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 "Inspector General":

"… ent. In double-barrelled criticisms, the Defense Department’s Office of Inspector General report said the F-35 program office’s oversight of Lockheed Martin, the …"

"… ” Michael J. Rein of Lockheed Martin issued a statement noting that the Inspector General’s investigation was concluded last year and that most issues had been ad …"

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 "Senate Armed Services Committee":

"… w [Global Hawks] on the trash heap,” Bartlett said in an interview. The Senate Armed Services Committee took a different view, and accepted the Air Force’s claim that the Block …"

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 "Scott Reed":

"… Joseph Gibson of The Gibson Group will handle one lobbying account, while Scott Reed of Chesapeake Enterprises will lead the other, according to US Airways' fi …"

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 "Lockheed Martin":

"… nscheduled maintenance was 42 minutes. The plane’s principal contractor, Lockheed Martin, got worse and worse at supplying needed parts for the aircraft in Florida …"

"… duled to kick in Friday, the Pentagon nonetheless announced it had awarded Lockheed Martin a contract for $334 million to buy parts for the latest batch of F-35s. Th …"

"… 29 of the jets. In a statement Thursday responding to Bogdan’s comments Lockheed Martin said “we strive daily to drive costs out of the program.” The statemen …"

"… ? Absolutely.” Orlando Carvalho, general manager of the F-35 program at Lockheed Martin, told the filmmakers that “lightning protection is good example of the t …"

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "Commander":

"… ngs.  “There were no injuries to the pilot or ground crew,” said Commander Kyra Hawn of the F-35 program office in an e-mailed statement. “The jet …"

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

Documents show Air Force neglected concerns about pilot safety

Excerpts from this story referencing "Lockheed Martin":

"… tive investigation over the past year by the Air Force, NASA, experts from Lockheed Martin, which produces the aircraft, and other industry officials.But the documen …"

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 "Pentagon":

"… program's got to perform,” said Welsh. …"

"… s run during the past decade and its criticism of the chaotic way that the Pentagon has been buying such high-tech weapons.Maj. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, a sev …"

"… s lead contractor Lockheed Martin is “the worst I’ve ever seen.”The Pentagon intends to spend over $1.5 trillion over the next thirty years on the F-35 …"

"… program has eight foreign partners and two foreign customers, a number the Pentagon hopes to grow. Partly as a result, its management has been a mess: Cost ov …"

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 "spokesman":

"… this week about the reasons for the setbacks.Computer Sciences Corporation spokesman Joel Shadle declined to comment on his company’s handling of the Army’ …"

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.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Lockheed Martin":

"… e Pentagon has increasingly been at loggerheads with the chief contractor, Lockheed Martin, over the work ahead. Already, cost overruns on four early production cont …"

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 "R. Jeffrey Smith":

"… d Martin, the primary contractor on the F-22, was not immediately returned.R. Jeffrey Smith, the managing editor for national security, contributed to this article.Co …"

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 "Buck McKeon":

"… new bomber work for the 2012 fiscal year. The committee is chaired by Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Cal.), who district includes a secretive Air Force research and testing …"

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "Lt. Gen.":

"… Hueys. “I can use an existing contract to purchase helicopters,” said Lt. Gen. James Kowalski, the head of Global Strike Command, according to Flight Int …"

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 "Senate":

"… od to protest the planned restriction. Six other Democratic members of the Senate’s General Aviation Caucus signed onto the letter, along with Sens. Mark …"

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "Government Accountability Office":

"… uted to the cost increases in poorly performing programs, according to the Government Accountability Office’s review.Some existing weapons, like the Joint Strike Fighter, began und …"

"… n to $412 million.Following are other new watchdog reports released by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), various federal Offices of Inspector General (OIG), and other gover …"

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "Transportation Security Administration":

"… ected to be recovered from the investigations. (DHHS Inspector General) …"

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

Excerpts from this story referencing "Grumman":

"… s, defense contractors — including Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, and Northrop Grumman — have located facilities there, become generous donors to the congressm …"

"… disinterest. Former Air Force Secretary James G. Roche, a former Northrop Grumman executive, told The Washington Post in 2001 that adding additional B-2s wo …"

"… additional B-2s won’t “add one drop of sweat to any enemy.”Northrop Grumman, one of McKeon’s biggest donors, manufactures the planes in his district …"

"… biggest donors, manufactures the planes in his district. In 2004, Northrop Grumman won a $388 million contract from the U.S. Air Force to continue modernizin …"

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 "Texas":

"… two paths,” wrote Reps. Robert Andrews (D-N.J.), and Michael Conaway, (R-Texas). “For the next thirty years, we can have two companies engaging in annu …"

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 "U.S. Air Force":

"… ns.” Among those concerns, he said, “is that nearly 10 years after the U.S. Air Force announced plans to replace the aging tanker fleet, we still do not have a …"

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 "National Transportation Safety Board":

"… t, vehicles, or persons create a collision hazard — have appeared on the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) Most Wanted list of issues demanding improvement ever since 199 …"

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 "Aviation":

"… tor General called for “urgently needed” improvements from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). But long-term answers to chronic air travel delays r …"

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 "House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee":

"… ut separate probes by the OIG, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, and the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee found alarming evidence that the necessary integrity was often missing, an …"

"… or management knew about the Southwest situation for years. Staff from the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee interviewed additional FAA inspectors who said they sometimes do not bring …"

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 "National Transportation Safety Board":

"… ese sites, vital overlapping layers of safety were absent — a factor the National Transportation Safety Board said contributed to the Air Midwest crash. Airlines failed to properly mon …"

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