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 "Pentagon":

"… e Block 30 [version of Global Hawk] is not operationally effective,” the Pentagon’s top testing official had declared in a blunt May 2011 report about the …"

"… ext was an object lesson in the power of a defense contractor to trump the Pentagon’s own attempts to set the nation’s military spending priorities amid a …"

"… $223 million in 2012, GAO reported in March. That record caused a special Pentagon report on June 28, examining why the defense-wide acquisition system routi …"

"… s restructured in 2011 by Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, then the Pentagon’s procurement chief, who nonetheless told Congress that its continuation …"

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.

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 …"

Defense officials call Air Force F-22 probe sloppy and inadequate

By Douglas Birch

Critics of the Air Force's decision to blame a costly F-22 crash on its pilot have some ammunition

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 "Florida":

"… f twenty-five F-35  Joint Strike Fighter being tested at air bases in Florida and Arizona, as well as Lockheed Martin’s production factory in Fort Wor …"

"… mplex for field use.” Following the incident at Eglin Air Force base in Florida, the Marine Corps launched a review of what caused the hose to decouple, w …"

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 "F-35":

"… t to perform,” said Welsh. …"

"… hat “some of you may cringe at what I say.” Then he disclosed that the F-35’s buggy software “scares the heck out of me,” that its computer-driv …"

"… agon intends to spend over $1.5 trillion over the next thirty years on the F-35, which it considers critical to the country’s military future. It’s a …"

"… ’s director of test and evaluation over the scale and composition of the F-35 test program is no longer about substance, but about “where and when and …"

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 "Navy":

"… t and help avoid misspending and waste.Accounting software systems for the Navy and Air Force have also experienced delays and cost overruns. Launch of th …"

"… from $420 million to almost $2.2 billion, according to the new report. The Navy’s program, developed by IBM, is to be launched in August 2013, more than …"

"… ystems partly to help stop improper payments, such as the $1.8 billion the Navy awarded to Northrop Grumman for work on a high-altitude surveillance plane …"

"… as paid without scrutiny, and Northrop eventually refunded $206,000 to the Navy in funds that paid for golf outings in Paris, Singapore, and elsewhere.The …"

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 "Lockheed Martin":

"… d provide technical comments that were imported into the report. A call to Lockheed Martin, the primary contractor on the F-22, was not immediately returned.R. Jeffr …"

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 "Lockheed Martin":

"… nce in February. “That's about all we're saying.” Northrop, Boeing and Lockheed Martin all said they would compete for the contract, but likewise declined commen …"

"… ecretary of defense, met with executives from Northrop Grumman, Boeing and Lockheed Martin to discuss the bomber and its technologies in Palmdale. “His intent was …"

Pentagon misreports or ignores long-term weapons costs

By R. Jeffrey Smith

Reports to congress ignore or omit long-term weapons costs

Excerpts from this story referencing "Raytheon":

"… accurate estimates of lifecycle costs. On Feb. 6, Frank Kendall, a former Raytheon executive who has been nominated to become the Defense Department’s top …"

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 "Pentagon":

"… lve the Postal Service’s mounting deficit. (GAO) …"

"… ograms failing to meet performance metrics accounted for 72 percent of the Pentagon’s investment in defense acquisition programs. Required changes, increase …"

"… d research and modeling, increasing the risk of cost growth and delays.The Pentagon disagreed with the GAO’s methods for calculating cost growth and asked t …"

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

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 &

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