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F-35 reality check

Discussion in 'The Americas' started by Picard, Jul 17, 2015.

  1. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican BANNED BANNED

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    With concurrency you have a chance, with obsolescence you have none.
     
  2. BON PLAN

    BON PLAN Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    Picard likes this.
  3. Picard

    Picard Lt. Colonel RESEARCHER

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    As expected, they'll keep their F-35s solely for ground attack, if even that.
     
  4. Averageamerican

    Averageamerican BANNED BANNED

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  5. BON PLAN

    BON PLAN Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    https://www.quora.com/What-went-wrong-with-the-F-35

    I am writing as anonymous because I was a Lockheed Martin employee and executive for over 30-years and I was also intimately involved with the F-22 and the F-35 program. My anonymity is because I’ve witnessed other former Lockheed employees who have criticized the company and the program experience certain “issues”. I don’t need to suddenly have my pension stop, or get audited for multiple years by the IRS. I am writing a book on the financial and criminal misconduct of the Military-Industrial- Congressional complex and I am doing so under a pen name. This is a short sample of some of the information in that book.

    First, the Joint Strike Fighter(F-35) requirements came from 11 different countries and 3 US military services. It was advertised as a clean sheet of paper design for a true fifth gen fighter. The old adage about using a committee to design a horse and you wind up with a camel is true. Only this time it’s a turd, not a camel. The pilots who fly it call it the Turd. It is more than a turd - it is an accident waiting to happen and one day it will take the life of a brave American pilot just like the F-22 has. For example, I was there the day they had to use a chain saw to cut open the canopy of the first test jet to get the pilot out because it wouldn’t open. He was sitting there in the Ft Worth 100+ degree sun literally baking alive. They towed the jet into a hangar but he was still cooking. He had to be lifted out through the hole and rushed to the medical center to be re hydrated using IV. Never saw that on the evening news, did you? The AC system on the jet quit working during the test flight because of a faulty part from one of the way too many subcontractors who sold crappy parts to Lockheed so, with cockpit temps soaring above 100 degrees, he aborted the test flight and RTB’d only to find that the canopy wouldn’t open. Not an easy day. Why did Lockheed buy crappy parts you ask? Another old adage applies here: Follow the money. Congressional pressure/influence coupled with poor processes and procedures and a cost cutting mentality because of a Firm, Fixed Price contract well over $200B for an unproven aircraft using high risk immature technologies. Gee, what could possibly go wrong?

    Let’s follow the money: You see; the program is one of the largest political pork programs in the history of the US. That’s why it will never be cancelled. It has lined the pockets of Republicans and Democrats, ensured their re-elections and made $MM’s for their contractor cronies and is probably the best example of bipartisan politics in recent history. Boondoggle is a kind term. This has to be considered criminal. People are afraid that if Donald Trump becomes president, he’ll start investigating things like this because he’s not an insider and he will make them pay – a novel concept.

    The 11 countries were there just for show and as potential buyers for the trumped up business cases. We (the US government and Lockheed) gave them the illusion of importance. The early meetings I was involved in never ever took the clean sheet of paper approach - NFW. Everyone was overwhelmed by the steaming pile of requirements and so basically just ignored them and used the 3 US military services. We were at the Paris Airshow one year and I remember one exec saying something like “those assholes (foreign countries) will buy anything we make and if they don’t like it, then they can go buy some piece of shit MIG or Dassault”. The US Air Force and Lockheed already had the design. Remember that Boeing was in the competition with their version - called Miss Piggy by some and Monica by others because of the gaping air intake and big nose (yes, it was around that time when Ole Bill and Monica got caught exchanging DNA samples in the Oval Orifice). The program was being run by the USAF, who has dictated fighter design for years. The 11 countries and Navy and USMC? Well, the USAF was just being nice and inclusive but at the end of the day, GEN Jumper and the fly boys went with what they knew, and that was the F-22 heritage. Lockheed execs did a masterful job of convincing them that they could re-use much of the F-22 design. Look at a picture of a Raptor and a Turd flying together. Tell the difference? Subtle details but most obviously the Raptor has 2 engines and the Turd has one.

    Background: In 2006, congress and the DOD, in a rare moment of intelligent clarity and bipartisanship concern for the tax payer, cancelled the F-22,whose costs were spiraling out of control. The Raptor also had known problems and issues; most notably the pilot oxygen system, which has never been totally fixed and cost at least one pilot his life. I was in the company of some Raptor pilots about a year ago and they still have the infamous “Raptor cough”, a dry hacking sound. Ask yourself why the Raptor has never been used in combat. The real answer is that it takes so much time, effort and money to keep the jets flying and so it can’t sustain the sortie rates required for major combat ops.Back then Lockheed and the USAF were deeply invested in the F-22; financially and emotionally. We knew that it was on the chopping block, so the USAF and Lockheed did a full court press. Lockheed wanted to sell more jets and the USAF wanted to buy more jets. It was a classic example of the self-licking ice cream cone. We jointly performed huge multi million dollar warfare modeling and simulation studies using worst case scenarios of what would happen if a peer competitor country that may start with the letter C were to launch a major all-out attack against the US. We needed to build the case for more F-22’s and so we started with the answer and backed into the analysis results to say “See, we need 200 more jets or we’re all gonna f#*king die!” Congress and the DOD amazingly saw through the ruse and so it got cancelled. That may have been that last intelligent thing congress and the DOD ever did before the liberal crazies took over and now spend more time worrying about legislating transgender bathrooms, having women in Special Forces and registering our guns instead of enforcing the laws that are already in place.

    So Lockheed had a huge amount of sunk costs in jigs, tooling and components for the F-22. Reusing the F-22 design would leverage those sunk costs, saving millions in startup and production costs – or so went the line of reasoning. Good idea, bad assumption, very poorly executed. Remember: Firm, fixed price.Which translates to: save money every which way you can and be the low bidder.Use less people and short cut processes was where it hit the fan. Who needs to pay a group of engineers to create a test plans? We don’t need no stinking test plans! Processes and documentation take a hit and quality goes down the toilet. A huge rift developed between Lockheed and the USAF/government and continues to this day. Budgets and schedules ran amok. People were fired or quit when they complained. Technical debt piled up on the I&T side of the V model. Agile processes were introduced on top of an already abbreviated the V model. The leaner we tried to run, the slower we got. Confusion and paranoia settled in at Ft Worth. Then corporate wide layoffs started due to Sequestration. Key technical people were laid off and replaced with new hires. The top execs were so out of touch with what was happening in the trenches it was pathetic. Mismanagement at all levels. They brought in some new execs during a major house cleaning back in 2012 but it still hasn’t helped much. Too little, too late. The F-35 is still a Turd and always will be. It has not nor ever will perform as claimed. Most likely it will suffer even more from maintenance issues than the F-22. And I fear that someday soon, that piss poor excuse for a fighter jet will cost the life of another brave American pilot. During this time, that peer competitor country that starts with C(hina) and Russia have developed their 5th gen fighters and some analysts say they perform better than the F-35 ever will in many aspects. I sort of chuckle when I see the Chinese fighter obviously patterned after the F-22 but with forward canards. Asian countries love to pattern their stuff after the West but with their own twists. Ok, China, go ahead ansd steal our technology - the jokes on you this time. Canards? So cold war.

    But that’s just one program and there is more and it keeps getting worse but wait for the book. It’ll really piss you off.
     
    Aero, Abingdonboy and R!CK like this.
  6. halloweene

    halloweene Major MILITARY STRATEGIST

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    R!CK likes this.
  7. BON PLAN

    BON PLAN Major SENIOR MEMBER

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