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Print 26 comment(s) - last by ARoyalF.. on May 23 at 7:05 PM

Further development has been approved... for now

The F-35 Lighting II fighter jet will see further development of the F136 engine manufactured by GE/Rolls-Royce, as Pratt & Whitney has received criticism for its F135 development issues.

Although it seemed like the matter was temporarily laid to rest, the House Armed Services Committee recently set aside additional funding in the 2011 budget for a second Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) engine.  Some military officials and politicians have stepped forward to welcome the possibility of a secondary engine, noting it won't cost the government any more if a different alternative is developed.

"Given the enormity of the JSF program, competing engines on the aircraft is the best way to put the acquisition reform act into action," said David Joyce, GE Aviation CEO.  "With the growing concern over cost overruns in defense programs, competition continues to be the best cost-control mechanism."

Defense Secretary Robert Gates believes President Barack Obama will veto any proposed defense authorizations related to funding the GE/Rolls-Royce engine.  Furthermore, when Obama asks Gates and other senior military officials, they're prepared to eliminate any chances of additional funding for the GE/Rolls-Royce engine development.

The U.S. Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps have had difficulties with the JSF -- along with the federal government -- as delays, budget issues, and other problems continue to arise.  Gates and other military officials have said the JSF will be the future of the U.S. military's warplane arsenal, which is why it is still so widely supported.

Despite the funding available now, Gates has warned Congress that the military budget must be kept in check moving forward.



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Here's an idea
By afkrotch on 5/20/2010 7:49:12 PM , Rating: 5
Stop the stupid "end of fiscal year spending." It's the dumbest thing I've seen in the military.

"Oh look. It's nearing the end of the year and we've still got $500k in our budget. Let's tell the troops to buy things we really don't need, just so we can get the money again next year."

It happens every day year with every freaking unit. Stop that and I'm sure we'd save like $1-2 billion a year for each branch of the military.

They tighten our budget and the only way the big wigs seems to see a way to save money, is to cut personnel. Ridiculous spending? No, can't possibly stop that. Instead, we want you to do a lot more, but we're going to get rid of ppl to.




RE: Here's an idea
By Keeir on 5/20/2010 8:40:33 PM , Rating: 2
Afkrotch, there really is no concrete way to eliminate the waste you are talking about by simple rules.

The issue with the government is that there is no direct feedback from the customer (that's us). We can't stop purchasing a government service just because its terrible, too costly, or unneeded.

Hopefully eventually somebody wises up and realizes that with a 4 trillion dollar budget, we know that large numbers of decision makers just won't care about how thier money is spent.

We need to provide incentives for these decision makers to focus on lower cost/higher value choices.


RE: Here's an idea
By afkrotch on 5/20/2010 9:00:02 PM , Rating: 2
The only way I can see of proper budget usage within a military branch is to get rid of this end of year fallout money. Inside, take the current budget of each squadron, battalion, whatever and slice it in half.

If the unit needs more money, they'll have to request it. This would of course be scrutinized, prior to being approved or disapproved.

At the end, if you notice that they actually have a need for more money to accomplish their mission, then you will raise their budget to fill that need. Then every 2-4 years, half their budget and start again.

This would require more personnel to accomplish such a task, but I'm sure we'd save more than enough money to cover such costs.


RE: Here's an idea
By shin0bi272 on 5/20/2010 9:32:50 PM , Rating: 2
Well you see the thing youre missing is that washington runs on base line budgeting. They get allotted x amount in their budget and if they dont use it each year it gets cut next year. Then if they need more they have to have an act of congress to get more money (literally). So thats where these end of fiscal year expenditures come from. The quickest way to get rid of that would be for the government to show some fiscal restraint and pay their bills monthly instead of once a year. We all know that wont happen so these types of things will continue until we start electing libertarians or true conservatives instead of democrats and "republicans"... so you see its our fault really. And if you need to blame someone for our incompetence when it comes to voting... look at your schools and the bulk majority of the news media.


RE: Here's an idea
By phantom505 on 5/21/2010 2:06:45 AM , Rating: 3
Won't work. The Air Force already learned how to get around that 60 years ago. You build the O-Club, the NCO Club, Airman's Club, pool, base exchange, support buildings and when you run out of money tell the Fed they have an airbase without a runway or a ATC tower. Then you get extra funding for that after the fact.

Been there, done that, have the DD 214 to prove it.


RE: Here's an idea
By odene95 on 5/21/2010 2:55:27 AM , Rating: 2
Don't forget paying airmen for living in substandard conditions when they reside in Army Barracks


RE: Here's an idea
By weskurtz0081 on 5/21/2010 9:50:32 AM , Rating: 2
Hmmm, I never got that for staying in tents..... that is sub standard conditions isn't it?


RE: Here's an idea
By odene95 on 5/21/2010 2:59:49 AM , Rating: 2
The Army has a process for this; it's called UFR (unfunded request) and it's painful!! Still waiting after 6 months for $1200 to install internet lines in an office so that my Soldiers can work. And now I have to request more money so that I can fix my trucks that are broken. Making this the default standard for budgets would paralyze units BN and below rendering them ineffective at providing timely training for Soldiers/Servicemembers.


RE: Here's an idea
By sleepeeg3 on 5/21/2010 4:32:42 AM , Rating: 2
For the record, $4 Trillion is about what Obama spent ($3.8T). That's far more than what the budget actually is or I should say "was."


RE: Here's an idea
By CorwinOfAmber on 5/20/2010 10:50:53 PM , Rating: 2
I was in the military for almost 10 years and I saw this behavior all the time. It was ingrained in the culture.

Not just the military but any Appropriated Funds agency acts the same way. If you don't spend it, you lose it.

Still, it's waste.

They should implement a procedure that takes a snapshot of the agencies finances before it becomes aparent that's what they'll do, then punish those that waste their surplus with a similar penalty to their upcoming budget.


RE: Here's an idea
By ScorcherDarkly on 5/21/2010 12:22:17 AM , Rating: 4
The problem is that if they don't spend all of the money in their budget in one year, congress takes that money away from them in the next year, since they didn't need it. Nevermind that they may need it next year, or used it in years past. They're punished for not spending all their money, so they make sure its all spent.

The other part of this is that the distribution of money is so slow, that often times its near the end of the year before the organization gets a large chunk of what was allotted to them. They squeak by on crumbs for much of the year, then get a big infusion near the end of the year and have nothing to spend it on. Where I work (Ft. Leavenworth KS, they re-pave the roads every year, because the maintenance dept always gets a bunch of money late and they have to spend it or risk losing it in the next budget.

I agree, its a messed up system, but its not really the fault of the organizations, but the fault of congress' budget process and the treasury dept for being so damn slow.


RE: Here's an idea
By knutjb on 5/21/2010 5:07:57 PM , Rating: 2
How true, that's how congress wrote the law. Congress forces bad behavior. Instead of rewarding frugal behavior they created a system to pour money into their local districts for re-election.

I don't have a problem with publicly saying they are going to give GE money to build another motor. P&W might be behind in development and this is meant to get them to get their act together. In the end little or no money gets spent.

Also in the mid-90s P&W engines were being replaced in F-15 & F-16's with GE motors. The P&W's had more power but were far less reliable than the GEs.

Personally I preferred twisting wrenches on GEs than on P&Ws.


RE: Here's an idea
By rcc on 5/21/2010 5:59:42 PM , Rating: 2
That's pretty sad since 50 years ago the P&W was the engine that "never ever quit". Even with holes shot in it.


RE: Here's an idea
By knutjb on 5/21/2010 8:04:23 PM , Rating: 2
I heard a story of a J-57 based engine at a TWA running for years as a generator without being shut off. I think they put too high of priority on pure power at the expense of reliability.

P&W does have some interesting commercial motors though.


Here is the REAL solution.
By theplaidfad on 5/20/2010 9:50:11 PM , Rating: 1
Scrap the F-35 program all together!

Besides, any BF2 vet knows the Chinese J-10 is FAR superior to the F-35!




RE: Here is the REAL solution.
By C5Rftw on 5/20/2010 10:43:07 PM , Rating: 2
LoL, how true.

So GE is gonna be making engines for a military jet while we are in a war/military action. hmmmm... No need to worry how it got support from the government there


RE: Here is the REAL solution.
By alimaamoser on 5/21/10, Rating: -1
RE: Here is the REAL solution.
By ekv on 5/21/2010 4:56:12 AM , Rating: 2
alimaamoser is a spam account.


RE: Here is the REAL solution.
By MrBlastman on 5/21/2010 8:00:40 AM , Rating: 3
GE has been making jet engines for fighter planes for years. It isn't like they are new to this.


RE: Here is the REAL solution.
By amanojaku on 5/21/2010 8:31:06 AM , Rating: 1
I assume that was sarcasm, because there is a lot of evidence that says otherwise. The J-10 is an older plane that even China says is a match for the F-16 and the Su27. The F-35 would hand both planes their asses in a fight.

The J-10 is both smaller and lighter than the F-35, and pays for it in terms of range (1/2 of the F-35) and armaments (3/4 of the F-35, which holds more armaments than the F-22). The F-35 is also more modern having been developed about 10 years later (J-10's maiden flight was 1998, with rumors of development since the 70's or 80's; X-35 development didn't start until after 1996, with the resulting F-35 development starting around 2001), so the avionics and armaments are also better.


RE: Here is the REAL solution.
By Veerappan on 5/21/2010 11:44:00 AM , Rating: 2
"BF2 vet"

That was the important phrase you missed. He's comparing the in-game mechanics of the two jets in the Battlefield 2 video game, not the real-life fighters.


RE: Here is the REAL solution.
By amanojaku on 5/21/2010 1:45:16 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't miss anything. I said "I assume that was sarcasm". And other people downrated him, meaning they thought he was serious or not funny.

And BF2 is clearly screwed up if the J-10 can kick the F-35's ass.


RE: Here is the REAL solution.
By ARoyalF on 5/23/2010 7:05:28 PM , Rating: 2
LOL that made my day.

But every bf2 vet knows the mi-28 spam cannon+TV missiles win wars, oh and vehicle theft and spawn camping. Sure miss it.

I don't think more rules will curb spending. It will hamper legit purchases while the SNCO club gets new disco balls and sound system.


Better Yet
By monkeyman1140 on 5/21/2010 11:41:56 AM , Rating: 2
Cut the military budget. There's little justification for having 730 military bases all over the world other than keeping contractors happy with tax dollars.




RE: Better Yet
By rcc on 5/21/2010 6:03:47 PM , Rating: 2
How about we send all the peeps on welfare to staff those bases. See, win win.


Same Thing
By btc909 on 5/21/2010 11:00:36 AM , Rating: 2
County governments do the same thing. Woah we need to spend the same amount of money as last year otherwise we won't get it again. Hey I know lets replace those 1-3 year old computers AGAIN.




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