Senator McCain asks the DOD top procurement guy Ashton Carter what went wrong all these years; there was all that happy news reported to our politicians. The answer is very troubling. After all; we saw the term "on-track" so many times....
"And one of the things that Admiral Venlet and Dave Van Buren are doing now is restoring to the program the technical expertise resident at Pax River and Dayton and elsewhere and infusing this program office with it so that the Government side of the program is strong. I told you I did not have good management information a year ago because the program office was not strong. It did not have our very best people looking at this airplane, and all of our information came from the performers of the work and not from us. So that went on for a long time in the Joint Strike Fighter program, and the program office was not as strong technically as it should have been."
The whole transcript has a lot of worrying language. Enough to make it impossible to believe anything from the F-35 cheerleaders was true.
And matches well when we hear this deception from the then DOD F-35 program manager General Davis back in 2008 when responding to criticism from government audits.
"We do not agree with that estimate, there is no basis for that estimate, and we do not support it."
We can ill afford program managers that go native.