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F-35 Production to be Cut

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Reports have been circulating that the next Quadrennial Defense Review being released by the Obama Administration is expected to cut the total number of F-35s being procured, and will also eliminate two carrier battle groups.

http://www.dodbuzz.com/2009/12/09/qdr-likely-kills-two-carriers-efv/

 

I knew something like this was coming - although I actually thought that the Obama Administration would want to get all of the bailout bills and health care reform approved by Congress before they told everyone where the money was coming from.

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Individual unit price is going to go up, yeah, but the program's costs will go down. Unfortunately, your customers are going to get pissy. On the bright side, at least your Air Force isn't in the dire straights the RAF is. That's gotta count for something.

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that sounds "smart"

they cut the F-22 numbers and now the F-35

soon enough you will have 2.5 pilots in the entire USAF\USMC\USN forces cause you won't be needing more blink.gif

 

 

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Of course, what baffles me is that we bought more F-15s and F-16s than we planned...we just kept building them. All of a sudden now we've got programs where the total number is decided before production starts, then is cut, then cut again, then at the end the line is shutdown and you're left with no way to get anymore unless you start a whole new program that will cost you more than just buying more of the original design in the first place. :blink:

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Of course, what baffles me is that we bought more F-15s and F-16s than we planned...we just kept building them. All of a sudden now we've got programs where the total number is decided before production starts, then is cut, then cut again, then at the end the line is shutdown and you're left with no way to get anymore unless you start a whole new program that will cost you more than just buying more of the original design in the first place. :blink:

 

well, yes and no.

 

We bought more Eagles and Lawn Darts than originally planned in large part because their replacements never showed up so replacement airframes had to be bought to handle the longer time in service and attrition. I think.

 

I absolutely agree with the insanity you point out on overall aquisition. The particular insanity of gutting the F-22 program numbers because we are going to use F-35's instead, and then gutting the F-35 program too is a very dangerous development over the longer term. This represents a false economy which is also a potential risk in a much smaller fleet of airframes. To fix it down the road will potentially result in higher costs than if we simply stuck to a stable program. But that would take foresight and vision...........

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Bleh, I just finished a paper on defense procurement. I wouldn't harp on the Obama administration so much as on the DOD as its always been. The persistence of the acronym SNAFU kind of attests to that.

 

I just love contract law. We must protect the sanctity of contracts we keep hearing regards to bonuses. But contracts with the government, either side seems to be able to modify the contract as they please. In normal business, you make a contract to do something (or a number of somethings) for a particular price, you can't do the job with that ammount of money, you eat the cost because you made a mistake. So why not force Lockheed-Martin to abide by the damn contracts they made and provide the original number of planes at the original price! And if their profits disappear and they lose money and stockholders get nothing, boo F#$%ing hoo, there supposed to be a risk in investing!

 

[/Rant mode]

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actually, I wasn't harping on the Obama regime. Well, just a little in that he cut the F-22 production just a little while ago in favor of the F-35 and now this along with the gutting of the carrier forces mentioned.

 

I was more ranting on the perenial and disfunctional state of DoD aquisition. We are in complete agreement on that point.

 

I work on technical support contracts providing services to the DoD, direct support to operations in the past and now involved in aquisition and fielding.

 

The way a lot of these contracts are written is just plain stupid, thankfully not all (or mine at the moment).

Edited by Typhoid

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Quite frankly, the USG can't write a contract to save their lives.

 

Having had to deal with the results of such contracts...and finding out that we haven't figured out anything in 20+ years...

 

FC

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It makes sense they are cutting everything else. The funny thing is they cut military defense, yet the Obama administration keeps "SURGING" more troops to Afghanistan/Iraq. Go figure.

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in my opinion adding more F-15e is a makeshift and cheap solution.

 

on one side he says in his nobel acceptance speech that war is necessary and now this.

 

Obama is confused,

he should wear a pajama,

spend some time in Alabama,

and also play golf with dalai lama.

 

sorry,the joke is as bad as the decision is.

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Now there's a surprise that a Government has cut back on the military... as I am ex RAF I look at it now and its horrifying what the UK Government is doing to the UK Military... As to the US military F-35 cutbacks mean more expense... Problem is that no-one in Western Governments nowadays have been to war and understand the military. They are born and bred to become politicans and have little or no understanding of the military.

 

My opinion for what its worth is that you must serve in the military and not in a rear area before you become eligible to become a politican as the Armed Forces are the most misunderstood by the Politico's as they are usually not there everyday like police public health etc... And that the last time the militaries where run down we had a World War...

 

Rant over apologies in advance...

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Id be more concerned about the two carrier groups. One of the things that make the US such a major peacekeeping force is its ability to react to situations quickly using carrier battle groups. Diminishing this abilty is reducing the US's overall capability to police hotspots and act as a counter-force to certain threats. Lets face it when a carrier battle group is in your neighborhood you aint going to be starting trouble.

 

This force reduction may be the break certain countries or leaders have been waiting for.....

 

Mike

Edited by MaverickMike

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comments below from an associate within the Puzzle Palace

 

"This article tracks with a lot of RUMINT on the QDR. If you've followed a

lot of the arguments in this town in makes for interesting reading. The

F-22 was canceled based on lack of a threat an "increased numbers of F-35"

to compensate. Now the F-35 can be cut because of a reduction in 2 CBGs and

2 USAF FWEs...also based on lack of threat --only low intensity COIN on the

horizon. Not mentioned in the article is the deployment of Chinese 5th

generation fighters, new subs, Russian equipment on the market for just

about anyone with cash and the possiblity of a nuclear armed Iran. An

unforseen COIN conflict will not significantly threaten the Republic--an

unforseen conflict with a near-peer competitor or a major regional

competitor armed with near-peer weapons could. Nevertheless, this report

tracks with other developments (RBTL) where there is an apparent trend to

limit US ability to globally project power. It will interesting to watch

how this develops."

 

this spreads the pain even further. Eliminating 2 USAF FWE along with 2 CVBG's and their airwings is a substantial cut in conventional airpower. Further, the USMC Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle is also being eliminated.

 

So as we execute a shift towards COIN operations, we are cutting the very means to support those troops that we send into COIN operations.

 

"This force reduction may be the break certain countries or leaders have been waiting for....."

 

our ambassadors, visiting representatives and regime-chief-executive-officer (President) can simply bow deeply to the tinpot potentate and kiss his ring or lick his boots..........

 

I said earlier that I wasn't harping on the Obama Regime - as this information comes more to light, I am now. This is national security insanity.

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It really makes sense to cut military budgets when at war....... Well could someone brighter than me explain that. In my point of view it sounds stupid

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In a way it makes sense when you're dealing with COIN ops. The problem is we suck at COIN, always have, always will. The only war we were in that we really were prepared to fight since Korea was Desert Storm, quick and conventional, and that was a breeze.

 

I could write my masters thesis on this and the approach Barry is taking, so I'm not going to go into it beyond saying I understand (if disagree) with the move.

 

Regime? hardly, he's about as ineffectual as Jimmy Carter and the democrats in congress are as much opposition as the republicans.

 

Again there's also the hypocrisy. The Mantra is "stop the out of control government spending!" But simultaneously "Don't cut X Y or Z!"

 

You can't have your cake and eat it too. Well maybe if I was in charge and people listened. Executive order #god knows how many: All State and Federal government acquisitions will be done as standard consumer sales. IE we buy a craftsman hammer for $2 instead of $700, multiply across everything we spend money on. BOOM! There's your full fleets, healthcare and just about any social program.

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Having spent a good wonderful year in Afghanistan, COIN isn't difficult (but don't get me wrong, it is aggravating), you pretty much have to understand how they fight, and hit them back, fast and hard. Having been on the ground, it's not going to make any difference whether it's an A-10 or an F-35 dropping a bomb, it still is the same fight. And the reason we suck at COIN is people are stuck in the conventional mindset. The world changes, you have to change with it. So the loss of two CVBGs? Yeah it'll make an impact some places, but overall, the F-35 being cut back isn't the end of the world, especially since now we're dealing with dudes wearing turbans in some valley. The Russian threat? Always been out there, and always will be, along with China, India, etc. But seriously, if Russia can't afford it's own toys, not likely the whole world will be flying Flankers with ultra maneuverability with advanced whatchamajigs either.

Edited by EricJ

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You can't have your cake and eat it too. Well maybe if I was in charge and people listened. Executive order #god knows how many: All State and Federal government acquisitions will be done as standard consumer sales. IE we buy a craftsman hammer for $2 instead of $700, multiply across everything we spend money on. BOOM! There's your full fleets, healthcare and just about any social program.

 

Reminds me of that famous scene from the movie "Independence Day", when President Whitmore enters Area 51...

 

President Thomas Whitmore: I don't understand, where does all this come from? How do you get funding for something like this?

Julius Levinson: You don't actually think they spend $20,000.00 on a hammer, $30,000.00 on a toilet seat do you?

 

:grin:

Edited by TX3RN0BILL

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Part of that is the ridiculous SDB legislation. You can get a quote for that $2 hammer, but then you're forced by law to contract/subcontract that purchase out to a company owned by a minority or veteran who gets to basically buy it for you and ship it to you and tack on an increased cost.

 

Another part can be by tying them into O&M contracts, so although the hammer only costs $2 to buy NOW, over the life of the contract the amount you've paid to have say 100 hammers in working order and available can come to $700/hammer easy.

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Small/disadvantaged businesses. Basically a form of contracting welfare. Big companies win contracts and then the gov't insists a certain percentage (I think in my company's case it's 15%) of the business must be subcontracted out to SDBs. Could our company do that same work quicker, for less, and with greater effect? Undoubtedly, but it's not our call. The gov't passed a law to make sure these small companies get a piece of the gov't contracting pie.

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