Published: Sunday, April 21 2013 6:00 p.m. MDT
For the cost of one F-35 we can buy 34 Predator drones, not risk a single pilot,
loiter much longer over target, and save hindreds of billions of hardware,
training, and maintenance dollars. But pilots will always prefer seats in the
sky, politicians seats in congress, and employees seats in jobs.
Wonder how much the Osprey cost us. The military absolutely needs to tighten
its belt. It must be forced to pick and choose what it really needs.When you look at defense contractors (like Lockheed) look at how many states
they have spread out to.They have pieces of these large contracts in many
states.Why? So more of our congress will be reluctant to cut less
needed projects as it will hurt their state.Just as in Utah, defense
is also a huge job creator. Dont like large government? Start cutting defense.
You could build 10 F-16's for the cost of one F-35. I think they ought to
start building F-16's again. It covers multiple roles, is still top of the
line, and they could update avionics and make tweaks to the design to make it
more stealthy. But if you have many aircraft attacking the same target, you
don't need stealth.
Our government proves once again it's total inability to control costs and
budgets, or come even close to understanding the value of money per the
perspective of the American taxpayer. The current and projected waste on this
one project is phenomenal. To add insult to injury is the fact that
the original and primary design of the F-35 is already over 15 years old and
could very well be (if not already) semi-obsolete before all of the contracted
planes are built... if they ever are. With current costs already approaching
over $150 billion and very few planes actually built, this project is already a
bust.What exactly is it this plane will supposedly protect if and/or
when our government goes broke... a path we are unarguably on as our federal
deficit balloons annually. Once again the ineptness of Congress and the
administration is on full display.
@tators,I am not sure that it is so much the "inability to
control costs and budgets" as it is the lack of desire to do so.In 2012 alone, Lockheed Martin gave almost $2.5 million in campaign donations
and OVER $15 Million on Lobbying. IN 2102!!That is ONE defense
contractor.Boeing spent over $3 million in campaign contributions
and over $15 Million lobbying in 2012.Think about the whole industry
and what they give.Until we get large union and corporate money out
of our politics, our legislators will do what it takes to get those dollars.Fight to get all the big money out.
Part of the problem with DoD is their ability to be bamboozled by the defense
contractors that get such a large opportunity to cut down on the operations and
maintenance costs of the military that the military doesn't monitor how
much they are (saving) by having the contractors spending twice as much. The Defense contractors take advantage the government by buying each
other out and now we have only a few of those direct contractors out there with
tens of thousands employees, each. The generals that were involved with the
processes retire from DoD and then work for the contractors either as employees
or as "consultants" for the same systems they were over when in the
military. Senator McCain has seen this process grow and grow over
his decades serving as a Senator. National security is important but U.S.
Senators and Representatives want those pieces of the contracts in their
legislative districts and States so they can put that on their portfolio. They
use that for the next election and get the votes of those that rely on that
contractor for jobs and the related business dealings they bring, even for the
commercial ventures and school districts.
When our Supremely Partisan Court made corporations people, "We the
People" became trivial bystanders.
I hear they are planning for an unmanned aircraft carrier called the "Ghost
Ship". It only costs 5 trillion.The only thing slowing down
production is: Top officials are a bit worried about the consequences if they
Believe it or not, military and space technology supply billions of dollars,
millions of jobs to our industrial economy in money and new inventions and
services that more than offset the total cost of military and NASA agency
funding.The primary benefit of these departments is a federally
funded R & D that has freely shared new technology and sold to investors to
create american jobs with prosperity. Privatization R&D by corporations
limits expansion, growth, and jobs and prosperity for the American citizens.We are the only nation that even comes close to publicly funded R&D
that benefits the entire country as well as military needs. Without military and
NASA spending and research and science we would be living in the 1920's.
That's why our economy, poverty, and technology is stranded in the
1920's with cut backs in job creators.One jet of $135 million
generates $1 billion to the civilian economy in jobs and prosperity for every
one built and maintained. Perspective can blind the facts if you listen to Obama
and left wing radicals. A billion dollars in our grass roots economy is more
useful than $135 million in a junk pile economy in Europe or China.
A big problem is how we support pork barrel spending to our own state,
regardless of the effect on the federal budget. The Defense Department has
specifically said it would rather not spend more money upgrading the Abrams tank
right now, it has more urgent priorities. But the Ohio delegation still pushes
the project because it benefits their state where the tank is manufactured.
Doesn't Utah do the same when our delegation fights fiercely to protect
Hill Force Base?It's time to put national security and our debt
problem into top priority over local pork politics.
Freedom is not free.Some may believe that in the land of rainbows
and unicorns that the United States has no enemies and needs no defenses.
Everyone else knows that we live in a dangerous world, and that we are free
today because we have necessarily spent a lot of money to deter any adversary in
the past.Those who argue that the 40 year old F-16 or 30 year old
F/A-18 are "good enough" fail to ask "compared to what?"
Perhaps they drive a 30-40year old car to work, have a black and white TV, only
a "dumb phone" or a land line and use paper maps instead of GPS when
they drive. It was all good technology 30-40 years ago, but in a life and death
fight our sons and daughters deserve the very best money can buy.In
the numerous small wars since 1945, U.S. land and naval forces have suffered
very few casualties, mainly because we have had air superiority due to having
the best planes and best pilots. Our freedom depends on our ability
to control the air!
Boy talk about not learning from past mistakes. Back in the 70s the F-111 was
proposed as do everything war plane for all branches. It never reached
it's intended mission. Now, this new F-35 was conceived for the same
purpose? In reality, the best way to spend money is on proven technology like
the F-15, F-16, and F-18. Just build more of those with upgraded technology and
the U.S. and it's allies will have world beater aircraft. I can't see
any enemy aircraft that could out perform the current generation aircraft flown
by the well trained pilots of today. If it wasn't broke, then why spend
hundreds of billions to fix it, and from the sound of the article, end up with a
worse product. We don't need fighter aircraft that are several generations
beyond what any competator could build. Just aircraft that stay one generation
better. Just my very pro military opinion.
We never seem to learn, do we?Wasn't it someone named
Eisenhower who warned about something he called the "Military/Industrial
Complex?"Here it is . . . .
As a major in the AIr Force, currently workingat the Pentagon, the F-35 is
simply a reflection of a bloated and politically driven DoD. The Air Force
proposed shutting 2 bases down in the 2005 base closure and realignment
process, only to be shut down by congress. The DoD is forced to spend half a
billion on tanks the army says it does not need. The aquisition system was
designed in the 50's and is an antique. Sure F-35's are over priced,
but they are only a sliver of the bigger issue on hand.If I had my
choice of planes to replace it however it would not be more F-16s but rather the
new F-15 Silent Eagle. It is far less pricy, has built in stealth from lessons
learned on the F-22, and would more than suffice for the mission.And
to IQ92, predators will not get the mission done when there is a war with North
Korea, China, Iran, etc. These adavance stealth fighters are needed to an
extent. I would still rather cripple the sytem with a cruise missle from 500
miles away though even with stealth.
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