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Bill McDonald

A lot of good that political protection will provide in a dogfight.


That there are so many synonyms for cheating lies tells us everything we need to know about Homo unsapiens.

Hope you have a peaceful weekend Dave - and should you flag down a passing deep space vessel, please put in a good word for me with the Embarkation Officer.


Back in he 1970's, there were around 15 US aerospace companies competing, often with innovative differences and approaches. Northrop back then built export fighters like the F-5, fast, agile and cheap at $5/copy.. and routinely came up with affordable designs. This of course doesn't guarantee profits so they were bought off with the B-2 and merged with Grumman. Lockheed was merged with Martin, the McDonnell Douglas, Hughes was broken up (can't have a successful non-profit!), TRW, RCA, GE were all assimilated until we have just a couple of mega-corporation left. Projects are routinely build until they hit about 80% when all the flaws come out.. then Congress can throw more money in (F-35) or cancel and re-compete, with the same companies who failed now the frontrunners because of all their experience.. and no one has to deliver a working system (FCS, SBIRS, Missile Defense etc). I call it the "80% rule"

Unfortunately as with most other systems you comment on, the system here is seriously broken and will not change until it totally fails....

At least here in Canada, they are questioning Harper's decision to support the F-35 ..

Julian Bond

Good to see the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thaler or German Silver get in there before it had been shortened and twisted into "dollar".


Defense is too big a jobs program for politicians to ever meaningfully cut. The sequestration cuts will be reversed. The Republicans will move to restore most, if not all, of the cuts, and there are enough Democrats with defense dollars in their districts to go along. The cuts will be undone.

Defense, at this point, is way more about jobs than it is about security.

Andrew Kirk

Well, give me a Cornish hug, that's damn fine writing.


Maybe we should outsource building the jet to the Chinese? I hate to say, but their products have improved in quality, and they're still cheap as hell. If we did, I bet we save a ton of cash....



Odds are good, Surf... that the Chinese ARE producing at least some of the components of this system. Especially the 'back door' that will allow them to take down the system someday.

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