Thursday, September 19, 2013

F-35 happy talk gets a dose of McCain realism.

I won't lie to you.  John McCain has pissed me off more times than I can count.  He has never met a war he didn't like and is a "immigration reformer" with ideas that quite honestly puzzle me.  When it comes to defense spending he is the Hawk of all Hawks so when I saw this,  I sat up and paid attention.  Make note boys and girls.  This guy is on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

via DoD Buzz.
Days after the U.S. Defense Department signaled an improving relationship with Lockheed Martin Corp. over the cost of the F-35 fighter jet, Sen. John McCain called the program “one of the great national scandals.”
McCain, a Republican from Arizona and the 2008 Republican presidential candidate, was speaking during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing to consider the nominations of several White House appointments, including Deborah Lee James to become the next secretary of the Air Force.
McCain criticized the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter as the government’s first trillion-dollar acquisition program (including sustainment costs). Its repeated cost overruns “have made it worse than a disgrace,” he said. Despite recent efforts to reduce prices on the next batch of aircraft, “it’s still one of the great, national scandals that we have ever had, as far as the expenditure of taxpayers’ dollars are concerned,” he said.
I keep saying it and you keep telling me I'm wrong.

This program is between a rock and a hard place.

Between Democrats that hate spending on the military, Tea Party Republicans that hate wasteful, expensive and fraudulent government spending no matter the department and now the leader of the Republican Hawks coming out against the F-35, its days are numbered.

Air Power Zealots everywhere beware.  Your favorite toy is about to get a haircut. 


  1. And the Dutch treat may not pan out--

    news report:
    Labour members rebel on JSF, audit office says figures don't add up

    The cabinet may have agreed to spend €4.5bn on 37 JSF fighter jets, but criticism of the decision is mounting both inside and outside parliament.

    The government's audit office said on Thursday it had doubts about the defence ministry's spending plans and that there are gaps in the calculations about use of the JSF.

    'The audit office does not support the statement that the defence ministry's vision will lead to a financially and operationally sustainable armed forces,' the statement said.

    "Figures don't add up" -- no surprise there, since the few figures that are tossed out are "over X" and "under Y", all un-audited puffery.

    1. yeah i hear ya! i keep getting accused of overblowing the situation but if i didn't know better i'd say we're seeing an organized concerted effort to deceive not only the US but governments worldwide.

      quite honestly i can't see how this isn't the biggest weapons scandal in history. everything about this smells bad and i can't help but get the feeling that the Program Manager tried to give hints about how fucked up things were but was drowned out and reeled back in by the Pentagon.

      if i'm right and i'm convinced that i am, this program is about to bring darkness to the Pentagon budget that will make the sequestration talk seem like happy days.

      think about it like this.

      the US people are tired of foreign wars. the US has begun to rely on the military for diplomacy. how do you reign all that back? you cut the defense budget! additionally they're doing themselves no favors if with all this bad feelings you're found to have a corrupt defense program in progress.

      the F-35 and its troubles could infect the entire defense establishment and be the cause of reduced budgets for a generation.

    2. Plus, as you've noted before, the budget is as tenuous as an F-35 in flight. And Captain America sees no relief, no way to avoid it.

      news report:
      But within about three or four months of the beginning of the year, we will start to have readiness impacted in this fiscal year—in Fiscal Year '14—just like it was in '13. We anticipate we'd lose maybe 15 percent of our flying hours under this kind of budget situation, which means that we would look an awful lot like FY'13, in terms of what we did with squadrons. And we might adjust them a little bit differently, but we're going to have squadrons sitting down, standing up; it's going to happen again.

      "We're going to have to look at canceling exercises, canceling training programs, doing things like looking at weapons school classes, instructor upgrade programs; all the things that create the institutional expertise to do our job, which is fighting and winning the nation's wars.

      "So, we're looking at having that cycle again in '14. I don't know that there's any way to avoid it."


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.