Friday, September 22, 2017

Congress Is Trying to Give the F-35 a Pass for All Its Problems...that block buy is a timebomb!

via National Interest.
Both the House and Senate versions of the National Defense Authorization Act  authorizes a block buy of 440 F-35s through a procurement process called “Economic Order Quantity,” even though the planes are still being developed and the testing necessary to prove they are operationally effective won’t be completed for years. Until that testing is done, all the American people will get for their money is a pile of parts for an unproven prototype.

The Defense Department has a variety of tools to purchase in bulk, with varying levels of cost controls. As we wrote previously, purchasing F-35s through a normal economic order quantity rather than a multiyear procurement would have allowed the department to avoid legal requirements established for multiyear procurements to demonstrate they were achieving cost savings.

Effectively, the language proposed by the department would have been a blank check. Instead, both the House and Senate bills included a modicum of restraint to the economic order quantity by modifying it with a requirement for the department to obtain an independent certification of cost savings and minimal risk of major design changes.

The problem, of course, is that even the Pentagon admits that costs for the program are going up, not down. The program is also entering its most complex stage of development and testing, particularly when it comes to the software essential for these planes to be effective in combat, which will likely involve expensive fixes.
Story here. 

This is a must read.

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