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Senate Appropriatiors Keep JSF Production Levels Flat

by John Reed on September 16, 2011

Just a quick F-35 update. The Senate Appropriations Committee yesterday voted to flatline F-35 Joint Strike Fighter production levels at 35 jets per year for the next two years. The original plan called for Lockheed Martin to ramp up to 42 jets per year by 2013. The Bethesda, Md., based-defense giant is in the midst of a $5 billion contract to build 32 jets this year.

Earlier this week the Senate appropriations defense subcommittee proposed the production limits along with a $695 million cut to the program’s budget in its markup of the fiscal year 2012 defense appropriations bill which spends a grand total of $513 billion on defense.

Subcommittee chairman Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hi — btw, read his bio, especially the World War II part, it’s insane.) said on Tuesday that the production slowdown is meant to give Lockheed a chance to weed out any potential problems before they make their way into too many production jets — a situation he fears will lead to costly retrofts down the road.

“For each aircraft we build this early in the test program, we will have to pay many millions in the future to fix the problems that are identified in testing,” said Inouye, who also chairs the entire appropriations committee.

Moving over to ground vehicles, the appropriations committee also nixed the Army and Marine Corps $54 billion Joint Light Tactical Vehicle effort citing cost growth and constantly changing requirements.

The bill was sent to the full Senate yesterday, we’ll see what happens next.

 

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{ 84 comments… read them below or add one }

LanceKant September 16, 2011 at 12:08 pm

Epic senator indeed.

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STemplar September 16, 2011 at 1:12 pm

I believe the word is Patriot.

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blight September 16, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Moreso considering he had the misfortune to be Japanese when the United States was fighting the empire of Japan. If he wasn't in Hawaii, he and his family would likely have been trundled off to some internment camp and lost all their property.

What's interesting was that he was given a DSC in that action instead of the MOH, and it took until Clinton to reverse that.

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Musson September 16, 2011 at 1:41 pm

It's important to remember that since we were reading the Japanese codes – we knew that many of those being interened Were actually working for the IJN. Also, over 5,000 Japanese living in this country had already applied for repatriation to Japan – and were much too big a security risk to be allowed to stay free. And, even today, many of the family members of the Japanese spies have no idea they were actually working for the enemy.

However, those Japanese Americans who served in the US military were a credit to their families and their nation.

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blight September 16, 2011 at 3:32 pm

I'm working on that particular number. Wikipedia suggests:

"When the government passed a law that made it possible for an internee to renounce American citizenship, 5,589 internees opted to do so; "

The primary source given is http://www.tulelake.org/2004-pilgrimage/

Which is in turn interesting reading…

mike September 16, 2011 at 6:06 pm

Damn. The war is over when 2Lt. Inouye *says* it’s over.

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Chimp September 17, 2011 at 4:18 am

They don't make politicians like that any more.

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blight September 17, 2011 at 8:09 pm

Or, they don't make people like that that elect to go into politics anymore. People don't just pop into politics anymore..

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danhutmacher September 16, 2011 at 1:16 pm

And so begins the death spiral.

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Sheepdog September 16, 2011 at 7:25 pm

begins?? where have u been the last decade??

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blight September 16, 2011 at 1:31 pm

JSF will be capped at 188, just so we can say that we have more F-35's than F-22's.

Next will be the F-36, F-37 and F-38, the spinoffs of the JSF program…or something.

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Tee September 16, 2011 at 1:33 pm

I hope they just Kill this program before we waste any more money on this " Over Hyped, Under Preforming, One Size fits ALL Turkey ( being Nice) "

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jhm September 16, 2011 at 11:46 pm

more money, man the totals in costs so far make my jaw drop everytime. I mean I guess its neccessary but still, that's ALOT of money…

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brian September 16, 2011 at 1:42 pm

We should sell the F-35 to ROC so we can keep this program from imploding.

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blight September 16, 2011 at 3:24 pm

Considering the ROCN still has Gearings and Fletchers, Hawk batteries and M41s…

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SMSgt Mac September 16, 2011 at 1:49 pm

Someone shold note:
If you elect to cut deliverables after your program is staffed up and running, you are burning dollars while running in place. I’d like to know what the costs of cutting the LRIP batches are. This would include not only the costs of LRIP production batches, but also the costs added by suppressing the learning curve needed to achieve full production rates. There’s also a PhD thesis ripe for the picking for some industrious candidate in this problem: Develop a methodology to trade off the costs of early production units having to be modified to later baseline configurations against the increased costs of production units with inhibited learning curves. The trick is to make the methodology transparent enough for innumerate policy makers to understand.
Oh yeah! Somebody did…Google up: Deliver Us From Beancounters. (No quot. marks)
Enjoy the weekend, boyz!

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EngineerEconomist September 16, 2011 at 4:39 pm

the thesis would not survive an oral defense and no degree should be awarded from an accredited institution. the community college of smsgt mac, texas, might be interested. JK BTW…

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Black Owl September 16, 2011 at 1:59 pm

We should kill the F-35 and buy more Super Hornets! The F/A-18E/F can stand toe to toe with anything our projected enemies will have for while and still perform better than or equal to in performance of our enemies' aircraft. As for the J-20 and the PAK-FA, most of our enemies won't have those planes for a while before it starts to matter. Even then, US Navy and Marine Corps pilots are much better trained in tactics and combat than any of our enemies. Unlike the F-22 the Super Hornet actually has an infrared search and track device so it is better to use when fighting an enemy stealth jet.

The Super Hornet with the international upgrades is equal in stealth to the F-35 from the front. Both the F-35 and the Super Hornet are not stealthy from the rear. The only difference in stealth capabilities is that the F-35 is stealthy from the sides, where as the upgraded Super Hornets are marginally less stealthy from that aspect. Paying billions of dollars more so that we can have fewer aircraft with a marginal increase in stealth from the sides and a total decrease in all other capabilities is retarded. F-35s will never be allowed to fly over a combat zone below 30,000 feet. Can you imagine what would happen if only one of them got shot down and it's technology was studied by Russia or China? The F-35 can't even handle small arms fire and close air support is vital to our marines and soldiers. We can't replace the F-16, F/A-18, and definitely not the A-10 with these delicate stealth jets. When you mount external weapons on the F-35 its performance basically becomes that of an F-16, with four times the cost. The Super Hornet with international upgrades will cost less than half the F-35 and gives roughly equal performance in stealth as well as better performance in all other areas: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2710784/

By killing the F-35 many people say the money spent on it will go to waste. We will be wasting more money buying the damn jets in quantities that will hurt our already bad economic situation! We did produce a lot of new technologies when making the F-35 so the money wasn't a total waste, but the main factor is that we would save so much more money than we lost if we just canceled the F-35 and starting buying upgraded F/A-18E/F Super Hornets. Our strike fighter capability would not be lost at all if we did this and we could make literally two Super Hornets for the price of one F-35, in some cases more than that depending on how many quantities the Super Hornet is bought in.

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Ben September 16, 2011 at 9:26 pm

Can you imagine the massive loss of trustworthiness should the U.S. cancel the F-35 program, this late into development, when many other partner nations – Italy, the UK, Canada, Australia, etc. have all been banking their trust on us to deliver a product? The U.S. would never sell another thing again.

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Black Owl September 17, 2011 at 12:49 am

Sell them upgraded Super Hornets, Silent Eagles, and Falcons for a cheap price. I don't care. It's not worth our economy. We are already in enough debt as it is. Cancelling the JSF would indeed be embarressing, but if this embarressment significantly helped our financial situation it would be worth it.

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Sgy Jmack September 17, 2011 at 3:34 pm

But in reality is will not help us. It will bring us down so far, so fast it is more than an embarassment, it will be a major fiasco.

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jhm September 17, 2011 at 4:50 pm

well, if they lose confidence in our products, well…

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Sgy Jmack September 17, 2011 at 5:27 pm

It's not the products that we have to wory about, it's the overall functioning of our Government and Country as a whole.

FtD September 17, 2011 at 3:38 pm

i can't imagine those partners' signs of relief when they hear US cans the program…. seriously, the planes are getting way too expensive to buy & maintain whether or not LM sales said otherwise

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William C. September 17, 2011 at 5:22 am

The Super Hornet is not a valid alternative for the long-term. If you think the F-35 isn't enough to match the J-20 and PAK-FA, the Super Hornet certainly won't. As for your idea that neither of these aircraft will matter due to the timing involved, the F-35 is to be a long term solution. Yet further Super Hornet purchases would have to be interim aircraft, pending the arrival of something better. What will that something better be?

A Block III Super Hornet or F-15SE, while featuring reduced RCS, cannot hope to match the F-35 in terms of stealth. There is simply no way you can made an existing fighter as stealthy as a 5th gen design built with stealth in mind like the F-22 or F-35.

I presume you mean light anti-aircraft weapons as opposed to small arms, since a guy firing his AKM in the air isn't much of a threat to a fast-mover. No fighter is very survivable against multiple light cannon or HMG hits with the exception of some dedicated attack aircraft like the A-10. The A-10 is a unique beast and I certainly hope it stays in service for a long while to come. The F-35 is pretty comparable to the F-16 or other modern single-engine fighters in terms of how well it can resist battle damage. While the F-15 and F/A-18 do have the benefit of a second engine, they are still pretty fragile.

There is simply no way a F-35 will cost as much as two brand new Block III F/A-18Es or F/A-18Fs. Also how is building these things bad from an economic standpoint?

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Sgy Jmack September 17, 2011 at 3:36 pm

You can't talk logic here pal. Didn't you read the rules at the top of the page?

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Sgy Jmack September 17, 2011 at 3:37 pm

Apparently some on here think it is better to retro fit a bunch of old or aging planes that will be out of service in a few months or years any way. Talk about waste!!!

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William C. September 17, 2011 at 5:04 pm

Exactly. Plus I can't think of a single area in which the F/A-18 has superior performance. Maybe in maximum external payload but that's about it.

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Sgy Jmack September 17, 2011 at 5:30 pm

Not to mention that the Naval Carrier Planes only have a limited shelf life, and the A/F's planes have far over reached theirs as it is. Talking to Pilots on Luke, they are furious about flying the antiquated planes we have, especially when you compare the newer ones our allies have with better avionics than WE HAVE.

FtD September 17, 2011 at 3:46 pm

let the SH fights the terror war & get more F22 to deal with J-20 & PAK…. just think, Russians uses SU27 platform & done really well with variants like SU30, 33, 35 etc. so why can't F22 do the same? it's just waste of research dollars when already there's a plane in service already. I suppose for the dollars sunk into F35, those money could build numbers of variants like carrier, bomber versions….. by then the cost per unit would've dropped considerably

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Lance September 16, 2011 at 3:20 pm

There will be no budget the House will overspend on defense the Senate will cut it. And both will NOT comprise. With cuts adding up I bet there will be more cuts in programs in the coming months.

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Lance September 16, 2011 at 3:21 pm

The key is too upgrade F-15s and buy more F-22s. The whole F-35 program is too big cut the B model off and adopt all C models to save money.

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blight September 16, 2011 at 3:23 pm

If we have to do triage, the most important part is likely JSF-B, especially as our allies with light carriers need Harrier replacements.

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elizzar September 17, 2011 at 10:40 am

i'd have to check the partner country list for exact demands, but for instance the UK has now switched to buying C version as opposed to B version (assuming any are actually ever bought for our maybe carrier program …) … i think the main customer of the B version is the US marines?

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blight September 17, 2011 at 8:08 pm

I'm guessing the QE2 can launch JSF-C…but unless the ROK, Japan and other customers with short carriers sign on, I think you're right. Just the Marines. And Italy.

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STemplar September 16, 2011 at 4:02 pm

It seems to me the Senate isn't drinking the Kool AId anymore on promises about performance from the DoD and LM. I think that's fine, any concerns about cost increase in the out years are overblown in my opinion, because this is a kind of put up or shut up cut in my mind. It's the Senate saying they're fine with paying more down the road as long as the thing works, which makes more sense than buying a bunch of something we might cancel still.

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jhm September 16, 2011 at 11:54 pm

ahhahahaha, wouldnt it be funny if we lowered their pay a bit and used it on other government needs? I know this sounds immature, but I find it awefully funny

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superraptor September 16, 2011 at 4:24 pm

if Rick Perry becomes President, an upgraded F-22 will be back. He considers its cancellation a great strategic blunder. I am hopeful.

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J-12A September 16, 2011 at 8:35 pm

if Rick Perry becomes President, an upgraded F-22 will be back. He considers its cancellation a great strategic blunder

Read more: http://defensetech.org/2011/09/16/senate-appropri
Defense.org

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Gary h September 17, 2011 at 9:46 am

why don't we use some of this money and upgrade the A10 and give them to the Marine Corps for their close support missions? i know that there would need to be some mods needed for this, but i still think it could be done at a better price then the F35. just sayin'

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elizzar September 17, 2011 at 10:42 am

or additional attack helicopters, too? they seem to have performed well in Libya compared to 'fast air' (i know the A10 is slightly different), with Apaches (and Tigers) operating form airbases and helicopter carriers.

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ALPHA 486 September 17, 2011 at 11:03 am

I helped push for the F35 and also pushed for it to have a second engine. Just recently, the Senate Committee is reconsidering and taking a second engine more serious. The F35 is one of the best birds we've built in a long time. Personally, I rank her right up there with the SR-71.
Though, not a pilot but if I were, I would rather be in the F35 and I made that perfectly clear with Senator Hutchison.

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EngineerEconomist September 19, 2011 at 10:04 am

of course the Senate is…. the Senate is responsible for much destruction of this country. the Presidency and the House are sensitive to the will of the American people, the Senate is the most defiant, insular institution in the country.

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Kski September 17, 2011 at 6:35 pm

Well I guess it can be said that of the few F-35s that do get manufactured will go the way of F-22 and its fuel efficiency, by staying grounded.

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SteveB September 18, 2011 at 7:40 am

The Navy didn't want the F35, and neither the Army or Marine Corps want the joint tactical vehicle. Both programs were shoved down the services throats by congressmen with jobs in their districts who build them, while the services are being forced to pay for them out of their budgets. That's the ONLY reason we re providing input into testing and design.a

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Tenn Slim September 19, 2011 at 8:47 am

This Senate move is typical.

Make less, cut existing funds, and stretch out the process.

On Line Production quality testing always trumps the after the fact testing.

True enough, a Full Up Bird, integrated, and ready for testing flights will show the Intersices points of failure, or weakness. That is the purpose of FLIGHT Testing.

To curtail production under the guise of “Production Testing” is absurd. Engineering simulations, design reviews, endless design meetings of the folks that create aircraft have a high rate of Production Testing success. Senators of WW2 days knowledge should be voted back to thier rocking chairs with a minimal pension.

end

Semper Fi

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EngineerEconomist September 19, 2011 at 10:09 am

see my post above. unless the American people can change the Senate, expect nothing to change.

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Tenn Slim September 19, 2011 at 8:51 am

"Unlike the F-22 the Super Hornet actually has an infrared search and track device so it is better to use when fighting an enemy stealth jet. "
Opine
Having spent hours trying to align this particular piece of infrared machinery, I can say categorically, the alignment is so critical, that 1/4 inch off and the bombs go off target widely.
This is a basic flaw in the whole concept of Laser or Infrared guided weaponry. Alignment, guidance, etal must be so precise for expected on target results that the Engineering Design process is extremely expensive.

If we want to win a FUTURE war, we best be able to pay for it, get the very best, very latest technologies and swallow our old lines of thinking.
end
Semper FI

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TheForgottenMan September 30, 2011 at 9:52 am

Amazing how many unsubstantiated statements are made in these replies.

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EngineerEconomist September 16, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Could you please try to make your points without the use of run-ons and poor subject verb agreement? It makes it even more difficult to understand your obfuscated, hubristic, and biased views.

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Chimp September 17, 2011 at 4:21 am

You make a good point, but you just have to look at the Senator's bio to know two things about him:
He doesn't do things by half measures
He is committed to defence
If he says it's so, it probably is so, or at least appears to be so to him.

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Black Owl September 16, 2011 at 4:52 pm

Yes, I will come along with that "Block III stuff" because it can be made extremely easy. These are upgrades, not a whole new plane design. You are straight up fibbing about the price. It would be no where near billions of dollars, and definitely no where near what it would cost us to buy even a squadron of F-35s to develop. Boeing only gave Lockeed a development contract for $135 million to make the IRST sensor pod and it's already proceeded to the engineering and manufacturing development phase.

The Super Hornet upgrade actually has a stealthy weapons pod, that it can hold two AMRAAMs and two bombs inside of, same as the JSF. I'm not sure if you actually bothered to read my link, but here's one with a better introduction by an F/A-18E/F pilot: http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/aircraft-pictur

Boeing showed that the F-15SE has a radar cross section from the front that is equal to that of an F-35. The Super Hornet has more radar reducing features than the original Strike Eagle. so if it was configured with a stealthy weapons pod and conformal fuel tanks, then it would be able to have roughly the same level of stealth from the front.

Aside from that, I guess it's true that you can't compare their stealth levels from the sides with the data that is made public.

As far as data and software acquisition go the Super Hornet is far from reaching its limit. The Super Hornet does everything just fine. I have never heard of any instances where the Super Hornet's sensor fusion or data processing ability was questioned. Do we really need to spend billions of dollars for upgrades in capabilities that do not currently NEED improvement?

I have also never heard of any of those interviews of Super Hornet pilots preferring the F-35 over the F/A-18E/F. I've seen several of them go quite the opposite actually.

Lastly, you still didn't address why we should risk sending delicate stealth jets with classified technology into the battlefield at low altitude to risk being shot down and picked up by the Russians or Chinese. During the first Gulf War the older Hornets provided reliable air support and proved that they could take a hit from a shoulder launched SAM missile and still make it back home. There is no way the F-35 could do the same.

The F-35 should be able to have it's chance, when it's capability can match the price that we're paying for it.

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iknowmorethanu September 16, 2011 at 8:22 pm

Thanks for the educated opinion, but unless you somehow understand how these aircraft operate, then it's speculation and opinion. I am not advocating the f-35, but I am definitely not advocating an all super hornet force as well. Besides, a super hornet are notorious for it's own performance compromises

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Sgy Jmack September 17, 2011 at 3:33 pm

Not to mention that the current Navy and Air Force fleet can only last so long before the planes must be taken out of service. What does it cost in maintenance and upkeep alone to continue using not even yesterdays birds, but last centuries birds.

We NEED new technology today, not in a few years after everyone else has already passed us up in the race for better fighters.

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jhm September 16, 2011 at 11:53 pm

seriously, lets focus on other aspects. bomb truck, stealthy, all good and all, but wat about pure dogfighting capability. lets not repeat teh 60's mistake again. If typhoons can be out maneuvered by su30s, then wat? when su pak fas ( speculated to have phenomenal maneuverability) enter service, I hardly doubt that block III hornets will sufise. I love the fighter, but as someone stated above, you need continual generations of fighters for growth possibilities. Also, isnt australia uneasy about the fact that Their super hornets can be outflown by indonesian su30's?

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Black Owl September 17, 2011 at 1:23 am

The Super Hornet is not notorious for anything. It can do anything and handle anything and everybody knows it. If not the F-35 or an all Super Hornet force what do you propose?

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William C. September 17, 2011 at 1:29 am

SMSgt Mac here has better grammar than most of those commenting, I think you take more issue to his views as opposed to his grammar.

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SMSgt Mac September 20, 2011 at 8:12 pm

Well hello there EngeCon!
I was told I was living "rent free" inside your punkin' head. Looks like it's true. Hmmmm. A little musty…your fallacious ad hominem needs some work, the intellectual veneers are worn very thin – you're gonna have to replace those soon. Overall the decor is just too post-modernist: Late 'theraputic' era?.
LOTS of open space though.

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Sheepdog September 17, 2011 at 7:35 am

It seems like you are very pro-defense industry. has there ever been a major program that was canceled that you agreed with the decision? FCS, Crusader, Comanche, NPOESS, ABL, TSAT, railguns??

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Ben September 17, 2011 at 1:25 pm

F-22 and F/A-18E/F mix :)

Yeah. Seriously.

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crackedlenses September 17, 2011 at 4:06 pm

The Crusader and Comanche worked; we just couldn't decide what we really wanted. And as for railguns, you have to start somewhere….

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Sgy Jmack September 17, 2011 at 5:32 pm

I know which was first, I was simply stating a fact as to why it is a NEEDED item that the situation dictates. But if you want to put politics into the battlefield, then you need to put Politicians on the battlefield as well, so they can see first hand how their decisions are effecting the outcome.

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blight September 17, 2011 at 8:06 pm

That's the joy of being a second or third adopter. America (as first adopter) would have the oldest airframes and the largest fleet, and not enough dollars to add the same same toys as the foreign customers.

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EngineerEconomist September 19, 2011 at 10:02 am

if the pilots are furious about flying antiquated planes, then they have the f-22 and f-35 programs and the USAF leadership to blame for it. a smarter approach would have been to start with proven designs, and improve upon them incrementally using mature technology, vs technology that still needd maturation. this approach would have yielded new planes sooner and at less cost, resulting in even more money being available for more improvements in national security…

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Sgt Jmack September 18, 2011 at 2:18 pm

Not to mention that the rail gun program is still being designed and refined.

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EngineerEconomist September 19, 2011 at 9:54 am

"The Crusader and Comanche worked; we just couldn't decide what we really wanted" very funny… maybe your definition of "worked" is quite different than a trained engineer's…..

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Sgt Jmack September 18, 2011 at 2:21 pm

New, Now, Next always cost a crap ton of money, especially as more and more technology is manufactured. We all know that there are a ton of new discoveries made from these large expendatures. Should we go back to using bows/arrows and lances on horseback?

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SteveB September 18, 2011 at 5:40 pm

The Navy has the F18 Super Hornet that they love. Learn how to read before you start running your mouth, Sergeant. Of course, you are only a Sergeant, so I wouldn't expect you to be as well read in matters of defense acquisition programs as I, a retired CSM am. I retired out of Warren, MI where we were doing a lot of testing on the JTV and have heard the grumblings of my Naval brethren time and again as we all have to deal with the defense contractors who lobby Congress. How do you think weapons systems are contrived? Do you think someone in the Armed Forces dreams it up and calls a Defense Contractor? No. Defense Contractors dream things up, and lobby Congress. Congress tries to soft-sell it to us, and if we want it, we buy it. If we don't want it, the contractor lobbies harder, and sometimes successfully to Congress who then makes us purchase it when we had other ideas for our money. You'll learn someday if you attain enough rank, and don't quit instead.

CSM Berkshire (Ret)

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EngineerEconomist September 19, 2011 at 10:08 am

amen. Eisenhower was 100% on the mark that the CMIC is a threat to our nation. requirements should flow from the needs of warfighters – operators, troops, grunts on the frontline. instead requirements are dreamed up by contractors with optimization of profit in mind.. vs true military utility in operational environments… thus we get the irrational pursuit of exotic technology in search of doctrine….

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blight September 20, 2011 at 8:57 pm

Not a lot was released about either program: both /seemed/ to be on track from the POV of outsiders; and both were canceled by Rumsfeld because they were procured long ago for a warfighting scenario that is moving further and further into the horizon.

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EngineerEconomist September 21, 2011 at 5:56 pm

that wasn't even an ad homenim. i asked a question and expressed an opinion. once again the communication process has broken down. also according to learning curve theory it doesn't matter if the lot quantity increases, as long as there is not a production break. so no matter how much you misapply learning theory, you can't blame this on the Senate. the learning effects will not be achieved for a variety of other reasons, such as the unstable production configuration and inevitable obsolescence. there are probably some great introduction to logic and proof classes at your local community college which might give you an appreciation for axioms of math, science, and engineering. i'm sure if we keep repeating the educational process with you, sooner or later something may stick.

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SMSgt Mac September 22, 2011 at 1:09 am

Re: Fallacious Ad Hominem – I take the general and to-date unsupported “your obfuscated, hubristic, and biased views” as a personal (not to mention unsupported to the point of nonsensical) attack.
Re: ‘Production Break’ observation. Interesting, but your offhand dismissive use of the term indicates you probably have no idea that a ‘Production Break’(as the term relates to Learning Curves) does not have to be temporal or complete. In fact, your answer reeks of a ‘numerical’ and not ‘operational’ awareness of ‘Learning Curve’ [ I would note that it comes over as arrogance in your own ignorance, but that would mean bringing up “Hybris” again and I’ve noted how that seems to have rankled you some. So I won’t mention it. ] Now go back and try to conceptualize how many of the five categories of ‘Production Breaks’ as identified within the Anderlohr Method are relevant to an operation on the scale of the F-35 and the planned expansion to the manufacturing effort (scope) and speed (production rates). Hint: All of them are relevant.
Re the rest of your poor scratchings: Infantile projection.

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EngineerEconomist September 22, 2011 at 9:13 am

what is your reference for definition of the term 'production break'? then show how what has happened in the past or in the future indicates that a production break has or will occurr. Congress is not at fault for any production breaks. i understand the frustration in the Appropriations process, but in the F-35's case, Congress has faithfully appropriated billions of dollars into this caper per year, and the program should still be expending dollars that were obligated in past years. the whole experience is ANOTHER lesson in how foolish the concurrency approach is. you need to prove you are ready for production, via a MS C decision, before starting LRIP. what's the status of that DAB to rebaseline the program??

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SMSgt Mac September 22, 2011 at 10:55 pm

Have you noticed that you often begin with challenging an assertion by asking for ‘support’, then attempt to preemptively refute (poison the well) any support provided in response? And before you have ANY idea what the response will be? Interesting. I assumed you would have just Googled up the ‘Anderlohr Method’. From the second or third hit on my computer: https://acc.dau.mil/adl/en-US/30391/file/5384/Lea

RE: MSC/DAB & other formalities. I'll refer readers to our earlier dance :http://elementsofpower.blogspot.com/2011/07/deliver-us-from-bean-counters.html

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SMSgt Mac September 23, 2011 at 1:14 am

The CSM wouldn't recognize the PPBE process if it came up and smacked him in the 'posterior'.
…. and the M-I complex was replaced long ago by the Social Spending-Entitlement Complex. http://elementsofpower.blogspot.com/2011/01/50-ye

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EngineerEconomist September 23, 2011 at 7:39 am

DAU's website has been down for awhile. it's a shame that a program that has already racked up a projected $150B cost overrun, is atleast 2 years late and with an invalid baseline, can't even establish a baseline, perpetuates lack of acquisition discipline by by proceeding to production without a production readiness review, is so behind in software development that even the much hated CAPE confesses they blew it and underestimated software development, has resulted in the firings of senior officers, is a black mark on the otherwise distinguished tenure of Sec Gates, and has disgraced DoD, inviting greater scrutiny and oversight for ALL programs, HAS such a dogged, snotty advocate. Guess you can't answer the question about the DAB, or how any lack of funding has actually resulted in a production break, or how leveling of production funding will result in a production break.

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EngineerEconomist September 23, 2011 at 7:08 pm

any chance you got that DAU website to work so we can actually have a fair neutral standard by which we can define terms? your sloppy, self promoting, liberal use of the term 'production break' bothered me. I tried to find the 1969 paper on lost learning, let me know if you can help me find that. I did find this paper written by a Galorath P.E. (maybe that will impress you, but since he offers a definition that refutes your argument you will probably scoff at him as well) that defines production break as total cessation. Here's the thesis that concludes Andelohr as the "best" (I would throw out any thesis that concludes that there is a "best" anything given uncertainty). Anyway Andelohr's definition is found in the text. Andelohr defines production break as the time lapse between completion of manufacturing an item and commencement of follow on order. Congress has provided and will continue providing funding and there are ongoing production contracts and no reason to believe that there will not be a follow on contract. Believe me, if there is a production break, everyone will know about it.

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EngineerEconomist September 23, 2011 at 8:13 am

ad homenim you hypocrite. plus your attack is juvenile and unprofessional. take SMSgt out of your handle if you're going to be that much of a jerk. entitlement spending does need reform, but the CMIC still exists and has corrupted our decision making processes, just like Eisenhower warned.

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EngineerEconomist September 23, 2011 at 7:19 pm
SMSgt Mac September 23, 2011 at 11:43 pm

Ad Hominem? That was an observation based on the evidence of complete ignorance of the acquisition process while asserting waht some would call slanderous accusations against the defense industry in general and by extension its people, in his comment: One Senior NCO calling out another Senior NCO's BS.

Declarative statments asserting the existence of a M-I complex (as in or comparable to Eisenhower's time is neither 'evidence' nor 'proof'. Helps to really know your history.

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SMSgt Mac September 24, 2011 at 9:22 pm

My, what a frothing stream-of conciousness rant. The day you can provide a rational explanation of your asserted $150B(S) 'projected' cost 'overrun' that would show us WHY it isn't a steaming pile of jackal spoor is the day it–and the rest of your drivel–MIGHT be worth addressing. I suspect no one will be holding their breath waiting.

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EngineerEconomist September 26, 2011 at 10:53 am

that's the collective judgment of DoD and the audit community, as reported in the Selective Acquisition Reports, which I'll take over your "inside view" opinion any day. And this is even before the future rebaselining that is yet to be done. as we've covered before, all these point estimates are disingenuous because they are not communicating the uncertainty and risk in estimation. If you look at a hurricane track forecast you will see that the further in the future you project the wider the cone of uncertainty becomes. This is exactly what is needed in cost estimation, or any estimation for that matter. The professional community is getting there, in spite of the political/cultural obstacles. DoD's inflation methodology is based on the flawed assumption of stable future inflation.

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EngineerEconomist September 26, 2011 at 10:53 am

It's sad that appeals to DoD 5000 acquisition process, sound systems engineering, use of Monte Carlo Simulation, good risk management practice, and adherence to fundamental laws of science and math do not phase you. Neither does the testimony of senior leadership (Carter's unacceptable performance admission), the CAPE director's confession that they blew it on software development, phase you in any way. It's no accident that the few of you that refuse to read the writing on the wall are profiting from the endeavor. Good luck to you.

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EngineerEconomist September 26, 2011 at 2:50 pm

"we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex." look at Sen Inhofe's comments regarding FCS and tell me the CMIC is not alive and well. http://inhofe.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAct
And while you'd like us all to follow your lead like dumb sheep, we'd rather follow Eisenhower's wise counsel: "Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together."

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