|12-22-2011, 04:08 PM||#1|
DoD Cutbacks = No more 747 Laser-Plane
With the ever-present and now essential need to trim Federal spending, Washington is finally getting around to cutting absurd Military R&D projects - aka corporate welfare. It remains to be seen if they begin doing the same with Little-O's green economy and commercial spaceflight 'corporate welfare' programs or America's new Terrorism Industrial Complex (including border/port) pork spending.
Today's announcement is the end to the Airborne Laser after 16 years and over $5billion dollars.
AviationWeek article - Dec 22 http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/gener...1/12/21/02.xml
-snips- "...the Pentagon has finally decided to mothball the Boeing-led 747-400F project known as the Airborne Laser.
The program was established by the U.S. Air Force in the 1990s with an aim of employing a multi-megawatt-class chemical oxygen iodine laser (COIL) to burn through the propulsion systems of boosting ballistic missile targets, sending the rockets and their potentially lethal payloads raining back down upon the area from which they were launched.
Boeing has recommended that (the Missile Defense Agency) retain 20 engineers and scientists versed in beam control/fire control, jitter and platform dynamics disciplines “to ensure transfer of knowledge and lessons to future high-power directed-energy programs."
While one reason suggested for terminating this 16yr pork-fantastic is cost, the most obvious reason is the absurdity of the idea to begin with resulted in DoD brass finally admitting so. Any airborne laser would have to patrol the immediate area where it is to be used - not exactly ideal for an unarmed 747. Further, missile designers can easily make their systems immune to any laser weapon with ... wait for it ... paint.
In case you're wondering from that last quote, "transfer personnel and knowledge to what?" This is only the largest of the laser weapon programs, including studies to put smaller lasers on Unmanned Air Vehicles (for shooting angry birds?), tracked vehicles, parking lot-sized arrays to shoot down satellites, etc. Pork knows no bounds.
I'll be listing a few more DoD porktastics, as well as maybe a few R&D projects outside DoD *cough green economy cough*, and ask if there's any that stand out to you or what you think about these.
Last edited by Boomhauer; 12-22-2011 at 04:11 PM..
|12-22-2011, 04:40 PM||#2|
US Navy’s Mobile Landing Platform Ships
DefenseIndustryDaily project overview - http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/...#navsea-nassco
Not sure what the official name of this class will be, but I'd submit "Diane Feinstein - class" since this porktastic has been pushed from the get-go by her in support of NASSCO Cali shipyard.
The first keel was laid this summer (some may recall I called it out then) and this ship-to-nowhere is expected to enter service in 2015. It is based on the Exxon Valdez (encouraging, right?) and built at the same yard. A total of three are proposed - the absolute minimum to stretch out design costs to keep a program going - but the Navy should cut its losses now after over $1billion spent and try to recoup some by selling back materials.
This hunk of junk as to be a cargo transport and staging area, but the Navy already has an abundance of these. Some still in production. The MLP-class is supposed to be around 35,000 tonnes (though I've also read 25,000 and 60,000), in comparison to;
The 16-17,000 HarpersFerry and WhidbeyIsland classes that won't need replacing until around 2040...
... and the 40,000 tonne Lewis&Clark class that's still in production. There's also the 65,000 tonne Watson and BobHope classes that do the heavy work and were completed around the turn of the century.
|12-22-2011, 04:45 PM||#3|
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: In a van down by the river
If it's really that vital, why can't DOD move funds to that project from a less vital one (or several)?
A certain amount of defense spending helps an economy grow. What we have now is overkill. It's so bloated that it's taking capital from production of civilian goods. As of now, we measure if we're spending enough on defense by it's percentage of GDP, but that's a pretty nebulous method. The question ought to start with 'how much did it cost us this year to meet the military needs of our nation?' DOD is currently not subject to an audit, as I understand it. Let's start there and get an adequate and REAL figure for what needs to be spent on defense, R&D, etc. I don't believe that the cost to the taxpayer is even an issue when it comes to defense spending, and it should be.
If it turns out that the most efficient allocation of money would be to foster more R&D on this project, I'm cool with that. But until we get a hold on how DOD runs itself and what it legitimately needs and doesn't need, we're shooting blindfolded.
|12-22-2011, 05:51 PM||#4|
For the unfamiliar, that's the replacement program for America's Ohio-class nuclear ballistic submarines. The design is already being tossed around and selection must come soon as the first is expected to hit the water around 2019 and the class being replacing Ohio's in the 2020's.
Where's the pork in that? you may ask. The Navy just started rolling out Virginia-class attack submarines in 2004. These are smaller (34ft diameter / 7,900 tonnes compared to the Ohio's 42ft diameter / 18,500 tonnes), but it would be much less expensive to modify Virginias for the Boomer role than start a whole new program. Problem is, the Navy and industrial complex wants da monies and that's the pork. In the most recent report to congress, only the new-sub (at a cost of over $4.5bil/per) was considered to replace the Ohios, even though work was done on Virginia-based versions (standard Virgina's cost about $2bil). A handful in congress objected and ask for the Virginia report, but it never materialized.
The arguments for a Virginia-based Boomer, other than the clear cost advantage in purchase, design and ongoing development;
~ The cold war is over, as is the concept of MAD that required oceans full of nukes to wipe out the planet. While ballistic submarines are still needed as part of the nuclear triad, we simply don't need that many nukes since contries like Iran and China are significantly smaller. The SSBN-X program is already suggesting a cutback from 24nukes/per to 16nukes/per and a reduced force.
~ Some would say the Virginias simply aren't big enough. The Trident D-5 missile is 42ft high, while the Virgina is only 32ft. Here's a Jin-class diagram with 16 silos, based on an old Soviet design, but much shorter (about 440ft). Notice the hump-back where the missiles rise outside the hull diameter.
Here's a Virginia diagram. They're built in blocks, including the central habitat block behind the sail and in front of the reactor. Stretching this block about 40ft would allow a single-file row of 12 silos down the middle, increasing total length to about 416ft.
Unlike the Jin-class, where the two-wide humpback makes for a noisy and inefficient design, a single file snugs tightly behind the sail. The added displacement from stretching also nicely matches the added weight of the silos and Tridents.
~ Ohios have also been converted to SSGNs, or non-nuclear guided missile subs. They are capable of sending hundreds of Tomahawks into a country, but their primarily function is a Navy Seal staging area and bunks have had to expand into their torpedo rooms to accommodate. The stretching of the habitability block, even with a row of silos, provides substantially more interior room for added Seal ops and would still carry plenty of Tomahawks. Lastly, the sail would be extended back about 14ft to meet the silo row and, along with the downslope aft of the silo row, provide exterior storage for Seal equipment.
~ Of course a bigger sub needs a bigger reactor to move it. Fortunately, the Navy has already been hard at work on a more powerful reactor for the Virginia-class that could easily meet requirements since Boomers don't need to move like attack subs.
|12-22-2011, 06:20 PM||#5|
Department of Homeland Security, including the Transportation Security Administration
While not a DoD project, it's close enough and a massive R&D porktastic that needs mentioning. Add the systemic violation of civil rights and complete incompetence to the 50% "failed project" rate with the other 50% going to useless projects and I don't know why Napolitamo doesn't have an apple stuffed in her piehole and her entire department liquidated yesterday.
|12-22-2011, 06:22 PM||#6|
Ring of Famer
Join Date: Jan 2004
The irony is that while everyone recognizes that the DoD takes the cake for bloat, waste, cost overruns, pork, graft, corruption, &c &c, the GOP will only make token changes, because they believe that war is good for bidness.
The DoD does more to damage America's security (by the aforementioned bloat, waste, cost overruns, pork, graft, corruption, &c &c) than it does to protect it. The Right will never recognize that, though, because anything less than full-throated support of the military (in their minds) is traitorous.
|12-22-2011, 09:27 PM||#7|
*cough Green economy cough*
To date, Little-O has spent about $5billion bolstering the electric vehicle industrial base in America. To show for it, there are currently no mass-produced electric cars made in America. The Tesla Roadster, which is out of production, was first delivered in 2008 and the Chevy Volt is a plug-in hybrid that some may consider an electric.
So what does that $5billion bring the environment, as that's the justification? In terms of CO2 pollution, the Chevy Volt creates as much as an equivalent 'Eco model' gas burner at 33mpg combined driving. The all-electric Nissan Leaf manages a bit better 38mpg.
So how much does that save the buyers, since electricity for fuel is so cheap? Even after the tax rebate, the Nissan Leaf costs about $10,000 more than an equivalent gas-burner. At $3.00/gal for gas and EPA calculated $0.12/kWh for electricity, it would take around 200,000 miles of driving a Leaf just to make up the higher purchase price - 370,000 for the Volt in pure electric mode.
Leaf = $10,000 / [($3/gal / 33mpg) - ($0.12/kWh x 34kWh/100mi)] = 199,565mi
Volt = $15,000 / [($3/gal / 33mpg) - ($0.12/kWh x 36kWh/100mi)] = 367,909mi
Which brings up the important question of, "Why is the Gov flushing $5bil into EVs when hybrids are cheaper to buy, cheaper to own, have no range restrictions and produce less CO2?" The answer is, because it's porktastic. If you want an electric, for whatever reason, than buy one. Just don't expect me to help someone else pay for it.
But the porkism doesn't exclude hybrids. Even though consumers have readily accepted hybrids while rejecting electrics (the Prius alone outsold all electrics 10:1 this year), that doesn't stop the "Money Party" party (remember Pelosi's 'Stimulus' package?) from dropping $2billion into tax incentives for hybrid's that consumers were going to purchase anyways.
|12-23-2011, 06:48 PM||#8|
Humvee Recapitalization Program
Why not replace a worn-out and outdated design with everything you want for the same price? Porktastic, that's why. The original Humvee began production in 1985 and around turn-of-the-century got new drivetrains to extend their lives. Once the Middle-East wars began, and these police-action vehicles were getting shredded on the battlefield, an up-armor program began to apply steel to heavier-framed Humvees (basic Humvees couldn't support the add-on's weight) and began ordering new ones of the like. DoD also started a replacement vehicle program called Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) to provide even greater protection from the frame up and increased lifespan.
As it stands right now, new up-armored Humvees' manufacturing cost about $250,000 ($180,000 plus $75,000 in armor) and an equivalent weight JLTV is expected to be the same, but as stated, is much better protected, lasts longer and uses less fuel.
Humvee Recapitalization Program - http://www.globalsecurity.org/milita...mmwv-recap.htm
Joint Light Tactical Vehicle Program - http://www.globalsecurity.org/milita...tv-program.htm
^^ JLTV-GeneralTacticalVehicles; best choice to replace Humvees ^^
Three JLTV variants are currently in testing purgatory competing for the gig until the program is either canceled or the Humvee recapitalization is and one finally goes into production. To prevent the JLTV program from replacing Humvees immediately, and to continue sucking at the teat of pork, the DoD had no choice but to move the goaline. DoD decided to increase the protection requirement, and therefore weight, from the 12k-14k lb weight class of an up-armored Humvee to +20k lb class currently occupied by the Oshkosh M-ATV, which is being produced like hotcakes right now and won't be replaced.
M-ATV Production News - http://www.defensenews.com/story.php...89&c=AME&s=LAN
^^ Oshkosh M-ATV; Currently replacing MRAPs in heavy rural fighting ^^
On a better note, the porktastic MRAP program that was launched in the mid-2000s, with Senator Biden the main driver, is finally getting wound down. To deal with the equally incapable, police-action Stryker's getting shredded, DoD wet on a spending spree and picked up about 13,500 MRAPs in over a dozen different models. This logistical nightmare (each version requires its own industrial base, parts overhead and unique training/repair) has finally been weened down to one vehicle - Navistar International's MaxxPro that currently accounts for about half the inventory. The remaining inventory is being replaced by the Oshkosh M-ATV and DoD is actively seeking buyers of the 'slightly-used' stepchildren that number between a dozen to hundreds per model.
MRAP Program - http://www.globalsecurity.org/milita...rap-deploy.htm
^^ Navistar International's MaxxPro; The iron safe in heavy urban fighting ^^
|12-23-2011, 11:30 PM||#9|
Why build one ship class when you can sneak in a limited-use class too?
It's the Porktastic! Navy LCS program
US Navy brief overview - http://www.navy.mil/navydata/fact_di...&tid=1650&ct=4
DefenseIndustryDaily full report - http://www.defenseindustrydaily.com/...updated-01343/
The Navy has already begun building, and deploying, a new class of ships called Littoral Combat Ships (LCS). These are essentially replacements for frigates, but are capable of very high speeds, have large mission bays to 'multitask' and oversized flight decks to handle Ospreys. The original plan was for two competing designs to build 1-2 ships, than one design would be chosen to fulfill plans for about 55 ships, total.
What wasn't planned is that the Navy would halt the competition and select both designs in equal buys. One of each ship is already in the water, another of each near completion (as originally planned), but now two more of each have been contracted and options remain for eight more of each.
In the above pic, what should stand out the most is the Trimaran has an over 40% larger flight deck and, even more importantly, a mission bay over twice the size. If the point is 'multitasking' and flight ops, which were key drivers, than how does the Monohull remain in production when it lacks where it's most important?
What's not in the pic is the fundamental design flaw in the Monohull that has revealed itself during testing. What should come as no surprise to anyone that's ever driven a flat-bottom, high-speed boat is they don't do well in rough water. In this case, during testing the superstructure of the Monohull began cracking in all key junctions. Reports are they 'fixed' it, but then the outer hull split mid-ship along a weld. Reports are they 'fixed' that too, but neither problem is 'fixable'. Take a flat bottom at high speed through rough waves and it will slam itself into pieces, regardless how much reinforcing it gets.
While the Monohull has tested at higher top speed than the Trimaran, and uses less fuel when at these speeds because it can plane, it uses more fuel at typical speeds because of it's fat, flat body. But anything other than calm seas negates the speed advantage that the Monohull has over the Trimaran, making it a less efficient, no faster and structurally deficient design.
As preluded to in the original questioned, the monohull should not be included in the plan and purpose of the LCS program. It should halt production at the current four, or maybe 5-6 ships, and be a separate class.
'For what use?', you may ask. The Monohull is only useful in areas of typically calm seas where the extra +5 knots it has over the Trimaran can and must be used in the face of other high-speed craft. There must also be a nearby fleet base or major port to keep it refueled and to swap out the small mission bay.
I can think of only one location, one reason for 4-6 of this Monohull design - the Persian Gulf.
|12-24-2011, 04:33 PM||#11|
When you're the smallest service and even shuffled into another branch, the R&D options are few and far between. For the Marine Corps, that means taking their two primary vehicles and Pork-a-dorking those bches to the max.
Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle - Canceled in 2010 after 15yrs and $3billion
I see no fault in the Marines trying to replace their ancient Amphibious Assault Vehicle, but this program was a disaster. Costs skyrocketed to $24million/per unit, total expected program cost to $15billion while reliability was about 4 hrs at a time, compared to the required 43.5 hr minimum.
GlobalSecurity overview - http://www.globalsecurity.org/milita...av-program.htm
While the existing AAV, and the EFV replacement, are designed to carry a reinforced Marine rifle squad (13 troops plus 4 specialists), a better alternative, IMO, is two smaller vehicles. The Marines have a vehicle of this size, but is simply not up to the task of storming beaches and what they looking at as replacement, isn't either.
Light Armored Vehicle - Marine's amphibious equivalent to the police-action Strykers used by the rest of the Armed Forces. The LAV was designed in the 1980's, but were not replaced by Stryker derivatives when these began rolling out in the 2000's. The Marines have opened a competition to replace the LAV, but chose to look at unique manufacturers since there's greater pork in a completely separate system than an amphibious Stryker. This proposed replacement is to be called the Marine Personnel Carrier, or MPC. Here's the Lockheed/Patria sales pitch - http://www.marcorsyscom.usmc.mil/peo...stems/mpc.aspx
But as stated, none of these flyweight options is capable of storming beaches, which means the marines are still left with the 1970's AAV if the tihs hits the fan. There best hope now, is the Stryker & M113 replacement program will also include an up-armored amphibious variant.
Of all the acts of DoD Porkism, I don't know any as fq'ed up as what the Marines have to deal with. First in, last out, a small budget and their two modes of ground transport are 25-40 yrs old. Every penny meant to replace these hoopties gets flushed into the pockets of the industrial base and retiring Generals. The V-22 Osprey, another Marine-focused projetc, took 20yrs to develop and jumped from $24mil/per to over $81mil/per.
I guess once a Marine gets a desk job, he forgets Semper Fi and lives Semper Me.
Last edited by Boomhauer; 12-24-2011 at 04:41 PM..
|12-24-2011, 10:06 PM||#13|
THAAD = $13.2bil/20yrs wasted
The Porkism is probably even higher, but what a quick reference found was;
1990-1998 = $4.2bil and a series of failed tests. Program put on hold.
2000-2005 = $3.97bil to attempt a few more tests in a couple years.
2006-2008 = $619mil for some prototypes
2009 = $855mil in mostly R&D
2010 = $1.11bil as about half R&D and half Procurement
2011 = $1.3 requested as mostly procurement
2012 = $1.17 requested as mostly procurement
What makes this porkalicious is it's a redundant capability, trying to squeeze into a niche between the SM-3 (Standard Missila-3) and SM-2 missiles fielded for years and the backbone of the Aegis BMD.
There is zero operational benefit to the THAAD system, only pork.
THAAD is a ballistic missile interceptor with an operational range of over 150mi. It is designed to hit targets in the high-upper atmosphere and space, requiring an exo-atmospheric kill vehicle/thrusters, but is not used against aircraft.
The SM-3 does the same thing as THADD, but at ranges over 300mi and is also an anti-satellite weapon (We used it to blow up one of our own in 2008). Land-based variants of the SM-3 have also been considered by the US and other countries.
The SM-2 is the older, basic missile designed to engage aircraft (also effective against ballistics) at about 50mi - or 100mi with a booster stage, but within the atmosphere. Add a bigger booster stage and exo-atmospheric vehicle, and you have the existing SM-3.
^^The SM-6^^ is the modern variant of the SM-2, has a range of about 150mi and most importantly, incorporates the tracking system of the AIM-120 air-to-air missile used since the 90's, making it highly accurate in the BMD role. At that range and new tracking, the only difference between an SM-6 and a THAAD is thrusters for exo-atmospheric kills, but in an existing and common package.
MEADS = $2.9bil/7yrs wasted
What was sold as a replacement for short-range Patriot interceptors and an International venture is actually ... you guessed it ... Porktastic! The MEADS system is designed to engage aircraft and ballistics at a range of about 30mi and is a further development, not a replacement, of the PAC-3 (Patriot). The US has shouldered 58% of costs - about $1.9bil so far - while Germany and Italy have pitched in. There's still $billions/years left before MEADS gets close to fielding. To get out of the deal, the US would have to take a $1.0bil hit, or do as Germany has an fund R&D, but cancel plans for deployment.
That's pure DoD clusterfuq pork, aka SNAFU baby!
A question same may ask is, "Why even fund the 30mi MEADS when the bare-bones SM-2 works to 50mi?". Simply, the idea was sold as reducing cost and weight, but there are much better means than MEADS.
The old, but reliable AIM-120 air-to-air missile, mentioned above as having its tracking used on the SM-6, has been mounted to Humvees, medium trucks and platforms. After some simple wiring, the Finnish call this system NASAMS and is good to about 25mi.
It's so good, in fact, that it's the short-range aerial defense for Washington DC.
Apparently, DoD trusts the Fins to defend the Prez/DC more than itself.
A US version of this ultra-cheap, ultra-light, ultra-reliable system was called SLAMRAAM and was sought after by the Army and National Guard (who currently field NASMS). But the tenders of pork have done their best to prevent testing and deployment of SLAMRAAM and to keep the trough open for MEADS.
|12-25-2011, 09:52 PM||#14|
Atlas V launch vehicle
Why have one, when you can have two for twice the price? Yep, it's Porktastic.
~ Atlas V shown with 4 boosters
~ Delta IV also with 4 boosters
~ Falcon 9 photo op
Notice the diameter of the Delta core is wider, even though the payload shroud is the same diameter on each. That's because it's hydrogen fueled instead of kerosene like the other two. The Falcon 9 has also never launched in this payload configuration, only with unmanned Dragon capsules.
United Launch Alliance was formed in the mid-1990's by combining Lockheed's AtlasV program with Boeing's DeltaIV program. The US could not afford the corporate welfare to keep each running, and they weren't about to compete with each other on cost, so a lie of 'guaranteed low cost access for DoD/NRO' was used to excuse the merger. SpaceX filed an anti-trust lawsuit in the 2000's, but was predictably denied.
The AtlasV uses a Russian main engine and is available with zero to 5 Aerojet boosters, asymmetrically attached when necessary. Like the DeltaIV, the AtlasV is offered with 4 or 5 meter upper fairings and an RL-10 upper stage engine.
Breakdown; Rocket#(diameter/booster/1) - Low Orbit Payload - Geosynchronous Transfer (both rounded kg) - Launches
401 - 9,800 - 4,750 - 11
411 - 12,150 - 5,950 - 3
421 - 14,050 - 6,900 - 3
431 - 15,700 - 7,700 - 2
501 - 8,100 - 3,800 - 3
511 - 11,000 - 5,250 - 0
521 - 13,500 - 6,500 - 2
531 - 15,600 - 7,500 - 1
541 - 17,450 - 8,300 - 1
551 - 18,800 - 8,900 - 2
561 - 19,500 - 9,200 - *The 561 has never been proposed. This is just a performance ballpark of an AtlasV with 3 boosters on each side.
The DeltaIV uses a US-built RS-68 engine that is also the likely engine to be used on the Shuttle-replacement rocket. The DeltaIV has been built with zero to 4 ATK boosters, but up to 8 are available for order. A key advantage the DeltaIV has by using hydrogen instead of kerosene is significantly better performance to highly elliptical, polar or medium altitude orbits used by DoD, NRO, etc.
Breakdown; Rocket#(diameter,booster) - LEO - GTO - Launches
4,0 - 8,100 - 4,200 - 3
4,2 - 10,450 - 5,850 - 8
4,4 - 14,800 - 7,500 - 0
5,0 - 6,200 - 3,350 - *The 5,0 has never been proposed. This is just a ballpark of a 'naked' 5meter.
5,2 - 8,000 - 4,650 - 0
5,4 - 11,500 - 6,550 - 1
5,6 - 15,000 - 7,700 - 0
5,8 - 17,200 - 9,200 - 0
The DeltaIV has also launched 4 times in 'Heavy' configuration, constituting three main cores and no boosters. Payload is 23,000 - 13,150 and all launches were military. AtlasV and Falcon9 have each proposed similar 3-core designs.
The Falcon9 is offered in one configuration, without boosters, and uses in-house main and upper engines. Payload is 10,450 - 4,550 but is offered at about a quarter the price of the AtlasV or DeltaIV.
$ With the abundant overlap between DeltaIV and AtlasV, there's no reason to keep paying infrastructure for both, primarily the standing army required at the integration and launch facility.
$ While the production facility and offices are shared, manufacturing just one rocket would cut overhead, maintenance and increase response if a timeline is moved. Office cuts would be smaller and reserved to a handful of engineers (transfered?) and always-disposable sales reps.
$ Since both rockets use the same upper stage engine (Pratt&Whitney), its production rate would be unaffected if only topping one rocket, but cost would be reduced (there's small differences). Since each uses a different booster, one of those companies would get the shaft.
If the DoD, and all the offshoots that collectively support ULA, are to axe one rocket, it's gotta be the AtlasV and move to only the DeltaIV due to main engine choice, unique orbital abilities and existing heavy configuration. The DoD is currently looking at a multi-year block-buy for launch capability - including price/rocket and fixed cost for the standing armies - so now is the time to cut that pork train.
Last edited by Boomhauer; 12-25-2011 at 10:01 PM..
|12-27-2011, 02:27 AM||#15|
Got a chance to speed-read through the 2012 Defense Appropriations ...
... that was crammed through in the Omnibus bill that Little-O signed just before Christmas break. Making a stink about detainee treatment was also a nice touch to change the dialogue from substance just long enough for him to sign it, than flee the Continental US and the public to focus on Christmas.
SSBN-X program; Requires a report on an 8, 10 or 12 sub fleet yielding 16 or 20 nukes/per and any other option deemed relevant. The options outlined mean 160-to-200 nukes total and a price of about $55bill (around 8subs @ $7bill/per to 12subs @ 4.5bill/per). While a current Virginia-class costs about $2bill and I've seen some reports of about $2.5bill for a Boomer variant, let's consider a $3bill Virginia-Boomer a 'relevant option'.
Building 16 subs with the previously outlined 12 nuke/per Virginia-based is the same 192 nukes total as the 12subs/16nuke option outlined in the appropriations bill. The additional four more subs allows better positioning, greater force during downtime and saves $7bill total ($48bill instead of $55bill).
An option would then exist to only load 4nukes into four subs while fully loading the other twelve. These four would provide the same function as current SSGNs near hot spots, while keeping the nuke count at 160 total. (note; I'd rename these new Trident/Seal/Tomahawk subs SSCruiserN) Another option would be building only 14 subs for 168nukes total and saving about $13bill.
MEADs; I couldn't identify THAADs spending to know how much the DoD is wasting on that program this year, but I did tally Patriot/MEADs as best I could. The Army budgeted $67mill for upgrading existing Patriots to PAC-3 standards, which I have no objection with. My objection is with them procuring even more and the continuing development rolled in with MEADs. Congress seems to also disagree because, even though they poured pork into MEADs, they left a requirement that a report on reduction or termination of MEADs must be filed before 25% of funds are spent this year.
That leaves the Army wasting $737mill on more obsolete Patriots, $390mill on Patriot/MEADs R&D and $89mill on further PAC-3 R&D for a total pork-load of about $1.216bill this year. The equivalent SLAMRAAM system, which fires AIM-120s and I referenced earlier, was supposed to receive $20mill in R&D this year to become operational. Instead its funding was zeroed and $479mill of pork went to Patriot/MEADs R&D. As far as missile cost and trasportability; the AIM-120 weighs half as much, is in mass production with existing development as our nations primary Air-to-Air radar missile and costs about $700k/per compared to $2mill/per for the PAC-3.
Stryker and Hornet; These are two porksters I haven't referenced yet, but will now that funding for them came out.
The Stryker family are police-action vehicles meant to suppress populations, but as much a death trap during combat as Humvees. Like the Patriot system, I have no objection to upgrading them for survivability, communications, etc. ($51mill in R&D was approved) but it's a waste to keep procuring them. Congress instituted language limiting Strykers to 100 buys this year, yet allocated $607mill to the Army for these Kevlar coffins. It's a waste as Strykers should be removed from front lines and all converted to ambulance, communication or 105mm versions.
The Hornet, likewise, is a hoopty. It was designed as a budget alternative on aircraft carriers (rather than fly F-14s all the time) and only won out over the vastly superior F-16 because of its twin engines. Since then it's been repeatedly upgraded, but is still a junker and is set to be entirely replaced by the F-35C.
The Navy was originally planning on a half-dozen new Hornets, but instead is getting two dozen for $2.303bill in addition to $1.023bill for Growlers. While I have no objection to the $425mill to upgrade Hornets or the Growlers buys, those extra 18 Hornets (or all 24) should be canceled.
Lastly, the P-8 Haven't mentioned this one yet either, but it's a Boeing 737 outfitted to replace the old turboprop P-3s. This thing is massive overkill for the job and massive pork project that, fortunately, has not moved into production yet. The old P-3 is getting $3mill to update its systems and will do fine until a smaller aircraft like a an Embraer E-190 (+8,000km range with added fuel tanks) is selected to replace it instead of 737s costing twice as much.[COLOR=
Last edited by Boomhauer; 12-27-2011 at 02:29 AM..
|12-27-2011, 09:10 PM||#16|
*cough Green Economy cough*
It's been about 3yrs, so what ever happened to the $78.6bill allocated to 'The Green Economy'?
Of the $32.80bill dedicated to 'clean energy', you can pretty much flush it all down the drain as subsidies toward pointless windmill and photovoltaic production, (<-Solyndra->) embezzlement by politicians and politically connected venture capitalist, and reimbursements for 'clean', hokie home power systems. Just ask yourself how much better off the 'green' sector is today compared to 5yrs ago or how much this fraud has contributed to the economy/pollution and it's fairly obvious it was just a massive scam that hosed the American people.
Of the $26.86bill dedicated to improve efficiencies, I'm not sure where $6.5bill went, but;
~ $5bill pork for a 'weatherization' slush fund
~ $4.5bill to 'improve' power transmission, mostly to aid windmills
~ $4.5bill for Federal 'green' building
~ $3.2bill into a state slush fund
~ $3.1bill pork barrel for states to allocate to citizens and businesses
Of the $18.95bill dedicated to 'green transportation';
~ $8.4bill went to public transportation, but not necessarily green ones
~ $8bill for high speed rail wasn't spent, largely because the idea it was needed was absurd
Add up the pork-load just from Little-O's 'efficiencies' and 'clean energy' = $60 billion add in the EV, hybrid and cash-4-clunker wastes = $9 billion and there's a porkfest eclipsing all the DoD projects I've listed thus far and many, many more I haven't.
Sure there's pork in the DoD, but Little-O spent the equivalent of decades of spending in just half a term, justified by calling it 'green' and a salvation to the globe and economy.
|12-27-2011, 09:22 PM||#17|
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