Wednesday, April 16, 2014

DOD misleads the public on F-35 procurement

Chart created below from the document mentioned in the previous post. There is no $148M F-35A in the USAF 2015 procurement budget (PDF). Weapons system unit cost is what counts.


(Unit cost for DOD F-35s by fiscal year-click image to make larger)

Just another day of the DOD being dishonest. And since the jet is way behind and doesn't actually work, the right side of the chart is even more difficult to believe.

DOD estimated impacts of sequestration

This April DOD document which covers the estimated impacts of sequestration (PDF) has this about the F-35 5-year plan.







(click images to make larger)

All that are gigantic cuts. These years were suppose to show 200+ F-35s being built per year. That is a lot of lost money for the rent-seekers. Something many in the model-airplane-glue sniffing brigade fail to understand.

The overall document is fear-mongering. Interesting is that when you look at the budget dollars, most of the DOD budget is not being cut.

It is being increased.

Much of that wasted on dud weapon systems, dud programs and 900-some flag-ranks.

Monday, April 14, 2014

When will the F-22 be next on the USAF hit list?



The F-22 does some fantastic things. It can also be variable on its sustainment experience.

For dry environments they have been able to get 100 percent mission capable "MC"-rates on "Squadron" (really a package) deployments (guess where?) for up to about 30 days. That is about as far as they can push it without going to the L.O. barn. Wet environments (um...you know... Pacific pivot?) Not so good. There are also some fatigue issues where we will be lucky to see F-22s out to 2030.

2030, in aircraft development time-lines, especially a moribund DOD/USAF management experience like today, is not that far off.

F-22 production was stopped in part, because it competed for F-35 funding.

After USAF gets rid of the A-10, the KC-10, more F-15s and F-16s and anything else they can grab, to keep F-35 funding propped up, they will look at the F-22.

My nomination for this is the year 2020.

I have been wrong before.

It could be sooner.

The USAF is getting eaten alive by bad management decisions and personnel issues that cost billions.

USAF and its Sith Lord allies, will continue to insist that buying a few dozen F-35s per year is needed.

No matter what.

Above all else.

Consider most existing airframe communities in the USAF as a threat to the F-35s future.

USAF will do anything to eliminate that threat.

Canadian Defence omitted key F-35 flaws in report

The Canadian Department of National Defence, in a 2012 report that was supposed to be "open" and "transparent", omitted key flaws about the troubled F-35 program such as fuel efficiency, software development problems and a non-working helmet cueing system, reports The Vancouver Sun.

These issues were present in earlier drafts of the report but "senior officials" who reviewed it are the likely suspects.

Today, it is understood that the aircraft program is still in trouble with many more years before a complete, go-to-war example is ready.

By all reasonable measures, the F-35 is a failed program. It is unlikely to be lethal, affordable or sustainable.

It was sold to the U.S. Congress in the 1990's first as "JAST" (joint advanced  strike technology") and later as "JSF" (joint strike fighter) with the goal of being a "model acquisition program".

Congress believed it, and handed over the money.

Years later and tens-of-billions spent, there is no proof that the F-35 will ever reach any of its design goals, as measured through credible, operational testing.

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-Time's Battleland - 5 Part series on F-35 procurement - 2013
-Summary of Air Power Australia F-35 points
-Aviation Week (ARES blog) F-35 posts (2007 to present)
-U.S. Government Accounting Office (GAO) F-35 reports
-F-35 JSF: Cold War Anachronism Without a Mission
-History of F-35 Production Cuts
-Looking at the three Japan contenders (maneuverability)
-How the Canadian DND misleads the public about the F-35
-Value of STOVL F-35B over-hyped
-Cuckoo in the nest--U.S. DOD DOT&E F-35 report is out
-6 Feb 2012 Letter from SASC to DOD boss Panetta questioning the decision to lift probation on the F-35B STOVL.
-USAFs F-35 procurement plan is not believable
-December 2011 Australia/Canada Brief
-F-35 Key Performance Perimeters (KPP) and Feb 2012 CRS report
-F-35 DOD Select Acquisition Report (SAR) FY2012
-Release of F-35 2012 test report card shows continued waste on a dud program
-Australian Defence answers serious F-35 project concerns with "so what?"
-Land of the Lost (production cut history update March 2013)
-Outgoing LM F-35 program boss admits to flawed weight assumptions (March 2013)
-A look at the F-35 program's astro-turfing
-F-35 and F-16 cost per flying hour
-Is this aircraft worth over $51B of USMC tac-air funding?
-Combat radius and altitude, A model
-F-35A, noise abatement and airfields and the USAF
-Deceptive marketing practice: F-35 blocks
-The concurrency fraud
-The dung beetle's "it's known" lie
-F-35's air-to-air ability limited
-F-35 Blocks--2006 and today




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JSF Partner Nations trumped by FMS

The "best value" prisoner's dilemma Joint Strike Fighter Partner Nation industrial plan sucks.

Everyone has to take the table-scraps from the prime contractor's decision.

In Foreign Military Sales (FMS) there are off-sets and haggling. Israel, Japan and S. Korea will drive a hard bargain. They will also get what they want for production and sustainment of the F-35.

In Israel's case, their "domestic" weapons and software will be different. I suspect, it won't over-reach either. For example, SPICE and Rafael air-to-air missiles would be good enough for most of their work. I suspect also that the IDF won't over-reach on what the aircraft can and cannot do.  I bet their helmet cueing system will work.

With no dumb excuses.

And, for Israel, it helps to get $3B each year from the U.S. taxpayer in "credits".

Total, legal, money-laundering of U.S.tax dollars.

Here, Israel will make some wing components (and other things). If they can make this pig work, it will be to some very limited needs.

IAI closer to producing F-35 wings

Israel Aerospace Industries has established a new production line to manufacture wings for Lockheed Martin's F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter aircraft.


LOD, Israel, April 14 (UPI) -- Lockheed Martin and Israel Aerospace Industries say preparations to produce F-35 fighter wings in Israel are well underway.

IAI, which signed a contract with Lockheed in April of last year to manufacture the wings, has invested in advanced systems and technology for the work and established an automated production line.

“This is another significant milestone in the industrial cooperation that Lockheed Martin has with the Israeli defense industry,” said Marillyn (CQ) Hewson, chairman and chief executive officer of Lockheed Martin. “IAI has been manufacturing several components for our products for many years and the production of F-35 wings will be a continuation of this process.”

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Demark sets timeline and candidates for replacing its F-16 fleet

Denmark has requested submissions for replacing its F-16 fighter aircraft. Candidates will have their submissions in by July of this year. The Danish Ministry of Defense is expected to make a decision by the end of 2015, reports JSF News.

The four candidates are the EF2000 Typhoon, Boeing F-18 Super Hornet, Saab Gripen and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter maded by Lockheed Martin.

The requirement is for 30 aircraft. A variety of performance and cost issues will be considered.

Of the four candidates, the F-35 is at the most risk for cost, performance, lethality, survivability and supportablility, given its many development problems.

More from JSF News.

Grading professors on Defence

Alan Dupont, professor of international security at the University of NSW misses several things in this defence opinion piece and then recovers (somewhat) at the end.

He states many things that are not logical. He brings up the Defence-must-be-2pc-of-GDP without mentioning that it is a bad idea. It will never happen in an entitlement society deep in federal debt.

He states that so many things in Defence will go unfunded; that there isn't enough money for Defence projects.

Good.

Many Defence projects are based on bad requirements; are poorly executed; defective; and contribute no value to our national defence posture.

For example, Australia doesn't need "Air Warfare Destroyers". Especially ones with obsolete radar systems.

Australia does not need Canberra-class LHDs--including the wet-dream-fantasy of the unmentioned option of STOVL F-35Bs (that is why the ski-jump is on the front of the ship). Navy's strategy is to just not mention it and hope for glory later (along with a pre-2007 view on available federal funds).

Australia does not need defective F-35 Joint Strike Fighters. For any number of reasons including the fact that the Australian people were lied to about this project.

And what about the submarine replacement program? What can be said that has not been already?

Professor Dupont should consider taking a closer look at the festering sore that is the DMO.

What should the next Defence white paper contain?

Rebuilding and reformation only. That is, lay out a plan for professional military education that sticks. Punish those that break the law. Regain a true military ethos that concentrates on war-fighting and service-before-self.

Not the current method of self-before-service by many in leadership positions.

The next defence white paper should mention little about hardware and a majority in regard to the professional military person. Without this, any shopping list of hardware is useless.

The professor then states this:

"Logic and history suggest that Australia must be capable of deploying and sustaining a credible force anywhere in the world, not just in our immediate neighbourhood."

I suspect that depends on your definition of "logic" and "history". At least Korea and Vietnam were in the Pacific Rim.

But let us look at Afghanistan. The initial U.S. response to 9/11 was this:

“The most important thing is for us to find Osama bin Laden. It is our number one priority and we will not rest until we find him.”
- G.W. Bush, 9/13/01

“I want justice…There’s an old poster out West, as I recall, that said, ‘Wanted: Dead or Alive,’”
- G.W. Bush, 9/17/01, UPI

No mention of nonsense nation building in a tribal culture with no practical use. But that is what happened.

The original reason for U.S. involvement in that region was to get Osama. Not nation building. Once Bush and Congress helped out all of their war-profiteer friends (that also contribute big dollars to election campaigns), this is what happened:

“I don’t know where bin Laden is. I have no idea and really don’t care. It’s not that important. It’s not our priority.”
- G.W. Bush, 3/13/02

“I am truly not that concerned about him.”
- G.W. Bush, repsonding to a question about bin Laden’s whereabouts,
3/13/02 (The New American, 4/8/02)

Yup. That is where Australia gets its inspiration to go off and fight Operation: USELESS DIRT.

I would suggest that Australia has no business doing defence work outside of the Pacific Rim or close Indian Ocean region.

The ADF will never be big enough to support allies that run off on dumb wars with no real objective. The ADF however should always be, the go-to nation for its allies when needs of regional defence security and humanitarian response required in the ADF's backyard.

Australia can have that capability and have a cap on annual military spending of $20B per year.

With good leadership, maybe even a few billion less.

Australia does not need rent-seekers and foreign-owned companies urging the public to fund gold plated weapons programs that have nothing to do with a sensible national security posture.

Especially with such deskilled ADF senior leadership.


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-New Defence White Paper fails to address Australia's core security needs
-2009 Defence White Paper Fantasy
-Analysing "The ADF Air Combat Capability- On the Record"
-Find out who is responsible for the Air Warfare Destroyer mess
-Analysis of Defence Materiel Organisation Major Projects Management and What Needs to be Fixed
-New DMO Boss warns the staff that business as usual is over
-How dangerous is the Defence Material Organisation to our Defence Industry?
-Australia's Failing Defence Structure and Management Methodology
-More on the dud-jamming gear Defence wants to buy
-ADF cost per flying hour
-I will wipe out bullying vows new Defence chief (Houston 2005)
-Vacancy
-Put Vol 2 Report of DLA Piper Review into the light of day
-Rory and Jim
-Parasitism as an Abstraction for Organizational Dysfunctions
-Hobart-class "Air Warfare Destroyer" to be fielded with obsolete radar guidance technology
-The Decay Of Critical Military Thinking And Writing-With Particular Reference To The RAAF
-Newspaper guy gets it right about sub project.... big time
-The great M-1 tank myth



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Friday, April 11, 2014

USMC planning

And here is some of their thinking (continuing from the last post). Interesting ship.



(click image to make larger)

United States Marketing Corps

Got to fight for the budget dollars. Take The Hill.












H/T-Solomon

Unfunded priorities

Hopefully, none of this gets approved.

WASHINGTON — The US Air Force has sent Congress an $8 billion unfunded priorities list, with more than $3.3 billion eyed for new procurement programs, according to a copy of the list obtained by Defense News.

The undated list includes $200 million for the Combat Rescue Helicopter program, a last-minute add to the five-year spending projection contained in the Pentagon’s fiscal 2015 budget proposal, which was sent to Capitol Hill in early March.

The list also includes more than $400 million for five Lockheed Martin F-35 joint strike fighters — two for the Air Force and three for international sales.

If it was important enough then it should have been in the actual USAF budget proposal.

As for the combat rescue system, who rescued Scott O'Grady?

Who rescued one of the Libya campaign F-15E crew members?

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Retiring the A-10 Early Puts Troops' Lives at Risk

No amount of lying from USAF generals will change this.

The A-10 was certainly a game changer last July in Afghanistan when enemy forces ambushed a convoy. Enemy forces had injured three soldiers and the rest were pinned down behind vehicles as they received a large amount of fire from nearby trees and surrounding terrain.

At one point during the two hour fire fight, enemy forces were close enough to engage the soldiers with grenades and helicopters could not be called in to evacuate the injured. When the A-10 arrived on the scene, it flew 75 feet above the enemy position, conducted 15 gun passes within 50 meters of friendly ground forces, and used its famous 30 millimeter nose cannon to fire 2,300 rounds.

The performance of the A-10 that day saved the lives of 60 Americans.

The A-10 is handy to have for various Operation:USELESS DIRT wars.

DMO, the weak link in submarine sustainment



First, hats off to those that did the hard work to bring Collins availability up from the disaster that was the end of 2009 and beginning of 2010.

Have a look at this March 2014 report about the management of the Collins program (PDF): STUDY INTO THE BUSINESS OF SUSTAINING AUSTRALIA’S STRATEGIC COLLINS CLASS SUBMARINE CAPABILITY.

Worrying is DMO's under-performance.

"The ASC has a workforce plan and we have seen evidence of implementation; the RAN has a number of plans, some of which have borne fruit, although progress towards a fifth crew is dependent on increased submarine availability and approval for the headcount increase; and the DMO needs to change its workforce the most, but is held back by the lack of flexibility in managing its workforce and does not have a plan of substance."

But, not unexpected.

"It was all too clear to me that the lack of suitably qualified experienced personnel in the DMO to operate within and fulfil their role in an output focused Enterprise, may stall or even reverse the achievement of benchmark availability. It would be an astonishing outcome if the inability to sustain the knowledge and energy now evident in the Collins Class Transformation Program were to lead to its undoing – particularly given there is every indication benchmark performance could be achieved at a lower long-term cost with reduced DMO project oversight. This problem needs to be addressed urgently."





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-New Defence White Paper fails to address Australia's core security needs
-2009 Defence White Paper Fantasy
-Analysing "The ADF Air Combat Capability- On the Record"
-Find out who is responsible for the Air Warfare Destroyer mess
-Analysis of Defence Materiel Organisation Major Projects Management and What Needs to be Fixed
-New DMO Boss warns the staff that business as usual is over
-How dangerous is the Defence Material Organisation to our Defence Industry?
-Australia's Failing Defence Structure and Management Methodology
-More on the dud-jamming gear Defence wants to buy
-ADF cost per flying hour
-I will wipe out bullying vows new Defence chief (Houston 2005)
-Vacancy
-Put Vol 2 Report of DLA Piper Review into the light of day
-Rory and Jim
-Parasitism as an Abstraction for Organizational Dysfunctions
-Hobart-class "Air Warfare Destroyer" to be fielded with obsolete radar guidance technology
-The Decay Of Critical Military Thinking And Writing-With Particular Reference To The RAAF
-Newspaper guy gets it right about sub project.... big time
-The great M-1 tank myth


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Between October 2009 and February 2010, Australia had no sub capability




Another DMO-ASC-Entrenched Defence Bureaucracy victory...


I am hopeful that the change we have seen in performance around the Collins can be translated across to the Air Warfare Destroyer program. The most encouraging piece from his report, which was also the most troubling, was that, between October 2009 and February 2010, we were effectively without any submarine capability – against a three boat availability indices we had 0% availability. On the two boat availability indices it was about 7% availability. We were in a very dire and dark place! Against this in 2007 the two boat availability was 90%.

Something was going seriously wrong and the previous Government did very little in its first three years but wring its hands in despair.

It wasn’t until July 2011 and after four years of questioning and badgering from the Opposition that the previous government did something constructive to critically examine this issue and appointed John Coles and his team to look at what was now a very troubled Collins program.

We are heavily indebted to John Coles and his team for their outstanding work and to the men and women of the submarine enterprise for their truly remarkable efforts.

Through the Collins Transformation Program guided by the recommendations of Mr Coles and his team, our two submarine availability in December 2012 grew back to 60% – today it is back at the 2007 level of 90%.


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-New Defence White Paper fails to address Australia's core security needs
-2009 Defence White Paper Fantasy
-Analysing "The ADF Air Combat Capability- On the Record"
-Find out who is responsible for the Air Warfare Destroyer mess
-Analysis of Defence Materiel Organisation Major Projects Management and What Needs to be Fixed
-New DMO Boss warns the staff that business as usual is over
-How dangerous is the Defence Material Organisation to our Defence Industry?
-Australia's Failing Defence Structure and Management Methodology
-More on the dud-jamming gear Defence wants to buy
-ADF cost per flying hour
-I will wipe out bullying vows new Defence chief (Houston 2005)
-Vacancy
-Put Vol 2 Report of DLA Piper Review into the light of day
-Rory and Jim
-Parasitism as an Abstraction for Organizational Dysfunctions
-Hobart-class "Air Warfare Destroyer" to be fielded with obsolete radar guidance technology
-The Decay Of Critical Military Thinking And Writing-With Particular Reference To The RAAF
-Newspaper guy gets it right about sub project.... big time
-The great M-1 tank myth



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Value and balance

LOL.

"ASPI is a significant and valuable contributor to the national discussion on submarines in Australia and more broadly Defence issues and I would like to congratulate ASPI for the very balanced way you work and the success you have enjoyed in getting the word out about submarines and Defence issues in general."

(emphasis added)

The Marine Corps' Top Enlisted Leader Believes Lower Pay Will 'Raise Discipline'

The Marine Corps’ top enlisted leader, Sgt. Maj. Micheal Barrett, believes the Marine Corps’ quality of life is so good right now that if the service cuts back, it would actually raise morale, Leo Shane reports at Marine Times.

“I truly believe it will raise discipline,” Barrett said at a Senate Armed Services hearing. “You’ll have better spending habits. You won’t be so wasteful.”

The comments come as Congress mulls a 2% pay raise for all service members, while some defence officials have requested a 1% raise instead.

“In my 33 years, we’ve never had a better quality of life,” Barrett said in the hearing. “We’ve never had it so good. If we don’t get ahold of slowing the growth, we will become an entitlement-based, a health care provider-based Corps, and not a war fighting organisation.”

On the surface, this sounds interesting, except that any "savings" from this will just be plowed back into useless weapon systems like the F-35, LCS, $15B aircraft carriers, and... senior leader comfort-castles.

As of 2012, we have 900-some flag ranks. Cut about 600 of those and then come back to the table about pay and benefits.