A U.S. budget watchdog is worried the manufacturer of the F-35 stealth fighter keeps making too many late design changes and that Lockheed Martin seems unable to control skyrocketing costs. The Government Accountability Office released a new assessment Thursday, a follow-up to a report issued last month which showed the purchase price for the ultra high-tech fighter-bomber would be substantially more than the Harper government has estimated. Most of the public debate in Canada has focused on the eye-popping cost and completely overshadowed the more basic question of whether the highly automated aircraft can fly and live up to its billing.Harper's platform is coming out today. Hopefully it will include dropping his plans for these maintenance nightmares.
"After more than nine years in development and four in production, the program has not fully demonstrated that the aircraft design is stable, manufacturing processes are mature, and the system is reliable," said the report. The assessment also warns that the prime contractor has not had "adequate and disciplined" systems in place to "effectively track costs and control schedules."
Friday, April 8, 2011
U.S. Budget Watchdog Says That Not Only the Cost of F-35s is Troubling, But the Design is Also a Big Problem
In the United States a watchdog group is not only criticizing the cost overruns of the F-35s but also design flaws. Will Stephen Harper cancel the order? Not likely.