|Okay, Now I Need To Know How to Flush This Thing|
The Pentagon informed the Senate Armed Services Committee Monday that the first 28 production models of the F-35, some of the world's most technologically advanced fighters developed by defense contracting giant Lockheed Martin, were going to cost the additional three quarters of a $1 billion, and the government will be picking up part of the tab.
The news sparked a brief Twitter spat between Sen. John McCain, the senior Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee and longtime critic of the F-35's cost overruns, and Lockheed Martin.
"Congress notified that first F-35 jets have cost overruns of $771M. Outrageous!" McCain tweeted Tuesday. "Pentagon asking for $264M down payment now. Disgraceful."
The next day, a tweet from Lockheed Martin said, "The F-35 team is focused on reducing costs of the jets and is showing significant improvement in key areas," and linked to recent Sentate testimony by Tom Burbage, Lockheed Martin's executive VP and general manager of the F-35 program.
McCain responded just hours later by directing his next tweet at Lockheed Martin: "To most observers, a $771M cost overrun for 28 F-35s doesn't qualify as 'significant improvement.' Taxpayers deserve better."
So, Lockheed's F-35 team is focused on reducing costs... just like they've been promising for, well forever... and they've made significant improvement in key areas... and so the price has gone up roughly another $25-million per aircraft. With success like that, wouldn't it be better if the Pentagon just paid Lockheed's team to stop?
Oh yeah, up here, assistant defence stooge "Colombo" Fantino said Canada's still 150% behind the F-35 and intends to stay that way even if they get so expensive we wind up having to buy them without wings.