Friday, March 22, 2019

F-35. A decade behind schedule and $200 Billion over budget...

via National Interest...Dan Grazier's closing argument on this cluster...
Now nearly a decade behind schedule and $200 billion over budget, the F-35 program continues to perform far below expectations—and is nowhere near to fulfilling the Pentagon and Lockheed’s many promises. Its continuing performance and design failures are not commensurate with the massive investments made for the past 20 years. At this point, the operational testers should complete the original stringent testing plan agreed to by the services, the F-35 program office, and DOT&E, without succumbing to powerful political pressure to sacrifice combat-realism for expediency. Only then will anyone know if the F-35 will actually work in combat—and whether our troops would be well supported when the F-35 replaces the A-10. Until then, to serve the troops and taxpayers better, Congress should stop increasing F-35 production rates every year, as every incompletely tested, deficiency-laden F-35 built will waste even more taxpayer dollars on costly retrofits.

Congress should also demand that DOT&E return to its previous transparency. Lawmakers should then use that operational test transparency to shoulder their oversight responsibilities, and demand that the withheld information be made public.

The American people, especially the men and women who will have to trust their lives to the F-35, deserve nothing less.

Is this too much to ask?

With a program that is a DECADE behind schedule and $200 Billion Dollars over budget (that alone should be cause for a congressional investigation...that we haven't seen one, or that congress is ignoring its own statutes by not starting one is amazing) the last thing we should do is to "ramp up" production.

People don't like hearing it, but we're buying mistake jets.  Jets that will necessarily need costly upgrades.

Personally I find it amazing that our allies are actually purchasing this plane while its in this condition.  Of course that's between those govts and their citizens to sort out, but here at home I KNOW we deserve better.

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