(Scroll down for the latest news on the F-35.)
EXTREME NOISE is the issue: The training squadrons, the student pilots over our community, the number of F-35Bs and the frequency of flights will create health problems, safety issues, economic losses for small businesses, losses in tourism, and losses in property values.
U.S. Marine Corps East Coast F-35B Basing FINAL Environmental Impact Statement (October 2010)
(This is one large PDF file. It may take a while to download.)
Vermont Sends Appeal/Ad to B4B (Click to enlarge)
News on the F-35"The F-35 Lightning II, which clocks in at a thundering 152 decibels, is forcing the service to come up with better hearing protection for sailors."
Read more under the April 9, 2014 article.
(Wonder what the F-35B decibels are...no EIS disclosure yet from the US Navy/Marines to Beaufort neighborhoods.)
December 15, 2014 -- Epoch Times
New Cold War? F-35 Lightning II Would Lose to J-31 Fighter Jet, Official Claims
December 11, 2014 -- upworthy.com
Four more F35s in budget?
Cuts in nutritional aid to indigent women and children to fund 4 more F-35s that were not requested by the Defense Department ?
5 Awful Things Congress Snuck Into the Omnibus Budget Deal
December 9, 2014 -- rt.com
Air Force repaints its trucks because of F-35s
December 9, 2014 -- NBC News
Air Base Prepares in Case F-35 Can't Take Hot Fuel
December 7, 2014 -- rt.com
‘Every F-35 a country buys from Lockheed Martin damages its defense’
December 6, 2014 -- Jewish Business News
Ashton Carter Next Defense Chief, Helped Israel Procure F-35 Jets
December 4, 2014 -- Business Insider
Here's The Latest Setback For The Troubled F-35
December 1, 2014 -- IsraelNationalNews.com
Israel Cuts F-35 Purchase from 31 to 14 Jets
Intelligence Minister says other jets have much better maneuverability, weapons carrying capabilities.Read more:
November 23, 2014 -- The Beaufort Gazette
Noise from F-35B comparable to F/A-18s, new study says
And read the “F-35 Noise Measurement Executive Summary” (October 28, 2014):
November 19, 2014 -- News.com.au
Australian Strategic Policy Institute raises doubts over Abbott Government plan to rebuild newest warships
November 17, 2014 -- Havelock News
New Lockheed Martin F-35 contract means work at Cherry Point
July 17, 2014 -- The Globe and Mail
Why a single failing grounded the F-35
November 14, 2014 -- Public Meeting Announcement
Joint Land Use Study Update and Public Input Session
Thursday, November 20, 2014
November 3, 2014 -- UNSI News
U.S. Marines to Retire Harrier Fleet Earlier Than Planned, Extend Life of Hornets
October 30, 2014 -- The Wall Street Journal
Pentagon Plans Cheaper F-35 Jet Deals for Overseas Buyers
Read more: (Subscription required.)
October 25, 2014 -- The Republic
Air Force wants testing range expanded in rural Utah so F-35 pilots have more room to train
October 19, 2014 -- The Motley Fool
Did China Just Render America's $1 Trillion Stealth Fighter Program Obsolete?
October 16, 2014 -- Military Times
Pentagon, Pratt cut deal for F-35 engines, modifications
October 16, 2014 -- Investor's Business Daily
Marines Expect F-35 In July, Even If Fixes Delayed
October 15, 2014 -- The State
Lockheed Martin brings F-35 cockpit demonstration to S.C. State Museum
October 6, 2014 -- Politico Morning Defense
The mighty F-35 lobby ...
October 3, 2014 -- Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System
News: First Fightertown F-35B training course takes off
October 2, 2014 -- Zacks.com
Lockheed Martin Wins $331.4M F-35 Modification Contract
September 25, 2014 -- Reuters
F-35 jet combat ready next year despite engine fix: Lockheed
September 23, 2014 -- U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO)
F-35 Sustainment: Need for Affordable Strategy, Greater Attention to Risks, and Improved Cost Estimates
Read the highlights and recommendations:
Listen to a discussion of the report (5 minutes, MP3):
Read the whole report (PDF):
September 23, 2014 -- The National Interest
America's F-35: Coming in for a "Crash Landing"?
September 22, 2014 -- Bloomberg
Lawmakers Reject Pentagon Bid to Spend War Funds on F-35s
September 16, 2014 -- PilotOnline.com
Investigators close to pinpointing cause of F-35 fire
September 15, 2014 -- Reuters
Lockheed delivers next version of F-35 logistics system
September 4, 2014 -- Yahoo (Reuters)
Canada seen buying fighter jets from U.S., not Europe - source
September 4, 2014 -- Flightglobal
Engine cracks pose fresh delay risk for F-35B
September 3, 2014 -- Aviation Week
F-35 Blade Microcracking Began Three Weeks Prior To Engine Fire
September 3, 2014 -- The National Interest
The F-35: Savior of U.S. Airpower or Albatross of the Asia-Pacific?
September 2, 2014 -- Reuters
Pratt to start testing F-35 engine fix this week: sources
August 29, 2014 -- Yahoo (Reuters)
Pratt halted F-35 engine shipments in May over titanium
(Did Russia make this part? Read comments after the article.)
August 28, 2014 -- Global Aviation Report
F-35 Training Ready for Take Off at MCAS Beaufort
August 27, 2014 -- WTOC 11
Mark Sanford makes a stop in the Lowcountry
August 26, 2014 -- America's Navy
NAVFAC Southeast Awards F-35 Maintenance Hangar Contract
August 20, 2014 -- Bloomberg News
F-35 Software Testing Slowed by Flight Restrictions
August 18, 2014 -- The Washington Post
Canada’s second thoughts on F-35 Lightning show concerns about plane’s high cost
August 13, 2014 -- vtdigger.org
F-35 opponents appeal to Vermont Supreme Court
"F-35 opponents also say the Air Force violated federal environmental law by failing to evaluate a range of environmental impacts and alternatives to basing the jet in Burlington."
Read more about their necessary use of afterburners during training:
August 13, 2014 -- DefenseNews
Further Restrictions Lifted for F-35 Test Fleet; Army Awarded Contract
August 5, 2014 -- Politico (Morning Defense)
INDUSTRY INTEL — SOME F-35 RESTRICTIONS EXPECTED TO BE LIFTED BY FALL
"The head of the Pentagon’s F-35 program has told a lawmaker that at least some of the flight restrictions stemming from a June engine fire will be lifted by early fall, a congressional aide tells Morning D. In recent weeks, Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan has visited Capitol Hill multiple times to brief House and Senate Armed Services staffers about the ongoing investigation into the cause of the fire, which occurred during an aborted takeoff at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida."
"During one of his visits, he stopped by the office of Rep. Jim Moran, a senior appropriator who has been critical of the F-35 program and wrote to Bogdan last month to request a meeting. According to an aide to Moran, Bogdan assured the Virginia Democrat “that all issues related to the engine fire will be resolved and that the flight restrictions will be lifted by early fall.” But in a statement, Bogdan said he believes he was referring to the military’s roughly 20 test F-35s — not the entire fleet that also includes 81 operational aircraft. His office said flight restrictions won’t be lifted until the “root cause of the engine failure and the associated fix is identified.”"
Read more: (Paragraphs 5 and 6)
July 30, 2014 -- Bloomberg
Software to Power F-35 Running as Much as 14 Months Late
July 30, 2014 -- DefenseNews
Some F-35 Flight Restrictions Lifted
July 28, 2014 -- AIN Online
Engine Problems Still Cloud F-35 Progress
July 27, 2014 -- The New York Times
Rough Ride for the F-35
July 22, 2014 -- The Telegraph
Everything you need to know about the F-35, Britain's £70m new stealth fighter
July 17, 2014 -- nwfdailynews.com
Marines leaving Eglin for new base; F-35s to follow in '15
July 20, 2014 -- The National Interest
America's Troubled F-35: Five Ways to Replace It
July 17, 2014 -- The Beaufort Gazette
MCAS Beaufort's first F-35B arrives + video, photos
July 15, 2014 -- CNN
F-35 fleet cleared to fly after June engine fire prompted grounding
July 15, 2014 -- Reuters
U.S. approves limited flights for F-35 fighters
July 14, 2014 -- Politico Morning Defense
Senate panel faces F-35 decisions — Kendall: F-35 fire not the result of design flaw — Dunford to inherit Marine Corps at a crossroads
July 13, 2014 -- Chicago Tribune
'Excessive' rubbing of engine blades caused F-35 failure: Pentagon
July 12, 2014 -- WSAV 3 TV
Beaufort Groups Worry F-35B Noise Will Be Unbearable
UPDATE: Beaufort Committee Explores Alternate Landing Field for F-35BRead more:
July 11, 2014 -- The Beaufort Gazette
F-35B training squadron welcomed to MCAS Beaufort
July 10, 2014 -- SRN News
Engine fire triggers new turbulence for Lockheed’s F-35 jet
July 9, 2014 -- U.S. News & World Report
Ground the F-35 Forever
Spending on the overdue plane is totally out of control.Read more:
July 8, 2014 -- Engineering and Technology Magazine
F-35 fleet still grounded but inspections nearly wrapped up
See the F-35 "Glitch List":
July 5, 2014 -- The State (South Carolina's Homepage)
F-35B training squadron arriving in Beaufort, to start training in October
July 3, 2014 -- nwfdailynews.com
EDITORIAL: A win for the sound of freedom
July 3, 2014 -- Yahoo! News
U.S. grounds entire F-35 fleet pending engine inspections
July 2, 2014 -- The Providence Journal
Vermont F-35 foes file suit to block deployment
June 27, 2014 -- Eglin Air Force Base
Air Force selects No Action Alternative for F-35 basing at Eglin AFB
June 27, 2014 -- PilotOnline.com
Pentagon grounds fleet of F-35s after fire in Florida
June 23, 2014 -- USNI News
Fire Breaks Out on F-35 at Eglin Air Force Base, Pilot Safe
June 17, 2014 -- Fort Worth Business Press
Lockheed F-35 bulkhead cracks solution proposed, Pentagon says
June 16, 2014 -- Reuters
McCain questions U.S. govt-industry 'cronyism' on Lockheed F-35 program
June 16, 2014 -- BrisbaneTimes.com.au
F-35 Joint Strike Fighter purchase 'a great national scandal' says Coalition MP
June 15, 2014 -- Bloomberg
Pentagon Orders Engine Inspections Before F35s Fly Again
June 12, 2014 -- Ottawa Citizen
Panel sends decision on new fighter jet to federal cabinet
June 9, 2014 -- 1310News.com
Safety concerns over single engine F35 fighter jets
June 6, 2014 -- Reuters
The 11 countries expected to buy F-35 fighter jet
June 4, 2014 -- MilitaryTimes
No injuries in Harrier crash in California
June 4, 2014 -- PressTV
US F-35 fighter jet susceptible to hacking: Report
June 2, 2014 -- USNI News
Marine Joint Strike Fighter on Track to Meet 2015 Goal
May 29, 2014 -- Lethbridge Herald
Rival jet makers crank up hard sell as Harper cabinet mulls F-35 decision
May 29, 2014 -- WPTZ.com
Official: No F-35 low-level training over Maine
May 28, 2014 -- Defense-Aerospace.com
Adios F-35 Purchase: Spain Extends the Life of Its Harriers
May 26, 2014 -- The Daily Beast
Why Can’t America’s Newest Stealth Jet Land Like It’s Supposed To?
The Pentagon’s gazillion-dollar Joint Strike Fighter can’t pull off maneuvers that older jets were doing in the early ’60s. Who’s to blame?Read more:
May 18, 2014 -- The Telegraph
Britain 'should consider scrapping F-35 stealth fighter'
A senior US Air Force officer says Britain's new stealth jet may be no better than existing aircraft.Read more:
May - June, 2014 -- Air & Space Power Journal
The Comanche and the Albatross:
About Our Neck Was Hung
Col Michael W. Pietrucha, USAF"This example shows a potential way forward and should serve to remind Airmen that the Air Force is essential for national security, that the F-35 is not, and that we should be wary of risking the former in our pursuit of the latter."
Read a brief summary (w/comments):
Read the whole paper:
May 7, 2014 -- Chicago Tribune
Italian lawmakers favor halving spending on F-35 jet
May 1, 2014 -- WPTZ.com
WPTZ obtains Air Guard's F-35 action plan
April 30, 2014 -- PilotOnline.com
Push for Growler jets points to military growth
April 28, 2014 -- The Daily Beast
New U.S. Stealth Jet Can’t Hide From Russian Radar
April 25, 2014 -- CounterPunch
Re-Selling the F-35
The Latest Preposterous ClaimsRead more:
April 25, 2014 -- RT.com
Money for nothing? Boeing says F-35 isn’t so stealth after all
April 23, 2014 -- ABC Radio Australia
Joint Strike Fighters: (Australian) Government to spend $12 billion on 58 more next-generation F-35s
April 17, 2014 -- The Globe and Mail
F-35 remains top military replacement option (for Canada)
April 17, 2014 -- Dow Jones Business News
Pentagon Official Criticizes Pratt & Whitney Over F-35 Costs
April 17, 2014 -- Bloomberg
Lockheed F-35 Projected Cost Rises 1.9% to $398.6 Billion
April 9, 2014 -- Navy Times
F-35 forcing Navy to develop new hearing protection for flight deck crews
April 8, 2014 -- Breaking Defense
DoD Withholds $25.7M Payment To Pratt & Whitney For F135
March 27, 2014 -- ABC News
F-35 Joint Strike Fighters: Australia's biggest Defence acquisition 'unaffordable', US congressional committee hears
March 21, 2014 -- Bloomberg
Lockheed Martin F-35 Jet’s Software Delayed, GAO Says
Or read the original GAO report:
March 19, 2014 -- Bloomberg
Pentagon Holds Back $231 Million for Lockheed F-35 Fixes
NEW SEPT. 2013 AICUZ Map issued in Beaufort MARCH 2014:
No F35B Noise Data Yet! How Many People are Affected?
The Marines gave Beaufort the Sept 2013 AICUZ map in March 2014.
Where is the Beaufort MCAS Revised Supplement to the 2010 EIS?
Beaufort must know the increased number of residents and businesses in the expanded AICUZ noise zones.
How does this expanded jet noise effect our air pollution: Noise, Emissions and Heat?
How loud is the F-35B in conventional and vertical lift-offs?
How loud is the F-35B in conventional and vertical landings?
What are their flight elevations? How high will they fly during training?
How much noise is contained within the base vs. outside the base in neighborhoods?
What percentage of low income citizens are affected? What percentage of minorities?
One F-35B Training Squadron Arrives in June: Where is the Revised EIS Supplement Prior to Arrival? http://www.nwfdailynews.com/military/top-story/f-35-program-maturing-at-eglin-1.295168?tc=cr
March 7, 2014 -- The Beaufort Gazette
MCAS Beaufort releases new AICUZ
January 27, 2014 -- Air Power Australia
Joint Strike Fighter
January 23, 2014 -- PilotOnline.com
Report: Lockheed inflates F-35 program job numbers
Read the report mentioned in the article:
January 2014 -- Combat Ace
2018 F-35 distribution
March 3, 2014 -- Ron Paul Channel
The US Military Finds Great Success in Pizza Technology… Building a $400 Billion Jet, No So Much.
February 11, 2014 -- BBC News
UK to spend £2.5bn on F-35 fighters
February 19, 2014 -- POGO Blog
Here’s What 60 Minutes Didn’t Tell You About the F-35
February 26, 2014 -- Politico
DID THE BUDGET SET UP A CARRIER vs. F-35 DECISION FOR THE NAVY IN 2016:
"On Monday, Hagel outlined the decisions DoD will have to make if sequestration remains in place, a somewhat likely scenario."
"Without more money, the Navy will not be able to overhaul the USS George Washington, dropping the carrier fleet to 10. Hagel also said, “Under sequestration spending levels, the Navy would also halt procurement of the carrier variant of the Joint Strike Fighter for two years.”
"While this wouldn’t remove the Navy altogether from the program, it would cause serious concern among international partners and would open up the door to a more permanent departure."
"But what if DoD gets partial sequester relief like it’s getting in 2015? Will it be forced to choose between an 11th carrier and buying the F-35C? It’s an open secret that the Navy’s commitment to the F-35 is less than solid."
"As a congressional source said, “The Navy would pick the carrier any day of the week.”
Read (11th item on page):
February 21, 2014 -- Bloomberg
Lockheed F-35 for Marines Delayed as Test Exposes Cracks
February 2014 -- War Is Boring
War Is Boring Presents: ‘Your New Stealth Fighter Is Really, Really Awful’
Our first book volume explains what went wrong with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter—and what that means for America.Read more:
February 17, 2014 -- The Hill
Report: Pentagon to buy fewer F-35 fighters
February 17, 2014 -- AviationIntel.com
Total Crap: The F-35 “News Brochure” on 60 Minutes
"Where was the long list of issues that the aircraft continues to suffer from without solution? What about discussing the alternatives to this machine and how many in the defense journalism and analyzation world see the JSF program as hurting America’s security not helping it? How could they have not included the opinion from someone, anyone, who is not receiving a paycheck in relation to this program? Not one-third party aerospace or defense expert was featured to give his or her view on this complex situation and not one independent study was cited."
February 16, 2014 -- 60 Minutes (on CBS)
Is the F-35 worth it?
Watch the video: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/f-35-joint-strike-fighter-60-minutes/
February 14, 2014 -- 60 Minutes (on CBS)
F-35: Looking at most expensive weapons system ever
60 Minutes gets an inside look at what makes the $400 billion F-35 Joint Strike Fighter the most expensive weapons system in history
"60 Minutes": F35 Feature on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014 at 7PM, EST, on CBS.Watch the preview video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkSDRDg8y8Q
Almost 4 Years & No Answer to the Beaufort Citizens
"Just How Loud is the F-35B?"
Too Loud, Obviously, to Share the Data
February 11, 2014 -- The Island Packet
Marine Corps Air Presentation
Read more and watch the video:
February 3, 2014 -- American Friends Service Committee
The jet that ate the Pentagon
Watch the Video:
January 29, 2014 -- Arizona Daily Independent
2013 DOT&E annual report on F-35 raises questions
January 28, 2014 -- Eric Palmer Blog
Overview of the flying Chernobyl
January 28, 2014 -- Breaking Defense
F-35 Operational Test and Evaluation Report; Marines Say No IOC Changes
January 28, 2014 -- Chicago Tribune
Tests find cracks in F-35, Pentagon says
January 24, 2014 -- RT.COM
Bombs away: Pentagon’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter can’t escape software problems
January 20, 2014 -- Aviation Week
Opinion: No Time For Inaccuracy On JSF Costs
January 17, 2014 -- DefenseNews
Former USAF Chief of Staff: Move Away From Nuclear F-35
January 14, 2014 -- DefenseNews
After 'Transformative' Year, F-35 Program Focuses on Software, Quantity
January 3, 2014 -- Yahoo News
Exclusive: U.S. waived laws to keep F-35 on track with China-made parts
December 13, 2013 -- Mother Jones
Is This Plane the Biggest Pentagon Rip-Off of All Time?
Note: The F35B had estimated costs over $200 million each and over $300 million each if research, design, testing and evaluation costs are added. (February 2011, Pentagon data)
December 19, 2013 -- Breaking Defense
Concurrency’s Costs: An F-35 Example
December 14, 2013 -- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Lockheed celebrates unveiling of 100th F-35 jet
As Lockheed Martin and the military praise the F35 production to receive the funding, their critics continue to counter that the tax money spent on these jets could be better spent on education, the infrastructure, veterans' benefits, etc. creating more jobs for the dollar. Did not the DOD decide on future wars as cyber intelligence, special forces, and drones in Pacific-Asia? Why then does Congress continue the funding of the F35 project?
May 15, 2013 -- Fox News
Military spending is not right way to boost America's economic security
"Military spending generates fewer jobs per billion dollars spent than many other kinds of investments: For every 100 jobs created by Pentagon spending, the same investment would create 251 jobs in education, 169 jobs in health care, or 147 jobs in clean energy."
November 29, 2013 -- The Boston Globe
Ben Cohen: from ice cream man to Pentagon budget warrior
September 2, 2013 -- HamptonRoads.com
Videos | F-35B tests vertical landing, short takeoff
November 19, 2013 -- Air Force Magazine
F-35 Feels the Pain
November 6, 2013 -- Project on Government Oversight (POGO)
POGO Urges Air Force to Delay F-35 Basing Decision
Burlington, VT, has two citizens' groups who have fought the "preferred" F-35A basing decision by the Air Force on placing the Air National Guard in their area which will affect approximately 8,000 people as living in a non-acceptable residential environment.
The Air Force had to answer some of their questions by issuing a revised supplement to the DEIS. One was the noise issue: The F-35A is four times louder than their F-16. Another was the higher rate of crashes during the first years of flying as well as the flammable material the jet is made of.
The Boston Globe revealed that their Senator Leahy (number 3 in line for the Presidency) intervened in the decision making by having Burlington selected as the "preferred location" vs. the Pentagon's data scoring stating that Jacksonville, FL was the preferred site with McEntire, SC as second.
Burlington's grassroots movement, due to their factual and demonstrative strategy, has attracted national attention in periodicals, on the internet and on TV. Below is an excellent letter from POGO. A final decision occurs this November.
For more information, read www.SOSVT.org and www.stopthef35.com.
Read the letter:
October 28, 2013 -- Moonbat Films (YouTube)
Burlington City Council Meeting 10-28-13 Speaker Doug Dunbebin
October 2013 -- Gnomes National News Service
Pentagon sees ‘sufficient’ progress to boost fiscal year 2015 F-35 output
October 26, 2013 -- Reuters
Pentagon wants F-35 contractor accountability as it weighs output boost
October 22, 2013 -- BurlingtonFreePress.com
F-35 critic: Air Guard overconfident on plane's safety
October 9, 2013 -- CBS This Morning
Can living near an airport raise your risk of heart attack or stroke?
Studies: Airport noise ups risk of major illnessesSee video after commercial:
October 16, 2013 -- GlobalPost
Pentagon to review progress of F-35 fighter program next week
October 10, 2013 -- DefenseNews
Cracks Found in F-35B Test Model
October 8, 2013 -- SNAFU!
F-35. Not yet operational but already obsolete?
October 2, 2013 -- McClatchy DC
Pentagon report rips Texas F-35 fighter jet plant
September 30, 2013 -- KTIC 840 Rural Radio
Report: Military Lost Control of F-35 Contractors, Errors Abound
Link to the full report:
Quality Assurance Assessment of the F-35 Lightning II Program
U.S. Department of Defense
Report No. DODIG-2013-140 (September 30, 2013)
September 25, 2013 -- Bloomberg News
Lockheed F-35 Quality Failings Cited by Inspector General
September 22, 2013 -- Burlington Free Press
F-35 official's remarks raise questions about afterburner use in Vermont
September 3, 2013 -- Miami Herald
Roar of fighter jets from Key West base pits residents against Navy
September 17, 2013 -- The Island Packet
More trouble for the F-35: Tough on their tires
September 16, 2013 -- Vanity Fair
Will It Fly?
This is a comprehensive article highlighting why the F-35 program is still alive but not well. Beaufort is mentioned as well as in-depth information on the questionable Marine's F-35B. Difficult to imagine the F-35B being in Beaufort - as our Base CO was quoted - in January 2014: For show on the tarp?
September 13, 2013 -- 660 News
Lockheed Martin says $10.5 billion of Canadian work on F-35 at risk without order
August 22, 2013 -- DefenseAerospace.com
Analysis: Lower F-35 Operating Costs Should Be Taken with A Pinch of Salt
Is the Marine F-35B Still Necessary?Read more:
August 19, 2013 -- Aviation Week
F-35B Starts Second Round Of Sea Trials
August 17, 2013 -- YouTube
Burlington, Vermont Citizens Speak Out Once Again Against the F-35
See their reasons:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgsBbOq6jJg (3 minutes)
August 15, 2013 -- Ottawa Citizen
Canada once again backs out of F35 order. No Keystone Pipeline, No F35?
Fighter-jet contract may be punted beyond next election
August 14, 2013 -- David Axe
F’d: How the U.S. and Its Allies Got Stuck with the World’s Worst New Warplane
August 13, 2013 -- The Beaufort Gazette
MCAS Beaufort to showcase Joint Strike Fighter next week
What Happened in Valparaiso, Florida After the F35A Arrived?
1) The Air Force Mitigated the Noise after a Lawsuit to Save
2) Now the Air Force has a revised Supplemental EIS.
3) Citizens Beware!
August 9, 2013 -- Huffington Post
The Massive Government Train Wreck Nobody's Really Talking About
August 2, 2013 -- rt.com
Pentagon considers cancelling F-35 program, leaked documents suggest
July 30, 2013 -- EuroNews (Reuters)
Lockheed, Pentagon reach deal on 71 more F-35s – source
July 22, 2013 -- The Seattle Times
Whidbey Island group sues Navy, says jet noise unbearable
July 15, 2013 -- Aviation Week
Simulations Offer Marines Advanced F-35B Weapons, Training
"The Pentagon's Cost Analysis and Program Evaluation (CAPE) team told Congress in a May report that the F-35A's CPFH would be about $32,000, some $7,000 more than for the F-16C/D it would replace. The report did not include a figure for the F-35B. However, Lt. Gen. Robert Schmidle, Marine Corps commandant for aviation, says both the F-35A and B will are expected to ultimately cost about 10% more than the aircraft they are replacing per hour of operation."
"Advances in simulator technology have allowed the equipment to evolve from being a tool used to train standard procedures for pilots to support advanced tactics training, because the software is more realistic. Ultimately, 52% of the training syllabus for the F-35B will be handled in the simulator, also reducing the CPFH for the aircraft, Schmidle says."
July 13, 2013 -- Wait Wait...Don't Tell me (NPR)
Panel Round One
"Right now, panel, it's time for you to answer some questions about this week's news. Paula, the U.S.'s new billion-dollar F-35 fighter jets have failed to meet military standards for speed, acceleration, and handling. Not to worry, though, the Pentagon found a way to fix the situation. What did they do?"
To find out read more:
June 5, 2013 -- DefenseTech
Lawmakers Reject Withholding F-35 Funds
"A Republican-led defense panel in Congress handily rejected a proposal to withhold most funding for the F-35 fighter jet next year."
"The House Armed Services Committee on June 5 voted 51–10 against the amendment sponsored by Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill."
"Calling it a “good-government issue,” Duckworth proposed freezing procurement funding for the Joint Strike Fighter program until Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel certified that the manufacturer, Lockheed Martin Corp., fixed problems with the aircraft’s software and several pieces of hardware, including the helmet-mounted display, fuel dump system and arresting hook."
In 2014, each F-35 jet to cost $289,655,172.41 EACH! (And it was approved.)
July 1, 2013 -- The Daily Caller
F-35 soars onward despite massive cost
"In the financial industry, we have this phrase, 'too big to fail,'" Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin remarked during the testimony, as reported by The Hill. "I’m wondering if this project is so large in scope that it was too big to cancel."
June 16, 2013 -- JSOnline.com
Troubled F-35 jet struggles to get in fighting shape
"After a decade of administrative problems, cost overruns and technical glitches, the F-35 is still not ready for action. The program has consistently come under political attack even though the military considers it crucial to the nation's defense needs."
May 23, 2013 -- vtdigger.org
Leas: Follow the money – the F-35 Fudge-gate scandal
"Is the Vermont Air National Guard being used for purposes having nothing to do with its military mission? The answer is yes. Big time. And for big money. In the article, “Quite a Pair of Stings for F-35 Basing” on VTDigger I described how the scoring process was fudged. This article will follow the money to see why."
June 5, 2013 -- David Axe
Jet Fighter Influence
How Lockheed’s public relations keep the F-35 soldRead more:
June 3, 2013 -- Time (Battleland)
How Much Does an F-35 Fighter Really Cost?
"There’s been a rash of recent reports that the U.S. military has wrestled the F-35’s cost growth to the mat. They come from some heavy hitters: Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, Air Force Lieut. General Christopher Bogdan, the F-35′s program manager, and the Pentagon’s latest Selected Acquisition Report."
"Winslow Wheeler isn’t convinced the costs have stopped rising."
"In fact, Wheeler — a longtime military-cost analyst on Capitol Hill (where he toiled on both sides of the aisle) and the Government Accountability Office — says the plane’s $159 million purported per copy price in that latest Pentagon SAR — continues to rise, and is actually well north of that sum."
Five Articles on the F-35 by Winslow Wheeler, Time
June 3-7, 2013.
Part 1: The New Era of Good F-35 Feelings
Part 2: Alphabet Soup: PAUCs, APUCs, URFs, Cost Variances and Other Pricing Dodges
Part 3: The Deadly Empirical Data
Part 4: Different Planes, Common Problems
Part 5: On Final Approach to Fighter Fiscal Sanity
"American taxpayers, the U.S. military services, and foreign purchasers — all of whom have been promised F-35 aircraft for as little as $85 million each — are in for a rude awakening. When real F-35 purchase prices unfold in the future, they may be as much as they are today—averaging more than $200 million per aircraft."
May 27, 2013 -- The Washington Post
Confidential report lists U.S. weapons system designs compromised by Chinese cyberspies
... "identified in the report are vital combat aircraft and ships, including the F/A-18 fighter jet, the V-22 Osprey, the Black Hawk helicopter and the Navy’s new Littoral Combat Ship, which is designed to patrol waters close to shore."
"Also on the list is the most expensive weapons system ever built — the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which is on track to cost about $1.4 trillion. The 2007 hack of that project was reported previously."
May 17, 2013 -- Aviation Week
F-35 Training Capability Slowly Expanding
"A second training center, for the U.S. Marine Corps’ F-35B, is scheduled to open at MCAS Beaufort, S.C., in 2014, and a third in 2015 at Luke AFB, Ariz., for the Air Force F-35A and international customers."
May 2, 2013 -- NextGov.com
Chuck Yeager: F-35 Not The Right Stuff
“I was asked my opinion about the F-35. It's a waste of money. Far too expensive. Give me an F-15 E -- less expensive, will do the job,” he Tweeted.
April 26, 2013 -- IslandPacket.com
F-35 simulator brought to MCAS Beaufort in lead-up to jet's introduction
April 13, 2013 -- The Boston Globe by Bryan Bender
Selection of Vermont Guard base for F-35 jets was based on flawed data, raising questions of political influence
"Projected sound levels around the (Burlington International) airport are so high with the F-35s that local officials predict several thousand nearby homes would fall within a zone designated “incompatible for residential use,’’ negatively affecting the lives and property values of as many as 7,000 citizens."
April 9, 2013 -- Reuters
Italy's 5-Star is growing threat to F-35 purchase
"Italy's 5-Star Movement, led by comic Beppe Grillo, wants to scrap the country's planned purchase of 90 Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jets and use the savings to help boost the struggling economy, a lawmaker told Reuters on Tuesday."
April 5, 2013 -- Time
Lightning II Bug
Imagine the Extreme Noise, the Harmful Emissions and the Intense Heat In Skies Over Beaufort, SC.
This Illustrates why the F-35B Melts Runways: What Happens to People?
View this Video:
April 1, 2013 -- Top Documentary Films
Reach for the Skies
"Is this plane a super fighter or a massive waste of money? Reporter Andrew Fowler travels to the United States in search of answers. He goes to Lockheed Martin’s top secret factory in Texas."
"He also secured the first television interview with the Pentagon’s new head man on the project, whose candid assessment of the JSF would chill many in the Defence Department: “Well let’s make no mistake about it. This program still has risks, technical risks, it has cost issues, it has problems we’ll have to fix in the future.”
Read more and watch 43 minute documentary:
March 9, 2013 -- The Washington Post
F-35’s ability to evade budget cuts illustrates challenge of paring defense spending
"The biggest barrier to cutting the F-35 program, however, is rooted in the way in which it was developed: The fighter jet is being mass-produced and placed in the hands of military aviators such as Walsh, who are not test pilots, while the aircraft remains a work in progress. Millions more lines of software code have to be written, vital parts need to be redesigned, and the plane has yet to complete 80 percent of its required flight tests. By the time all that is finished — in 2017, by the Pentagon’s estimates — it will be too late to pull the plug. The military will own 365 of them."
"By then, “we’re already pregnant,” said Air Force Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, who oversees F-35 development for the Pentagon."
"When the F-35 finishes testing, “there will be no yes-or-no, up-or-down decision point,” said Pierre Sprey, who was a chief architect of the Air Force’s F-16 Fighting Falcon. “That’s totally deliberate. It was all in the name of ensuring it couldn’t be canceled.”"
April 1, 2013 -- Time
The U.S. Military Needs to Listen – Not Just Talk
"It troubles me to see military doctrine, plans and operational memoranda that refer to public communication as some sort of weapon that can be fired downrange. It is not. Rather, it is an obligation to explain ourselves, to put into context what we are doing and why. We live in a participatory culture, a post-audience world. People don’t just want access to information anymore. They want access to conversation. They want to be heard. To take part in that conversation and guide it, at times, requires a humility that we don’t always possess. It requires us to listen as well as speak, to solicit as well as inform, to admit our shortcomings and accept sometimes brutally frank feedback."
March 29, 2013 -- Time
The Sound of an F-35A (Video)
March 26, 2013 -- ForeignPolicy.com
Can the Marines Survive?
If America's amphibious force doesn't adapt, it'll be dead in the water."Although not obvious at the time, the advent of the Paveway marked the beginning of a dramatic transformation in U.S. military technology that would change warfare forever. The revolution in precision munitions that began then has so accelerated in recent years that enemy forces can no longer operate in formations and in mass. They simply present too big a target. That, in turn, means that the days of U.S. corps, divisions, and brigades maneuvering on a battlefield with tanks, artillery, and motorized/mechanized infantry are numbered."
March 27, 2013 -- Bloomberg
Lockheed’s Troubled F-35 Unscathed in Pentagon’s Budget
March 27, 2013 -- Time
Marine F-35 Jump-Jet PR: Caveataxpayer Emptor
"The Marines issued a flashy press release last week: “first operational F-35B conducts initial Vertical Landing.” It was an amateurish, somewhat slimy piece of hype."
"The press release, which was formatted as if it were some sort of news article, inadvertently cued alert readers to the fact that this “first” “operational” “STOVL flight for an F-35B outside of the test environment” was flown by a test pilot."
"In the world of F-35-double-talk, it is apparently reasonable to announce flights as operational when they are flown by test pilots."
March 25, 2013 -- Bloomberg
F-35 Parts From Rolls-Royce 160 Days Late, Pentagon Says
"Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc (RR/) was an average of 160 days late last year in delivering equipment needed for the U.S. Marine Corps version of the F-35 fighter to hover and land like a helicopter, according to the Pentagon."
March 22, 2013 -- ForeignPolicy.com
Error Report by Winslow Wheeler
"In 2012, its estimated average "program acquisition unit cost" was reported to have doubled, from the $81 million per copy anticipated in 2001 to $161 million, flight tests revealed deficiencies in achieving the F-35's modest performance requirements, and scheduled full-rate production was delayed to 2019."
March 15, 2013 -- Chicago Tribune
Factbox: U.S., allies plan to buy over 3,100 F-35 fighters
"Following is a list of the planned purchases and possible changes, where applicable, according to data provided by Lockheed Martin Corp, the prime contractor for the $396 billion weapons program, and defense officials in the United States and other purchasing countries."
March 11, 2013 -- Defence Industry Daily
You Can Track Your F-35s, At ALIS’ Maintenance Hub
"That decades-long defense death spiral has finally reached a point where it’s prompting musings about the collapse of American TacAir, and European countries with their small and dwindling defense budgets are also strongly affected. If the F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter was to have any hope of becoming a commercial and operational success, it needed to change that operating cost dynamic. To do that, Lockheed Martin, BAE, and the international JSF team have turned to embedded HUMS (Health & Usage Monitoring System) diagnostics. Even that probably won’t be enough, absent integration with ALIS."
March 11, 2013 -- Time
Semper IFFi: Identifying Friend from Foe
"The Marines, for example, are slated to lose $1.4 billion out of their planned spending through October (that’s a 6% cut off their 2013 budget, but its impact will be nearly twice that because it will be spread over seven, not 12, months)."
March 10, 2013 -- The New York Times
Cuts Give Obama Path to Create Leaner Military
"Also being considered is yet another scaling back in next-generation warplanes, starting with the F-35, the most expensive weapons program in United States history."
March 6, 2013 -- The Washington Times
Prices soar, enthusiasm dives for F-35 Lightning; pilots worry about visibility problem
"Gen. McPeak also took aim at the Marine Corps variant, whose bare-bones unit cost is about $10 million more per copy than the F-35A."
“We don’t have to do vertical landings and, by the way, neither do the Marines,” he said. “They’ve never done one in combat yet. They need neither supersonic capability nor the ability to do vertical landings and short takeoffs.”
But, he added: “The Marines are the Marines, and they’ve got the political clout to get what they want.”
March 1, 2013 -- Time
F-35: Good Cop, Bad Cop
"Only about 50 -‐-‐ a little less than 50 percent of the testing is completed. There are some issues that need to be worked before we ramp up production."
February 23, 2013 -- Time
F-35 Fleet Grounded After Engine Crack Found
"The Pentagon on Friday grounded its fleet of F-35 fighter jets after discovering a cracked engine blade in one plane."
February 14, 2013 -- Time
The Saga of the F-35…And the Coming Sequester Flak
"The F-35, designed as the U.S. military’s lethal hunter for 21st century skies, has become the hunted, a poster child for Pentagon profligacy in a new era of tightening budgets."
Or the complete "The Most Expensive Weapon Ever Built" article at:
February 8, 2013 -- Bloomberg
Pentagon Mulls Restoring F-35 Safety Gear to Reduce Risk
"The Pentagon may restore safety equipment on Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F-35 fighter after an analysis found that removing the gear to save weight made the jets more vulnerable to enemy fire."
"If the aircraft is hit, it will be 25 percent more vulnerable to" onboard fires "and overall more vulnerable than most" older aircraft it’s replacing
February 6, 2013 -- DefenseNews
Agreement Reached on Fifth Block of F-35 Engines
"Engine maker Pratt & Whitney has reached an agreement in principle with the U.S. Department of Defense for engines on the fifth block of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters."
February 5, 2013 -- KSWT News 13
F-35 jets still under flight ban
"Captain Staci Reidinger with Marine Air Corps Station Yuma tells KSWT News 13 all F-35 jets in the country continue to be grounded after a flight ban last month."
January 20, 2013 -- The Telegraph
Lightning will ground F35 fighter jet known as the Lightning II
"The production of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter – the world’s most sophisticated and expensive combat aircraft – has been derailed after engineers discovered that the jet’s fuel tank could explode if struck by lightning."
January 18, 2013 -- TheHill.com
Report: Pentagon grounds Marine Corps version of Joint Strike Fighter
"The Pentagon has grounded the oft-troubled Marine Corps version of the next-generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighter on Friday, less than a month after service officials touted the program's success with the first F-35 fighter squadron in Arizona."
All flight operations were suspended after key components on the exhaust system on the fighter's single jet engine failed during a test flight at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla."
January 13, 2013 -- Reuters
Pentagon report cites "lack of maturity" of Lockheed F-35 jet
"Durability testing of the Marine's B-model had to be halted in December after multiple cracks were found on the underside of the plane's fuselage, the report said."
"More work was also needed on a system aimed at protecting the plane from fuel tank explosions caused by lightning, the report concluded, noting that flight operations were currently banned within 25 miles of known lightning conditions."
January 12, 2013 -- Star-Telegram
F-35 Marine model stress-testing halted after cracks discovered
"Durability testing on the Marine Corps' short-takeoff version of Lockheed Martin's F-35 was halted last month after "multiple" cracks were discovered in the fighter jet, according to a Pentagon's testing office report sent to Congress on Friday."
January 11, 2013 -- Time
Hot Stuff: The F-35 Just Became 25% More Vulnerable
"Every ounce added to a plane detracts from its performance."
"Two changes designed to cut the plane’s weight by 11 pounds have made it 25% more vulnerable to exploding in mid-air, and other unfavorable outcomes."
"It also makes it more vulnerable – gulp – than the airplanes it is replacing."
January 3, 2013 -- Defense Industry Daily
F-35 Lightning: The Joint Strike Fighter Program, 2012 – 2013
"The $382 billion F-35 Joint Strike fighter program may well be the largest single global defense program in history. This major multinational program is intended to produce an “affordably stealthy” multi-role fighter that will have 3 variants: the F-35A conventional version for the US Air Force et. al.; the F-35B Short Take-Off, Vertical Landing for the US Marines, British Royal Navy, et. al.; and the F-35C conventional carrier-launched version for the US Navy. The aircraft is named after Lockheed’s famous WW2 P-38 Lightning, and the Mach 2, stacked-engine English Electric (now BAE) Lightning jet. Lightning II system development partners included The USA & Britain (Tier 1), Italy and the Netherlands (Tier 2), and Australia, Canada, Denmark, Norway and Turkey (Tier 3), with Singapore and Israel as “Security Cooperation Partners,” and Japan as the 1st export customer."
"The big question for Lockheed Martin is whether, and when, these partner countries will begin placing purchase orders. This updated article has expanded to feature more detail regarding the F-35 program, including contracts, sub-contracts, and notable events and reports."
December 28, 2012 -- Yahoo / Reuters
Lockheed gets up to $4.9 billion in further F-35 funding
"Lockheed Martin Corp on Friday was awarded up to $4.9 billion in additional funding for its F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, the Pentagon announced on Friday, providing a significant end-of-year boost in orders for the largest U.S. defense contractor."
December 14, 2012 -- Esquire
Canadians Think We're Crazy, And They're Right
"There's a huge fight brewing in Canada over the F-35, a new fighter plane of which Canada promised to buy 65 a couple of years back, and which now looks like it's going to cost our nice northern neighbors somewhere north of $46 billion over the life of the airplanes. This has caused the Canadians to get a good close look at the lunatic way our defense industries operate down here and, as is also the case when they look at the way we deliver health care, the Canadians think we're all out of our minds, and that we've played them for suckers. They are, of course, correct on both counts."
"Not to put too fine a point on it, but the F-35 is an epic lemon even by our standards for defense-related boondoggles, which are epic in and of themselves."
November 19, 2012 -- AviationIntel.com
GO ASK ALIS!: THE F-35 IS ABOUT TO GO “FICTIONALLY OPERATIONAL” WOEFULLY UNPREPARED
"The USMC is fielding its first “operational” squadron of F-35Bs at MCAS Yuma as I am writing this, although in reality the truth is very far from the headlines. Testing has not even reached the half-way point on the JSF program and weapons integration is just beginning. The standing up of an “operational” F-35 squadron is a procurement power-play of grand proportions and I believe it puts aircrews, aircraft, and the DoD’s cash flow needlessly at risk. In many ways fielding the F-35 well before it has been properly vetted, another marvelous step in the Joint Strike Fighter’s incredibly flawed “concurrency” development strategy, is akin to putting a drug with known but not well understood side-effects onto the market prematurely."
"So how on earth can the Marines fire up a line squadron when even the schoolhouse is still being stood up and their B models are not even landing or taking off vertically? What value is just flying around the sky burning jet fuel with a totally unvalidated weapon system? Why blow the money and precious airframe hours on such questionable, if not risky training? Simple, its called marketing."
December 12, 2012 -- Politico
Some Republicans OK with defense cuts
"It’s been an article of faith for the GOP: Thou shalt not cut defense spending."
"But with the sequester threatening to slash hundreds of billions from the Pentagon budget, a surprising number of Republicans are ready to violate that commandment."
"This new generation of conservatives in Congress, freed from the ideologies of the Cold War and Reagan-era defense buildups, is pushing Republicans to buck their tradition and put defense on the chopping block in pursuit of a truly smaller federal government."
December 11, 2012 -- Time
More Bad News for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter?
"As of September 2012, more than 190 findings were identified and four notices of concern sent to the F-35 Program Office."
December 4, 2012 -- Defense News
U.S. Senate Approves $650B Defense Bill
"…the bill supports the Pentagon’s plans for the Air Force to spend $3.7 billion on the F-35 fighter program and the Navy to spend $3.2 billion, on what is the biggest weapon program in history."
December 3, 2012 -- Time
USMC: Under-utilized Superfluous Military Capability
"The capability to come ashore where the enemy is not present, then, move quickly with sustainable combat power great distances over land to operational objectives in the interior, is essential. The Marines cannot do it in any strategic setting where the opponent is capable (neither can the XVIII Airborne Corps!)."
"The Marines cannot confront or defeat armored forces or heavy weapons in the hands of capable opponents. Nor can the Marines hold any contested battle space for more than a very short amount of time, after which the Marine raid or short stay ashore is completed."
"Adding vertical-and/or-short-takeoff-landing (V/STOL) aircraft like the F-35B, to compensate for the lack of staying power and mobility on the ground is not an answer, particularly given the severe limitations of VSTOL aircraft, and the proliferation of tactical and operational air defense technology in places that count."
November 30, 2012 -- Reuters
Pentagon, Lockheed agree deal for 32 more F-35 fighters
"Lockheed Martin Corp and the U.S. Defense Department have reached an agreement in principle on a fifth batch of 32 additional F-35 fighter planes, the Pentagon said on Friday, bringing nearly a year of negotiations to a close."
"The deal is valued at around $3.8 billion, although the two sides are still finalizing details, according to a source familiar with the agreement."
"The Pentagon is negotiating a separate contract with Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp, which builds the engine for the single-seat, single-engine F-35."
November 28, 2012 -- The Washington Times
Pricey F-35B warplanes to go to Corps in Yuma, Ariz.
"Although the F-35Bs aren’t yet ready to deploy, the Yuma squadron is expected to be the first Marine F-35 squadron to deploy to its air station in Iwakuni, Japan, and possibly the first F-35 squadron off all the services to deploy, sometime in 2015."
November 28, 2012 -- The New York Times
Costliest Jet, Years in Making, Sees the Enemy: Budget Cuts
"Lockheed has delivered 41 planes so far for testing and initial training, and Pentagon leaders are slowing purchases of the F-35 to fix the latest technical problems and reduce the immediate costs. A helmet for pilots that projects targeting data onto its visor is too jittery to count on. The tail-hook on the Navy jet has had trouble catching the arresting cable, meaning that version cannot yet land on carriers. And writing and testing the millions of lines of software needed by the jets is so daunting that General Bogdan said, “It scares the heck out of me.”"
November 17, 2012 -- North County Times
Military gets first F-35 operational squadron
"Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates put the F-35B on probation, giving developers two years to fix technological and other problems or face cancellation. The B model was cleared from limbo in January, but some lawmakers have continued to press for cancellation to reduce overall F-35 program costs and help balance the federal budget."
November 16, 2012 -- BusinessInsider.com
Naval Hackers Broke Into The F-35 Logistics System Exposing More Huge Weaknesses
"When computer "hackers" working for the U.S. Navy succeeded in breaking into the computer logistics system that controls the Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 Joint Strike Fighter earlier this year, they did the company a favor: allowing it to fix a critical vulnerability in the $396 billion program."
October 2012 -- The Fifth Estate
Runaway Fighter: F-35 Facts & Stats
"According to Cabinet documents, Canada expects to spend $25.4 billion over 20 years to buy, sustain and operate 65 F-35 lightning II fighter jets."
October 9, 2012 -- Politico
Pentagon contractors defend their own interests
"The apocalyptic rhetoric some of these CEOs are using stands in stark contrast to the job creation record ... While their profits have soared, these companies have actually reduced their employment rolls by more than 18,000 workers over the past six years."
"the average compensation package of a CEO at one of these firms was approximately $21.5 million last year"
September 17, 2012 -- Reuters / Yahoo
Pentagon tells Lockheed to shape up on F-35 fighter
"Pentagon officials slammed Lockheed Martin Corp's performance on the $396 billion F-35 fighter jet program and said they would not bail out the program again if problems with the plane's cutting-edge pilot helmet and software were not resolved."
September 10, 2012 -- Reuters
More problems raised at Pentagon F-35 fighter review
"Senior Pentagon officials voiced frustration about the pace of Lockheed Martin Corp's development of the $396 billion F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program at a high-level review on Friday, according to several sources familiar with the program."
"Officials did not approve a comprehensive plan for operational testing of the F-35 program as had been expected."
September 6, 2012 -- Flight Global
F-35B completes air start testing at Edwards AFB
"Though normally flown at NAS Patuxent River, the US Navy deployed the F-35B and a Boeing F/A-18 Hornet chase aircraft to take advantage of Edwards' massive dry lake bed, which makes for an ideal landing strip in case of emergency."
August 11, 2012 -- Mail Online
Bombs away! Jinxed F-35 fighter passes its first weapons test… but there was no target and costs have spiralled to $300m
"The Pentagon's F-35 fighter jet programme has been plagued with problems and spiralling costs. But this week, the Department of Defense was keen to put the aircraft's troubles to one side to launch its first weapons test - using an inert bomb with no target. The test marks something of a step forward in the programme, which may yet be axed to reduce the $1.4trillion U.S. deficit."
August 22, 2012 -- Reuters
Marines to start F-35 training at Florida air base
"Marine Corps leaders, increasingly concerned about replacing their current fleet of aging fighters, decided to skip the formal evaluation of the plane's operational utility that the Air Force is completing before proceeding with its own pilot training flights at the base."
"The Marines are determined to get this plane into the field as soon as it can be safely accomplished. They don't want to be slowed down by bureaucratic obstacles," said Loren Thompson, chief operating officer of the Lexington Institute think tank."
August 21, 2012 -- CBC News
F-35 critics rip procurement plan at NDP hearing
Foolish to buy fighter jet before it is fully tested, former U.S. defence auditor says"The F-35 is only 25 per cent through its flight test program. That's only the preliminary flight tests. That's the laboratory testing," Wheeler told the four New Democrats."
"The more combat-realistic testing starts in 2017 and won't be finished until 2019."
August 2, 2012 -- AOL Defense
Early Hill Praise For Next JSF Director As Deputy Nominated To Replace Venlet
"This afternoon the Pentagon very quietly sent out notice that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta had nominated Venlet's deputy, Air Force Maj. Gen. Christopher Bogdan for a third star and assignment as director of the F-35 program."
July 26, 2012 -- ProPublica
Key Senate Staffer on Military Issues Got Big Payout From Lockheed Martin
"There is no law barring lobbyists from entering public service on Capitol Hill. But Ben Freeman, national security investigator at the Project on Government Oversight who wrote about Sauer Thursday, says that the presence of a former Lockheed executive in a key position overseeing the company is cause for concern."
July 14, 2012 -- The New York Times
Two Very Troubled Fighter Jets
"The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter was supposed to prove that the Pentagon could build a technologically advanced weapon system within an affordable budget, without huge delays. After the aircraft turned into the Pentagon’s biggest budget buster, and performed disappointingly, the Obama administration tried to correct course in 2010. A new report last month by the Government Accountability Office showed that the problems had not been solved."
July 9, 2012 -- AOL Defense
CNO Ready To Cut Back On F-35 Joint Strike Fighter
"Chief of Naval Operations Jonathan Greenert's recent article in Proceedings announces in public what many have already known in private: The U.S. Navy is not wholly committed to the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program. Admiral Greenert's controversial -- and, potentially, hugely consequential -- article raises several interesting points, among which is the contention that advances in sensing capabilities and electronic and cyber warfare will increasingly degrade America's stealth arsenal."
July 9, 2012 -- Time.com (Battleland)
How the F-35 Nearly Doubled In Price (And Why You Didn’t Know)
"The (GAO) summary uses the wrong baseline. As F-35 observers know and as the table shows, the cost documentation of the F-35 program started in 2001, not 2007. There has been a lot more cost growth than the “$117.2 billion (42 percent)” stated."
"Set in 2001, the total acquisition cost of the F-35 was to be $233.0 billion. Compare that to the current estimate of $395.7 billion: cost growth has been $162.7 billion, or 70%: a lot more than what GAO stated in its summary."
"However, the original $233 billion was supposed to buy 2,866 aircraft, not the 2,457 currently planned: making it $162 billion, or 70%, more for 409, or 14%, fewer aircraft. Adjusting for the shrinkage in the fleet, I calculate the cost growth for a fleet of 2,457 aircraft to be $190.8 billion, or 93%."
The cost of the program has almost doubled over the original baseline; it is not an increase of 42%."
"Now, you know why DOD loves the rubber baseline. Reset the baseline, and you can pretend a catastrophe is half its actual size."
June 15, 2012 -- FlightGlobal
US Marines hope to stand-up first operational F-35B squadron in November
"The US Marine Corps will stand up its first operational Lockheed Martin F-35B squadron this November if everything goes according to plan, a senior service official says. Prior to that, the USMC hopes to formally start training new F-35B pilots in October at Eglin AFB, Florida."
"VMFA-121 will now be the first squadron to stand-up in Yuma, [Arizona]," the senior official says."
June 19, 2012 -- tr.com
F-35 pilots left blind
"At the center of the controversy keeping Air Force officials scrambling for explanations is a state-of-the-art visor that is supposed to provide pilots with up-to-the-second information about the aircraft’s every move. The report says that the visor is "integral to the mission systems architecture,” which is now being jeopardized because the headgear isn’t providing pilots with the right information. The problem seems to be with the visor’s inability to counter the turbulence the planes encounter during their mission that move them at upwards of 1,200 miles-per-hour, which is instead creating an error being called “display jitter,” described as “the undesired shaking of display, making symbology unreadable.”"
June 14, 2012 -- US Government Accountability Office (GAO) Report to Congress on the F-35
DOD Actions Needed to Further Enhance Restructuring and Address Affordability Risks
"Joint Strike Fighter restructuring continued throughout 2011 and into 2012, adding to cost and schedule. The new program baseline projects total acquisition costs of $395.7 billion, an increase of $117.2 billion (42 percent) from the prior 2007 baseline. Full rate production is now planned for 2019, a delay of 6 years from the 2007 baseline. Unit costs per aircraft have doubled since start of development in 2001. Critical dates for delivering warfighter requirements remain unsettled because of program uncertainties. While the total number of aircraft DOD plans to buy has not changed, it has for 3 straight years reduced near-term procurement quantities, deferring aircraft and costs to future years. Since 2002, the total quantity through 2017 has been reduced by three-fourths, from 1,591 to 365. Affordability is a key challenge–annual acquisition funding needs average about $12.5 billion through 2037 and life-cycle operating and support costs are estimated at $1.1 trillion. DOD has not thoroughly analyzed program impacts should funding expectations be unmet."
Complete Report: http://www.gao.gov/assets/600/591608.pdf
May 17, 2012 -- truth-out.org
Pilots as Lab Rats: The Reprehensible Risk-Taking on the F-22 Raptor
"It is also up to all of us, despite the censorship of heavy-handed classification, to publicly question the effectiveness of the stealth skin that is poisoning those who make it and use it. Hopefully, we will stop this madness before we kill or condemn to cancer more of our "lab rats" while squandering hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars on ineffective stealth technology like the F-22, F-35, B-2 etc."
May 17, 2012 -- DefenseNews
U.S. House Votes Against Terminating F-35B, V-22
May 17, 2012 -- The Voice of Russia (Radio)
Military aviation: a new bomber and fifth generation fighter planes
"The new F-35 aircraft that is currently undergoing tests suffers from two incurable ‘diseases’ at once: excessive universalization and an uncontrolled rise in costs of research and experimental design work. While it possesses excellent, cutting-edge avionics and a reduced radar perceptibility, the aircraft does not possess a supersonic cruise speed, has limited agility and dynamic characteristics, as well as very limited possibilities of combat load placement in internal cargo bays. Due to a number of serious design defects, the programs of the deck-based modification F-35C and STOVL (short take off and vertical landing) F-35B aircraft are under the threat of closure. At present, the price of a single F-35A aircraft when shipped for export is $122.8 million (while initially, the aircraft was marketed as a cheap one and intended for mass production - costing up to $ 60-70 million, and a series of more than 2000 aircrafts), and the cost of a STOVL F-35B aircraft, according to the current year’s estimates, exceeds $190 million."
May 15, 2012 -- islandpacket.com
Three F-35 fighter jets delivered as work at Marine Corps Air Station continues
"An F-35 squadron that one day will call Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort home welcomed three new jets this month as work to prepare the local base for the new fighter jet continues."
"The new planes were flown May 5 from a naval base in Fort Worth, Texas, to Eglin Air Force Base in Florida, where they will be used by the Marine Attack Training Squadron 501, a Florida-based unit that will relocate to Beaufort in 2014, according to air station spokeswoman Lt. Sharon Hyland."
May 11, 2012 -- Washington Post
Americans want to slash defense spending, but Washington isn’t listening
"Ask your average American whether the defense budget should go up or down in 2013, and by how much, and they’ll tell you to cut spending by a whopping 18 percent. Ask your average member of Congress the same question, and no matter which party they’re from, you’ll likely hear that defense spending should barely budge from where it is right now."
May 10, 2012 -- US News
The F-35 Shows Why the Pentagon Deserves a Smaller Budget
"The F-35 Lightning II fighter jet, the Pentagon's biggest procurement program ever, is the poster child for the kind of wanton spending the nation can no longer afford. The F-35, built by Lockheed Martin, got its start in the early 1990s, with the concept for a stealthy jet that the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps could all use, theoretically making it cheaper than a trio of different jets unique to each service."
"It hasn't worked out that way. The first official plan, in 2001, called for 2,866 jets costing a total of $233 billion, according to the Government Accountability Office. The latest plan cuts production to 2,457 jets, yet the cost has risen to $397 billion. The cost per aircraft has doubled, from $81 million to $162 million, and that's without accounting for 10 years of inflation."
May 7, 2012 -- Reuters
Lockheed wins $237 million more for F-35 work
"Lockheed Martin Corp (LMT.N) has won $237 million in extra funding for a fourth batch of F-35 Joint Strike Fighters to account for changes to the hardware and software of the stealthy, supersonic new warplanes, the Pentagon said on Monday."
May 3, 2012 -- The Bethel Citizen
Senators Snowe and Collins want F-35 hearing in Maine, and more information in EIS
“Because the current draft EIS for this proposal does not mention, consider, or sufficiently evaluate the impact on the environment or ambient noise level of the F-35, we believe that the existing draft EIS may not sufficiently examine the impacts of the proposed change to the airspace in a manner consistent with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act.”
April 26, 2012 -- ForeignPolicy.com
The Jet That Ate the Pentagon
"It's time for Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, the U.S. military services, and Congress to face the facts: The F-35 is an unaffordable mediocrity, and the program will not be fixed by any combination of hardware tweaks or cost-control projects."
April 17, 2012 -- Time.com (Battleland)
Hardware v. People
"For a good example of the Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex’s (MICC’s) value system — which is hardware before ideas and people — read this New York Times column by Nicholas Kristof."
"Note his opening paragraph:"
"Here’s a window into a tragedy within the American military: For every soldier killed on the battlefield this year, about 25 veterans are dying by their own hands."
April 6, 2012 -- USA Today
Navy jet crashes into Virginia Beach apartment building
F-18 Crashes with Student Pilot & Instructing Pilot"Zooming along at 170 mph in a fighter jet carrying thousands of pounds of volatile fuel, two Navy pilots faced nothing but bad choices when their aircraft malfunctioned over Virginia's most populated city."
"Catastrophic engine system failure right after takeoff, which is always the most critical phase of flying, leaves very, very few options," said aviation safety expert and decorated pilot J.F. Joseph. "You literally run out of altitude, air speed and ideas all at the same time," he said.
Photo credit: Virginia Beach Beacon
April 3, 2012 -- Ifpress.com
Tories flying blind on F-35 purchase: AG report
"The Conservative government is putting the F-35 program on probation following Auditor General Michael Ferguson's report that concluded the military kept the Tories in the dark about costs and risks associated with the purchase of the stealth fighter jets."
March 29, 2012 -- The Malaysian Insider
US sees lifetime cost of F-35 fighter at US$1.45 trillion
"The US government now projects that the total cost to develop, buy and operate the Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 Joint Strike Fighter will be US$1.45 trillion (RM4.44 trillion) over the next 50-plus years, according to a Pentagon document obtained by Reuters."
"The Pentagon’s latest, staggering estimate of the lifetime cost of the F-35 — its most expensive weapons programme — is up from about US$1 trillion a year ago, and includes inflation."
"The new baseline forecasts the average cost of the F-35 fighter, including research and development (R&D) and inflation, at US$135 million per plane, plus an additional US$26 million for the F135 engine built by Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies Corp."
Total average cost per plane: 135 + 26 = $161 Million
Read more: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/business/article/us-sees-lifetime-cost-of-f-35-fighter-at-us1.45-trillion/
March 28, 2012 -- Bloomberg
Pentagon Approves Lockheed F-35 for Continued Development
"The Pentagon’s top weapons buyer has officially endorsed continuing development of Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT)’s F-35 fighter jet and set cost targets for when the program enters full-production."
"Acting Undersecretary for Acquisition Frank Kendall today signed an “acquisition decision memo” that approves the current development phase and continuation of low-rate initial production contracts."
"The memo discloses that full-rate production, the program’s most profitable phase for Lockheed Martin, has been moved to 2019, a delay of seven years from the original goal that was set in October 2001 and two years later than the current schedule."
Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-03-28/pentagon-approves-lockheed-f-35-for-continued-development.html
March 28, 2012 -- Asia Times
As drones rise, a manned fighter falls
SYDNEY - "The world's biggest international defense project, the United States-designed F-35 strike-fighter aircraft, was put on probation by international partners at a formal meeting held this month in Sydney, Australia."
Read more: http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Global_Economy/NC28Dj03.html
March 23, 2012 -- The Wall Street Journal
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Unsafe
Noise is one of the great neglected health hazards of our time—the secondhand smoke of our ears.
Read more: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304724404577297582674911356.html?mod=djemLifeStyle_h
March 21, 2012 -- Wired
Pentagon: Trillion-Dollar Jet on Brink of Budgetary Disaster
"The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the supposed backbone of the Pentagon’s future air arsenal, could need additional years of work and billions of dollars in unplanned fixes, the Air Force and the Government Accountability Office revealed on Tuesday. Congressional testimony by Air Force and Navy leaders, plus a new report by the GAO, heaped bad news on a program that was already almost a decade late, hundreds of billions of dollars over its original budget and vexed by mismanagement, safety woes and rigged test results."
Did Chinese Espionage Lead to F-35 Delays?
March 20, 2012 -- Beaufort Gazette
Residents quiz air station officials on jet noise, F-35B
"About 70 people gathered in the cafeteria at Beaufort High School for a community meeting hosted by base officials to help familiarize the community with its operations and the base's current Air Installation Compatible Use Zone. The AICUZ designates areas subject to high noise and potential crashes around the air station and influences the type of development allowed there."
March 2012 -- AARP
Excerpt From "How About Some Adult Supervision" By Jim Toadtman, Editor of AARP, March 2012, page 3
"Our federal and state governments spend $519 billion a year on elementary and high school education...the total has dropped each year. At the same time, we don't hesitate to spend nearly $1 trillion on national defense...The Pentagon is buying 2,443 (for) F-35 joint strike fighters ...for battling a weapon that hasn't been imagined by an enemy that remains unknown. If we bought just 7 fewer F-35s, we could buy a handheld computer tablet for every first grader in America."
March 6, 2012 -- Gizmodo
Pentagon Helps New Stealth Fighter Cheat On Key Performance Test
"It seemed like a promising step for America’s next stealth fighter: The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter passed a key Pentagon test of its combat capability. But it turns out that the family of jets cleared the mid-February exam only because its proctor agreed to inflate its grade. In essence, the military helped the F-35 cheat on its midterms."
Read more: http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2012/03/pentagon-helps-new-stealth-fighter-cheat-on-key-performance-test/
March 4, 2012 -- Federal Times
No one has paid price for F-35 program mismanagement
"Nonetheless, Lockheed will receive $9.2 billion in the fiscal 2013 budget to build 29 planes, more than $300 million per aircraft. If anything, this will increase the cost, drive up profits for Lockheed..."
Read more: http://www.federaltimes.com/article/20120304/ADOP06/203040304/1040/ADOP06
Note: in 2013 the costs per jet is $300 million each!! Not counting the maintenance, housing, personnel....etc...
March 4, 2012 -- Air Force Times
Residents oppose plan to bring F-35 to Boise
"Residents say they fear deafening jet engines flying over homes, causing health problems and lowering property values."
“People have no concept of what it will be like to live here,” Monty Mericle, an engineer and the group’s leader, told the Idaho Statesman."
Read more: http://www.airforcetimes.com/news/2012/03/ap-residents-oppose-plan-to-bring-f35-to-boise-030412
February 24, 2012 -- WKRG.com News 5
Problems For New Fighter Jet
"Despite all of the positive feelings about this super stealthy state-of-the-art plane there are many problems with the F-35."
Read more: http://www2.wkrg.com/news/2012/feb/24/problems-new-fighter-jet-ar-3296054/
February 27, 2012 -- msnbc.com
Top military pilots grounded by F-35 mess
Questions about safety, cost overruns raise doubts about the entire program's feasibility"The best fighter pilots from the Air Force, Marines and Navy arrived in the Florida Panhandle last year to learn to fly the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the most expensive, most advanced weapons program in U.S. history. They are still waiting."
Read more: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/46539898/ns/us_news-security/
February 6, 2012 -- United States Senate
Letter from the United States Senate Committee on Armed Services to the Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta
"On Friday, January 20, 2012, without prior notice to or consultation with Congress, you lifted the two-year "probation" on the F-35B."
"We appreciate that the development of F-35B has enjoyed some success over the last few months, after several years of having fallen short. We similarly understand that engineering solutions to known problems with the F-35B's structure and propulsion have been identified. However, in the intervening time since probation was imposed, more problems with the F-35B's structure and propulsion, potentially as serious as those that were originally identified a year ago, have been found. This is salient where the F-35B has completed only 20% of its developmental test plan to date. Your decision, therefore, appears at least premature."
Read more: http://mccain.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Files.View&FileStore_id=dd511a25-659d-47d3-9dd5-83e06a8b7946
January 30, 2012 -- Time.com
F-35: Out of Altitude, Airspeed, and Ideas — But Never Money
"No program better illustrates the pathologies of the weapons acquisition process as it is currently practiced by the Military – Industrial – Congressional Complex (MICC) than the entirely predictable, and in this case, predicted, problems dragging the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter into a dead man’s spiral."
January 29, 2012 -- f16.net
Mismanagement of F-35 program results in budget cuts
"Where are the large orders that are to produce "economies of scale" and "affordability" for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)? Apparently in someone's imagination from 2001."
"Consider that everything low-rate-initial-production (LRIP) batch 5 and before has little value because hardware that drives the final Block 3 software does not arrive until LRIP-6. Many of the various fixes for the F-35s other problems do not arrive until LRIP-7 or LRIP-8; at the earliest. And it will take some years for Block 3 software--which in part signifies the F-35 is ready to move on to full-rate production--to work in anything resembling a final go-to-war jet. Yet, delays to fixing technical problems are the consistent metric in the F-35 program."
January 26, 2012 -- The Washington Post
Lockheed Martin leads expanded lobbying by U.S. defense industry
"For fiscal 2012, Congress reduced funding for both the Air Force and Navy versions of the F-35 jet. Lawmakers cut one F-35 plane from the Air Force’s request to buy 19 jets in the year and also reduced funding to buy advanced parts for both the Air Force and Navy versions of the aircraft."
January 26, 2012 -- Slate
A Scalpel, Not a Hatchet
Why is Obama cutting so little out of the Pentagon budget? He could cut even more."The Pentagon revealed a bit more of its defense budget today, and, really, the proposed cuts in spending amount to no big deal. It would be hard to justify not making these cuts. If Congress winds up wanting to cut deeper, there’s plenty of room for more hacking."
January 10, 2012 -- Time.com
The Heritage Foundation, Then and Now
By Thomas Christie, Pierre Sprey, Chuck Spinney and Winslow Wheeler
How the USA Weakened Our National Defense:
"if the F-35 lived up to 100% of its depressingly modest design specifications, it would still be a complete failure in combat utility: a bomber of shorter range, lower payload and far higher vulnerability than the Vietnam War’s appallingly flammable, underperforming F-105 Lead Sled; an air-to-air fighter so unmaneuverable and sluggish in acceleration that any ancient MiG-21 will tear it to shreds; and a close support fighter that is a menace to our troops on any battlefield, unable to hit camouflaged tactical targets and incapable of distinguishing friendly soldiers from enemies."
"THOMAS CHRISTIE, PIERRE SPREY, CHUCK SPINNEY and WINSLOW WHEELER (Bios) are authors in the anthology “The Pentagon Labyrinth: 10 Short Essays to Help You Through It.” The book is available at no cost, and its co-authors have waived copyright protection, so there are no limits on reproduction or distribution."
December 29, 2011 -- Time.com
Marines’ F-35 Engines Costing Way More Than Other Services’
"The Marines are buying three engines – 10% of the 30-engine deal – and are paying $387 million. That’s 34.5% of the total $1.1 billion contract. That’s $129 million per engine."
"There are probably some complicating factors involved not reflected in the contract announcement. And the Marines are buying fewer engines, which makes each one more expensive. They’re also developing theirs for short takeoffs and vertical landings, which increases the price. But by more than 300%?"
December 26, 2011 -- Washington Post
F-35 production a troubling example of Pentagon spending
"There are 56 F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters being assembled at Lockheed Martin’s facility in Fort Worth. But because only 20 percent of the testing for the most advanced fighter-bomber in U.S. history is completed, each will probably have to get million-dollar-or-more fixes later."
December 13, 2011 -- Wired.com
Trillion-Dollar Jet Has Thirteen Expensive New Flaws
"The most expensive weapons program in U.S. history is about to get a lot pricier."
January 2012 -- Vanity Fair
One Nation, Under Arms
"The private papers of the late George F. Kennan, Cold War architect and diplomat extraordinaire, reveal his anguish over the way his famous 1947 warning about Soviet expansionism helped transform the America he loved into one he no longer recognized: a national-security state."
December 7, 2011 -- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Sec Def Panetta to get F-35 sales pitch
"As the defense world tries to figure out how the Pentagon and military forces can solve all the problems with the F-35 program and live within the confines boundaries of looming budget cuts, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is likely to hear a hard sales pitch for the airplane Friday."
December 7, 2011 -- huffingtonpost.com
The F-35, a $400 Billion Boondoggle
"InsideDefense confirmed Tuesday "that there are still 'outstanding risks associated with the Joint Strike Fighter flight training..." It interpreted that confirmation as "a sign of concurrence with the Pentagon's top weapons tester that the F-35 is not yet ready for unmonitored flight or formal training.""
December 6, 2011 -- Marine Corps Times
Corps preps for F-35 with landing pads, hangars
"The recent announcement of a multimillion-dollar project to build five pads for vertical landings at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, S.C., shows the Corps’ determination to roll out the aircraft despite continued uncertainty facing the program."
December 1, 2011 -- AOL Defense
JSF's Build And Test Was 'Miscalculation,' Adm. Venlet Says; Production Must Slow
"Fatigue testing and analysis are turning up so many potential cracks and "hot spots" in the Joint Strike Fighter's airframe that the production rate of the F-35 should be slowed further over the next few years, the program's head declared in an interview."
"The JSF program was originally structured with a high rate of concurrency -- building production model aircraft while finishing ground and flight testing -- that assumed less change than is proving necessary."
"Fundamentally, that was a miscalculation," Venlet said.
November 14, 2011 -- F16.net
Warning signs to watch with the F-35 program
"The F-35 program was recertified last year by the then top U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) acquisition official Ashton Carter after its second Nunn-McCurdy cost breach. Besides the effect of looking like a whitewash, there were then and still are, pieces of the puzzle missing."
November 14, 2011 -- DailyTech
U.S. Drops $50M on British Harrier Spare Parts, Will Purchase 74 Decommissioned Airframes
"Harrier jets to replace ageing F-18s"
"The U.S. rarely buys decommissioned aircraft from other countries according to Defense News, but the U.S. is doing just that with some decommissioned British aircraft."
"Britain is selling its entire fleet of 74 Harrier jump jets to the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps."
November 1, 2011 -- Wired
Stealth Jet Could Be Unsafe for Flight Training
"The military could be putting pilots’ lives at risk in its hurry to begin training with the next-generation F-35 Joint Strike Fighter."
"That’s not some outrageous claim by poorly informed peaceniks or some muckraking journalist: It’s the official position of the Pentagon’s top weapons tester, Dr. Michael Gilmore. The F-35’s developers — the Air Force, the Navy and Lockheed Martin — disagree with Gilmore’s assessment. But the controversy underscores continuing problems with an aircraft that’s supposed to replace almost all of America’s current tactical warplanes, at a cost of more than $400 billion."
"In a memo dated Oct. 21, Gilmore, the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation, asked Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Frank Kendall to consider delaying the commencement of F-35 training by 10 months, in order to give engineers and testers more time to work out the $100-million-apiece JSF’s kinks. “Initiation of training in an immature aircraft risks the occurrence of a serious mishap,” Gilmore wrote in the memo, which was leaked to the Washington, D.C.-based Project on Government Oversight."
October 26, 2011 -- Wired
Defense Industry: Keep Paying Us or the Economy Dies
"Defense giant Lockheed Martin had a totally sweet quarter, raking in $700 million and looking forward to the same this time next year. So it raises eyebrows when Lockheed’s anointed mouthpieces predict mass economic disaster if Congress touches the defense budget."
October 23, 2011 -- Lancaster Eagle Gazette
These are the facts about the F-35 numbers
October 21, 2011 -- Bloomberg video
Bloomberg video below on the state of, and stakes for, the F-35B variant
October 21, 2011 -- defpro.news
Some Suggested (and Unreported) Issues on the F-35
by Winslow T. Wheeler
September 30, 2011 -- Center for Defense Information
The Stench of Elitism in Defense Spending
by Winslow T. Wheeler
September 29, 2011 -- Marine Corps Gazette (Professional Journal of U.S. Marines)
F–35B Needs a Plan B -- Options to rising costs of the aircraft
by Major Christopher J. Cannon
"A high/low plan B could focus on acquiring approximately 60 F–22 aircraft to replace 5 F/A–18D squadrons scheduled to begin decommissioning in FY14 and removed from service by FY20. These aircraft would provide more capability and cost less than the estimates for the F–35B. For the cost of one F–35B, the Marine Corps could acquire and support 10 counterinsurgency-focused aircraft with a 6-hour loiter time. Seven squadrons, each consisting of 14 OV–10-like aircraft, could provide AV–8B replacements, gap the STOVL requirement while waiting for technology to mature, and pass the savings on to the taxpayer as part of the Commander in Chief’s $40 billion a year in cuts. Other options are available at less risk than betting on F–35B continuation in the next 2 years. It is time for an F–35B plan B."
September 23, 2011 -- Project on Government Oversight
What's the Deal With Aircraft Design Flaws in the Joint Strike Fighter?
"Earlier this month, Bloomberg News reported on a "design flaw" in the wing of the Air Force and Marine Corps variants of the F-35 discovered during testing. The F-35 program office told Bloomberg and at least one other news outlet that the problem is not serious. However, a March briefing slide by the F-35 program office never intended for public release, but obtained by POGO, indicates the solution to the problem was considered "likely to be expensive and time consuming."
"The F-35 program office and prime contractor Lockheed Martin have determined that it will take 45 days to modify each of the 60 joint strike fighters (JSFs) affected. The modifications will begin next year. Read that again: Each plane affected will be out of commission for 45 days starting next year."
September 7, 2011 -- F-16.net
F-35 defeated in air combat simulation
"An unnamed source stated that earlier this year a presentation was given by an industry air combat threat assessment expert to defense officials of a NATO country which showed that the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) would not survive air combat against threats it is likely to see in its alleged service lifetime."
September 19, 2011 -- Center for Defense Information
Super Committee Not So Super
"Not only is the Super Committee headed straight for failure, the "automatic" cuts that would happen in the Pentagon budget are not going to occur. To "save" the Pentagon budget from further cuts, it's doomsday for budget restraint in the short term. The only thing to be elevated for the longer term and foreseeable future is our political and governmental dysfunction."
"Winslow Wheeler, director of the Straus Military Reform Project, explains in a commentary at Salon.com. It is at http://www.salon.com/news/budget_showdown/index.html?story=/news/feature/2011/09/16/pentagon_super_committee, and the original draft is reprinted below."
"Super Committee" Not So Super: Defense Bloat Unravels Deficit Reduction
by Winslow T. Wheeler
September 15, 2011 -- Ottawa Citizen
Lockheed Martin Told By Joint Strike Fighter Office To Stop Using $65 Million F-35 Cost Figure
"CTV’s Don Martin noted the ongoing problems and media reports during his interview this week with Associate Defence Minister Julian Fantino. “There’s air frame issues, there’s cost issues, there’s production issues,” Martin pointed out. “Isn’t your spidey sense telling you you might have a problem here?"
September 12, 2011 -- DefenseNews
What's The Price Tag For a Production F-35?
"What is the true unit cost of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)? It's tough to say. The JSF program office has one estimate. The Pentagon's Office of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation has another. They don't match, won't be released to the public until they do, and aren't final anyway until the jets begin to come off the line in steady production, a JSF program official said."
"One thing is clear: The price tag for a production model F-35A will not be $65 million in 2010 dollars."
September 2, 2011 -- Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Granger calls out McCain over F-35 joint strike fighter
"Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth, called Friday for increased production of the F-35 joint strike fighter and suggested that its critics, namely Sen. John McCain, visit the mile-long factory on the city's west side before continuing to push for cuts in the Defense Department's largest weapons program."
August 31, 2011 -- Aviation Week
New Threat To F-35 Joint Strike Fighter
"For the first time in the history of the Joint Strike Fighter program, a senior Pentagon appointee has raised the question of whether one of the three versions of the Lockheed Martin F-35 should be canceled to save money. The move comes as program leaders and Pentagon cost experts are trying to prepare for a long-delayed Defense Acquisition Board review of JSF, including a comprehensive effort to establish reliable predictions of acquisition and operating costs."
August 29, 2011 -- The Beaufort Gazette
Air station to break ground on facilities for new jets
"The next chapter in the 50-year history of Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort will begin this week."
"The air station will host a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday to commemorate the start of construction on a hangar and training facility to house and train pilots to fly the new F-35B Joint Strike Fighter."
August 26, 2011 -- The Beaufort Gazette
Senate panel blasts Pentagon, Lockheed Martin over F-35
WASHINGTON — "The Pentagon's signature aircraft for all military services, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, came under blistering criticism Thursday at a Senate hearing for cost overruns that have nearly doubled the cost of each plane, ongoing technical problems and schedule delays that have kept contractor Lockheed Martin from increasing production."
"With words such as "jaw-dropping" on the cost estimates to produce and operate the fighter, several members of the Senate Armed Services Committee even challenged Defense Department officials on the once-unthinkable: looking at alternatives to the F-35, arguably the most technologically ambitious aircraft ever built."
"The fact is that, after almost 10 years in development and four years in production, according to outside experts, the aircraft's design is still not stable, manufacturing processes still need to improve and the overall weapon system has not yet been proven to be reliable," said Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the panel's top Republican. "Notably, it has taken Lockheed about 15 years and cost the taxpayer $56 billion to produce and deliver nine of 12 test aircraft. Over that period, Congress has authorized and appropriated funds for 113 F-35 jets. Lockheed has, however, delivered just 11."
August 26, 2011 -- Aviation Week -- Ares (A Defense Technology Blog)
Texas Senator Threatens Carter Over JSF
"Ashton Carter might think that his top priority in his new role of deputy secretary of defense will be to work out how to handle impending budget cuts and improve the Pentagon's economic performance, but he's wrong, according to Sen, John Cornyn. Carter's most important job is to keep the Joint Strike Fighter sold."
"In a sharply worded letter, Cornyn expresses "disappointment with [Carter's] apparent lack of commitment" to the JSF. “If confirmed by the Senate … your personal commitment to making F-35 succeed will be essential,” Cornyn writes, adding that “the DoD’s failure to sufficiently defend and advocate for the program has enabled and even invited unwarranted criticisms … including calls for partial or complete cancellation of the program.”
"Good timing, Senator -- just as Navy under-secretary Robert Work has required the Navy and Marine Corps to look at cutting Tacair costs by "partial cancellation", terminating either the F-35B or F-35C."
August 25, 2011 -- Aviation Week
Navy Official Questions Need For JSF
"U.S. Navy Undersecretary Robert Work told the Navy and Marine Corps in July to provide lower-cost alternatives to the Navy’s current tactical aviation plan, and to examine the consequences of terminating either the F-35B short-takeoff/vertical-landing version of the Joint Strike Fighter or the carrier-compatible F-35C. Work is seeking decisions in time for the 2013 budget submission."
"Work also directed service leaders to study whether the Navy and Marines could operate fewer than the 40 squadrons of JSFs currently planned (supported by 680 aircraft, divided equally between Bs and Cs) and to look at the possibility of accelerating development of unmanned alternative systems. Canceling both the F-35B and F-35C was not identified as an option."
August 24, 2011 -- Center for Defense Information
Chitchat with Leon and Hilary on the Defense Budget
Read Winslow Wheeler's (a 38 year's authority of defense) latest comments on the Defense Budget Cuts: He has stated the F-35 Program is the biggest Pork ever.
July 14, 2011 -- Senate Armed Services Committee
Senate Armed Services Committee Questions F-35 Program
June 17, 2011 -- Bloomberg
Senate Panel Cuts $6.4 Billion From Obama 2012 Defense Plan
June 15, 2011 -- AviationWeek.com
House Appropriations Panel Backs JSF
"The House Appropriations Committee on June 14 approved a $649 billion bill to fund the Defense Department and the war in Afghanistan for fiscal 2012, adding a vote of confidence for the nation’s most expensive weapon system – the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter."
June 14, 2011 -- Newsday
Panetta can help cut federal deficit
"As he walks out the door of the CIA to take over the keys to the Pentagon, Leon Panetta has the chance to add another line to his already fabulous resume: The Man Who Stopped the Waste.
But don’t bet on it.
As long as Congress shovels defense dollars endlessly, what incentive does the military have for frugality? Why should generals and admirals bother to establish priorities among the defense missions, spending less on the less important ones and more on the crucial ones? The money keeps coming, and authentic priority-setting just doesn’t happen."
May 19, 2011 -- Marine Corps Times
Lawmakers troubled by spiraling F-35 costs
May 3, 2011 -- Bloomberg
U.S. House Members Plan to Save GE-Rolls F-35 Fighter Engine
April 25, 2011 -- Reuters
The U.S. Defense Department ended a contract with General Electric Co and Rolls-Royce Group Plc on Monday for an alternate engine for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
April 12, 2011 -- The Australian
Noise triggers legal bid to down jet fighter
"Mr Gavagna told The Australian that according to the RAAF's data, the JSF was likely to be 2 1/2 times noisier than the RAAF's Super Hornet fighter-bombers now operating from Williamtown. That would be loud enough to deafen anyone close to the aircraft, he said."
"For the technical experts, Mr Gavagna said the RAAF suggested the JSF would emit approximately 96 decibels."
Mark Sanford asks Secretary of Defense for demo F-35B to “avoid noise surprises”
"Outgoing Governor Mark Sanford has sent a letter to US Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates asking Gates to send one of the test F-35B fighter jet aircraft to MCAS Beaufort now “for several days of demonstration flights”. Sanford says in the letter, dated November 23, that he is making the request to “allow the community to make an informed judgment about the local impact."
Read his entire letter at: http://beauforttribune.com/archives/49299
EPA concerned over noise from F35-Bs
"The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has declared that deploying F-35B jet fighter aircraft at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort “will be louder than documented” in the government’s Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and will result in “significant impacts without appropriate mitigation”. The EPA’s comments support concerns that have been expressed by local citizens for months in the pages of The Beaufort Tribune."
Read more: http://beauforttribune.com/archives/49152
Our politicians & Chamber supported the US Navy’s Proposal (final EIS) Alternative 1 for MCAS Beaufort, SC:
106,030 Flight Ops per Year?
71% increase in flight ops
No Offsite Landing Field
(431 Flight Ops per flying day)
The F-35B is a one pilot, one engine jet
Training Squadrons with “Student Pilots”
No room for error!
Noise is twice as loud as the F-18s
Health / safety / property concerns
Wood Stork: Our endangered species
Beaufort’s Quality of Life Endangered!
Join Neighbors in the Best4Beaufort
Information. Research. Presentations.
106,030 Flight Ops per Year?
71% increase in flight ops
No Offsite Landing Field
(431 Flight Ops per flying day)
The F-35B is a one pilot, one engine jet
Training Squadrons with “Student Pilots”
No room for error!
Noise is twice as loud as the F-18s
Health / safety / property concerns
Wood Stork: Our endangered species
Beaufort’s Quality of Life Endangered!
Join Neighbors in the Best4Beaufort
Information. Research. Presentations.
Eishenhowerʼs warning of the military/industrial complex
From President (General) Dwight Eisenhower's 1961 notes for his address:
"...but let us take nothing for granted. We shall need all the organizing genius we possess to mesh the huge machinery of our defenses with our peace-oriented economy so that liberty and security are both well served. It requires constant vigilance, and a jealous precaution against any move which would weaken civil authority over the military establishment...In the councils of government we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of the misplaced power exists and will persist. We can ignore it only at our peril."
Express your F-35B concerns to our national officials:
Addresses are found under the "Write to" page in the above navigation bar.
UK To Scrap F-35Bs, Cut 16K Troops
As a side-effect of the financial crisis in Britain "the F-35B, the VSTOL version of the Joint Strike Fighter, will not be bought. The carriers will instead be modified with arresting cables and catapults to handle F-35Cs."
Read more: http://www.dodbuzz.com/2010/10/18/uk-to-scrap-f-35bs-cut-16k-troops/
Drastic cuts outlined in think-tank report
"An independent team has made a series of recommendations to Congress to reduce future Defense Department budgets, in light of the country’s growing deficit — including big cuts to the Corps."
"The team, dubbed, The Sustainable Defense Task Force, was tapped for the project by a bipartisan group of lawmakers. Their suggestions could reduce defense spending by $960 billion from 2011 to 2020."
• "Delay or cancel development of Navy variants of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The U.S. could save $9.85 billion from 2011 to 2020 by canceling the purchase of JSF jets for the Navy and Marine Corps and buying more affordable F/A-18 jets instead. Doing so would leave the Corps without jump jets once the AV-8 Harrier leaves the service, but the task force argues that capability “has not proved critical to operations in recent wars.”
Read more: http://www.marinecorpstimes.com/news/2010/07/marine_cuts_071310w/
USN officials raise concern about F-35 affordability
"Moreover, NAVAIR estimates the total of 680 short take-off and vertical landing F-35Bs and carrier-variant F-35Cs, ordered by the US Marine Corps and USN, respectively, will cost $30,700 to fly each hour. This compares to $18,900 for the Boeing AV-8B Harrier II and Boeing F/A-18A-D, the aircraft types the Joint Strike Fighter will replace."
"The unexpected cost increases mean the F-35 "will have a significant impact on naval aviation affordability", the NAVAIR document concludes."
Read more: http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2010/01/14/337134/usn-officials-raise-concern-about-f-35-affordability.html
What Now, Icarus? Is Western Combat Aviation Falling Out of the Sky?
"The future of Western combat aviation today rests largely on one airplane: The Pentagon's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter."
"There are, however, a few problems. The F-35 is unaffordable. It is a technological kluge that will be less effective than airplanes it replaces. And it will increase our own combat losses."
"As a "close air support" ground-attack aircraft to help US troops engaged in combat, the F-35 is too fast to identify the targets it is shooting at; too delicate and flammable to withstand ground fire, and too short-legged to loiter usefully over embattled US ground units for sustained periods. It is a giant step backward from the current A-10."
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F-35 fighter jet purchase unnecessary: report
"The (Canadian) federal government's decision to spend $9 billion on new F-35 fighter jets is "fundamentally flawed" and totally unnecessary, according to a report released Thursday by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives."
"Canada does not need the F-35, either for North American/domestic roles or for expeditionary roles," wrote CCPA research associate and Rideau Institute president Steven Staples. "The Canadian government should not proceed with the planned procurement of the F-35."
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