Secretary Gates put the Marine F-35B V/STOVL version of the Lightning II on probation; it was a headline grabbing rhetorical trick. Gates pulled a similar ploy with the F-22 when announcing that the decision was based on a cost study within DoD. Unfortunately, the study never was done and does not exist.
Unfortunately for our national security in the F-22 case, the administration’s strategy was successful. Soon after the president called the F-22 “outdated” the Russian F-22ski (Tu-50) and PLAAF J-20 “annihilator ” 5th generation aircraft were flying. Keep reading →
As the Defense Department’s budget goes down, the number of contracts awarded without competitive bids is going up. The share of contracts awarded without competition has risen from 39 percent in 2009 to 42 percent in 2012, according to a report I co-authored with Jesse Ellman and Rhys McCormick on DoD Contracting Trends. The news for… Keep reading →
Paris: In another clear signal that the heat is on Lockheed Martin to substantially bring down the costs of the biggest acquisition program in US history, the Nr. 2 man in the program told reporters here that costs have to keep going down.
“Much of that will play out” in the nascent negotiations on the next tranche of planes to be contracted, LRIP 5, Air Force Maj. Gen. C.D Moore said at a press briefing on the program. Keep reading →