Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Feeding the circle of patronage

Stating the obvious in this CNN interview.

CNN.com: In your book, you describe arms trade as "legalized bribery."
Feinstein: Specifically in the United States there is a circle of patronage between the defense contractors, the Pentagon and lawmakers that sometimes results in inordinately expensive weapons projects that are not relevant to the conflicts that the country is engaged in, don't always do what is promised, and are often delivered late. This has been going on at least since WWII. The F-35 is the obvious example of this.

CNN.com: What is the F-35?
Feinstein: The F-35 is the jet fighter currently being produced by the Unites States at a cost over $380 billion. While it might have been useful during the Cold War, it is not suited to the sorts of conflicts the US is currently engaged in, and is likely to be involved in for generations to come. A former Pentagon aerospace engineer I interviewed described it as "a piece of crap" and suggested those who will be in most danger from the F-35 will be the test pilots. Already testing has been halted on a few occasions. But it feeds the circle of patronage that is the US defense procurement system.


nico said...



Nice article from a couple of "close associates" to LMT, I am assuming here. I didn't know this but it seems quite certain that all "hot spots" will be fixed by LRIP-8.What a relief!!! Also announced here for a first is that LRIP-8 will be where the first Japanese F35 will be produced.

ELP said...


Saw that the other day.

Barking mad.

nico said...

I forgot to mention this gem: "Flight-testing of the F-35 is ‘going extremely well.’"

Anonymous said...

It isn't?

Successful ship trials, Mach 1.6, 9.9g, well exceeding annual test points....

Oh yeah, it's late compared to it's original timeline so all successes must be compared to that.

Anonymous said...

"Oh yeah, it's late compared to it's original timeline so all successes must be compared to that. "
I thought it IOC was 2012, silly me, must be a success.

Anonymous said...

As was pointed out, it's late. Doesn't mean the jet won't be a success.

Anonymous said...

Maybe luckily, but 2012 western jets still overmatch 2012 eastern jets. So the west has gotten away with F-35 being late (maybe the absence of real pressure has also contributed to its lateness).

Cocidius said...

Unfortunately it appears that the Japanese have swallowed the JSF fantasy hook, line, and sinker. Lockmart will be happy to get its hooks into Japanese money to keep churning out its "mistake" jets even as it struggles to maintain support in the US.

Fears of China combined with no export Raptor were the culprits behind this horrible decision. SAD!