Wednesday, September 14, 2016

"When pork flies: The F-35, the Pentagon’s $1.1 trillion flying money pit, is (sort of) ready for duty"

"Years of delays, management shakeups, engine and software problems — and most important — cost overruns have made this Lockheed Martin jet initiative a punching bag and pork barrel project.
As far back as 2001, the cost of the program was termed astronomical, with initial estimates pegged at $233 billion. The price tag has ballooned to about $400 billion, with plenty of glitches still to be worked out. (A high-ranking member of the Pentagon is denigrating the jets for their defects even as they’re being declared ready for combat.) Throw in the average price of $135 million a plane and pilot helmets that will run $400,000 apiece, and the total cost of the F-35 program will exceed $1.1 trillion
In case you’ve been wondering where your hard-earned tax dollars go, now you know.
Recent efforts to reel in costs have bordered on satire. In July, Lockheed Martin announced plans to spend an additional $170 million as part of a cost-reduction program that it claimed would reduce other costs by $1 billion over five years. Then just a month later, the Pentagon approved an additional $1 billion for Lockheed Martin to offset the aerospace company’s costs to suppliers, effectively wiping out whatever taxpayer savings Lockheed had been touting just weeks earlier."