JoeCanuck
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US Auditer; Mil. Programs Over Budget And Late...

Tue Mar 31, 2009 5:50 am

While so much focus has been on the A400, (and deservedly so), it is not much of a surprise that is not the only military program causing grief. Budgetary concerns may mean program cuts.

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/afp/090330/usa/us_military_budget

Quote:
WASHINGTON (AFP) - Many major US weapons programs are running over budget and lagging behind promised production schedules, a report by an independent US auditor said Monday.
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The cost of the 96 largest defense programs reached 1.6 trillion dollars in fiscal year 2008, 25 percent higher than planned under initial budgets, said the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the investigative arm of Congress.

For these weapons projects, "the average delay in delivering initial capabilities has increased to 22 months," the GAO report said.

The cost overruns and delays were partly due to older weapons programs, with newer projects tending to operate more within planned budgets and production schedules, it said.

The report comes as President Barack Obama's administration seeks to scale back some costly weapons programs in the vast US defense budget, the world's largest.

What the...?
 
kingairta
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RE: US Auditer; Mil. Programs Over Budget And Late...

Tue Mar 31, 2009 12:33 pm

No surprise.

When was the last weapons contract that was ever delivered on-time and under budget?
 
ebj1248650
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RE: US Auditer; Mil. Programs Over Budget And Late...

Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:38 pm



Quoting KingairTA (Reply 1):
No surprise.

When was the last weapons contract that was ever delivered on-time and under budget?

True enough. This isn't news so why even make the point? Someone trying to present the image that he's doing his job?
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JoeCanuck
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RE: US Auditer; Mil. Programs Over Budget And Late...

Tue Mar 31, 2009 4:47 pm



Quoting EBJ1248650 (Reply 2):
True enough. This isn't news so why even make the point?

Can you imagine what the over runs would be if someone wasn't watching over these procurements?
What the...?
 
MCIGuy
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RE: US Auditer; Mil. Programs Over Budget And Late...

Tue Mar 31, 2009 5:12 pm

What you're seeing is only one side of the story. Delays and cost overruns are are often caused by the customer, not the OEM. Congress will often slow funding for a project and then turn around and bitch when the cost per unit goes up. The military brass will change the specs and/or requirements of a new weapon platform while it's in development, sometimes when it's nearing the end of developement. I'm not saying the OEMs are never to blame, but definitely not always.
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Flighty
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RE: US Auditer; Mil. Programs Over Budget And Late...

Tue Mar 31, 2009 5:20 pm

If it is known that the military tolerates delays, then it becomes SOP. Unless you actually threaten to not pay overages, then why would they come in on budget? Do they look stupid?

Any project with a properly designed contract will often come in on time and under budget. This only suggests the Pentagon is not competent in that area. Shame because this is an important component of warfighting.

For being experts at nuclear strategy, the Pentagon seems pretty weak at this other kind of strategy.
 
TGIF
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RE: US Auditer; Mil. Programs Over Budget And Late...

Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:48 pm



Quoting JoeCanuck (Thread starter):

The cost overruns and delays were partly due to older weapons programs, with newer projects tending to operate more within planned budgets and production schedules, it said.

Am I interpreting this correctly when I come to the conclusion that founding, let's say, KC-X, F-22, F-35 and NGB is better spent money than re-engining KC-135, extending life on F-15/F-16/B-52 etc? The politicians actions makes in that case little sense, but then again, that often seems to be the case so I'm not that surprised...
 
Flighty
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RE: US Auditer; Mil. Programs Over Budget And Late...

Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:53 pm



Quoting TGIF (Reply 6):
but then again, that often seems to be the case so I'm not that surprised...

Repair jobs are more politically palatable because they seem to be thrifty. Even if new build is more economical, it does not look that way politically. So contractors know how to capitalize on that. Not an evil thing, just a way that govt differs from a private group. Maybe we are comparing 2 huge evils, and buying new is a little worse. Both are being done badly.
 
JoeCanuck
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RE: US Auditer; Mil. Programs Over Budget And Late...

Tue Mar 31, 2009 7:23 pm

I took 'older projects' to mean projects started longer ago, not recent projects. I had just assumed 'improvement' projects could be termed as recent.

Now I'm confused...still, the article did mention 96 projects...some must be working out.
What the...?
 
sv7887
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RE: US Auditer; Mil. Programs Over Budget And Late...

Tue Mar 31, 2009 7:36 pm



Quoting Flighty (Reply 7):

Quoting TGIF (Reply 6):
but then again, that often seems to be the case so I'm not that surprised...

Repair jobs are more politically palatable because they seem to be thrifty. Even if new build is more economical, it does not look that way politically. So contractors know how to capitalize on that. Not an evil thing, just a way that govt differs from a private group. Maybe we are comparing 2 huge evils, and buying new is a little worse. Both are being done badly.

Isn't that how they got funding for the Super Hornet even though it was practically a new plane? It's interesting how that works, and whether that will set the stage for the F-15 SE that we saw a few weeks ago.

I am wondering: We used to field new aircraft pretty quickly, maybe every few years. It seems like these days everything is dragged on and on. Has the military acquisition historically been like this? I'm thinking of programs like AWACS, the KC-135, F-14,15,16, etc.

I've read plenty about the F-111. That had more to do with McNamara, General Dynamics, and of course the brass not wanting the thing.
 
LMP737
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RE: US Auditer; Mil. Programs Over Budget And Late...

Tue Mar 31, 2009 8:54 pm



Quoting KingairTA (Reply 1):
When was the last weapons contract that was ever delivered on-time and under budget?


The F-14D program. However in the bizzaro world that is Dick Cheney the program was axed.
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Flighty
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RE: US Auditer; Mil. Programs Over Budget And Late...

Wed Apr 01, 2009 12:07 am



Quoting Sv7887 (Reply 9):
Has the military acquisition historically been like this?

We needed new tech back then to win wars / beat the Russians. Maybe that lit a fire in everyone's belly. Today, the benchmarks are mostly imaginary it seems like. Harder to define, with no real deadlines.

Or maybe today's process is more defined by money, and less by military objectives. Example is the president's helicopter. It's about money. Or the Osprey. It's wasn't needed to win a war, but it still kept the smokestacks going for a while?

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