Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level
and then beat you with experience.” -- Mark Twain

"Colt .45s; putting bad guys underground since 1873." -- Unknown

"Stay Strapped or Get Clapped." -- probably not Mr. Rogers

"Let’s eat all of these people!” — Venom

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Monday, February 15, 2021

F-35 Turkey

F-35, the airplane that keeps on giving.

F-35 fighter plane engines are in short supply, with the solution months away, causing the Defense Department to reduce its schedule of exhibition flights and to start planning for a shortage as soon as 2022.

The Defense Department's F-35 office has advised that about five to six percent of the U.S. F-35 fleet could be without useable engines by 2022, and up to 20 percent of the plane's fleet could be sidelined by 2025.
...
Additionally, overheating issues in F-35A engines have caused premature cracks in turbine blade coatings, causing shortened engine life and leading to backlogs at already overwhelmed repair facilities, Bloomberg News reported.

One has to wonder whether or not the Air Force shoulc be forbidden from contracting for anything more complex than a set of safety scissors. They shouldn't be in the business of designing and contracting for airplanes, just as the Army shouldn't be in the business of designing and contracting for rifles.

But the Army, at least, has over two centuries' worth of experience at fucking up that process. The Zoomies have a ways to go.

9 comments:

Paul said...

There are several things affecting this:

The entire bidding / acquisitions system is corrupt and self-serving: half the officers involved in it are biding their time to get hired by the corporations they're dealing with when they retire to a cushy office job.

The time lapse between the start of the process and its conclusion is in years, during which advancements in technology and engineering make the original project obsolete. There is no attempt to plan ahead to make the new craft/weapons forwards-compatible.

The construction of a specific craft/weapon tends to be farmed out to subsidiary companies/vendors who don't share or communicate well with others, all part of the process to spread out the project to enough congressional districts and states to make elected officials happy. As a result, certain parts suddenly become unavailable or untenable when a particular provider can't keep up with demand or is no longer in operation. As a result, there was no plan to make the F-35 compatible to other engines if need be.

The entire Dept of Defense needs to go through a serious overhaul on how it takes bids for new equipment, new transports, new attack vehicles, etc. There needs to be greater accountability to ensure our soldiers are getting the best possible tools to help them serve our nation.

Paul said...

Just remember before the F-35, there were serious problems with the F-22.

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/f-22_b_1474000

Ten Bears said...

Complexity is the enemy of equity.

And then there are the Ospreys. That fly more like turkeys than fisher-eagles but more to the point it's impressive they fly at all. I can't imagine slingin' a load under one.

It's like them automatic cars: what happens when the computer fails?

Frank Wilhoit said...

What Paul says is true as far as it goes, but it does not even obliquely acknowledge the truth...

...which is that government procurement -- which mostly means Federal procurement, which mostly means DOD procurement -- keeps most of the rest of the real economy going. It is a continuous stimulus program, whose nominal purposes enable it to avoid some of the scrutiny and some of the ideological minefields that it would face if its true purpose were openly admitted.

If the "waste" in government procurement were suddenly brought to an end, the economy would simply and completely stop, and there would be no way to start it back up again.

Comrade Misfit said...

Frank, one of the problems is that if you don't give enough work to the military-industrial complex to keep them running, when you really need them, you're screwed.

The Brits used to design and build their own submarines. They still build them, but they've had to turn to Electric Boat for design "help".

Jack the Cold Warrior said...

Just another among many reasons to keep the A-10 for Close Air Support (CAS). The idea that the F-35 could take it's place in low to medium AA threat areas has always been insane.

A ongoing upgrade program is going to make the A-10 even more lethal and keep it flying to at least 2035...

My personal memory of the A-10 is watching them practice CAS at Grafenwöhr Training area in Germany as an LT in a mech Infantry Battalion in the late 70's. It made me feel like we now had a good chance against the Warsaw Pact if the gallon ever went up...

https://youtu.be/Wk6G2DcN3ZY

Jack the Cold Warrior said...

Correction:

"...if the balloon ever went up..."

Frank Wilhoit said...

@Comrade Misfit,

Famously, if perhaps apocryphally, Einstein is reported to have said that he had no idea what the weapons of World War III would be, but that those of World War IV would be rocks.

It is now clear that the weapon of World War III will be software.

None of the toys upon which dozens of trillions of dollars have been spent will ever be used. Their only value is in the trickle down of (part of) that money to suppliers, and their suppliers, etc.

Comrade Misfit said...

Weapons designers, for generations, have said that their goal was to make war too horrible to contemplate. When it comes to wars between major powers, we may be there. There is an argument to be made that nuclear weapons have averted one or two more Indo-Pakistan wars.

That works until it doesn't.