The F-35: Still Failing to Impress
De Director of Operational Test and Evaluation (DOT&E) gaf een stand van zaken over de ontwikkeling van de F-35. Het ziet er niet goed uit voor the boys and their toys.
Enkele (niet veel goeds belovende) quotes:
This effectively grounds the plane until the health report problem is diagnosed and repaired or, in the case of a falsely reported health problem, a supervisor overrides the system.
...the F-35 program management cancelled tests of a combat-critical computer system because they thought the tests might break the computer system.
Evaluators are actually prevented from accessing the database from government networks because Lockheed Martin’s database does not meet U.S. Cyber Command cybersecurity standards.
Without a validated simulation facility the F-35 program would have to conduct “a significant number of additional open-air flights during IOT&E, in addition to those previously planned” in order to complete testing on time.
Since the plane already can’t fly often enough for the current developmental testing schedule, expecting to be able to stuff in the necessary additional flights is unreasonable.
Multi-year contracts afford some protections to the taxpayers. But the program office is proposing a block buy, which provides significantly fewer protections for taxpayers.
The JSF Program has already been in development for more than twenty years. The plane is still years away from being capable of providing any real contribution to the national defense if, in fact, it ever will be. The issues raised with this program are important for everyone, citizens and decision-makers alike to understand. There is already discussion in the halls of the Capitol and the corridors of the Pentagon about the next fighter plane program beyond the F-35. Unless everyone learns from their mistakes with this program, history will be repeated. The United States can ill-afford another $1.4 trillion mistake that will do more to harm our national security than it does to secure it.
The DOT&E report makes perfectly clear that any further F-35 production at this point is unwise. The plane has yet to prove itself capable of performing even the basic combat tasks used to originally sell the program to the American people. Congress should scrutinize carefully any further production proposal, as only the contractors will benefit from turning out airplanes that can’t fight and that will carry a crushing retrofit bill. The rest of us—particularly those who fight our wars—will be left to bear the cost.
Dan Grazier & Mandy Smithberger - Pogo - 07/03/2016