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I've previously posted about a defense boondoggle [IMHO] regarding the F-35 titled "Hanger Queens"*.

This time is about communication network for the US Army.
http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htcbtsp/20131001.aspx

The U.S. Army has decided on a new vehicle mounted radio for its combat units. The MNVR (Mid-Tier Networking Vehicular Radio) provides networking (including Internet-like capabilities) to army units.

MNVR is a replacement for the JTRS (Joint Tactical Radio System) Ground Mobile Radio (GMR), which was cancelled in 2011. The GMR program cost over $6 billion and was a major embarrassment for the U.S. Department of Defense. Actually, JTRS still exists, on paper, but its goal, to provide better combat radios, has been accomplished by adopting civilian radios that do what the troops needed done and calling it JTRS. That’s what the new MNVR does as it is a modified commercial radio. In the time the army spent working on JTRS some $11 billion was spent on buying more radios using existing designs and a lot of off-the-shelf equipment incorporating stuff JTRS was supposed to do.

If the military sticks to what works, and does not make the kind of demands and requests that sunk JTRS, the MNVR should arrive on time and functional enough for the troops.

JTRS was yet another example of a military development project that got distracted, and bloated, trying to please everyone.

The Pentagon was very reluctant to admit error, or defeat, in these matters. The procurement bureaucrats tend to feel it's much better to spend billions more and let the needed equipment arrive late and missing important capabilities. It's something of a tradition. And you know how some people in the military, even Pentagon civilians, can be about tradition.



*Thread for "Hanger Queens"
http://boards.fool.com/hanger-queens-29906511.aspx?sort=whol...
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F-35 update:

http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htproc/articles/20140202.as...

The U.S. Department of Defense is being accused of deception for refusing to admit the true cost of the new F-35 in the face of growing cuts in the military budget. Despite these cuts the Department of Defense will not change the number of F-35s ordered nor the unit cost that should be increased becasue of these cuts. Something has to give.The U.S. Air Force still expects to get production models of its 31 ton F-35A in late 2016. This is the cheapest version, costing about $159 million each. The U.S. Navy version (the F-35C) will arrive in late 2019 and cost about $264 million each.

Meanwhile there are the seemingly endless delays.


the increasing costs of theF-35 are scaring off foreign buyers. These users have noted that the F-35 costs 60 percent more (than the F-16, per flight hour) to operate. For European nations, with static or shrinking defense budgets and growing demands to help with peacekeeping operations, more expensive (to buy and operate) jet fighters just don’t fit in.

Initially the F-35 operating costs were supposed to be the same or lower than other fighters (like the F-16, F-15, or F-18). But then it was noted that those operating costs were creeping upwards. In 2011 the U.S. Air Force came around to agreeing with U.S. Navy claims that the F-35 will cost much more to maintain, rather than (as the F-35 promoters insisted) less.

At that time [2010] it costs the navy, on average, $19,000 an hour to operate its AV-8 vertical takeoff or F-18C fighter aircraft. The navy calculated that it would cost 63 percent more to operate the F-35C (which will replace the F-18C) and the F-35B (which will replace the AV-8).

Like the F-22, which had production capped at less than 200 aircraft, the capabilities, as superior as they are, may not justify the much higher costs. The F-35, at least for the navy, is headed in the same direction. The navy can go ahead with the more recent F-18E and keep refurbishing, or even building, the AV-8. The navy recently began examining the possibility of buying fewer F-35s, in the long run, and replacing them with combat UAVs, like the X-47B.
Politics, and lobbying by the F-35 manufacturer, will probably keep the F-35 headed for fleet service, no matter what the cost.

The success of smart bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan has also made it clear that fewer aircraft will be needed in the future.
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The F-35 may be today's equivalent of a battleship. A weapon with no mission. It's a fine fighter bomber, but where will it ever be used? There is no credible threat to our air superiority. Not even China. What would be the targets for a new bomber?

Seems like a boondoggle when viewed from that side. It has one good feature. It keeps the design and manufacturing capability for this type of aircraft alive. Our military industrial complex is a ravenous beast and requires feeding.

Count No'Count
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CountNoCount writes,

It keeps the design and manufacturing capability for this type of aircraft alive.

You can keep R&D and Manufacturing alive without building 100 of them.


We meed more disposable drones and robots, fewer manned weapons.

intercst
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It's a fine fighter bomber

Check out this link & the thread below it. We are building an aircraft isn't flyable let alone combat ready.

http://www.pogo.org/blog/2013/03/20130306-air-forces-f-35a-n...

http://boards.fool.com/hanger-queens-29906511.aspx?sort=whol...'s a fine fighter bomber
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You can keep R&D and Manufacturing alive without building 100 of them.

If only it was 100. Last time I heard it was 2400+ for the US. For an aircraft not ready to fly.

http://www.pogo.org/blog/2013/03/20130306-air-forces-f-35a-n...

And as much as I detest this wasteful spending it nothing compared to the medicare unfunded future liabilities.
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tjscott0 writes,

And as much as I detest this wasteful spending it nothing compared to the medicare unfunded future liabilities.

The present value of the next 75 years of US military spending is far larger than Medicare's unfunded future liabilities (75-yr outlook) -- especially if the Chickenhawk GOP ever regains power.

intercst
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The present value of the next 75 years of US military spending is far larger than Medicare's unfunded future liabilities (75-yr outlook) -- especially if the Chickenhawk GOP ever regains power.

intercst


And exactly what has been the democratic plan to reign in defense spending? NADA!

All them boys & girls in congress are the the pockets of the defense capital union. A capital union to be protected from competition & contract weapon system cancellations. And to be fair it ain't just the defense, it also agriculture, pharmaceutical, labor unions, etc buying influence.
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tiscott0: And exactly what has been the democratic plan to reign [SIC] in defense spending?

Actually all congress slimes from both parties reign in the sheltering arms of the aerospace industry.

To my knowledge, no congress slime has even suggested reining in the MIC.

Count No'Count
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Ingredients

3 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
4 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
9 ounces unsweetened chocolate (see Tip), finely chopped
2 cups hot freshly brewed coffee
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup canola oil
1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1 recipe Chocolate Buttercream (recipe follows)
Instructions

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter three 9-by-2-inch round cake pans, then line the bottoms with parchment and butter it as well. Lightly dust the pans with flour, tapping the pans on the counter to shake out the excess.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large mixing bowl, using a handheld mixer), combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Let the mixer run on low speed for 2 to 3 minutes to aerate the flour.

Meanwhile, put the chocolate in a medium bowl and pour in the hot coffee and vanilla. Let stand for about 2 minutes to melt the chocolate, then stir until smooth.

In another medium bowl, whisk the eggs and oil together until thick, satiny, and light in color. Whisk in the sour cream, being careful not to overmix; leave some visible streaks of white. Pour in the melted chocolate mixture and mix until just combined. Add the chocolate–sour cream mixture to the dry ingredients in thirds, mixing on medium speed until well blended.

Remove the bowl from the mixer and, using a rubber spatula, incorporate any ingredients hiding at the bottom of the bowl, making sure the batter is completely mixed.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans and smooth the tops with a spatula. Tap the pans firmly on the countertop to remove any air bubbles from the batter.

Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the center of a cake springs back a little when touched and a cake tester inserted in the center of a cake comes out clean. The cakes will be a deep, dark chocolate brown with slight cracks on top. Let the cakes cool for 20 minutes, then remove from the pans and cool completely on a wire rack.

To assemble the cake: Level the tops of two of the cake layers with a serrated knife so they're flat. Place one layer cut side down on a flat serving plate (you can keep the edges of the plate clean by sliding strips of parchment under the cake while you frost it). Using an offset spatula, spread the top with a big dollop of frosting. Place the second cake layer cut side down and spread the top with another big dollop of frosting. Place the final layer on top, right side up, and frost the top and sides with the remaining frosting, making big luscious swirls with the spatula. The cake can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Chocolate Buttercream
Makes about 7 cups

Ingredients

9 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 to 3 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
Instructions

Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a simmering saucepan of water (do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water) and stir occasionally until the chocolate is completely melted. Set the chocolate aside to cool to room temperature.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a medium mixing bowl, using a handheld mixer), beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the milk, mixing until completely blended. Add the cooled chocolate and mix until completely incorporated, 2 to 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as necessary. Add the vanilla and beat just until mixed. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add 2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar and continue beating, adding more sugar as needed, until you reach a creamy, silky frosting consistency. The frosting can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Tip: When a recipe calls for unsweetened chocolate, we recommend using one with 99% cocoa content, such as Scharffen Berger, for its intense flavor and dark color.
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