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

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

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Monday, December 12, 2016

Little Crappy Ships; a Synopsis (With an Update)

This is a pretty good writeup of the debacle that the program has become.

At this point, if Donald Trump and Gen. Mathis take a meataxe to Ft. Fumble, I will do little more than cheer them on. All across the board, the services can't run programs worth a fuck. The Army has made a hash of the M9 pistol replacement program and they so fucked up the M4 replacement that the decision was made to stick with that little carbine. The Tri-Service F-35 has been a serious clusterfuck. The Air Force's KC-46 program has been a horror show. The F-22 program was so delayed and so over-budget that the planned buy went from 650 airplanes down to 187 airplanes. The B-2 went from 132 airplanes to 21. The Navy's fuckups (LCS, LPD-17, USS Zumwalt, USS Ford) are the stuff of legend.

Here's one example: The initial design requirement specs for the F-22 took up almost 90 pages in the 1980s. The Army's design requirement specs for the replacement pistol ran 357 pages.

Much of this is basically embedded dishonesty bordering on corruption. The services and the contractors lowball the program costs and far underestimate the time it will take to design, test, make and deploy the gizmos. They do that because Congress essentially lets them get away with it. Then when the inevitable 250%+ cost overruns take place and it takes five times as long to get the gizmos into service, Congress is shocked, shocked.

Both the Congress and the press pretend, each time, that it's epic mismanagement and failure to control costs. They blithely ignore the plain truth that the system is working exactly the way that the services and yes, the Congress, intend it to function.

So at this point, one might well conclude that poorly-managed procurement programs are not a bug, but a feature.

UPDATE: "Alleged warship"-- pretty damning, and accurate.


3383 said...

The Polaris method worked great. Throw whatever money it takes, but there is a time limit.

The New York Crank said...

Here's a possible solution to cost overruns,

1. You, Mr. Contractor submit a very, very careful estimate. Unless you don't think the project is doable, in which case you submit nothing.

2. The Gov-mint put 25% down on signing, pays another 30% when the project is deemed half completed, the balance when you deliver the contracted-for weapons in full. No delivery, no money. And if you fail to deliver after a predetermined date, the government claws back its pre-payments.

Works for home construction and repairs, sewers, automobile repairs, and so on. Ought to work for a pistol. I'm just saying.

Yours very crankily,
The New York Crank

deadstick said...

The "alleged warship" link is slashdotted...

CenterPuke88 said...

Take a simple approach. Specs are to replace "X". Competition will be held between "X" and all submitted designs, using tests based upon intended use, no stipulations, the testers will comprise a group of persons select to cover 80% of standard body sizes. Every submitted design shall have a price per unit, fixed for 5 years of production at "Y" units per year...if you can make it cheaper in that time, you make more money, costs more, you eat it.

Anyone involved in judging the tests shall be prohibited from enployment in any related industry for 10 years.

3383 said...

USS Zumwalt isn't doing any better marooned in Panama.