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posted by Fnord666 on Monday January 29 2018, @01:13PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the flying-money-pit dept.

Testing Director says the expensive F-35s are not combat-ready, unreliable, and components need redesign

Overall fleet-wide monthly availability rates remain around 50 percent, a condition that has existed with no significant improvement since October 2014, despite the increasing number of new aircraft. One notable trend is an increase in the percentage of the fleet that cannot fly while awaiting replacement parts – indicated by the Not Mission Capable due to Supply rate.

[...] Total acquisition costs for Lockheed Martin Corp.'s next-generation fighter may rise about 7 percent to $406.5 billion, according to figures in a document known as a Selected Acquisition Report. That's a reversal after several years of estimates that had declined to $379 billion recently from a previous high of $398.5 billion in early 2014.

$122 billion has been spent on the F35 program up until the end of 2017. $10-15 billion will be spent each year through 2022. This is detailed in a 100 page F-35 spending summary report.

FY17 DOD PROGRAMS: F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF)

Related: The F-35 Fighter Plane Is Even More of a Mess Than You Thought
The F-35: A Gold-Plated Turkey
Flawed and Potentially Deadly F-35 Fighters Won't be Ready Before 2019
Lockheed Martin Negotiating $37 Billion F-35 Deal
Does China's J-20 Rival Other Stealth Fighters?


Original Submission

Related Stories

The F-35 Fighter Plane Is Even More of a Mess Than You Thought 79 comments

The US military's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft is proving to be a pain in the neck in more ways than one. Not only did the Pentagon spend almost $400 billion to buy 2,400 aircraft - about twice as much as it cost to put a man on the moon - the F-35 program is 7 years behind schedule and $163 billion over budget. This at a time when cuts in the defense budget are forcing the Pentagon to shrink the size of the military. CBS 60 Minutes took a closer look at the troubled fighter plane a few months back, but their rebroadcast on Sunday evening seems like as good a reason as any to revisit one of the biggest ongoing budget debacles in U.S. military memory. David Martin gets an inside look at what makes the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter the most expensive weapons system in history.

The F-35: A Gold-Plated Turkey 23 comments

I think this is a first for S/N: An audio presentation as a story.

The other day I heard Pierre Sprey, the primary designer of the F-16 and A-10, talking to journalist Ian Masters about the F-35 attack jet. This guy is a fascinating speaker.

Topics: Politics and military procurement;

  • Graft; bribery.
  • How, after an aircraft becomes a multi-role multi-service platform, it is not a "common" airframe any longer.
  • Vertical takeoff and landing to support ground troops is nonsense. (It churns up too much crap on anything except when using a giant concrete slab.)
  • Trying to put VTOL and supersonic capability into the same aircraft is just stupid.
  • When plastic aircraft burn, they produce toxic smoke.

It's about 20 minutes in length, but if your media player has a speed control, you can listen to it in less time than that.
The high bitrate version at Ian's site is 19MB. Mr.Sprey is the 3rd of 3 guests.
The low bitrate webcast at KPFK's archive is 14MB for all 3 guests.
KPFK also has a stream.
The 3rd segment is from 36:30 to 55:00.
KPFK's stuff will be available until mid-October.

Flawed and Potentially Deadly F-35 Fighters Won't be Ready Before 2019 57 comments

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II multirole fighter plane has numerous software and hardware flaws. So many, in fact, that it won't be ready to deploy before 2019:

The F-35 multirole fighter won't be close to ready before 2019, the US House Armed Services Committee was told on Wednesday. The aircraft, which is supposed to reinvigorate the American military's air power, is suffering numerous problems, largely down to flaws in the F-35's operating system. These include straightforward code crashes, having to reboot the radar every four hours, and serious security holes in the code.

Michael Gilmore, the Pentagon's director of operational test and evaluation, reported that the latest F-35 operating system has 931 open, documented deficiencies, 158 of which are Category 1 – classified as those that could cause death, severe injury, or severe illness. "The limited and incomplete F-35 cybersecurity testing accomplished to date has nonetheless revealed deficiencies that cannot be ignored," Gilmore said in his testimony [PDF]. "Cybersecurity testing on the next increment of ALIS [Autonomic Logistics Information System] – version 2.0.2 – is planned for this fall, but may need to be delayed because the program may not be able to resolve some key deficiencies and complete content development and fielding as scheduled."

He reported that around 60 per cent of aircraft used for testing were grounded due to software problems. He cited one four-aircraft exercise that had to be cancelled after two of the four aircraft aborted "due to avionics stability problems during startup."


Original Submission

Lockheed Martin Negotiating $37 Billion F-35 Deal 5 comments

Lockheed Martin Corp is in the final stages of negotiating a deal worth more than $37 billion to sell a record 440 F-35 fighter jets to a group of 11 nations including the United States, two people familiar with the talks said.

This would be the biggest deal yet for the stealthy F-35 jet, which is set to make its Paris Airshow debut this week.

The sale represents a major shift in sales practices from annual purchases to more economic multi-year deals that lower the cost of each jet.

The pricing of the jets was still not final, though the average price of the 440 jets was expected to be $85 million, the people said on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the negotiations publicly.

The multi-year deal for the fighters will consist of three tranches over fiscal years 2018-2020.

[...] Last week, representatives from 11 F-35 customer nations met in Baltimore, Maryland to discuss terms and toured a Northrop Grumman Corp (NOC.N) facility in Maryland that provides equipment for the jet. Those nations included Australia, Denmark, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Turkey, South Korea, Britain and the United States.


Original Submission

Does China’s J-20 Rival Other Stealth Fighters? 61 comments

Has the People's Republic caught up?

The Chengdu J-20 marks the first entry of a multirole stealth fighter into China's armed forces. According to the Department of Defense (DOD), China views stealth technology as a core component in the transformation of its air force from "a predominantly territorial air force to one capable of conducting both offensive and defensive operations." Designed for enhanced stealth and maneuverability, the J-20 has the potential to provide China with a variety of previously unavailable air combat options and enhance its capability to project power.

As an advanced multirole stealth fighter, it is speculated that the J-20 can fulfill both air-to-air and air-to-ground combat roles for the People's Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) and the aviation branch of the People's Liberation Army Navy (referred to as either Naval Aviation or the PLAN-AF). According to PLAAF Senior Colonel Shen Jinke, the J-20 will enhance the overall combat capability of China's air force. A 2016 report by the DOD states that the J-20 represents a critical step in China's efforts to develop "advanced aircraft to improve its regional power projection capabilities and to strengthen its ability to strike regional airbases and facilities." In 2014, the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission described the J-20 as "more advanced than any other fighter currently deployed by Asia Pacific countries."


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by bradley13 on Monday January 29 2018, @01:29PM (11 children)

    by bradley13 (3053) Subscriber Badge on Monday January 29 2018, @01:29PM (#629797) Homepage Journal

    Pork generation successful, and continuing.

    --
    Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
    • (Score: 5, Funny) by stormreaver on Monday January 29 2018, @01:59PM (10 children)

      by stormreaver (5101) on Monday January 29 2018, @01:59PM (#629801)

      If the U.S. wants strategic air superiority, we need to scrap the F35 program here at home, and gift the entire fleet to China and/or Russia. We would immediately cripple their entire air defense program.

      • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday January 29 2018, @05:07PM

        by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday January 29 2018, @05:07PM (#629877) Journal
        But it wouldn't be very stealthy.
      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by bob_super on Monday January 29 2018, @05:25PM (8 children)

        by bob_super (1357) on Monday January 29 2018, @05:25PM (#629888)

        We can also throw in the F22s, which are so expensive we can't use them for anything risky (and they have no actual role, given we currently don't need air superiority), so fragile and hard to maintain they can't go to many bases, and have such a short range they're useless against the few real enemies who could be a future challenge.
        At that flight-hour cost, that'd be the last straw.

        I can't wait until we have the full cost of the new bomber, so that we may marvel at the trifecta of useless shiny USAF toys, while drones do the actual "work" (terrorist generator, that it).

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 29 2018, @08:20PM (7 children)

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 29 2018, @08:20PM (#630005)

          There are plenty of reasons to want you to think the F-22 is a failure. The military doesn't want foes to know how good it is. The democrats, particularly Obama, weren't about to appreciate a plane being built in Alabama, a red state that is useless to them. Other defense contractors, the ones that didn't get the F-22 contract, would prefer to move on to a new project that they might win the contract for. People who hate America will of course dislike any American fighter... say, is there a modern American fighter that you would enthusiastically support?

          What we really ought to do is a "B" version of the plane. The F-22 is generally the best fighter in the world, but it is missing 2 features found on the F-35. The first is helmet-based cuing. This lets the pilot direct the missile to make an immediate turn right after launch, based on the pilot's head angle. The second is new-style air intakes, allowing for supersonic flight without moving parts or a gap around the intake. You can recognize these on the F-35 and on some Chinese jets by the lump on the body that occurs right in front of the intake. The older intakes instead have a gap between the intake and the body.

          • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Monday January 29 2018, @09:50PM (4 children)

            by bob_super (1357) on Monday January 29 2018, @09:50PM (#630048)

            > The military doesn't want foes to know how good it is.

            Of course, the whole point of a Doomsday Machine is lost if you KEEP IT A SECRET! Why didn't you tell the world, eh?

            As for the rest, read the history of the plane a bit. Start at Wikipedia. Even there, you will learn a few things.
            And ...

            > People who hate America will of course dislike any American fighter...

            Not even remotely close to starting a maneuver that would eventually lead to potentially approaching a semblance of truth.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 30 2018, @12:30AM (3 children)

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 30 2018, @12:30AM (#630119)

              I assume you don't want the F-22 despite the imperfections. OK, what do you think we should buy lots of?

              a. F-35
              b. F-15 "Silent Eagle"
              c. F/A-18D and F/A-18E
              d. F-23

              If there isn't one you'd like to get at least a few thousand of, then despite your protest you clearly are uninterested in America. You'd rather have Russia and China running the world unchallenged. You'd rather not be able to do anything about stuff like ISIS or the invasion of Kuwait. You don't even want to defend our territory.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 30 2018, @01:33AM

                by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 30 2018, @01:33AM (#630134)

                you clearly are uninterested in America

                You aren't describing "defense".
                You're describing AGGRESSION.
                (If the Air Farce is about "defense", why weren't the airliners on 9/11 intercepted?)

                You'd rather have Russia and China running the world unchallenged

                What flavor is that kool aid you drank?
                You'd have to add together what the next 11 countries spend on their militaries to equal what USA.gov spends on its.

                Military procurement is all about further enriching the 1 Percent and that has a really lousy fiscal multiplier effect.

                USA has 900 military bases in 130 foreign countries.
                How do you feel about another nation having military bases in USA?
                Again, what USA.mil does is AGGRESSION.
                Dial back on that and THAT is how you get a safer world.

                The reason militaries exist is to loot other countries.

                ISIS

                The countries where they are have national sovereignty.
                USA breaching those borders to preemptively murder civilians there is counter to international law.
                Again, think of some other country doing that to USA.

                The standard practice for dealing with lawbreakers is extradition.
                Using the military to do "law enforcement" is 11 kinds of wrong.

                the invasion of Kuwait

                You should learn a little history.
                USA.gov gave Iraq permission to do that (having already supplied Saddam with weapons), then changed its mind.
                Your gov't is made up of 2-faced sons of bitches.

                -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

              • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Tuesday January 30 2018, @01:34AM (1 child)

                by bob_super (1357) on Tuesday January 30 2018, @01:34AM (#630135)

                Interesting attitude...

                The F-22 was designed for a dogfighting war that's not about to happen. It's the best thing by so much margin it hasn't had anything to do. Dropping a few bombs on Syria doesn't count, an F-15 or 16 could have done the same job cheaper. Now, the Chinese and Russians are developing new fighters which the F-22 will never fight directly, but against which it is a deterrent. If the F22 was exported to other countries, it would potentially get to stretch its legs one day. As a US fighter, it serves the same purpose as a nuke: don't mess with the place which has one. But hey, would you mess with the US without it? Their range, price, and maintenance logistics means they just don't fit in an offensive scenario.

                The F-35 is needed, because the F16/15/18 have their limits, being airframes designed before computers became central to the job.
                The two main design flaws of the F35 are known (besides the cost/procurement):
                  - Stealth requirement, which may not be useful, added serious design constraints. Big opponents can likely see through stealth, while little guys are not a threat. In most deployments for the lifespan of that plane, stealth will be irrelevant.
                  - USMC STOVL requirement hurt the overall performance, even in non-STOVL variants
                It's a decent bird, but a 21st century version of the F16 (or F15/18, if forced by carriers, but they now seem ok with single engine), not burdened by those two requirements, would be equally as useful, have better overall specs, and likely a much better price and availability.
                Look at Eurofighter and Rafale, both designed a while back without those two constraints (they are only moderately stealthy). Try to imagine what the US could have come up with given the budget gap.

                > then despite your protest you clearly are uninterested in America.
                > You'd rather have Russia and China running the world unchallenged. You'd rather not be able
                > to do anything about stuff like ISIS or the invasion of Kuwait. You don't even want to defend our territory.

                How many F35 in Kuwait? How many F22 against ISIS? Are you going Poe's Law?

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 30 2018, @03:49AM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 30 2018, @03:49AM (#630167)

                  We often fail at secrecy. Consider what the Soviets did with tanks. Crews trained with older tanks. The newer ones were secret. When it came time for combat, the crews were given the new tanks and a day to familiarize themselves with the differences.

                  The F-22 wasn't sold outside the USA. That needs to be the standard for our best equipment.

                  It is foolish to risk losing our best equipment over enemy territory. In the conflict in the remains of Yugoslavia, we lost an F-117. It was promptly sold to China. The same happened with a stealth helicopter in the Osama raid.

                  Stealth is not a boolean. Everybody can see through stealth if they have a huge high-power antenna running at a relatively low frequency, but that kind of equipment doesn't fit in a small-diameter missile seeker. Getting a brief detection is not the same as continuous tracking.

                  Kuwait was done with the high-end technology of the day. The F-16 and F-15 used in that war can be considered equal to the F-35 and F-22 in a war that happens within the next decade or two. We didn't fight Kuwait with the P-51. We need to prepare for wars of the future. If we stick with the F-16 and F-15, it'd be like bringing a P-51 to the fight in Iraq.

                  You say "The F-22 was designed for a dogfighting war that's not about to happen." Why? Is such a war unthinkable, maybe like WWII was unthinkable in the 1930s? (it being so terrible that we can't consider the possibility) Failure to prepare for wars of the future means you lose. Note that you can sometimes win or lose without fighting; the behavior of nations is affected by perceived ability to fight a war.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 30 2018, @12:53AM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 30 2018, @12:53AM (#630127)

            Red state: Yes
            Alabama: NO

            The F-22 is assembled at Lockheed Martin's plant in Marietta, Georgia.
            (It was developed in Palmdale, California AKA Los Angeles County.)

            Production of F-22s was halted at 187 copies.

            ...and the aerospace that's in Alabama is in Huntsville (rockets).

            ought to do [...] a "B" version

            A proposed F-22B two-seat variant was canceled in 1996.
            There was an FB-22 (fighter-bomber) proposed and that was canceled in 2006.

            ...and we've noted before that plastic airplanes are hangar queens.
            The F-35: A Gold-Plated Turkey [soylentnews.org]
            The example given was that if a fuse blows, you have to cut a hole in the aircraft, replace the fuse, use nasty chemicals to patch the hole, and wait days for the glue to cure.

            ...and older, cheaper, longer-wavelength radar picks up "stealth" aircraft anyway.

            -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 30 2018, @03:54AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 30 2018, @03:54AM (#630169)

              You can't put a longer-wavelength radar into the seeker of a small-diameter missile. You mostly can't even fit it into a fighter plane. Long wavelengths require physically large antennas.

              Brief detection of a stealth aircraft is different from continuous tracking. A minor shortcoming of the stealth does not imply total failure. Stealth is still very important.

              BTW: Alabama, Georgia... same thing. :-)

  • (Score: 2) by turgid on Monday January 29 2018, @02:13PM (8 children)

    by turgid (4318) Subscriber Badge on Monday January 29 2018, @02:13PM (#629803) Journal

    The Chinese stealth fighter is very similar to the F35. There are many other Chinese engineering projects very similar to Western ones. Great minds think alike?

    • (Score: 5, Touché) by takyon on Monday January 29 2018, @02:32PM (6 children)

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Monday January 29 2018, @02:32PM (#629808) Journal

      It's just crowdsourcing. The Pentagon and military industrial complex are the crowd being sourced from.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 29 2018, @03:17PM (5 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 29 2018, @03:17PM (#629829)

        Inverse aerial defense plot:

        1. Create cool looking but crippled stealth fighter
        2. Demonstrate maximum commitment to your new fighter investing shitloads of cash in it
        3. Wait for enemies to copy your crap
        4. ...
        5. Profit Win
        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by AndyTheAbsurd on Monday January 29 2018, @04:01PM

          by AndyTheAbsurd (3958) on Monday January 29 2018, @04:01PM (#629843) Journal

          Step 4, in this case, is to keep the fleets of F-15s, F-16s, A-10s, and various late-20th-century bombers whose designations I don't remember functional.

          --
          Please note my username before responding. You may have been trolled.
        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Grishnakh on Monday January 29 2018, @04:46PM (3 children)

          by Grishnakh (2831) on Monday January 29 2018, @04:46PM (#629868)

          It won't work.

          As I understand it, this stealth fighter isn't "crippled" at all, at least not in its basic design, and when it's working, it works well. (I could be wrong, so correct me if I am.) The problem is in production and reliability.

          So in theory, someone else could copy the thing, but do their own design (basically copying the basics of the design but doing the detailed engineering on their own from scratch) for better reliability and do a much better job with production (i.e., make enough parts, and make them cheaply instead of absurdly expensively and make them quickly), and get all the benefits we thought we had, without all the problems we do have, including massive cost overruns.

          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Monday January 29 2018, @06:40PM

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Monday January 29 2018, @06:40PM (#629932) Journal
            Spending hundreds of billions USD to enable Chinese military R&D is a brilliant strategic maneuver.
          • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 29 2018, @08:27PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 29 2018, @08:27PM (#630008)

            China couldn't make jet engines for fighter planes.

            China got the right to build Russian planes. They built just a few, then ended the contract and started building their own. Russia was pissed.

            Since the engines had been made in Russia, China didn't have the factory design for that. The copies were unreliable. Oh well... they worked and performed well. When life is cheap, engine failures aren't such a big deal. Somebody dies, and you build a new plane.

            We're wimpy about that. We get one little problem, and we ground our planes.

            BTW, the reliability problem is getting fixed. Fucking traitors at GE are building commercial passenger engines in China. Those are extremely reliable. That understanding will be applied to military engines.

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 30 2018, @01:45AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 30 2018, @01:45AM (#630136)

              We're wimpy about that

              Clearly, you don't understand the time and expense involved in turning a college graduate into a finely-honed warrior.

              Now, if you want to point to something the other side did that was smart, that was designing Soviet aircraft so that they could operate from unimproved airfields (dirt strips).

              -- OriginalOwner_ [soylentnews.org]

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by isostatic on Monday January 29 2018, @04:26PM

      by isostatic (365) on Monday January 29 2018, @04:26PM (#629856) Journal

      You mean theirs doesn't work either?

      Or are you suggesting buying parts from China

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by Thexalon on Monday January 29 2018, @03:11PM (7 children)

    by Thexalon (636) on Monday January 29 2018, @03:11PM (#629823)

    As George Orwell ruthlessly explains, the point of ridiculous military spending is not to protect the nation or win the war. It's to use up valuable resources on a useless activity, thus allowing the government to deprive its citizens of the resources that would enable them to rebel. The point of the war, in turn, is to create an excuse for ridiculous military spending.

    And of course in the American version, there's all sorts of kickbacks from the big military contractors to ensure their guaranteed profit stream continues unabated as it has ever since the establishment of the Lend-Lease Act of 1941. They had a small brush with serious problems after Mikhail Gorbachev really screwed things up by quitting the game, but the industry was entrenched enough that by the time there was serious effort in the direction of "Why are we spending all this money to defend West Germany from the USSR when both of those countries don't exist anymore?" a new boogieman of international terrorism was found. Terrorists are a better boogieman than Communists are, because they could be anyone, anywhere, so they will never go away - if you crush, say, ISIS, you just define a new set of people as "terrorists" and go after them.

    The way you really know the F-35 is a total scam is that none of the people who really want to attack the US have any fighter aircraft of their own, which makes fancy new fighter aircraft completely 100% useless. Fancy new fighter aircraft also aren't the US's best weapon against China: If we wanted to go after China, we'd instead go after them economically.

    --
    The inverse of "I told you so" is "Nobody could have predicted"
    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 29 2018, @04:52PM (5 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 29 2018, @04:52PM (#629870)

      While I agree with you (and who wouldn't) that military spending can turn into a jobs program / corporate welfare,
      it is not true that America's only enemies/agressive rivals are poor countries.

      The USSR may not exist anymore, but Russia still does and it has invaded and annexed territory basically just yesterday. They and the Chinese have been using their military to harrass US forces on NEUTRAL territory.

      Only the naive think a country doesn't need a robust military to fend off attackers/expansionists who take over allies' territory. The F-35 program in particular may be a bad joke, but military spending in general isn't. (Big projects are always tricky to keep on track.)

      • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Monday January 29 2018, @08:38PM (4 children)

        by Thexalon (636) on Monday January 29 2018, @08:38PM (#630013)

        Russia still does and it has invaded and annexed territory basically just yesterday.

        I'm guessing you're referring to grab of Crimea from Ukraine. Which (a) doesn't threaten the US in any way, (b) they did to retain control of one of their major naval bases, and (c) occurred in the wake of a US-backed coup against their allied (and elected, I might add) government of Ukraine. The Russkies are not exactly the aggressors there.

        As for the Chinese, I'm guessing you're talking about the jockeying around in the South China Sea. That also isn't a threat to the US in any way, although it's annoying (but not actually threatening right now) our allies in the Philippines and Taiwan.

        As for military spending, we spend about 3.5 times what the Chinese spend, and about 8 times what the Russians spend. I'm not convinced we're seeing anything close to good value for our money.

        --
        The inverse of "I told you so" is "Nobody could have predicted"
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 30 2018, @03:50AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 30 2018, @03:50AM (#630168)

          Don't forget Russia's stealing a piece of Georgia (South Ossetia) before that and the takeover of the eastern part of Ukraine.

          US military planes and ships getting HARRASSED in international territory or inside allied territory is nothing other than a threat--a test, really, to see if we are cowards.

          I suppose for you until they actually blow up one of our planes or ships they aren't a threat. It's too late at that point.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 30 2018, @04:04AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 30 2018, @04:04AM (#630174)

          You seem totally ignorant of the benefit of having safe shipping lanes and countries that don't have to worry about being invaded or having their territories with natural resources stolen.

          The United States performs this vital world peace keeping service which is one reason they spend more than other countries that just free ride on the US's services.
          Absent order, other countries would have to build up their militaries and more wars would break out. Police perform a critical service everyone (except crooks maybe) benefits from, and the US is the world's police. Better us than the Chinese.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 30 2018, @06:11AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 30 2018, @06:11AM (#630208)

          That is also ignoring the United States dominion over 80+ percent of the pacific in large part due to the Guano Act, combined with UNCLOS rules surrounding island sizes sufficient to recieve coastal waters and an EEZ.

          The US complaining about Chinese influence over the Spratly Isles and other areas is really the pot calling the kettle black. Given China's size in comparison to the US, the US is grabbing far more sea resources than they deserve based on either population or territory size.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 30 2018, @06:16AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 30 2018, @06:16AM (#630211)

          If we spend 3.5 times what China does, they they are ahead. This is because everything they buy is made in China. Everything we buy is made in the USA, so it costs more. We ought to be spending 10 times as much.

          We also throw in some expensive stuff that China probably doesn't, like Veterans Administration health care.

    • (Score: 2) by Bot on Monday January 29 2018, @11:11PM

      by Bot (3902) on Monday January 29 2018, @11:11PM (#630081) Journal

      > allowing the government to deprive its citizens of the resources that would enable them to rebel

      Indeed too many resources under control of the common man generate time (to get informed, to bond with others), decreasing of the value of money (so people can afford not being yes men), and decreasing money's conditioning power. Milking the common man occurs in peacetime, but wars have an unrivaled impact on a cultural/social level.

      --
      Account abandoned.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 29 2018, @03:17PM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 29 2018, @03:17PM (#629830)

    Taking into account the money dumped into the program, I hope that a single F35 can win a war.

    • (Score: 2) by takyon on Monday January 29 2018, @03:19PM (1 child)

      by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Monday January 29 2018, @03:19PM (#629831) Journal

      Maybe a war against Sudan or Yemen.

      --
      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 29 2018, @03:27PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 29 2018, @03:27PM (#629837)

        Don't shout. Or you'll scare the canadians from buying the gem.

    • (Score: 2) by Bot on Monday January 29 2018, @11:13PM

      by Bot (3902) on Monday January 29 2018, @11:13PM (#630083) Journal

      an F35 can win a war, just make the enemy maintain it and wait a couple years.

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      Account abandoned.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 29 2018, @07:03PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 29 2018, @07:03PM (#629959)

    The F-35 is not is good enough shape for a new problem to be news worthy.

  • (Score: 2) by mendax on Monday January 29 2018, @08:25PM

    by mendax (2840) on Monday January 29 2018, @08:25PM (#630007)

    Can you spell boondoggle? Good, I knew you could.

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    It's really quite a simple choice: Life, Death, or Los Angeles.
  • (Score: 2) by realDonaldTrump on Monday January 29 2018, @09:03PM (1 child)

    by realDonaldTrump (6614) on Monday January 29 2018, @09:03PM (#630022) Homepage Journal

    I do hear that it's not very good. I'm hearing that our existing planes are better. And one of the pilots came out of the plane, one of the test pilots, and said this isn't as good as what we already have. And to spend billions and billions of dollars on something that maybe isn't as good?

    They're saying it doesn't perform as well as our existing equipment, which is much less expensive. So when I hear that, immediately I say we have to do something, because you know, they're spending billions. This is a plane, there's never been anything like it in terms of cost. And how about, you know, we're retooling with planes that aren't as good as the ones we have, and the test pilots are amazing people. They know better than anybody, okay, and I think you would accept that.

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Bot on Monday January 29 2018, @11:16PM

      by Bot (3902) on Monday January 29 2018, @11:16PM (#630085) Journal

      You forgot to blame Obama... and Bush.

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      Account abandoned.
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