Journal: Pentagon Acquisition

03 Economy, 10 Security, Corruption, Military
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Pentagon’s Favorite Jet Delayed as Costs Rise Yet Again

Add another several billion dollars and years in delays to the military’s most important new jet. Nearly a year after Defense Secretary Robert Gates fired the head of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program for failing to keep costs and performance under control, a new internal Pentagon review finds the $382 billion stealth plane might get pushed back as much as three years, with an added $5 billion price tag.

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The delay is due to a host of problems central to the aircraft, including “software, engineering and flight difficulties,” according to Bloomberg. Fixing them will require jacking program costs up an estimated $5 billion. Worse, Venlet’s review is supposed to find that the Joint Strike Fighter will be “as much as 1 1/2 times more expensive to maintain” as the F-16, the F/A-18, the A-10 and the AV-8B — the planes the Joint Strike Fighter is supposed to replace.

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Phi Beta Iota: The literature on complexity & catastrophe is quite clear–one cannot micro-manage complexity, and the Pentagon keeps trying to do precisely that: build more and more complex systems that fail in unanticipated cummulative ways.  The mind-set is broken, and no amount of money can fix that mind-set.  It is going to take a kick-ass Secretary of Defense willing to actually do a clean-sheet redesign of Whole of Government and M4IS2 operations, using information and intelligence to reconnect PPBS to reality, and to harmonize other people’s money.  What we have now is flat out nuts, unaffordable, and ineffective.

See Also:

2010: Human Intelligence (HUMINT) Trilogy Updated

2010: OPINION–America’s Cyber Scam

2009 Perhaps We Should Have Shouted: A Twenty-Year Restrospective

2008 U.S. Naval Power in the 21st Century

Election 2008 Chapter: The Substance of Governance

2008 Rebalancing the Instruments of National Power–Army Strategy Conference of 2008 Notes, Summary, & Article

2001 Threats, Strategy, and Force Structure: An Alternative Paradigm for National Security

2000 Presidential Leadership and National Security Policy Making

1999 Virtual Intelligence: Conflict Avoidance and Resolution through Information Peacekeeping (Journal of Conflict Resolution, Spring 1999)

1998 JFQ The Asymmetric Threat: Listening to the Debate