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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "auditor":

"… onstruction of its new fleet of F-35 stealth warplanes adequately, its own auditor concluded on Sept. 30, placing the blame squarely on military brass for pe …"

"… quality.” The report in part was based in part on a series of visits by auditors to defense plants in the U.S. and abroad. During those inspections, docum …"

"… oad. During those inspections, documents reprinted in the report show, the auditors repeatedly found a lack of respect for written procedures, discipline in …"

"… tion effort.” That was the same month a Government Accountability Office auditor warned that paying the F-35 program’s bills could break the Pentagon bud …"

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 "House Armed Services Committee":

"… airman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey. He told the House Armed Services Committee in February 2012 that the Global Hawk “has fundamentally priced itself o …"

"… d, in some cases, just a slightly less capable platform,” Dempsey told a House Armed Services Committee hearing on Feb. 15, 2012. “So what you are seeing there is our ability t …"

"… ed at least $113,000 from the company’s employees and PAC since becoming House Armed Services Committee chairman in January 2009, the CPI analysis shows. By comparison, McKeon re …"

"… e, the Center for Public Integrity’s analysis shows. Members of the full House Armed Services Committee received about $584,000, in total, during the 2012 election cycle, 46 perc …"

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.

US Airways strengthens lobbying force

By Dave Levinthal

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "American Airlines":

"…     …"

"… bilities include "issues relating to the proposed merger of US Airways and American Airlines," the filing states. Reed lists his lobbying duties as "House and Se …"

"… federal bankruptcy judge, who is overseeing the bankruptcy proceedings of American Airlines' parent company, AMR Corp. Some lawmakers are also concerned that the air …"

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.

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 "weapons systems":

"… est challenge: creating lines of code that fully integrate the fighter’s weapons systems with the plane’s operation. In anticipation, the software effort has bee …"

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.

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 "60 Minutes":

"… pate the appearance on Sunday of two pilots on the CBS television network "60 Minutes" program, who bluntly said they are not comfortable flying the jet. Maj. J …"

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 "Center for Public Integrity":

"… Taliban fighters with precision. “It was pretty amazing,” he told the Center for Public Integrity. But that type of mission — against an undefended foe — is not what th …"

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 "U.S. Court of Appeals":

"… ave their way. The two jet lobbies have filed a petition for review in the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington. They claim the restrictions are “unlawful, arbitrary, cap …"

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 "Secretary":

"… p; Whitney deploying armies of representatives on Capitol Hill, as Defense Secretary Robert Gates makes opposition to that second engine a centerpiece of his p …"

"… w against funding this engine, considering it a waste of money,” Defense Secretary Robert Gates said at a May 20 news conference.“And to argue that we shou …"

"… Barack Obama threatened to veto funding for it. “I stand squarely behind Secretary Gates’ position on the JSF second engine,” Obama said in a statement.B …"

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 "Alabama":

"… an effort to support a firm that has contributed more than $100,000 to the Alabama Republican over the course of his long political career, according to a Ce …"

"… errorist Explosives Devices Analytical Center, a facility to be located in Alabama.A spokesman for Northrop Grumman told the Center that the company “is ve …"

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 "Patty Murray":

"… he F-22, which is made by Lockheed in his state — and Democratic Senator Patty Murray of Washington that requires the Pentagon to consider how decisions to term …"

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 …"

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":

"… e congestion and over-scheduling were among the culprits, according to the inspector general. For instance, in selected 15-minute increments at Chicago O’Har …"

"… m solution lies largely in modernizing the air traffic control system, the inspector general said a number of short-term solutions are crucial — such as a pl …"

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":

"… tegrity was often missing, and that relationships between airlines and FAA inspectors were often far too cozy. In the case of Southwest Airlines, investigators …"

"… he supervisor and Southwest’s compliance manager. One whistleblower, FAA inspector Douglas E. Peters, alleged that the supervisor allowed Southwest to contin …"

"… use Transportation and Infrastructure Committee interviewed additional FAA inspectors who said they sometimes do not bring enforcement action for fear of retri …"

"… nd compliance,” he added, “we have work to do.”Follow-up:Neither the inspector general nor a blue ribbon panel appointed to study FAA’s approach to saf …"

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 "inspector":

"… according to a series of government reports. A December 2005 audit by the inspector general (IG) at the Department of Transportation (DOT), FAA’s parent age …"

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