USAF not happy with Lockheed?

Program progress, politics, orders, and speculation
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Ztex

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Unread post18 Sep 2012, 14:52

http://www.defensenews.com/article/2012 ... |FRONTPAGE

The general tapped to head the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter effort called the relationship between contractor Lockheed Martin and the program office “the worst I have ever seen,” expressing frustration with the company’s continued performance and production woes.

Maj. Gen. Christopher Bogdan, the F-35 deputy program manager, said the Pentagon would no longer funnel cash into the program should development issues continue. Bogdan also expressed frustration that the Pentagon and the company have not been able to ink a deal for the fifth production lot of aircraft after nearly a year.


The Pentagon has not accepted “a bunch of airplanes” at Lockheed’s production facility in Fort Worth, Texas, because the updated logistics system is not in place.


I was wondering why we had not seen more F-35A's flying here in Fort Worth....Hmmm
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luke_sandoz

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Unread post18 Sep 2012, 16:36

Well the new sheriff in town is trying to make a big splash.

Must be time for his performance review.
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archeman

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Unread post18 Sep 2012, 18:40

luke_sandoz wrote:Well the new sheriff in town is trying to make a big splash.

Must be time for his performance review.



Reviews should be based on results and not press releases eh?

I thought that the points about moving progress measurement away from tp and flights was interesting.

What would they actually use then if not test points? You can't wait till it is not operational in 2015 to say to yourself, "Hmmmm, I guess we missed our 1st milestone!".
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neurotech

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Unread post18 Sep 2012, 18:56

luke_sandoz wrote:Well the new sheriff in town is trying to make a big splash.

Must be time for his performance review.

Vadm. Venlet "made a big splash" when he took over, and for the most part, got the program back on track.

Your comment is unfair to Gen. Bogdan. He's already received an excellent performance review. When he transferred to the JSF as Deputy, he'd been selected as JSF PEO and nominated for a 3rd star. Gen Bogdan made considerable changes to the KC-46 program and has earned his 3rd star. Remember that 3-star and 4-star officers are subject to a 60 day clock. Perform in a suitable billet, or retire.
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megasun

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Unread post19 Sep 2012, 00:06

Got the program back on track, according to the old sheriff.
Now the new sheriff has something else to say...
Wait a minute, why do we have many sheriffs?

Anyway, I can't help again wondering why this project is problematic.
(I know many of you don't agree with "problematic", at least it didn't go very well as planned.

Is it the "Joint" developing idea not so good? I remember this wasn't the idea from air force or navy.
Complicated requirements from different services, from different ally nations?
Parallel developing of 3 models?
Only one main contractor for all 5-gen aircrafts, lack of competition?

Or some may think this is normal, anyone who wants a 5-gen fighter will run into this, and pay this price. If China does't pay this much, their aircraft is crappy. And 5-gen fighter is this expensive, because it's 6 times more efficient than 4-gens, if it survives 6 times more from Taliban attack.
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quicksilver

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Unread post19 Sep 2012, 01:42

neurotech wrote:Vadm. Venlet "made a big splash" when he took over, and for the most part, got the program back on track.


Really? All the headlines lately have been about 'more problems,' and the new guy shows up and says stuff ain't going like it should -- most conspicuously, the relationship between his program office and the contractor. So if the old guy did such a good job, how come the new guy ain't so happy about how things are going? Can't have it both ways.

And how 'bout this quote from Andrea's Reuters article (link below) on same subject --

"We've got to shed our baggage," Bogdan told reporters after a speech at the annual Air Force Association conference, vowing to shake up the Pentagon's program office once the U.S. Senate confirms him to replace retiring Navy Vice Admiral David Venlet."

"...Shake up..."? What all the sheep er, ah... editors writing headlines seemed to miss was that Bogdan was talking to his program office too. "Shake up" -- anyone wanna guess what that means?? :shock:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/ ... 0D20120918

Amy Butler heard it too (is this a girl thing?) -- “We have got to shed our baggage,” he says of program staffers who are unwilling to move forward more productively."

http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.asp ... 496707.xml

Sounds like the days of foot dragging and then throwing the contractors under the bus are coming to an end.
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archeman

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Unread post19 Sep 2012, 02:27

quicksilver wrote:
neurotech wrote:Vadm. Venlet "made a big splash" when he took over, and for the most part, got the program back on track.


Really? All the headlines lately have been about 'more problems,' and the new guy shows up and says stuff ain't going like it should -- most conspicuously, the relationship between his program office and the contractor. So if the old guy did such a good job, how come the new guy ain't so happy about how things are going? Can't have it both ways.

And how 'bout this quote from Andrea's Reuters article (link below) on same subject --

"We've got to shed our baggage," Bogdan told reporters after a speech at the annual Air Force Association conference, vowing to shake up the Pentagon's program office once the U.S. Senate confirms him to replace retiring Navy Vice Admiral David Venlet."

"...Shake up..."? What all the sheep er, ah... editors writing headlines seemed to miss was that Bogdan was talking to his program office too. "Shake up" -- anyone wanna guess what that means?? :shock:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/ ... 0D20120918

Amy Butler heard it too (is this a girl thing?) -- “We have got to shed our baggage,” he says of program staffers who are unwilling to move forward more productively."

http://www.aviationweek.com/Article.asp ... 496707.xml

Sounds like the days of foot dragging and then throwing the contractors under the bus are coming to an end.


This is completely believable (program office politics).
I haven't seen everything under the Sun, but this I have seen many times before. Contractor representatives (PMs, schedule managers, test managers, docs folks) line up on one side of a huge table -- government project folks line up on the other and just when progress starts to seem possible some government busybody starts chucking sand into the gears just to show you that she can and since she's government with tenure she'll never have to answer for it. It doesn't matter if the article passed the test -- she wants to see the results plots printed in 12 point font landscape this is clearly 10 point with vertical tables, go back and do it again (then I'll find something else to not like about it).
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fang

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Unread post19 Sep 2012, 07:46

What a bad timing to say things like that.
"The new sheriff in town" could wait until the OUE done and only then submit the results + whatever he said - now thats sounds not serious, like a joke.

BTW, the "The bunch of airplanes the Pentagon has not accepted“ are 7 A/C as follow: AF-17/18 (FF in May 12), AF-19 (FF in June 12), BF-16/17 (FF in July 12) and AF-20/BF-18 (FF in Aug 12).

It's already happened LM kept A/C over 3 months before delivery, why he make it sounds like LM neglecting? weird
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arkadyrenko

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Unread post20 Sep 2012, 03:19

There are two reasons the USAF may not be happy with Lockheed right now. Lockheed may be stalling on the price and the USAF suspects that Lockheed hasn't reached the required price certainty yet. That's one reason and probably a consequence of the design still being immature.

The bigger problem is that the USAF can no longer wait to get the F-35 into production. The budget isn't infinite and China's moving quite quickly towards their own 5th gen force. Note that they'd be willing to cut F-35 capabilities to hit production targets. That makes the goal of nearly complete functionality at Blk 3 quite expendable.
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sewerrat

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Unread post20 Sep 2012, 13:31

Having been on both sides of the fence: supplier, and customer, I can tell you that even when things are going right, the customer will never give you warm fuzzy hugs. Also, the guy that screams the loudest about how f'd up the supplier is doing is usually doing to so to garner favor with his/her higher ups. This report isn't worth using as toilet paper... I've never been a part of engineering project, no matter how successful, in which everything just fell magically into place on my MS Project sheets...
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spazsinbad

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Unread post24 Sep 2012, 22:33

Pentagon stands by tough Joint Strike Fighter talk By Michael Hoffman, September 19th, 2012

http://www.dodbuzz.com/2012/09/19/penta ... f-35-talk/

"...Bogdan’s critiques don’t signal a waiver in the Pentagon’s commitment to the F-35 program, Carter said.

“We’ve wanted all three variants. It’s the center piece of our tacial air modernization program, but at the same time we have to control costs there,” Carter said. “And that means doing what we’re doing and that is sitting down together and scrutinizing every element across the structure of that program.”

Always more at URL, only the last paragraphs excerpted above.
RAN FAA A4G: http://tinyurl.com/ctfwb3t http://tinyurl.com/ccmlenr http://www.youtube.com/user/bengello/videos

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