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  (Source: Lockheed Martin)
After ten years and billions invested some in the Senate want alternatives to F-35

It's well known that the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) has turned into the most costly weapons program in history for the armed forces. When complete, multiple branches of the armed forces will use the F-35 and it will be sold abroad to allies.

The problem for some in Washington is that the delays in delivering the aircraft are mounting, as are the costs to build and maintain the aircraft over its lifespan. The F-35 program has been going for ten years now and some in the Senate Armed Services Committee are now indicating it's time to start looking for a backup plan. Most will find little sense in considering an alternative to the F-35 when it is finally so close to completion.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said, "It seems to me [prudent that] we at least begin considering alternatives."

The reason some in the Senate want to start looking for alternatives is the report published last week showing the costs to maintain the F-35 through 2065 spiraling to $1 trillion. Top acquisition official Ashton Carter has maintained that the $1 trillion figure will be reduced when he completes a "should-cost" review of the F-35 in the next few months. Carter is aiming at a 20% to 50% reduction in that $1 trillion figure.

Christine Fox, Director of the Pentagon cost assessment and program evaluation office, is skeptical of the cost reduction goals.

Fox said, "O&S [operation and sustainment] is hard. Whether we can get it all the way down to legacy [O&S cost levels] is something that I in my office doubt.” Fox points to the cost of fuel being hard to reduce over the life of the aircraft.

Lockheed Martin's general manager for the F-35 program, Tom Burbage, says that the sustainment costs for the F-35 can’t be fairly compared to the costs of older aircraft. He says that the F-35 was developed on performance-based logistics plan that is different from legacy sustainment process. He also notes that the F-35 O&S estimates are susceptible to ground rules legacy aircraft are not bound to.

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RE: No surprise...
By FITCamaro on 5/23/2011 2:37:27 PM , Rating: 3
The US is the only known nation that has a nearly working directed energy weapons system near completion. Why would we be planning to defend against ourselves.

And the F-16 was built in a time when we didn't have skyrocketing entitlement costs. I wish we had more jets to compete with the F-35. But do you really think the Pentagon would be able to develop multiple jets. Thanks to liberals, we're forced to put all our eggs in one basket for cost reasons. And like any other complex system, things never go according to plan.

The F16 was built in an era when computers were the size of buildings. The F35 has thousands of times more computing power. Thus it requires software to be written to use all that computing power. And software development never goes as smoothly as hardware development. Add to that the fact that the F-35 is the first jet of its kind in terms of how it operates. There is a learning curve that comes with that.

RE: No surprise...
By Reclaimer77 on 5/23/11, Rating: 0
RE: No surprise...
By Amiga500 on 5/23/11, Rating: -1
RE: No surprise...
By Reclaimer77 on 5/23/2011 4:20:16 PM , Rating: 2
Your imagination.

RE: No surprise...
By bug77 on 5/23/2011 3:11:14 PM , Rating: 2
He he, there was a time when the US could go something like this.
Nukes? We'll build them. Planes to break the sound barrier? Sure, why not? A rocket to go to the moon? Of course!

Back then, it was easy, since you had actual jobs in the US. Now the jobs are in China and Hollywood gets to put people in jail.
One thing leads to another...

RE: No surprise...
By Amiga500 on 5/23/11, Rating: -1
RE: No surprise...
By FITCamaro on 5/23/2011 5:28:53 PM , Rating: 3
You seriously know absolutely nothing.

RE: No surprise...
By gamerk2 on 5/23/2011 3:33:02 PM , Rating: 2
For the record, the F15/F16 was meant to be as follows:

1: Expensive F15 as Air Superiority Fighter [Air Force/Navy]
2: Cheap F16 for multipurpose needs [Air Force/Marines]

Of course, the Navy wasn't sold on the F15, and walked away to make the F18 instead [Basically, an Interceptor that also had the F16's multirole capabilities]

Fast foward 30 years:

1: Expensive F22 as Air Superiority Fighter [Air Force]
2: Cheap F35 for multipurpose needs [Air Force/Navy/Marines]

Same EXACT program ideology, only the Navy didn't walk away this time to fund its own plane.

The main issue is cost overruns and lack of accountability, not the overall program direction, or "liberals". After all, the Defense budget is higher then its ever been.

RE: No surprise...
By wiz220 on 5/23/11, Rating: 0
RE: No surprise...
By FITCamaro on 5/23/11, Rating: 0
RE: No surprise...
By SPOOFE on 5/23/2011 6:49:14 PM , Rating: 2
the defense industry is the biggest entitlement program out there

Defense budgets are argued and debated, often vociferously, every single year. Senators scramble for cash, companies scramble for answers, lobbyists scramble for support. You may not like that they're so influential, but there's nothing "entitled" to Defense: They're constantly at a gallop to keep their funding.

Conversely, SS entitlements were set in stone almost a century ago and continue to be mindlessly paid out, with nary a whisper of protest except from the instantly-marginalized.

Yeah... Defense is the problem.

RE: No surprise...
By Nfarce on 5/23/2011 7:41:58 PM , Rating: 2
You tell me how the military is an "entitlement program" and I'll tell you how something like social security is great to depend on for our retirement.

"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone

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