Tuesday, February 7, 2012

DOD official--F-35 program "acquisition malpractice"

Late last year, the top boss of the DOD F-35 office Admiral Venlet stated that the business plan for the program--based on concurrency--was a "miscalculation".

Not long after, a quick look report by top DOD officials found numerous problems with the program that would take years to fix.

Also, the top DOD test office released a damning report finding:

Operational Assessment

The JSF Operational Test Team completed an operational assessment of the F-35 program and determined that it is not on track to meet operational effectiveness or operational suitability requirements. The JSF Operational Test Team assessed the program based on measured and predicted performance against requirements from the JSF Operational Requirements Document, which was re-validated in 2009.

Today, Frank Kendall, head of weapons acquisition and development for the Department of Defense has said that, putting the Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter into production before flight testing had started was "acquisition malpractice".

He covers himself with the boiler plate nonsense about:

Reaffirming the Pentagon's commitment to the program as "the future of tactical air" and echoing the conclusion of the Quick Look Review report, that "we don't at this point see anything that would preclude continuing production at a reasonable rate"

He goes on:

The program, Kendall said, had started with "the optimistic prediction that we were good enough at modeling and simulation that we would not find problems in flight test."

"That was wrong, and now we are paying for that," Kendall added.

The program is officially at the stage where massive problems can no longer be papered over. Senior DOD officials are now publicly saying things some of us already knew. The F-35 program is in trouble.


Canuck Fighter said...

During the COIN wars, focus was on other things as the money poured into the trough. Now that the COIN wars, one anyway is over and the budgets, due to economic conditions are being curtailed. Things are moving from "ya-ya" to "oh-oh". 2003-08 must have been good times at the ole F35 program...money, bubbly, and powerpoint presentations.

Anonymous said...

I noticed this somewhat ironic tidbit in the AOL.Defence article on the subject:

"Pointing to the Army's Ground Combat Vehicle and its predecessors, Kendall said the Pentagon's "biggest problem" in acquisition may be "starting programs we should never have started.""


Anonymous said...

Depressed F-35 fanboys will be encouraged by the news that Lockmart's famed Skunkworks has resolved at least one of the more serious QLR issues by replacing the failure-prone IPP with the cutting-edge technological wonder demonstrated below: