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Jan 11, 2011



These talking heads are empty as usual. The announcer begins by citing the cancellation of the F-22 once in production as a case where the contractor lobby does not always win without recognizing the fact that they did indeed win, and the taxpayer lost. The F-22 development program cost twice as much as the B-2 development. Twice as much! It also took twice as long, instead of 12 years, F-22 took 25 years to develop. The F-22 which is built of basically the same stuff as the B-2 cost twice as much per pound to build. Then we only build 170 of the aircraft because the production of the F-22 threatens the development of the even more out of control F-35 development program. And that is supposed to be a success for the taxpayer?

Clearly the empty head in this case did not recognize the fact that contractors make more profit on development than they do in production. Lockheed actually was more than happy to stop producing actual flying F-22's for the pie-in-the-sky development of the F-35. In fact, we already see the same thing going on with the F-35 program, which is an attempt to terminate that program before any jets are produced so that the contractor can move on to the next airplane development program.

Then the first speaker tells us we are too safe. Too safe? It takes 25 years to develop an airplane and we only build a handful when we build any. How much longer will we maintain a technological lead at that rate? I'll tell you for sure, it won't be much longer. The Russians and Chinese already have airplanes similar to the F-22 under development. Their costs are much lower and development times are much faster than ours. Clearly throwing money at the problem won't fix what ails our military-industrial complex, but clearly also there is an immediate need for reform instead of complacency.

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