Tag Archives: f-35

United Technologies: Black Hawks for Brunei & Billions from a Boondoggle

United Technologies: Black Hawks for Brunei & Billions from a Boondoggle

Doing his part to promote the ever-increasing export of aircraft and weapons to shoot them down “made in America” by our Military and Prison Industrial Complexes, last week U.S. Arms-Dealer-in-Chief Barack Hussein Bushbama wrapped up his 9-day Asia-Pacific sales trip by touting $25 billion in new orders from our “allies” in the region.  Principal beneficiaries included prison labor exploiter Boeing and other Top 10 war profiteers such as GE and United Technologies, whose Sikorsky subsidiary came away with a $325 million order for Black Hawk helicopters from the Brunei Ministry of Defense:

http://tinyurl.com/c86qujr

How a tiny Islamic sultanate of only 400,000 people can afford $325 million worth of “Death from Above” and what they plan to do with it are intriguing questions for you and I, but probably of little concern to United Technologies.  Following the money suggests that maintaining their Pratt & Whitney unit’s multi-billion dollar stake in the trillion dollar F-35 Joint Strike Fighter boondoggle takes precedence over any sales to the Sultan:

http://tinyurl.com/c874w4t

Pratt & Whitney produces the F135 engine that powers the “next generation” F-35 fighter jet, which according to a study by the Rand Corporation “can’t turn, can’t climb, can’t run”.  Beginning with a $4.8 billion development contract awarded just weeks after 9/11 gave our defense industry the keys to the Treasury, by 2010 the cost to “complete” the F135 engine was estimated at over $7.28 billion.  On top of that, earlier this year the Department of Defense (DoD) awarded Pratt & Whitney $1.13 billion for F135 engine production, and this month the U.S. Navy gave them another $75 million “to fund a set of studies on feasibility, operational readiness, cost, and implementation of the Joint Strike Fighter engines, which are already in production.  [The money is] in addition to the roughly $16 million each engine costs the government…”

http://tinyurl.com/cre3ntk

http://tinyurl.com/cxf5tfk

http://tinyurl.com/bnv9l5s

Did you catch that last part?  The Navy is paying a defense contractor $75 million to study the “feasibility, readiness and cost” of their own product!  What do you think their conclusion will be?

The insanity doesn’t end there…  Pratt & Whitney’s potential slice of the trillion dollar F-35 pie is estimated at $100 billion.  That caught the eye of GE and Rolls Royce, who teamed up to offer the “F136” as an alternative engine.  Against the Pentagon’s wishes, a Congress awash in GE payola (over $30 million in contributions since 1989, and over $245 million in lobbying since 1997) funded development of the second engine right up until last April when – in a rare display of fiscal integrity, or more likely deference to the millions United Technologies invested in lobbying and PR (e.g. F135engine.com) for its demise – the DoD pulled the plug on the secondary engine program:

http://tinyurl.com/co3u78c

http://tinyurl.com/6xavbqb

http://tinyurl.com/7mkv2zs

http://tinyurl.com/8xw8hjc

Whether that plug remains pulled is anybody’s guess, but I’d wager the madness will continue until We the People pull the plug on what is euphemistically called our “Defense Aerospace Industry”:

http://tinyurl.com/cm3uqbo

Related Image:

http://ldrlongdistancerider.com/images/BlackHawks_Brunei_Sultan_Salesman.jpg

Related Videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8y06NSBBRtY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6G2oGHCAJ8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDC7f1LItN8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iC0h0-HYGy4

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The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter: A One Trillion Dollar Boondoggle That is “Too Big to Fail”

F-35 Joint Strike Fighter: A One Trillion Dollar Boondoggle

The constitutionality of “the United States Congress Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction” a.k.a. “the Supercommittee” created on August 2nd by the “Budget Control Act of 2011” is a question few of our corporate-controlled politicians or media pundits have the intestinal fortitude to debate.  And we don’t have the bandwidth to address the issue here, so we leave it for now to you, the reader, to pursue:

http://tinyurl.com/6opzswr

Regardless of legitimacy, the Supercommittee is charged with issuing a recommendation for at least $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction over the next decade by this Wednesday, November 23rd.  If it fails to agree on a package or the full Congress fails to pass it, a so-called “trigger mechanism” would enact $1.2 trillion in “automatic spending cuts” which cannot be traced back to any specific Senator or Representative.  This fiction thus enables our politicians to make unpopular budget cuts without any personal accountability to their constituents or the American people as a whole.

Allegedly included in those automatic spending cuts is a $600 million reduction in defense spending – which may actually be a reduction in future increases only, and therefore not really a reduction at all.  Real or not, if those “cuts” are triggered then CIA Director turned Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta says one of the first casualties will be the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program:

http://tinyurl.com/7g2hfta

That makes perfect sense from the perspective of those at the Pentagon and elsewhere who DON’T WANT THIS PLANE (*** watch the video series linked below ***).  In the following article published by The Atlantic, author Dominic Tierney tells the rest of this shocking tale of unbridled corporate greed, political corruption and wanton Washington waste:

[Start of The Atlantic article]

THE F-35: A WEAPON THAT COSTS MORE THAN AUSTRALIA

The U.S. will ultimately spend $1 trillion for these fighter planes. Where’s the outrage over Washington’s culture of waste?

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is an impressive aircraft: a fifth generation multirole fighter plane with stealth technology. It’s also a symbol of everything that’s wrong with defense spending in America.  In a rational world, U.S. military expenditure would focus on the likely threats that the United States faces today and in the future.  And at a time of mounting national debt, the Tea Party would be knocking down the Pentagon’s door to cut waste.  But the only tea party in sight is the one overseen by the Mad Hatter, as we head down the rabbit hole into the military industrial wonderland.

The F-35 is designed to be the core tactical fighter aircraft for the U.S. military, with three versions for the Air Force, Navy, and the Marine Corps.  Each plane clocks in at around $90 million.  In a decade’s time, the United States plans to have 15 times as many modern fighters as China, and 20 times as many as Russia.

So, how many F-35s do we need?  100?  500?  Washington intends to buy 2,443, at a price tag of $382 billion.  Add in the $650 billion that the Government Accountability Office estimates is needed to operate and maintain the aircraft, and the total cost reaches a staggering $1 trillion.  In other words, we’re spending more on this plane than Australia’s entire GDP ($924 billion).

The F-35 is the most expensive defense program in history, and reveals massive cost overruns, a lack of clear strategic thought, and a culture in Washington that encourages incredible waste.  Money is pouring into the F-35 vortex.  In 2010, Pentagon officials found that the cost of each plane had soared by over 50 percent above the original projections.  The program has fallen years behind schedule, causing billions of dollars of additional expense, and won’t be ready until 2016.  An internal Pentagon report concluded that: “affordability is no longer embraced as a core pillar.”  In January 2011, even Defense Secretary Robert Gates, a champion of the aircraft, voiced his frustration: “The culture of endless money that has taken hold must be replaced by a culture of restraint.”

The F-35 is meant to be the future of U.S. tactical airpower, but the program harks back to the Cold War, when we faced an aggressive great power rival.  The world has changed.  The odds of great power war have declined dramatically.  We still need a deterrent capacity against China and Russia, but how much is enough?  In a decade’s time, the United States plans to have 15 times as many modern fighters as China, and 20 times as many as Russia.  Meanwhile, new challenges and threats have emerged.  We should be focusing our military spending on the types of campaigns that we’re actually likely to face: complex asymmetric wars against weaker opponents, where manpower and intelligence are critical.

And it’s hard to square the military largesse with our rampant debt.  Republicans want to slash billions from programs like early education, in Representative Jeb Hensarling’s words, to “save our children from bankruptcy.”  So where is the outrage at the F-35’s outlandish cost?

Some just don’t seem to care.  When it comes to defense, Republicans are the champions of big government and massive expenditure.  The F-35 is too big to fail.  At the same time, many Democrats keep quiet for fear of looking weak on defense – unless, like Senator Bernie Sanders, they’re from Vermont.  Other politicians are bought off with pork.  Defense suppliers are spread throughout dozens of states, giving everyone a reason to look the other way.

Any serious effort to balance the federal budget will require significant cuts in defense spending.  And the F-35 is a prime target.  The 2010 bipartisan Bowles-Simpson Commission on deficit reduction suggested canceling the Marine Corps’s version of the F-35, and halving the number of F-35s for the Air Force and Navy – replacing them with current generation F-16s, which cost one-third as much.  This would save close to $30 billion from 2011 to 2015.  The plan went nowhere.

We used to be content to outspend Australia on aircraft.  Now we literally spend Australia on aircraft.

[End of The Atlantic article]

http://tinyurl.com/4du5ftc

Related Images:

http://ldrlongdistancerider.com/images/F-35_JSF_JointStrikeFighter_Trillion_Dollar_Boondoggle.jpg

Related Videos:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQB4W8C0rZI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8kssZua8MVc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nh2Gnxa_fTw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhGIglwmFB8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TS7O14nzrzE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IAHU7AVmPx4

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