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Seems like the Pentagon is having seconds thoughts about the F-35 programme

If this bird did not meet the performance as estipulated in the contract not the price (lets not forget that it started at about 56 million and now it is 85 million PLUS the cost of engines ~ 115 million) this damn weapons programme has to be ditched and the responsable individuals have to explain where and how they were wrong so that this does not happen again (this is wishful thinking of course) ( More...

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Tim Marks 5
For those with a knowledge of history, nearly every time in the past the pentagon wanted to have a do-all aircraft it fell short of expectations and cost more than was forecast. Case in point, the F4 Phantom. The Air Force wanted a missle platform, the Navy wanted a CAP fighter, and the Marines wanted a ground support aircraft that could dogfight if needed - sound familiar? The compromises on the aircraft to make it a be-all weapon system left it over weight, (initially) under powered, no internal gun, poor rear visibility and with few supporters of the aircraft when it was originally built. The F4 was designed ina commitee with far too many cooks in the kitchen and we are seeing this same sequence play out once again with the F35. Eventually, the aircraft will be delivered and enter operations, the pilots will figure out how to make it perform its designated mission - work around it flaws - and its merits will eventually over shadow its compromises. The F35 is everything to the cooks in the kitchen and it will be delivered inspite of anything the critics of the program can offer up now.
joel wiley 2
I think you are correct with " it will be delivered inspite of anything the critics of the program can offer up". The question is that when it is delivered, can it deliver as advertized. Given that bombs don't fit in the bomb bay as the few rounds the cannon holds won't fire for years yet, I must take it's prowess with a grain of salt.
Tim Marks 2
Joel, the current thinking is the internal bays will be used for air-to-air capabilities (since the internal gun is a big question right now) and ejectable ordinance racks will be hung under the wings to tote bombs and ground attack missles. So much for any stealth capabilities in the tactical ground support role. Granted, everyone was expecting a step up from the F16/F18/AV8B 3rd/4th gen platforms, but only time and the pilots who fly the F35 will decide the aircraft's worth.
Dan Towey 2
Great set of comments Tim. They will fix & figure it out like they did with the F4. Having seen this aircraft up close and personal at EAA Airventure this year, I can tell you that it is a work of *art* compared to the F4, however! The pilot was absolutely glowing as he talked about flying it.
Brian Bishop 1
The guys I've talked to who actually fly the thing say it's light years ahead of anything else out there (but they admittedly haven't flown a Raptor ;) ), so I wish people would just chill out and see what happens. Anybody who thinks life at L-M has been all peaches and cream are delusional (Chalet). The amount of pressure on the development team is more than most any of us here have ever experienced in their professional life.
Tim Marks 1
...and even more so at the first tier suppliers of systems for the F35.
Brian Bishop 1
Or maybe the author at The Fool has a short interest in LMT and needs to buy some cheap shares to cover? Hmmmm.....
Aw, the FTX is alive and well?
Joe Willett 1
Well said Roger D.
ADXbear 1
Yikes.. I was on the Space Shuttle program and manned mission development.. we never thought NASA would completely kill and send tens of thousands or people to the street, for good!... and it was not even in the same category as this program.. I think they are in trouble. and should have built more F22's..
joel wiley 1
The Motley Fool thinks the Pgon may be thinking of fewer units, which translates to buying less lipstick. That dances around the central core issue, AISI.
Ray Dahl 1
Second Thoughts? A bit late for that I would think. Ditch the F35B and retain the A10
The only way to stop programs like this from running foul is to limit the cooks in the kitchen. I would bet a full investigation into the history of the development would show, every general officer who came into the management, wanted to put his/her fingerprints on the product. Change this, paint that correct those faulty ideas. Only real way to fix this is to order what is needed. Build what is ordered and not try to fit everything into one package.
Joe Willett 1
Yes, they sure were...for GM and Chrysler maybe, Ford was the only one who took care of themselves.
A success? I think not.
Ray Dahl 1
Having lived in MI throughout the process, the bailouts WERE a success...the suppliers could not have survived had not GM and Chrysler survived. The auto industry as a whole is alive and well.
Joe Willett 0
Lockheed Martin; the ONLY winner here. Reminds me of another automobile industry bailout. Sad... very sad of our so called,leaders.
Ray Dahl 2
The auto bailouts were a huge success.
chalet 1
Don´t compare apples and oranges. The auto industry was re-born not only thanks to the Government bailout but they had to hit it right or else the foreign competitors would have eaten them for brakfast, lunch and dinner, alive. Whereas Lockheed's execs are happy and content having breakfast, lunch and dinner at very expensive and psh hang outs -perhaps at exclusive golf clubs, with no worries whatsoever since they knoiw damn well that they will have DOD's yes sir spproval to any invoice they issue at the price they feel like to type.
Ed Merriam 1
hey, guess who invented "cost-plus" accounting ...


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