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No contract after nearly a year of negotiations

Negotiations between the U.S. government and Lockheed Martin over the $400 billion F-35 Lightning II program have been tense. Defense News reports that one deputy program manager said that the relationship between the Department of Defense and Lockheed is "the worst I have ever seen." 
 
After that comment was made, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta stated, "I don't know that I would portray it in those terms. These are difficult negotiations, as they always are when you're dealing with the amount of money and the complexity that's involved with the Joint Strike Fighter."
 
Defense News reports that last week Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter put his support behind comments made by Air Force Major General Christopher Bogdan. Bogdan had harsh words for Lockheed Martin’s failure to sign a contract with the Pentagon for 32 F-35 fighters after almost a year of negotiations.
 
However, Panetta does not agree that the relationship between the U.S. government Lockheed is the worst he's ever seen.


Lockheed F-35B Lightning II fighters [Source: Lockheed Martin]
 
“I don't share it, number one, because … I don't know the history of just how much has gone on in the past,” Panetta said. “But at least from what I have seen at this point, my view of it is these are very tough negotiations, but they aren't a reflection that either side has given up or thinks that the other side, you know, is in a more difficult state at all.”
 
Panetta is also reportedly unhappy that Congress won't be back in session until after the elections in November. An initial round of budget cuts in defense spending is set to begin in January. With Congress out of session until the elections are over, there is no chance of avoiding or delaying the defense spending cuts.
 
Panetta said, "I'll take whatever the hell deal they can make right now to deal with sequestration. The problem now is that they've left town and all of this has now been put off into the lame duck session."
 
“We need stability,” he said. “You want a strong national defense for this country? I need to have some stability. And that's what I'm asking the Congress to do: Give me some stability with regards to the funding of the Defense Department for the future.”

Source: Defense News



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RE: Out to lunch, be back in December
By Amiga500 on 9/28/2012 12:09:53 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Multirole stealth planes? Not so much.


Oh that old chestnut.

The F-117 could carry bombs (and AIM-9 externally as well*), its now over 30 years old.
The B-2 could carry bombs, its now over 20 years old.
The YF-22 could carry missiles, fly supersonically and maneuver better than anything else in the sky, its now over 20 years old.
The Yak-141 was VTOL and could fly supersonically, its now over 20 years old.

There ain't half as much novel, never seen before things on the JSF as Lockheed Martin would like you to believe. Obviously, the more people like you there are, the easier ride they get from the general public.

Oh and to infer there are no unknowns and risks when building roads is a little bit disingenuous to civil engineers.

*You'll not find that on wikipedia. ;-)


RE: Out to lunch, be back in December
By bug77 on 9/28/2012 12:23:20 PM , Rating: 2
I don't see your point.
Cars have been built before, electric engines have been built before, that doesn't mean we can easily build an electric car yet.
Whenever you have to come up with something new, you can't just throw money at a problem and expect a result within a given time frame. It works sometimes, but not always.


RE: Out to lunch, be back in December
By Reclaimer77 on 9/28/2012 12:53:02 PM , Rating: 2
Correct me if I'm wrong but could the B-2 also take off and land vertically? Was there a Navy carrier version of the B-2 somewhere I missed?

The F-117, ditto. Also not much in a dogfight.

I don't know what you are not getting about the "multi-roll" aspect here and how it, combined with stealth, ballooned the development costs of the F-35 all to hell.


RE: Out to lunch, be back in December
By Amiga500 on 9/28/2012 1:13:18 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I don't know what you are not getting about the "multi-roll" aspect here and how it, combined with stealth, ballooned the development costs of the F-35 all to hell.


Right enough, sure what would I know about it? </sarcasm>

So was it stealth that caused the bulkheads to have fatigue issues?
Or the tail hook to have completely the wrong geometry?
Or the sensors to have too high a latency?
Or significant vertical tail buffet?
Or the horizontal tail to melt after prolonged afterburner use?

You've been sold up the river and are still in denial. I don't know why you are defending people who are talking your tax dollars and wasting them.


RE: Out to lunch, be back in December
By Reclaimer77 on 9/28/2012 1:45:50 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I don't know why you are defending people who are talking your tax dollars and wasting them.


Funny but I didn't know I was defending Congress :)


RE: Out to lunch, be back in December
By Amiga500 on 9/28/2012 5:27:08 PM , Rating: 2
So Lockheed aren't wasting public money then?

Interesting take on it.


RE: Out to lunch, be back in December
By Reclaimer77 on 9/29/2012 6:17:59 AM , Rating: 2
So the Eurofighter boys haven't fleeced you guys with it's godly-expensive ongoing Typhoon drama then?

I mean since you're slamming Americans here, let's not pretend the same thing doesn't happen in the UK with your contractors.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/03/03/eurofighte...


By Amiga500 on 9/30/2012 8:38:32 AM , Rating: 2
Many of its problems have stemmed from political clowns interfering in decisions. Unfortunately an obvious side effect from it being an international program.

If you are interested, go look back through the ECF, ECA, EFA and FEFA gestation in the 80s and early 90s.

Much of the arguments were along national lines - choosing systems, sub-systems and equipment is hard enough without political f**kwits getting involved.


RE: Out to lunch, be back in December
By Reclaimer77 on 9/28/2012 2:11:34 PM , Rating: 1
Some of the greatest fighters and bombers in the world had similar problems early on like you're describing. Hell some had worst!

Honestly Amiga, you're cynicism is not impressing me. I'm not in denial, and I haven't been "sold" anything. Stop pretending like we, as citizens, had any fucking thing to do with this!

I don't know what you've been told, but none of us had anything to do with the goddamn F-35! You've made your opinion clear, but now you're being extremely annoying and militant over it. To the point that you're blaming people who have no say in this stuff for the results.

Can you just drop the arrogance, the passive/aggressive bullshit, and calm down?


By Amiga500 on 9/28/2012 5:22:46 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Some of the greatest fighters and bombers in the world had similar problems early on like you're describing. Hell some had worst!


Name any.

Even the F-4 with its wing problems didn't have a 15+ year gestation period with f__k all to show for it.


RE: Out to lunch, be back in December
By Amiga500 on 9/28/2012 1:14:37 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Correct me if I'm wrong


I named a number of aircraft that each do things the F-35 claims to be able to do.

Only they did it 20+ years ago.

Seems that went straight over your head. Much like the rest of the F-35 issues.


RE: Out to lunch, be back in December
By Reclaimer77 on 9/28/2012 1:50:59 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
You've no idea how much I'm dumbing this all down for general consumption.


Hey buddy, why don't you take this smug air of superiority and condescending act and go fuck yourself with it okay?

I'm sorry you have to "dumb" yourself down with us poor apes. But I'm pretty sure you're just some guy who reads Janes and the Wiki like everyone else. Are you an aeronautical engineer? Do you work for Lockheed? No. You have no more authority here than anyone else. You have an opinion, congratulations!

quote:
I named a number of aircraft that each do things the F-35 claims to be able to do.


Yes but no single aircraft has ever had to do ALL the things being asked of the F-35 airframe. Hello? It's YOUR head this point is going over.

And you know what, I was never a fan of the damn thing anyway. But you're just such an asshole it makes agreeing with you nearly impossible.


RE: Out to lunch, be back in December
By Amiga500 on 9/28/2012 5:26:19 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Are you an aeronautical engineer?


Complete with doctorate, academic and industrial awards thank you very much.

quote:
Do you work for Lockheed?


Are you nuts?!?

Why would a turkey vote for Christmas? If I was in Lockheed right now I'd be laughing all the way to a million dollar home.

quote:
Yes but no single aircraft has ever had to do ALL the things being asked of the F-35 airframe. Hello?


I guess you aren't getting the bit where that isn't nearly as big a leap as Lockheed would like you to believe. Nor is it a leap into the unknown as much knowledge already existed in each field and integration of most aspects.

Otherwise what excuse would they have for not delivering the thing near time and budget?


By Bubbacub on 9/29/2012 8:44:42 AM , Rating: 1
"Are you an aeronautical engineer?"

Complete with doctorate, academic and industrial awards thank you very much.


head shot!


RE: Out to lunch, be back in December
By Apone on 9/28/2012 12:53:04 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If this were anything other than a defense matter, you'd be demanding the head of each member of the company's board on a platter.


You don't think there many Americans who are questioning the cost (and cost overruns) of the F-35 program? This is probably why Panetta (and other DoD folk) are being scrutinized by their constituents.

If you want to get nitty gritty, let's look at your examples:

The F-117 - stealthy but not a fighter (can't dogfight or maneuver like a fighter)

The B-2 - stealthy but not a fighter ((can't dogfight or maneuver like a fighter)

The F-22 - Air Superiority Fighter (not the same thing as multi-role)

quote:
There ain't half as much novel, never seen before things on the JSF as Lockheed Martin would like you to believe.


How many commercially successful fighter planes in existence can you think of that have supersonic capability, VTOL and stealth? If you also examine the F-35's avionics, tracking, networking, and targeting system, you'll find it's never been done before in the F-14/F-15/F-16/F-18, etc.

And why point out the 20-30 year age? You honestly think it's possible to design, engineer, build, test, win the govt. contract, and enter mass production in 3-5 years for a fighter plane?


By Amiga500 on 9/28/2012 1:25:07 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If you want to get nitty gritty, let's look at your examples:


Nitty gritty?

You've no idea how much I'm dumbing this all down for general consumption.

Each one of those aircraft could do things the F-35 claims to do, but they could do it 20+ years ago.

There is not one single function on the F-35 that is "new" apart from certain aspects of EODAS. Yet all too often the same old lines are trotted out.

quote:
How many commercially successful fighter planes in existence can you think of that have supersonic capability, VTOL and stealth?


That is utterly irrelevant to how big a balls they've made of it. There have been supersonic stealth aircraft before and there have been supersonic VTOL aircraft before. Yes, neither had the 3rd box ticked, but Lockheed are making ticking that box look the technical equivalent of putting a man on Jupiter never mind Mars.

If you want to roll out excuses, by all means continue to do so. But don't expect anything but derision and contempt from me in return.

quote:
And why point out the 20-30 year age? You honestly think it's possible to design, engineer, build, test, win the govt. contract, and enter mass production in 3-5 years for a fighter plane?


The JSF program is now over 15 years old.


RE: Out to lunch, be back in December
By zed1 on 10/1/2012 3:50:31 PM , Rating: 2
Ahem, The J-20 ? They have squadrons of these things now flying 24/7 rotations...


RE: Out to lunch, be back in December
By zed1 on 10/1/2012 3:47:14 PM , Rating: 2
The point you missed is that the people who actually know how to build the real next generation of military technology have all either been killed or have put down their tools and refuse to work with this corrupt regime. See the discussion above about Israel for a background on their reasons. So, what America has left now are untrained and mentally incapable "yes" men and the result is this debacle. Compare that to the amazing advances the Chinese have made and you can see that The US is not only in complete decline but is actually now just a failed state. Obama is presiding over the not so graceful withdrawal from top position. That's why Bibi is so pissed right now. The BRICS are the new world order and the US and old Europe are stewing in their own juices.


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