Defense Department poorly managed design, construction of F-35 fighter, auditor says

By Douglas Birch

A detailed new report offers some insight into why the most costly weapon system in U.S. history has so many problems and defects.

The huge drone that could not be grounded

By Richard H.P. Sia and Alexander Cohen

A major defense contractor used its connections on Capitol Hill to keep a troubled drone aircraft aloft at a cost of billions of dollars.

Excerpts from this story referencing "spokesman":

"… rs who fly them.” The advocacy site, which Belote, the Northrop Grumman spokesman, told the Center for Public Integrity was set up at the request of company …"

"… ees and PAC in the four years before picking up the chairman’s gavel. A spokesman for McKeon, Claude Chafin, said he was responding to the absence of a cred …"

"… ng member on House Armed Services, received $35,000 in the same period. A spokesman for Young did not respond to repeated requests for comment. Smith said in …"

"… r hour cost was flawed and that the Global Hawk was cheaper to operate. A spokesman for Moran did not respond to repeated requests for comment. Gen. Mark Wel …"

F35 program may be unaffordable, auditor says

By Richard H.P. Sia

The most costly military program in history might wind up busting the Pentagon budget.

Excerpts from this story referencing "F-35":

"… ny alternative but to make the program work,” Gilmore said. …"

"… ropriations subcommittee that current projections call for $316 billion in F-35 development and purchases from now through 2037, an average of $12.6 billi …"

"… of these crucial capabilities in 2018, as scheduled. Gilmore warned that F-35 may suffer further delays due to the budget sequester. “Reduced funding …"

"… uester. “Reduced funding for test resources and infrastructure while the F-35 is under development ... will likely add to the pressure to either extend …"

US Airways strengthens lobbying force

By Dave Levinthal

US Airways hires pair of new government relations firms to help navigate merger with American Airlines.

Pentagon criticizes F-35 contractors but hands over the dough

By Douglas Birch and R. Jeffrey Smith

UPDATE: Early flight tests show multiple problems but the program gets new funds just before sequester.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Christopher Bogdan":

"… after a rhetorical shot heard halfway around the world, fired by Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, the newly-installed chief of the Pentagon’s F-35 advanced warplane …"

Helium balloon maker shows lobbyists love

By Dave Levinthal

Gas shortage prompts helium balloon company to hire help as Valentine's Day nears.

A close call for the world’s most advanced warplane?

By Douglas Birch

Fuel line leaks and a special vulnerability to lightning are the latest troubles for the Pentagon's advanced fighter jet

Documents show Air Force neglected concerns about F-22 pilot safety

Documents show Air Force neglected concerns about pilot safety

F-35 deputy sees challenges ahead

By R. Jeffrey Smith and Aaron Mehta

New F-35 program deputy gives a candid assessment of flaws in the most expensive weapon in Pentagon history.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Christopher Bogdan":

"… tic way that the Pentagon has been buying such high-tech weapons.Maj. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, a seven-year Air Force acquisition veteran who last managed the KC-46 tan …"

Pentagon efforts to straighten out bookkeeping face billion-dollar cost overruns

By Zach Toombs

Software troubles cast doubt on Panetta’s promise of an accounting of expenses by 2017.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… roduction to the report.As noted in an October 2011 article by the Center, Congress has been pressing for more accurate accounting systems partly to help stop …"

Bouncing too much to find the enemy

By R. Jeffrey Smith

The F35 is having trouble with its high-tech helmets and structural cracks and skin repairs and tailhooks and more.

Costly work ahead for F-22

By Aaron Mehta

America's newest fighter jet needs years of upgrades and repairs, but pilots are not keen to fly them.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… ter, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates asked that production be halted and Congress agreed to pull $1.75 billion in funding for the jet. Why the turnaround? C …"

Will the $55 billion bomber program fly?

By David Axe

The pricetag is at least $55 billion, the design is unsettled and the mission is controversial.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… al” to national security in February budget testimony. They also charmed Congress, which in December slipped an extra hundred million dollars into the defen …"

"… n advancing its revived bomber scheme through the Pentagon bureaucracy and Congress. Cartwright says the nation does need several hundred new “trucks” or …"

Windfalls of war: Taxpayers get hammered by Pentagon attempts to "one-stop-shop"

By Sharon Weinberger

Pentagon abused its sole-source authority on weapons from tankers to choppers

BARR battle: Obama administration to make more corporate jet data public despite flak

By Corbin Hiar

The Obama administration's plan to make even more data available on corporate jet flights is drawing heat from some strange bedfellows

Excerpts from this story referencing "General":

"… ent and the public.”Not surprisingly, the change is opposed by NBAA, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association and the Chamber of Commerce. Also objec …"

"… st the planned restriction. Six other Democratic members of the Senate’s General Aviation Caucus signed onto the letter, along with Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va …"

Boeing pocketed millions by overcharging Army, IG report finds

By Ben Wieder

Boeing overcharged the Army $13 million for helicopter parts

Half of Pentagon’s acquisition programs marred by poor management

By Laurel Adams

Over the past two years, Pentagon spending has increased by $135 billion, growing to a total of $1.68 trillion. Almost half of the increase

GAO: TSA screening of air cargo can’t be verified

By Laurel Adams

The Transportation Security Administration reported last August that it met its mandate to screen 100 percent of air cargo. But the Governme

National Archives electronic records system is years behind, millions over budget

By Laurel Adams

A major National Archives project to preserve and provide access to federal records, 10 years in the making, faces massive delays and cost o

Howard "Buck" McKeon — Armed Services Committee

By Amy Biegelsen

Rep. Howard McKeon (R-Calif.) answers to the nickname “Buck,” an appropriate moniker for the man about to help oversee one of the biggest ch

Lobbyists stage Capitol Hill dogfight over joint strike fighter engine

By Nick Schwellenbach

An intense spending fight over a second engine for the Joint Strike Fighter has partners General Electric and Rolls Royce and rival Pratt &

Excerpts from this story referencing "Citizens Against Government Waste":

"… he fight is just vicious over this,” said Leslie Paige of the non-profit Citizens Against Government Waste, which opposes funding the second engine.Many are comparing the Pentagon …"

Senator Richard Shelby goes to bat for major financial benefactor

By Josh Israel and Nick Schwellenbach

The unusual “blanket hold” placed on Obama administration nominees by Senator Richard Shelby, represents an effort to support a firm that ha

Excerpts from this story referencing "Senate":

"… ’s corporate PACs. This includes contributions, dating back to his first Senate election in 1986, from the company’s political action committee and from …"

"… y announced he would filibuster any nominee sent by the White House to the Senate for confirmation. The White House lists more than 200 nominees who have no …"

"… . The White House lists more than 200 nominees who have not yet received a Senate confirmation vote.Calls to the office of Senator Shelby were not returned …"

New life for the F-22 Raptor

By Nick Schwellenbach

Faced with the potential of massive job losses and under heavy lobbying pressure earlier this year, the powerful House Armed Services Commit

Excerpts from this story referencing "Obama":

"… stems now targeted for spending cuts or termination by Gates and President Obama.An argument to save jobs has been favored by proponents of the F-22 and ma …"

FAA reauthorization ‘stuck on the tarmac’

By Matthew Lewis

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee this week introduced another bill to reauthorize the currently leaderless and conflict

Excerpts from this story referencing "Aviation":

"… r bill to reauthorize the currently leaderless and conflict-ridden Federal Aviation Administration. More than a year after the current act was first extended, …"

"… d, who will need, she said, “the people skills to resolve differences.”Aviation subcommittee chair Jerry Costello (D-IL) said the administration is curren …"

FAA inspectors cozy up to airlines

By The Center for Public Integrity

Weak oversight on flight safety a symptom of close FAA/industry relations

Excerpts from this story referencing "Inspector":

"… people using them,” the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Office of Inspector General (OIG) told Congress in April 2008. But separate probes by the OIG, …"

FAA in the dark on maintenance

By The Center for Public Integrity

Non-certified repair facilities are performing important maintenance work on airplanes without FAA oversight

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… fective policies haven’t always been adopted. In March 2007, the IG told Congress that the FAA still needed to develop a method for determining which “non …"

"… e improved the effectiveness of our oversight," a senior DOT official told Congress in 2007. An FAA spokesman noted the agency's responses to IG recommendatio …"

NORAD, FAA unprepared for aerial attack

By The Center for Public Integrity

Civilian and military airspace defenders were unprepared to handle hijacked planes on 9/11

Excerpts from this story referencing "Aviation":

"… ilian and military defenders of the nation's airspace — FAA [the Federal Aviation Administration] and NORAD [the North American Aerospace Defense Command] …"

Failing to modernize air traffic control

By The Center for Public Integrity

Attempts to update air traffic control has failed even as technology remains decades out of date

Excerpts from this story referencing "Aviation":

"… — with the load expected to either double or triple by 2025. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) first moved toward a modernization program in 1981, b …"

Close calls on the runway

By The Center for Public Integrity

Evan as incidents of near-misses on runways, the FAA struggles to update safety plans

Excerpts from this story referencing "Inspector":

"… ompted criticism from the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Office of Inspector General, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), and the NTSB, which c …"

Record delays in air travel

By The Center for Public Integrity

Plane delays continue to increase but no solution in sight

Excerpts from this story referencing "Inspector":

"… much as $41 billion, the Department of Transportation (DOT)’s Office of Inspector General called for “urgently needed” improvements from the Federal Avi …"