Stealthy new fighter jet a clunky budget bunker buster, critics say

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  • AFCoug Colorado Springs, CO
    April 29, 2013 8:13 a.m.

    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.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    April 28, 2013 8:29 p.m.

    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 . . . .

  • m.g. scott clearfield, UT
    April 28, 2013 4:21 p.m.

    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.

  • DN Subscriber 2 SLC, UT
    April 28, 2013 7:52 a.m.

    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!

  • John C. C. Payson, UT
    April 28, 2013 7:41 a.m.

    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.

  • 101Ways Taylorsville, UT
    April 27, 2013 6:20 a.m.

    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.

  • Superfluous Anaheim, CA
    April 26, 2013 8:32 p.m.

    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 lost one.

  • Superfluous Anaheim, CA
    April 26, 2013 7:42 p.m.

    When our Supremely Partisan Court made corporations people, "We the People" became trivial bystanders.

  • JWB Kaysville, UT
    April 23, 2013 7:42 a.m.

    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.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    April 22, 2013 12:02 p.m.


    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.

  • Tators Hyrum, UT
    April 22, 2013 9:13 a.m.

    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.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    April 22, 2013 8:37 a.m.

    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.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    April 22, 2013 4:34 a.m.

    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.

  • IQ92 hi, UT
    April 21, 2013 8:52 p.m.

    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.