Lockheed F-35 Program Delayed Two Years

Remember when the union at Lockheed’s Dobbins facility rolled over when their shovel ready F-22 program was de-funded by the new Obama administration? Part of the deal to get them to take it quietly was to promise them work on the upcoming F-35 manufacturing.

Well, I hope they’re prepared to wait a couple of years before they can start work:

“Air Force Secretary Michael Donley says production of the Pentagon’s marquee fighter jet, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, will probably be delayed by two years and cost significantly more than initially expected.

Donley told reporters Tuesday that the F-35 isn’t likely to be ready until 2015.

The jet had been scheduled to become operational in 2013 before the Pentagon uncovered serious problems with the contract. Last month, Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced that at least one senior manager would be fired and $614 million in performance bonuses would be withheld from lead contractor Lockheed Martin Corporation.”

23 comments

  1. c_murrayiii says:

    The F-35 is turning into a big mess, a great jet, needed by the force for future conflicts, is now nothing but a pork project, just like the F-22. While we dither around playing politics and vote buying with our weapons systems, the Russians and the Chinese play catch up and actually advance their air forces.

  2. Harry says:

    The Obama Administration will take any excuse to delay the F-35, and eventually not build it at all. They’re also working to greatly reduce the US nuclear arsenal. According to Obama there’s no need for such.

    • seenbetrdayz says:

      Well, we are fighting a breed of terrorists whose latest attempt to strike terror into the hearts of Americans involved a guy setting his underwear on fire.

      I’m not saying that we shouldn’t take terrorism seriously, but they operate on a level of guerilla tactics that an F-35 cannot compete with.

      As for China and Russia, the Cold War is over. The capitalists won, and we lost. If China ever wanted to put our military equipment to the test, they’d pull the liens on it. We’re not buying any of this stuff with our money, after all.

  3. DMZDave says:

    Please. The F-35 program is not a a “pork project” but a program that, like many developmental aircraft projects in years past, has had some problems. They are trying to build one jet aircraft fo the Air Force, the Navy and the Marine Corps. Tough working with all those folks and it must be able to take off from airfields, air craft carriers with a vertical lift capability for the Marine Corps similar to the Harrier. It’s a good program but had a very bright 2-star in charge who wasn’t probably getting the kind of cooperation he needed to make this work. He’s been replaced by a Navy 3-star which is probably an inspired choice given that the Navy was the one service doing the most to slow roll this program.

    And this is not an either or proposition. The F-22 has a completely different mission than the F-35. The F-35 is a complimentary aircraft to the F-22. There is truly nothing political about any of this. I doubt Barack Obama can spell F-35 and also doubt he has a clue what an F-22 does and what an F-35 does or is supposed to do. He just doesn’t really care a lot about that kind of thing. Secretary Gates does and he can pretty much be trusted to make the right calls on modernization of weapon systems.

    • Doug Deal says:

      I think the F-22 is too expensive for it’s primary role, air superiorty. It is easier to maintain AS with numbers than it is with technology, just ask the Germans.

    • benevolus says:

      I agree DMZ (except for the parts about Obama).
      These are cutting edge technology projects. If you want a project that will be delivered under budget and on-time, they’ll build a P-51 for you. They know how do that one.

    • Doug Deal says:

      Yeah, and really where is this next great war supposed to happen. None of the conflicts we have been in (whether one agrees with them or not) require technology, they require low tech boots on the ground and human intel.

      • IndyInjun says:

        Yes, but everywhere I look the term ‘print’ is being used for Quantitative Easing.

        It is much easier for the children to say and their feeble minds to grasp.

        At least printing produces something tangible. Electrons in a one-legged accounting entry on some Fed computer are of fleeting existence, particularly given their questionable origin.

    • ByteMe says:

      And the facts you have that support your contention he is not a friend of national defense is…? Having troops in Iraq or trying to get them out as soon as possible without leaving the situation worse? Having troops in Afghanistan or trying to get them out as soon as possible without leaving the situation worse? Proposing a HUGE defense budget for next year or trying to cut some of the fat from the HUGE defense budget by trying to change the procurement process?

      Or are you just seeing what you want to see?

  4. Technocrat says:

    Cruise missiles, drones, and robots are the future, they don’t have funerals and families that vote.
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB126102247889095011.html
    Some might find this interesting to see if they are being observed by Predators:
    http://www.skygrabber.com/en/video_tutorials/main/skygrabber_how_to_work.php

    This is a great tool when you want to record LAN/WLAN or any wireless network to see what the various user are doing…….great for the DOME or any Hotspot.
    http://www.skygrabber.com/en/langrabber.php

      • Icarus says:

        My problem with scrapping the F22 over cost was that most of that “cost” per plane was an allocation of unamortized R&D.

        R&D is money out the door already. The “savings” by scrapping the plane aren’t there.

        And at a time when Obama was literally throwing money out the door to get or keep folks employed, he ended an assembly line of high paid, domestic manufacturing, union employees so he could save money that most of which, had already been spent.

        • benevolus says:

          Lockheed will just have to get some work to replace it. Maybe they can roll those guys over to making some UAV’s.

          Keeping a program that the Pentagon didn’t even want seems ridiculous. Besides, they didn’t scrap the F22. We have 187 of them already. They just declined to build more.

          If it’s not enough money to justify the

        • Doug Deal says:

          Good point Icarus. But I was against it from the beginning. Even its marginal unit cost today is 3-5 times higher than a previous generation air superiority fighter.

          They should have just taken the previous generation fighters that and researched robotic pilots.

  5. c_murrayiii says:

    I wasn’t saying the F-22 or F-35 were pork projects, as initially conceived. Rather, they became pork projects when certain Congressman stepped in to push money one way or another to benefit their constituents rather than looking at the real military necessity of each aircraft. I understand the different role both aircraft have, one is an air superiority fighter, the other is basically an updated F-16. The problems with the F-35, from what I can gather, stem from some idea that it needs a new, “greener” engine, which happens to be nothing but a pork project. If the jet itself is a flawed designed, scrap it and start again, we’ve done such things before. But put the vote-buying politics to the side.

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