Aug 5, 2011

Air Force and DOD Chime In: "We've Got Broken Stuff Too!"

In the wake of yesterday's story about the Navy's dysfunctional fleet of combat vessels, the Air Force announced yesterday that their $1 trillion collection of F-35 fighter jets has been grounded.  Seems the craft's power system failed during a recent ground test, leaving the pricey plane unable to start the main engine or provide A/C to the pilot while in flight.

If this story sounds vaguely familiar, well it probably should.  This is the third time the aircraft have been grounded in the past year, having already encountered serious problems with both its software and its electrical systems.  Look for the planes to be grounded again in January when it's discovered that the wings are actually made of cardboard and aluminum foil.

Not to be outdone, the Department of Defense has their own stunning example of expensive ineptitude this week.  Bloomberg reports that the DOD plans to spend $8.6 billion developing the long-running and never-working missile defense shield program.  In fact, that $8.6 billion is a 1% increase from last year's budget, putting the total cost of the program right around $150 billion.  You know what else cost $150 billion?  The Apollo space program.  That's right, we've spent man-on-the-moon money for a costly military boondoggle that has never worked and likely will never work, aside from the fact that a missile attack is pretty low on the likely threat list these days.

But hey, maybe when the super-duper-congress-debt committee disbands because no one can agree on the damn seating chart and the defense budget gets slashed, the Armed Forces will stop spending money on terrible ideas.  THIS IS WHY WE CAN'T HAVE NICE THINGS!

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