Donald Trump wants truth of Joint Strike Fighter program, by Robert Gottliebsen.
Trump is discovering that nowhere in the so-called US government “swamp” is the water deeper and more contaminated than in Pentagon equipment purchasing and, in particular, the Joint Strike Fighter.
Shares in JSF developer Lockheed Martin had risen close to 30 per cent from their low point in January as the market believed the Lockheed public relations and predictions of huge JSF profits.
But, thanks to Donald Trump, truth is finally starting to emerge. …
No one will ever forget when the Australian defence officials “forgot” to include the cost of the plane’s engine when estimating the cost to gullible Australian politicians. …
The F-35A while being towed at the Inauguration Ceremony on July 7th, 2006. Still not fully functional, nor meeting specifications, a decade late. A light bomber dressed up as a fighter. See Is The F-35 Being Kept Alive Just To Fleece The Foreign Buyers?
The Pentagon found to be misleading and prevaricating:
The break out of JSF truth actually started more than a year ago when, in an October 2015 radio interview, Trump criticised the JSF’s cost and then added that he had heard “that it’s not very good” and that “existing planes are better.” (Trump could have added that the Russians and Chinese are developing better aircraft than the JSF and the F22, which currently gives US air superiority, is ageing.) …
Michael Gilmore, the defence department’s director of operational test and evaluation (i.e. the chief JSF tester) … warned [Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain] that Pentagon officials have been preparing misleading assessments of progress on the JSF — the most expensive US weapons program.
“If not changed, the existing responses would at best be considered misleading and at worst, prevarications.” …
Trump onto it:
Trump has taken up the JSF issue on Twitter and. the incoming US commander-in-chief blasted the JSF as an example of wasteful Washington cronyism.
Trump: “Look at the F-35 (JSF) program with the money, the hundreds of billions of dollars.”
“It’s out of control. And the people that are making these deals for the government, they should never be allowed to go to work for these companies. You know, they make a deal like that and two or three years later, you see them working for these companies that made the deal.”
Australian defense officials sorely wanting:
Australia’s defence equipment culture is also clearly in need of reform. Cameron’s Stewart’s incredible revelations in The Australian involving the submarine contract, where the defence chiefs knew about the leaked material well before the contract was let, shows just how out of touch they have become.