F/A-22 ... Another Non-Trivial "Minor" Setback in the Hall of Mirrors

November 8, 2002

Comment::  #463


Attached References:

[Ref. 1] Vernon Loeb, "Potential F/A-22 Cost Overrun Of $690 Million Is Announced," Washington Post, November 8, 2002, Pg. 14

Oops! ... another non-trivial minor setback.

Don't worry, be happy.

In Reference 1 below, no less an authority than Defense poobah Lauren Thompson, a well-known flirter around the fringes of the Court of Versailles on the Potomac, tells us not to worry about the F/A-22's first overrun (all the earlier overruns were for the F-22). According to Thompson, the new overrun, while not trivial, should not be a major setback.

Actually, Mr. Thompson is dead-on balls accurate, because the graphic above shows (attached also as an Adobe "pdf" file for readers who can not import imbedded graphics), the newest overrun is indeed "minor" when compared to earlier "setbacks."

So, there you have it -- the logic of the Hall of Mirrors revealed: Let the good times roll and money flow, because non-trivial minor setbacks accumulate to cause no cumulative damage!!!!!!

Chuck Spinney

[Disclaimer: In accordance with 17 U.S.C. 107, this material is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only.]

Reference 1

Washington Post
November 8, 2002
Pg. 14

Potential F/A-22 Cost Overrun Of $690 Million Is Announced

By Vernon Loeb,
Washington Post Staff Writer


The Air Force announced last night that its F/A-22 stealth fighter program has experienced a "potential cost overrun" of up to $690 million related to the aircraft's engineering, manufacturing and development phase.


With the program already capped by Congress at $45 billion for 295 planes, the radar-evading fighter made by Lockheed Martin Corp. of Bethesda is the most expensive jet fighter ever built.


"The F/A-22 is essential to America's security in the 21st century, and we will get to the bottom of this issue," (Air Force chief of staff Gen. John P.) Jumper said.

Additional cost escalations have already reduced the total from 295 to 284 planes. Stephen Cambone, director of defense program analysis and evaluation, recently raised the possibility of reducing the F/A-22 program further, to 239 aircraft, in order to save billions for other weapons programs, but Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has yet to act on it.


Loren B. Thompson, a Lexington Institute defense analyst, said the cost overrun, while not trivial, should not be a major setback.