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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

The Sequester: Massive Cuts or The Dog That Didn't Bite

on Wed, 07/16/2014 - 15:07

Hardly a week goes by without either the Pentagon itself or some establishment figure bemoaning the fiscal cliff deal and sequester whose cuts to the military budget began in 2013. Media outlets amplify and blindly parrot these dire warnings regarding the U.S. military's ability to keep America safe if the sequester cuts are not rolled back.

But how bad have these cuts really been?

A recent look at the numbers suggests not bad at all.

For instance, according to the Government Printing Office the original 2011 Budget Control Act (popularly known as the fiscal cliff deal) promulgated cuts of

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

The USS Freedom's (LCS-1) Troubled First Operational Deployment

on Fri, 03/22/2013 - 16:35

In January we reported that the U.S. Navy was preparing the first monohull designed LCS 1 (littoral combat ship) USS Freedom (in contrast to the trimaran design LCS 2 USS Independence) for its first deployment. This was welcome news considering the bevy of mechanical issues that had cropped up during sea trials in 2011.

Of course, on the eve of that deployment the roughly 3,000 ton combat ship was blasted in a report issued by the Defense Department’s director of operational test and evaluation. A report that concluded the USS Freedom is "not expected to be survivable" in combat and unable to

The Pentagon is Screaming About the Sequester and Yet Now This...

on Fri, 02/22/2013 - 19:00

So, let me get this straight. The Pentagon is crying bloody murder about a sequester it's had well over an entire year to prepare for. Yet, in spite of the coming money crunch and impending doom on Wednesday out came this little goodie about the F-22 Raptor:

"Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co., Fort Worth, Texas, is being awarded an indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract (FA8611-13-D-2850) with a ceiling of $6,900,000,000 for F-22 modernization."

Mind you this contract was released at 5pm on Wednesday February 20, 2013; or about twelve hours before the Air Force Chief of Staff

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.