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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 Reclaimer77 on 9/28/2012 12:47:55 PM , Rating: 0
OH shut up already.

The Government asked Lockheed to build a shit sandwich, and that's essentially what we got. It's not Lockheed's fault. The same thing would have happened to anyone else taking this job on. The problem is, and always has been, the procurement process, not the contractors.

The F-35 was doomed from the start! In a genius (sarcasm) attempt to "save money" from the "costly" F-22, our venerable shitbags in Washington decided to build a joint strike fighter that could do about every job you could throw at it, while being stealthy, and also "cheaper" than the F-22. Gee, what could have possibly gone wrong with THAT plan!? And they based most of the "savings" on flim-flam non binding agreements by other nations to buy into this flying turd. Brilliant!!


RE: Out to lunch, be back in December
By Amiga500 on 9/28/2012 1:29:49 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
The Government asked Lockheed to build a shit sandwich, and that's essentially what we got.


To a degree I agree.

The need to fit on a LHD elevator is a killer.

quote:
It's not Lockheed's fault.


There, I disagree. Lockheed stood up and said they could deliver X, Y and Z.

The powerpoint wizards didn't give a sh!t that X, Y and Z were unattainable, as long as they got the big juicy $$$ contract.

What they should have said was the program will be crippled by requirements A, B and C. It should be split into two programs, completely separate airframes.

But, then they wouldn't have the DoD over a barrel now with a single program that is probably too big to fail as everyone and their dog have been sold up the river on it. I have no doubt that was front and centre in Lockheeds thinking when delivering those bullsh!t powerpoint presentations.


RE: Out to lunch, be back in December
By Reclaimer77 on 9/28/2012 2:06:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
What they should have said was the program will be crippled by requirements A, B and C. It should be split into two programs, completely separate airframes.


Then they wouldn't have gotten the contract probably.

Lockheed is a business and their objective is to make money. In my business I routinely run across customers asking me to do really stupid things that often end up costing them more money. Oh well, it's not my job to enlighten them.

If you want to blame Lockheed for not educating the people who run the show, people who SHOULD know better, I think that's just scapegoating.

Look the money is spent at this point. All we can do now is just hope to hell the F-35 can be, somehow, made into a viable aircraft. Flipping out about it, calling Americans stupid, etc etc isn't going to do anything positive at this point.

And frankly, I'll repeat myself again, if we destroyed the ENTIRE department of defense, cut every cent of military spending, we would still be looking at a TRILLION dollar deficit!


By Amiga500 on 9/28/2012 5:21:54 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Then they wouldn't have gotten the contract probably.


Absolutely incorrect.

DoD talk to industry all the time to gauge what is possible.


By boeush on 9/28/2012 5:34:01 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Oh well, it's not my job to enlighten them.
May I ask which business you're in?

(So that I can make sure never to do business with you?)

Thanks in advance.


RE: Out to lunch, be back in December
By Jeffk464 on 9/28/2012 1:45:10 PM , Rating: 2
In a genius (sarcasm) attempt to "save money" from the "costly" F-22

The genius way to save money would have been to buy more F22's for fighter cap and keep the F16 in production as your affordable attack plane. The fact is attack planes don't have to be that sophisticated and you only need so many fighter cap planes, especially since a war with another nuclear world power is impossible.


By Reclaimer77 on 9/28/2012 1:59:40 PM , Rating: 2
Well I agree. I was very much against shutting down the F-22 and said as much right here on DT.

And the same old arguments used against the F-22, are being used now here again...


"We basically took a look at this situation and said, this is bullshit." -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng's take on patent troll Soverain

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