Air Force Shelves $3B Worth of Brand New Drones
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  1. #1
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    Air Force Shelves $3B Worth of Brand New Drones

    I would LOL but instead I just have to double face-palm.

    Where's the accountability for this massive eff-up? Who's getting fired? Which suppliers are eating their cost overruns?

    Yahoo! News

    "the Block 30s cost too much and would require expensive upgrades to match the current version of the Cold War era U-2 spy plane's technical capabilities. "
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Creakyknees View Post
    I would LOL but instead I just have to double face-palm.

    Where's the accountability for this massive eff-up? Who's getting fired? Which suppliers are eating their cost overruns?

    Yahoo! News

    "the Block 30s cost too much and would require expensive upgrades to match the current version of the Cold War era U-2 spy plane's technical capabilities. "

    I see these being transferred to the domestic home-front/war on _____/home land security/surveillance/police state/patriot theater/be vary afraid/BOO!! effort.

  3. #3
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    Those drones will replace the black helicopters.
    Mike

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  4. #4
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    Not the least bit untypical, unfortunately. If you read the report, it sounds like there are major problems with the electronics for processing electronic intelligence, and bad enough troubles with the aircraft itself to make reliability a major concern. The whole theory behind drones is that you overcome some limitations by not having to carry a human -- you can stay in the air longer, and you can turn the thing around and fly another mission sooner. But on these, stuff breaks too much, so instead of being able to fly them every day, they can only fly 2 or 3 times a week.

    Bases and warehouses are full of expensive crap that didn't work too well. Somehow, somebody always makes money selling it to the government anyway.

    The RQ-4B Global Hawk Block 30 SIGINT payload collects large volumes of
    information across the designated frequency spectrum and provides a limited capability to detect, identify, and locate specific signals of interest. Technical deficiencies, inadequate training, and immature tactics currently limit SIGINT operational utility. SIGINT sensor instability also reduces on-station operational effectiveness. When integrated with supporting intelligence
    processing and dissemination systems, the Global Hawk Block 30 system does not consistently deliver actionable SIGINT reports to operational users
    .

    This is techno-speak for "it has these radios that pick up a whole lot of signals and record them, but it can't sort them out in any way that makes them useful."

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by TerminatorX91 View Post
    I see these being transferred to the domestic home-front/war on _____/home land security/surveillance/police state/patriot theater/be vary afraid/BOO!! effort.
    Yep. They'll sell them to traffic cops so that they can shoot Hellfire missiles at people who run red lights.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Creakyknees View Post
    I would LOL but instead I just have to double face-palm.

    Where's the accountability for this massive eff-up? Who's getting fired? Which suppliers are eating their cost overruns?

    Yahoo! News

    "the Block 30s cost too much and would require expensive upgrades to match the current version of the Cold War era U-2 spy plane's technical capabilities. "
    Probably Donald Rumsfeld. He was the guy in charge of the FCS/UAV/DARPA crap.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by etane View Post
    Probably Donald Rumsfeld. He was the guy in charge of the FCS/UAV/DARPA crap.
    Figures, blame Bush. Got news for you buddy, there have been 3 full appropriation cycles since Rumsfeld left office.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Creakyknees View Post
    Figures, blame Bush. Got news for you buddy, there have been 3 full appropriation cycles since Rumsfeld left office.
    actually, looks like he blamed Rumsfeld.

  9. #9
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    $176 million each??? Both the F-35 and the F-22 cost less than that. These things are just platforms for intelligence gear and weapons. They arent high performance machines What could make them worth more than an F-35? What a scam.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bahueh View Post
    actually, looks like he blamed Rumsfeld.
    Actually, the program was begun during the Clinton administration; the first test plane flew in 1998. The problems . . . well, blame everybody, and the whole system.

    This is quite a different machine than the more familiar Predator, and its successor, the Reaper. Much bigger, longer range, higher altitude, way more costly. Here's a scale drawing. Global Hawk is at the top, Predator and Reaper on the left.


    here's a drone at the other end of the spectrum:

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCavilia View Post
    Actually, the program was begun during the Clinton administration; the first test plane flew in 1998. The problems . . . well, blame everybody, and the whole system.
    Future Combat Systems (FCS) was the United States Army's principal modernization program from 2003 to early 2009.[1] Formally launched in 2003, FCS was envisioned to create new brigades equipped with new manned and unmanned vehicles linked by an unprecedented fast and flexible battlefield network. In April and May 2009, Pentagon and Army officials announced that the FCS vehicle-development effort would be cancelled. The rest of the FCS effort would be swept into a new, pan-Army program called the Army Brigade Combat Team Modernization Program.[2]
    On April 6, 2009, President Barack Obama's Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates announced plans to cut FCS spending as part of a shift toward spending more on counter-terrorism and less to prepare for conventional warfare against large states like China and Russia.[9] This included, but was not limited to, cancelling the series of Manned Ground Vehicles.[10]
    The DoD released a memorandum on 23 June 2009 that cancelled the Future Combat Systems program and replaced it with separate programs under the Army Brigade Combat Team Modernization umbrella to meet the Army's plans.[14]

    Link


    The FCS was energetically promoted by Rumsfeld during his six-year tenure as U.S. secretary of defense as the program that would shape the high-tech future of the U.S. armed forces. The FCS was an ambitious plan to integrate, automate and centralize military firepower and combat systems. But it has attracted widespread criticism for enormous cost overruns and delays, although supporters say key programs have been making significant progress.
    Link

    Though FCS was conceived as a research-and-development project several years ago, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld sees it—and has accelerated its development—as the pinnacle and core of "military transformation," his vision of putting faster, lither, and more lethal weapons on the battlefield. It may be a case of good timing, then, that FCS's grave difficulties are coming to light just as several Army officers are questioning the validity of Rumsfeld's vision.
    Link

    True, there were programs pre-Rummie, but the over indulgence on UAV happened under his watch while he was SOD.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by TerminatorX91 View Post
    I see these being transferred to the domestic home-front/war on _____/home land security/surveillance/police state/patriot theater/be vary afraid/BOO!! effort.
    Same here.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Creakyknees View Post
    I would LOL but instead I just have to double face-palm.
    Wow, I just looked at the original report that precipitated this. They should sue Northrop-Grumman, at least assuming the contract they operated under had even a semblance of sanity. That's quite an assumption, however, I know...

    Quote Originally Posted by mohair_chair View Post
    $176 million each??? Both the F-35 and the F-22 cost less than that.
    The $176mio are system costs, not just the actual planes. The cost you have in mind of the F-22/F-35 (around $160mio) refer to the cost of just the airplane. Their comparable system cost is currently estimated at $190mio or so. The planes are in fact somewhat comparable, so by cost alone things don't look outrageously unreasonable. The real issue is the piss-poor reliability these things have shown, see above.

    Quote Originally Posted by JCavilia View Post
    Actually, the program was begun during the Clinton administration; the first test plane flew in 1998. The problems . . . well, blame everybody, and the whole system.
    Yes. Defense contracting is a complete disaster, independent of the administration. One of the reasons is that no matter what party suggests reducing defense spending, they are going to get clobbered by voters. Well, Republicans usually show no interest in doing so in the first place, and they'll bludgeon to death any Democrat who makes any noises in that direction.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bahueh View Post
    actually, looks like he blamed Rumsfeld.
    dang you got me cold on that one.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCavilia View Post
    here's a drone at the other end of the spectrum:
    oh and btw... that thing is a tinfoil hatter's nightmare...
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pirx View Post
    Yes. Defense contracting is a complete disaster, independent of the administration. One of the reasons is that no matter what party suggests reducing defense spending, they are going to get clobbered by voters. Well, Republicans usually show no interest in doing so in the first place, and they'll bludgeon to death any Democrat who makes any noises in that direction.
    Not to dispute that line of thinking but when Democrats attack defense spending it is not to save money or reduce the bidget. It is to redirect money to their own pet projects, many of which are equally bloated and corrupt.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by snakebit View Post
    not to dispute that line of thinking but when republicans attack welfare spending it is not to save money or reduce the bidget. It is to redirect money to their own pet projects, many of which are equally bloated and corrupt.
    fify.

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