“Out of Control!” Trump Picks Fight with Lockheed Martin Over F-35 Cost, They Immediately Respond…
Now, he is getting attention again after setting his sights on another airplane manufacturer.
Lockheed Martin and the disastrous F-35 program.
From Fox News:
The incoming commander-in-chief took aim Monday at the costly F-35 fighter jet program on Twitter, after earlier calling out the program during a Fox News interview.
“The F-35 program and cost is out of control,” Trump tweeted. “Billions of dollars can and will be saved on military (and other) purchases after [Inauguration Day] January 20th.”
In taking on the controversial F-35, Trump is picking a fight with another contractor giant, Lockheed Martin.
Trump also criticized the program during an interview with Chris Wallace on “Fox News Sunday.”
“If you look at the F-35 program with the money, the hundreds of billions of dollars, and it’s out of control,” Trump said. “And the people that are making these deals for the government, they should never be allowed to go to work for these companies.”
“We look forward to working with the president-elect and his administration to further build on the F-35 program’s record of demonstrated performance and affordability,” a Lockheed Martin spokesman told The Wall Street Journal after Trump’s Sunday remarks.
He’s right about the problems the F-35 program has had.
It’s been a complete mess since the start.
From The Week:
The supersonic stealth plane called the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter was supposed to be the greatest and best military plane the world has ever seen. While the United States’ stealthy F-22 is an “air superiority” plane, ensuring the country’s dominance over the skies, which is why exporting it is illegal, the F-35 was supposed to be able to do everything, and be the standard fighter-bomber of the U.S. and most countries with which the U.S. has friendly relations. It was supposed to be stealthy, to be able take off and land vertically, and to know everything about everything thanks to its amazing software and sensors. It can’t do any of those things so far.
The program has cost $1.3 trillion so far. By comparison, the Apollo Program, which actually sent people to the moon, cost about $170 billion in 2005 dollars. The F-35 is literally the most expensive military project in history. By 2014, the program was $163 billion over budget, and seven years behind schedule.
From the beginning the F-35 was practically designed to be a horrendous boondoggle. First, there was the idea to make just one plane that would fit every service branch’s needs. The Marines wanted a vertical takeoff and landing plane that could bomb things on the ground. The Navy wanted a carrier-borne plane. The Air Force wanted a plane that could shoot other planes.
The project has suffered endless delays and cost overruns, and, still, the thing is half-baked. The latest problem is that the plane’s software — absolutely essential for a 21st century plane — doesn’t work. Former RAND author John Stillion has written that the F-35 “can’t turn, can’t climb, can’t run.” It’s heavy, bulky, and doesn’t carry that many weapons. It even has safety issues.
You get the picture…
So clearly, Donald Trump is right to be skeptical of this program and there is room for improvement.
Government mismanagement like this is exactly what Trump said he was going to put an end to.
All signs are pointing to the idea that he intends to keep that promise.