A Perspective on Sequestration from the Cockpit of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter

 

by John Galt
February 28, 2013 20:30 ET

 

AIR_CRASH_TN

There is a crash about to happen yet no one understands the noise nor will hear it. The United States of America is about to pay a $150+ trillion bill for decades of arrogance, waste, and spending on foolishness which will result in the collapse of Imperium yet the citizens as usual will never know it until the barbarians are inside the gates.

The crash is not financial or economic.

Sadly, it is the worst crash of them all:

Our system of government.

When a nation spends money wastefully decade after decade at an accelerated rate, it is only a matter of time until the weight of the rate of spending as well as the total debt causes an implosion, a crash which collapses upon itself. Since January of 2001, the graph of American debt acceleration does not lie:

NATDEBT_2001_2012_NSAjgfla

At the current pace started with the Obama regime, our debt will be well over $21 trillion by the time he leaves office not including future liabilities for commitments that have been made yet not accounted for within Obamacare and other social programs.

Unfortunately, the American public has not even one single solitary clue about some of the programs and institutions established which as losing money in the name of the war on terror, national defense, and social justice. For the sake of the so-called sequestration crisis, this discussion shall focus on what a joke the alleged budget cuts are by looking at two Department of Defense programs which have wasted infinitely more money than this minute reduction in the rate of spending.

 

Bloomberg has been conducting a series of stories highlighting the idiocy of some of the spending within the Department of Defense and for once, I must agree with many of the lowlights of their stories. The idiocy of allowing the Congress to engineer military programs by district as well as throwing bones to overseas corporations is not only asinine but in the end suicidal as the two major programs in their stories are still non-functioning wastes of money; to the tune of over $750 billion officially if not more over the last 8 years!

This is what the F-35 looks like according to Bloomberg.com when broken down by states involved and nations assisting in the “development” of this multi-billion dollar paperweight:

BLOOMBERG_INFOGRAPHIC

(click to enlarge)

 

With 45 states and 9 countries involved in the development of and production of this fighter, is it any wonder it is so far over budget yet one decade after initial approval STILL HAS NOT SEEN ONE DAY OF COMBAT AND IS NOT GOING TO BE READY UNTIL 2018, SOME 16 YEARS AFTER THE START OF THE PROGRAM!?!?!?!!!!!!?!?!?!?

From Wired Magazine’s article from December 13, 2011, titled “Trillion-Dollar Jet Has Thirteen Expensive New Flaws,” which highlighted the issues plaguing the program, but to be fair some issues have been corrected now. Yet the budgetary issue was highlighted in this one portion of the story and as the sequester threatens to cut soldier pay and Obama threatens the home life of our fighting soldiers on the ground, the F-35 Congressional Boondoggle Fighter marches on in development:

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, meant to replace nearly every tactical warplane in the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps, was already expected to cost $1 trillion dollars for development, production and maintenance over the next 50 years. Now that cost is expected to grow, owing to 13 different design flaws uncovered in the last two months by a hush-hush panel of five Pentagon experts. It could cost up to a billion dollars to fix the flaws on copies of the jet already in production, to say nothing of those yet to come.

Ah, I feel better now. I know the grunt taking a dump in a latrine in the frozen tundra of Northeastern Afghanistan whose paycheck may bounce next week isn’t thrilled, but what the heck, he’s just a cog in a bigger machine and getting Congressional graft programs completed is far more important, right?

The story gets worse though, when you read the entire entry by David Axe from Wired at the link above; like this part of the story:

But that optimism proved unfounded. “This assessment shows that the F-35 program has discovered and is continuing to discover issues at a rate more typical of early design experience on previous aircraft development programs,” the panelists explained. Testing uncovered problems the computers did not predict, resulting in 725 design changes while new jets were rolling off the factory floor in Fort Worth, Texas.

And every change takes time and costs money. To pay for the fixes, this year the Pentagon cut its F-35 order from 42 to 30. Next year’s order dropped from 35 to 30. “It’s basically sucked the wind out of our lungs with the burden, the financial burden,” Venlet said.

Keep in mind, this story was before sequestration became a bugaboo word like Beetlejuice, and the United States started to focus more on perceived internal versus external enemies.

Thus with over $400 billion allocated and more than $1 trillion in expenses or more expected for an airplane which may never leave the runway in combat, one might think this is just another $400 hammer or $200 toilet seat. Sadly, it isn’t as the U.S. Navy has decided to waste your hard earned dollars also:

Ships Leaking $37 Billion Reflect Eisenhower’s Warning

That story from Bloomberg also highlighted the thinking of our Pentagon bureaucracy and how gee-whiz programs attract not only great scientific minds to make a huge leap, but Congressional vultures to pick a program apart to ensure some level of pork hits their shores. The LCS or Littoral Combat Ship appears to be a marine version (not USMC) of the F-35 at least when one intelligently reads this article and others from Wired.com January 16, 2013:

Navy’s $670 Million Fighting Ship Is ‘Not Expected to Be Survivable,’ Pentagon Says

Ugh.

A ship which can not survive in combat.

Which has cracks needing repair.

Can not launch helicopters for the anti-mine operations it was designed for.

Does not have sufficient defense systems for the types of environment it was designed for.

Other than that, is appears to have plenty of life rafts for the survivors of a Sunburn missile attack or maybe even an Islamic rock fired from a slingshot. The article hits that last sarcastic point that I’ve made quite brutally:

Gilmore’s new report stands by the 2011 assessment, though it sands down the rough edges. “LCS is not expected to be survivable,” it finds, “in that it is not expected to maintain mission capability after taking a significant hit in a hostile combat environment.” Additionally, Gilmore discloses that the Navy has “knowledge gaps related to the vulnerability of an aluminum ship structure to weapon-induced blast and fire damage,” but that it won’t conduct tests for those vulnerabilities until later this year or next year.

It might also not be able to depend on all of its weapons in a fight. The 30mm gun on board the Freedom “exhibit[s] reliability problems.” The 57mm gun on both the Freedom and its sister ship, the differently designed USS Independence, is apparently worse: “Ship operations at high speeds cause vibrations that make accurate use of the 57 mm gun very difficult,” Gilmore finds. Worse news for the Freedom: Its integrated weapons systems and air/surface search radar have “performance deficiencies” that affect the ship’s “tracking and engagement of contacts.”

But don’t worry, the sequester is the real problem. Not the President. Not the Pentagon bureaucracy. Not the corrupt House of Representatives and Senate. The currently over-hyped $85 billion (not in total, just the media number) total of alleged cuts is a measly 21% of the estimated cost of the F-35 alone as it exists now, yet our elites in D.C. refuse to deal with the issues which are really bankrupting our nation.

Good thing this group of intellectual midgets have plenty of time to fix things; right before they take over every American’s health care program in 2014.

Oh cwap.

 

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