This illustrates the "cost-plus" contracting culture that drives up weapon development costs and delays programs. Then there is the question of what is the mission of a fifth generation stealth fighter when the fourth and third generation versions can maintain what amounts to U.S. air superiority.
This reminds me of watching "Battle of the X Planes" on Nova when it was first broadcast in 2003 on the contest between Lockheed Martin and Boeing to win the JSF contract. DOD had said that they wanted an affordable fighter. Boeing emphasized our plane is affordable, the airframe was designed to be built with fewer assemblies, and advanced manufacturing technologies transferred from our airliner business will be used, both to keep costs down. LM pointed to the Raptor and said we know how to build the best performing fighters. Guess who won. With hindsight, perhaps DOD chose the wrong supplier.
In an article about "DoD's achievement awards", I'd be interested to hear about some programs that won the award and how they saved money. These award winners should have some lessons learned that could help the programs that did NOT win awards because they did not save money. Showing how the award winners could have prevent waste in the remaining programs would make for a VERY interesting and helpful article.
George, there is a reason your readership is in decline, just like the Washington Post that you proudly reference. I do not wish to try to educate you and explain the massive changes the industry has gone through to impove performance, but you should have done more research before you and Junko dog pile on a bunch of hard working innovators in the US. Please add a delete account button.
I wonder what you have to really do to get the award? While I am all for supporting our troops with working systems and the best in weapons it seems that if we had a tighter control over these types of "cost overruns" we would have a lot more to spend taking care of the troops and providing properly maintained systems. I guess that is just "crazy talk" (as a friend of mine was fond of saying). What ever happened to fixed price contracts? Are they not considered due to the complexity and technical challenges that must be faced when developing new systems?
Thanks for bringing this to our attention. I mean, defining Value Engineering (VE) as “an important contributor to the ‘Better Buying Power’ program of continuous improvement in defense acquisition” is definitely a joke. Who knew?
No, it's not a joke. We've got thousands of troops fighting overseas who are getting limbs blown off everyday. These troops then come home and find they can't get any relief from the stresses of battle. Believe me, I'd prefer to see these funds spent on education, health care and the other things you mentioned. But the funds I'm referring to happen to reside in the DoD budget. My point is we don't need a new fighter, we need to take care of our troops.
"That’s $7.9 billion that won’t be available to U.S. troops fighting in Afghanistan."
Is this a joke? Or are you really complaining that one ridiculously bloated military-industrial program is keeping money from being spent on another ridiculously bloated military-industrial program? That's also $7.9 M that won't be returned to the taxpayer; or spent on infrastructure, schools, healthcare, etc... Do those not count since they aren't directly related to killing people in other countries?