the Secretary shall submit to the congressional defense committees a report containing the assessment conducted under subsection (a).

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