Defense

F-22 Plagued by Recurrent Problems, Cost, Lack of Mission

On the heels of much-publicized difficulties with the F-22 Raptor’s oxygen system, the Department of Defense (DOD) has awarded Lockheed Martin a $19 million contract to retrofit an automatic oxygen system on 40 of the planes it originally sold to the Air Force.

Transparency Leads to Defunding of MEADS

A little transparency certainly goes a long way.

Potential Savings Exist in MDAP

The current economic climate, record national debt, and automatic cuts to the Department of Defense (DOD) posed by sequestration have placed defense spending on the political front burner. Leaders in Washington, even inside the Pentagon, have stated publicly the dangers of continued deficit spending. On August 26, 2010, Admiral Mike Mullen, then-Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, referred to the national debt as the “single-biggest threat to our national security."

Potential Savings Exist in DOD Budget

Faced with a historic national debt and a projected $2.2 trillion deficit over the next two years, the country’s leadership is currently grappling with ways to reduce spending. One program which politicians from both sides of the aisle agree should be eliminated is the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS). Created in 1995 to replace aging missile defense systems in the U.S., Germany, and Italy, cost overruns, delays, and underperformance have enveloped MEADS in a cloud of doubt.

DHS Grants: Legacy of Waste

Following the attacks of September 11, 2001, the U.S. prioritized Department of Homeland Security (DHS) grants to prepare state and local emergency personnel for further incidences of terrorism or other catastrophic events. However, like most programs, members of Congress quickly began using DHS grants for parochial projects. The Center for Investigative Reporting stated in 2011 that the U.S. has spent $34 billion on such grants over ten years.

MEADS Test "Successful," Cost and Purpose Uncertain

In an apparent last-ditch attempt to secure funding for the troubled Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) program, MEADS International, the primary contractor comprised of Lockheed Martin and MBDA, conducted a flight test at the White Sands Missile Range on November 17, 2011. According to a press release, the test “demonstrated an unprecedented over-the-shoulder launch of the MSE [missile segment enhancement] missile against a simulated target attacking from behind.” Even though the U.S. and Germany have already indicated that they do not intend to undertake the acquisition phase of MEADS, funding has been approved for two flight tests. An intercept flight test is scheduled for the end of 2012. It is unclear how much these tests will cost.

GAO Skewers United Launch Alliance Contract Plans

The Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program began in 1995 and was designed to allow the Department of Defense (DOD) access to space with the intention of reducing the cost of satellite launches by at least 25 percent while striving for up to 50 percent. Four contractors were initially approved to compete for the contract, but two EELVs were eventually selected: Boeing’s Delta IV and Lockheed Martin’s Atlas V.

Senate Backtracks on MEADS, Supplies Earmark

Created in 1995, the Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) is a collaborative missile defense project intended to replace the Patriot Missile system, which has been used by the U.S. and its allies for decades.  A Memorandum of Understanding between the U.S., Germany, and Italy required that the U.S. pony up 58 percent of the development costs, with Germany covering 25 percent and Italy paying 17 percent.  The U.S. has already spent $1.9 billion on the design and development phase of MEADS, but the program has been plagued with cost overruns of $2 billion and is 10 years behind schedule.

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CAGW Names Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand May 2018 Porker of the Month

Sen. Gillibrand is CAGW's Porker of the Month her proposal to force the fiscally-imperiled United States Postal Service to expand into banking.