Defense Secretary Panetta Discusses Tough Negotiations over Lockheed F-35 Fighters
September 28, 2012 9:05 AM
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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.
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."
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.”
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RE: Out to lunch, be back in December
9/28/2012 1:45:10 PM
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.
RE: Out to lunch, be back in December
9/28/2012 1:59:40 PM
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...
"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov
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