Pentagon’s top tester: Littoral ships ‘have a near-zero chance of completing a 30-day mission’

The Navy’s Littoral Combat Ship program is behind schedule, hundreds of millions over budget, and incapable of conducting most of the basic missions it was intended to carry out. Senators on Thursday said they wanted to know why.

“Like so many major programs that preceded it, LCS’s failure followed predictably from an inability to define and stabilize requirements, unrealistic initial cost estimates, and unreliable assessments of technical and integration risk, made worse by repeatedly buying ships and mission packages before proving they are effective and can be operated together,” said Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., told Pentagon witnesses during a hearing.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., was more blunt. “The process is completely broken. If you want this to stop, somebody needs to get fired.” Continue reading

F-35 programme remains at risk at SDD conclusion, chief Pentagon test official warns

…and just a few weeks ago it was warned here that the F-35 program was touted as combat ready — out of rushed haste, not confidence.

 

Key Points

  • The Pentagon’s director of operational testing has warned that the F-35 programme is still at risk of failing to deliver its full combat capability at the conclusion of SDD
  • The USAF and the USMC have declared IOC with interim 3i combat software, while the USN has said that it will wait until 3F software is complete

Continue reading

Broken: America’s Latest Failed Supercarrier

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Caption: USS Gerald R. Ford (U.S. Navy)

 

The most expensive warship ever built can’t go to war.

America’s new, most expensive, most advanced aircraft carrier doesn’t work properly.

According to a June 28 memo obtained by Bloomberg News, the $12.9 billion uss Gerald R. Ford “may struggle to launch and recover aircraft, mount a defense, and move munitions.”

Continue reading

Not Combat Ready: U.S. Marine Corps

Caption: Two CH-53E Super Stallions depart the flight deck of USS Essex. (Marvin E. Thompson Jr./U.S. Navy via Getty Images)

 

The United States Marine Corps aviation wing is suffering from the burden of 15-years’ worth of fighting and budget cuts. Fox News ran an exclusive story about this predicament on April 17. The article reported that the vast majority of U.S. strike fighter aircraft are not airworthy. But it wasn’t just F-18s grounded due to a lack of parts, maintenance or other complications. “Only 42 of 147 heavy-lift CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters are airworthy,” Fox reported.

Continue reading

The F-35’s Terrifying Bug List

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AP / RICK BOWMER

 

The Pentagon’s top testing official has weighed and measured the F-35 and found it wanting.

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, the most expensive military program in the world, is even more broken than previously thought. The jet can’t tell old parts from new ones, randomly prevents user logins, and trying to eject out of it will likely result in serious neck injury and maybe death. A Pentagon office is warning that the plane is being rushed into service. Continue reading

The $400 Billion F-35 Is Filled With Software Bugs

A serious problem or just whining?

The world’s most expensive weapons program is riddled with software bugs. And a previously unreleased December memo from Michael Gilmore, the Department of Defense’s director for Operational Test and Evaluation, states that the F-35’s software will be buggy for years. Continue reading

New Navy Ships Have Trouble Surviving the High Seas

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The Military Sealift Command joint high-speed vessel USNS Spearhead (JHSV 1) – designed for rapid intra-theater transport of troops and military equipment. Source: U.S. Navy

 

 

 

The U.S. Navy is spending millions of dollars to repair new high-speed transport ships built by Austal Ltd. because their weak bows can’t stand buffeting from high seas, according to the Pentagon’s chief weapons tester.

“The entire ship class requires reinforcing structure” to bridge the twin hulls of the all-aluminum catamarans because of a design change that the Navy adopted at Austal’s recommendation for the $2.1 billion fleet of Expeditionary Fast Transports, Michael Gilmore, the Defense Department’s director of operational test and evaluation, said in a report to Congress. Continue reading

Bad News for Lockheed’s F-35 Stealth Fighter: This Warplane Has “Serious Deficiencies”

Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT  ) has an F-35 stealth fighter jet — but can it shoot? We posed this question last month, in the midst of a “he said-she said” battle waged between the Pentagon’s F-35 Joint Project Office and … The Daily Beast, which alleges the Pentagon is misleading taxpayers (and Congress) about when the F-35’s 25mm nose cannon will be ready for combat.

Says the Pentagon, development of “3F” software needed to operate the gun is on track, and should begin rolling out by 2017. According to the Beast, though, the software is behind schedule and won’t reach combat pilots before “late 2018 at the very earliest.” As a result, F-35 pilots must go into combat without guns for at least the next three years, before the software becomes operational.

Bad as all this sounds, though, it could be the least of Lockheed Martin’s problems. Continue reading

Exclusive: Pentagon report faults F-35 on software, reliability

(Reuters) – A new U.S. Defense Department report warns that ongoing software, maintenance and reliability problems with Lockheed Martin Corp’s F-35 stealth fighter could delay the Marine Corps’ plans to start using its F-35 jets by mid-2015.

The latest report by the Pentagon’s chief weapons tester, Michael Gilmore, provides a detailed critique of the F-35’s technical challenges, and focuses heavily on what it calls the “unacceptable” performance of the plane’s software, according to a 25-page draft obtained by Reuters. Continue reading