Friday, August 19, 2011

Lockheed's Lame Ducks

Lockheed Martin represents the bleeding edge of American military airpower.   Lockheed produced the F-22 Raptor stealth super fighter and is struggling to churn out the F-35 Lightning II stealth bomb wagon.

Lately, Lockheed's lions have turned into lame ducks.   The F-22 is reported to have been grounded since May.  An investigation is underway into problems with the aircraft's pilot oxygen supply system.  That is expected to keep the Raptor groundbound for at least a few months to come.

The F-35, however, is back in the air following a two-week grounding to look into a failure of the aircraft's Integrated Power Package.   Apparently there's some sort of glitchy valve but it's not serious enough to keep the freshly-minted F-35 grounded until it's fixed.   A spokesman for the overdue, over budget and under-performing F-35 project office noted the aircraft still faces five years of "developmental testing" before it is used operationally.

When the F-35 is capable of actually flying, the Harper government will have 65-of the things to defend some small part of Canada against some potential threat of some kind from somewhere, details to follow, maybe.

Australia is also looking to buy the F-35, maybe.   It had planned to pick up an even hundred Lightning IIs but, due to delays and budget overruns, has decided to defer a final decision until next year.  Australia is also looking at picking up additional new technology Super Hornet F-18s if they ditch the F-35.


theo said...

I wish to piss into the wind. May I have 45+ billion dollars to achieve this noble action? The friends I give the money to to achieve this goal will be really happy.

Anonymous said...

Where's Diefenbaker when you need him? It's not like we have nuclear Soviet bombers to worry about anymore. I bet he'd cancel the F-35 program in a hearbeat. :P

Does the F-35 even meet all the standards the RCAF wanted out of the Arrow? Does it meet any standards (aside from the one alluded to by theo) at all?

Web designer perth said...

The description of 'lame duck' is often applied to politicians who are known to be in their final term of office, when colleagues and electors look toward a successor. It is also sometimes used to describe office-holders who have lost an election but have not yet left office.