Posts Tagged ‘Augustine’s Laws’

American military affluenza and the F-35

January 25, 2016

F22.F35.Screen-Shot-2016-01-22-at-5.08.21-PM-620x402Source: David Archibald.

American military strategy is based on air power.  In every military action since the Korean Conflict, the United States ruled the skies.

Two things could threaten this.  One is an oil shortage or lack of access to oil, which doesn’t seem to be a problem for the foreseeable future.  The other is a loss of the U.S. technological edge, which, according to a writer named David Archibald, is a real possibility.

The U.S. Air Force latest fighter-bomber, the F-22 is a superior aircraft, but it takes 42 man-hours of maintenance for every hour in the air.  F-22 pilots are restricted to 10 to 12 hours of flying per month, much less than required to maintain proficiency, because its operating cost is $58,000 per hour.

The F-35 on paper is a science-fictional wonder plane.  It has stealth capability.  Its computerized helmet supposedly gives pilots 360-degree vision and the ability to share data instantly with commanders and other pilots.

But, according to recent reports, it is like the F-22, only worse.  First planned in 2001, it still is not ready.  Development is more than $200 billion over budget.  It lacks maneuverability.  It doesn’t fly in cold weather.  The computers lack software pilots say they need for  combat.  The ejection seats don’t work.  The fuel tanks are vulnerable to lightning strikes.

But the Air Force is committed to it.  The main argument, according to Archibald, is the lack of a Plane B.  That, and the sunk costs and the jobs and profits that will be lost of the F-35 is canceled.

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Augustine’s Laws

March 20, 2011

Norman Augustine

Norman Augustine was an aerospace businessman who served as Undersecretary of the Army from 1975 to 1977, and was CEO of Martin Marietta Corp. from 1987 to 1995 and CEO of Lockheed Martin Corp. from 1995 to 1997.   He wrote the satirical Augustine’s Laws, with pseudo-technical commentary and charts, in 1983.

Augustine’s 1st law.  The best way to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear is to start with a silk sow.

Augustine’s  2nd law.  If today were half as good as tomorrow is supposed to be, it probably would be twice as good as yesterday was.

Augustine’s 3rd law.  There are no lazy veteran lion hunters.

Augustine’s 12th law.  It costs a lot to build bad products.

Augustine’s 13th law.  There are many highly successful businesses in the United States.  There are many highly-paid executives.  The policy is not to intermingle the two.

Augustine’s 15th law.  The last 10 percent of performance generates one-third of the cost and two-thirds of the problems.

Augustine’s 16th lawDefense budgets grow linearly but the cost of military aircraft grows exponentially.

Corollary: By 2054, the entire U.S. defense budget will purchase one aircraft.  It will be shared by the Air Force and the Navy 3 1/2 days each week, except in leap years, when it will be made available to the Marines for the extra day.

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