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The F-35 May Never Be Ready for Combat - Testing Report Contradicts Air Force Leadership’s Rosy Pronouncements

on Wed, 09/14/2016 - 14:56

By Mandy Smithberger*

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program is the most expensive procurement program in Pentagon history. It’s been plagued by schedule delays, gross cost overruns, and a slew of underwhelming performance reviews. Last month the Air Force declared its variant “ready for combat,” and most press reports lauded this as a signal that the program had turned a corner. But a memo issued from the Pentagon’s top testing official, based largely upon the Air Force’s own test data, showed that the Air Force’s declaration was wildly premature.


Not Ready for Prime Time - DOT&E Report: The F-35 Is Not Ready for IOC and Won't Be Any Time Soon

on Fri, 03/27/2015 - 12:36

By Mandy Smithberger*

Inside-the-Beltway wisdom holds that the $1.4 trillion F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program is too big to cancel and on the road to recovery. But the latest report from the Defense Department’s Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) provides a litany of reasons that conventional wisdom should be considered politically driven propaganda. The press has already reported flawed software that hinders the ability of the plane to employ weapons, communicate information, and detect threats; maintenance problems so severe that the F-35 has an “overdependence” on

F-35 Will Cost Taxpayers As Much As $299 Million Per Plane in 2014

on Tue, 01/14/2014 - 15:08

With the likely impending passage of the recent budget deal the Department of Defense continues to squeal about the inadequacy of a funding level of $572.6 Billion (of course this number does not include nuclear weapons costs allocated to the Department of Energy). This in spite of the fact that the Pentagon has enjoyed near record levels of funding for over a decade. So, as we slowly walk back the military budget to somewhere remotely near a version of fiscal sanity the usual suspects are coming out of the woodwork to stick it to guess who? Yes, that's right - the troops!

Recently a wide

Highlights from Today's Fiscal Year 2014 DOD Budget Release

on Wed, 04/10/2013 - 16:06

Today, President Obama released his Fiscal Year 2014 Budget. In spite of the sequester, and under the proposed budget, the Department of Defense will actually see its funding only marginally decrease from the enacted 2012 levels - a drop of $3.9 billion leading to a $526.6 billion allocation for the Pentagon's base budget.  Among the budget highlights are as follows:

  • $96.7 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations in 2013 (primarily meaning ongoing operations in Afghanistan).
  • $95 million to imrpove Guam's infrastructure as part of the ongoing "pivot" to Asia.
  • Funds to support four Littoral

New GAO Report Out on F-35 JSF Program: It's Not Pretty

on Sat, 06/16/2012 - 17:57

On June 14, 2012 the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued its latest progress report for Congress on the most expensive weapons program in history: the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Unfortunately, in spite of years of delays, including further restructuring in 2011 and 2012 the result's to date continue to be nothing short of abysmal.

For instance, the GAO has found that:

  • Regardless of the program development cost overruns (see below) F-35 life-cycle operating and support costs are now estimated at a whopping $1.1 trillion. This means that when comparing the Air Force's primary

The Joint Strike Fighter Is Killing the Pentagon's Budget

on Wed, 04/18/2012 - 13:49

A few weeks ago I posted on how the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) is fast becoming the biggest boondogle in this nation's history.  The primary reason for this being that (and I quote):

"The JSF program features $164 billion (give or take a few hundred million) in cost overruns over its original estimates, will deliver over 400 fewer aircraft than initially proposed, doing so years - if not decades - later than originally budgeted for, and in spite of all this the head of the program still doesn't have a clue when the aircraft will reach initial operational capability.