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It's time to overhaul development

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posted on Apr, 3 2016 @ 06:24 PM
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I'm not talking about just one program, I'm talking about every single one of them. It's time to start penalizing companies for the screwups that are happening in every program out there, week after week, that delay them for months, or even a year or more. Just a few examples:

KC-46

The KC-46 ran into early issues when Boeing ran into problems with the wiring harness, and the triple redundancy requirement that the military has. This caused months of delay to the first flight of the aircraft. Then shortly before the first flight of EMD-2, the first KC-46, a mistake was made testing the fuel system, and corrosive chemicals were run through the boom and fuel system, requiring them to strip parts from EMD-3, which still hasn't been completed, so they could get -2 in the air and begin testing. Now there's a further six month delay to the program, and we find out that the boom, which is one of the most mature technologies on the aircraft, won't transfer fuel to large aircraft after the C-17 certification failed.

F-35

It came out recently that a number of F135 engines went through quality control checks at Pratt&Whitney, but should have been downchecked and never sent out to the fleet. At least five sets of turbine blades had to be replaced in the field, because they were bad from the manufacturing, and several other unspecified parts, involved in the control systems had to be replaced as well. This is in addition to the previous, and other ongoing delays to the program.

A400M

The A400M program suffered months of delays after engine software was removed from three of the four engine control units, keeping the crew from controlling the power settings to those engines. There was no warning until the aircraft reached 120 feet. The crash occurred on 9 May 2105, and tests were grounded until 11 June in Spain. The UK grounded their aircraft until 16 June, and Germany until July 14th.

Now Airbus has identified two new issues with the TP400 engines. At least 14 engines were sent out with quality control problems in the gearbox, involving the ring gear. There is a separate issue with a plug that could fracture and lead to metal fragments dropping into the oil system, which will create entirely new problems for the engines. These are in addition to multiple delays that happened early in the program.

Yes, we're talking about totally new aircraft, and computer control systems that are far beyond anything ever built in the past, but it's unacceptable to see five to ten years go by between signing a contract for something, and the first prototype rolling off the line. Then we see years of problem resolution, driving costs up, and ending up with numbers being slashed, because they either take so long, or they don't perform as advertised, or they've just gotten too expensive. And the companies involved all go on their way, with a "oh well, that's just how it is" attitude, and nothing ever changes. And then five years down the road, here we are again with the next program. It's time that companies pay penalties for this, and that we change the way things work. Until we do, we're never going to see the end of this.




posted on Apr, 3 2016 @ 06:51 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

And that's just the ones we know about. It almost all seems contrived at this point. We mastered flight along time ago and now it seems like the software/computer systems are always bugging out. We got people programming AI systems in their garages but somehow we can't get a computer on board a jet to pull it's head out of its turbine long enough to have anything viable flying in the sky. I smell corruption.



posted on Apr, 3 2016 @ 07:42 PM
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It's not a hard thing to do. Problem is ... govt reps hand the contractor a blank contract and ask the contractors to fill it up with words.

They should be handing out a time-line with lot and lots and lots of short term milestones on it. A little verbiage like, "Miss a milestone and the contract will be handed off to the next lowest bidder. You will pay back every penny paid (with interest) ... or you go to jail at a rate of one year per dollar. Every employee of your corporation, earning more than that of a Commissioned Officer/Pay Grade O-1, will be liable."

Problem ... frikkin' ... solved. Where do I sign up to be President?



posted on Apr, 3 2016 @ 08:20 PM
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Not just Aircraft programs, Though I know aircraft are near and dear to you. But it's rampant through all major programs in the US military. Whether it's the welds in the MRAPS or the Advanced AAV. Ton's of negligence and over expenditures.

We still have funds going to "Urgent Needs" that were sent up 10 - 12 years ago from Iraq. That even though the need no longer exists or the need evolved or became irrelevant, the bureaucracy keeps churning along sucking up taxpayer dollars.



posted on Apr, 3 2016 @ 08:21 PM
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a reply to: watchitburn

I only kept it to aircraft because of the forum it's in. If you add in others, I could have listed 8-10 programs easily.



posted on Apr, 4 2016 @ 06:47 AM
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The problem is that these projects are massively complex and to "sell" them to the people writing the cheques (the politicians) the risks are often down-played.

It does make you wonder how in the past fighters were designed, tested and pushed into service literally in months, while nowadays it's years and years. There does seem to be a lack of competitive tension in some of these programmes - for example, I wonder of P&W would have so many problems with their engines if General Electric/Rolls Royce were still in the frame.



posted on Apr, 4 2016 @ 07:51 AM
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You are absolutely correct ... Its been in bad need of overhaul for some time..

But I expect a good quality middle of the road president to appear in a main stream party before we see them mess with that golden goose.



posted on Apr, 4 2016 @ 10:00 AM
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How many of the programs mentioned use Union labor?



posted on Apr, 4 2016 @ 11:25 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

It is not just military contracts. I deal with this daily. Just had a new plant go live 6 months ago and we are getting repeated failures and shutdowns. Like big chunks of metal coming out the ash system. Operator is running their system too hot and our supplier might have QA issues on their end. But guess who is taking on the chin...yep we are. Even though the customer is not within temp. and pressure guidelines, oh no it is our fault.



posted on Apr, 4 2016 @ 11:29 AM
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Agree I think some of it is companies trying to get as much money out of the government as possible, some of it is quality control and lack of accountability, some of it is making new aircraft and 5th gen fighters is extremely difficult, complex, expensive and takes years and years.
Was just looking at an article on this, the USAF has a new long term strategy which may address some of these issues.



The Air Force, in its 20-year strategic forecast entitled "America's Air Force: A Call to the Future," has called for an end to big-ticket programs like the F-35. Instead, it plans to invest in what DOD officials have called more "agile" weapons

The document says that it's now impossible for the United States to build a strategy advantage with large, expensive programs that take years

"We believe rapid change is the new norm and has serious implications for the Air Force," the document states. "The pace at which disruptive technologies may appear and proliferate will result in operational advantages that are increasingly short-lived.

We learned from sequestration that our brittle system often leads to suboptimal decisions that are difficult to reverse," the document reads. "Huge, long-term programs limit our options

"Large, complex programs with industrial-era development cycles measured in decades may become obsolete before they reach full-rate production," the authors added. "The system is cumbersome, as the cost and complexity of these large programs draw additional layers of oversight and scrutiny."

all that's wrong with American defense spending: uncontrolled bloat, unaccountable manufacturers (in this case, Lockheed Martin), and an internal Pentagon culture that cannot adequately track taxpayer dollars.


www.cnbc.com...

Edit: This seems to be a worldwide problem for new defense projects. Other countries large air force and navy projects seem to suffer endless cost blowouts, delays and problems. The technology is getting more and more complex and expensive and difficult to design and build.

edit on 4-4-2016 by JimTSpock because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 4 2016 @ 11:58 AM
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Makes me smile when people say we have mach 20 aircraft or triangles or a space fleet etc. Sounds like they can't even get basic things right!



posted on Apr, 4 2016 @ 12:20 PM
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a reply to: JIMC5499

Probably every one of them. I'm pretty sure the F-35, and I'm positive the KC-46.



posted on Apr, 4 2016 @ 12:33 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

there was a time when companies made prototypes on their own dime without the dod funding anything.

with the change to the dod funding prototypes there is no incentive for efficiency, or innovation. why would there be.

at the minimum it needs to go to hard money on everything, but a change to the old way would bring back efficiencies and innovation to reduce costs.



posted on Apr, 4 2016 @ 12:39 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

After working with some of Boeing's people in Seattle, I'm not surprised.



posted on Apr, 4 2016 @ 12:47 PM
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a reply to: JIMC5499

That's one of the reasons that they've moved so much 787 work to Charleston and out of Seattle. Two huge delays to that program were Union caused.



posted on Apr, 4 2016 @ 01:45 PM
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I know. What really ticks me off is that the US Government won't let them move any military projects to non-union shops.

These clowns like to say that the "Military Industrial Complex" is ripping off the US taxpayers, when it is Congress and the Unions. Look at the V-22. It starts out being built in Philadelphia and then it is shipped to Texas. Think of the money that could be saved if it was started and completed in one place. This was done to placate certain politicians to enable funding for the project. I don't even want to get into them changing their minds on how many will be built each year.

Then the Union workers do half-assed work, knowing that they can't be fired. I hang out at a private club. You wouldn't believe the number of guys from this steel mill who come in, drink five or six beers and then go to work. If Management catches them, they get fired, then it goes to arbitration and they get re-instated with back pay. I don't think that Management has ever won in arbitration.



posted on Apr, 4 2016 @ 01:54 PM
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a reply to: JIMC5499

It's the same with the Hornets. They build almost the entire fuselage in California, put it on a drop deck and drive it to St Louis where the rest is waiting.

The CMV-22 will be worse. They'll build the fuselage in Philadelphia, the wings in Ft Worth, the engines somewhere else, then ship the whole kit and kaboodle to Amarillo and put it together.



posted on Apr, 4 2016 @ 05:24 PM
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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: JIMC5499

That's one of the reasons that they've moved so much 787 work to Charleston and out of Seattle. Two huge delays to that program were Union caused.


no the union did not cause the delay's, management's refusal to work with the union leads to delays.

just so you can understand the union NEVER gets up and walks away from the table NEVER



posted on Apr, 4 2016 @ 05:34 PM
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a reply to: bigx001

Oh right, I keep forgetting that unions are wonderful things that do no wrong.



posted on Apr, 4 2016 @ 05:41 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

S&F This kinda of stuff is what you and I have crossed swords in the past over. Is it malicious or just plane ineptitude.. Whatever the reason I totally agree the contractors feet need to be held to the fire and the foot dragging needs to stop.

An interesting propaganda video about Russia's two design and manufacturing plants. They got their dig in America;s acquisition process. Interesting about their take on the F-22 and F-35 acquisition process.
youtu.be...



edit on 727thk16 by 727Sky because: ..



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