tv Hearing on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter CSPAN April 30, 2016 2:48pm-4:50pm EDT
you don't want to do that, that would be very rude. you have to engage when you make notes and that type of stuff. peter: have you practiced any conversations you have with mrs. obama? larry: i probably should. i could say horrible things. that is the first lady of the use, you're right. i have to work, that's something i got it to work on, i have to write some stuff to say. any suggestions, any tips? peter: larry wilmore, i'm firing the questions, you have to answer. i don't have to answer any questions. larry: no tips what to say to the first lady. peter: why don't you give us a preview of what you're going to talk about? larry: with the first lady? peter: how about at the podium. larry: i can't give away any jokes, you know. let's just say i'll definitely bring up race, that's going to be an issue. i will bring up the
presidential election, lots of thinks to talk about there, talk about people in the room. talk about obama's legacy a little bit. we will -- those are the big things, i guess, some of the big areas. peter: just as a reminder, you're going to be big-time, this is going to be broadcast live on c-span. larry: i know, absolutely. c-span is so big, it doesn't need h.d. that's how i like to think of c-span, it doesn't need it. c-span, you want hfpblg d., we don't need it. we're c-span, people will watch anyway. that's how bad c-span is, how bad ass c-span is. peter: larry wilmore is not only the host of the nightly show, he is an author and also an executive producer. what's your connection with the tv show "blackish"? larry: i helped do the pilot and exec produced the first several episodes. when we were producing the
pilot, i got the call to do this show. i wasn't able to finish the whole season. i worked with the creator of the show and we had a great time. kenya had such a brilliant idea with that and based on his life, too, the show "blackish" and he and anthony anderson just had, were already a great collaborative team when i got there. that show is a lot of fun. i added, i was more of the executive producer helping them run it, help shape it and put it all together like that. what a treat, what a great cast, too. peter: larry wilmore, you're generally regarded as a pretty nice guy, are there any topics that are off limits for the white house correspondents dinner? larry: that's very nice, thank you for saying that. well, i'm not a mean type of comic. i don't like attacking someone type of humor. i like to be more sly, you know, and that type of thing.
so, yeah, you know, anything real personal i don't really care about. it's more fun to do jokes in more clever ways. you know, the other way of looking at it, too, it is a roast. and people do expect to get ribbed a lot. so it's fun to roast people, i guess. roast is the best way to say it, you know. you're not really attacking them. you're roasting them. you're doing it in a good spirit. peter: larry wilmore, the entertainment at the white house correspondents dinner, 2016, thanks for your time. larry: thanks, peter, nice it talk to you again. >> our coverage of the white house correspondents dinner begins today at 6:30 p.m. eastern with red carpet arrivals followed later with speeches from the president and comedian larry wilmore. watch the entire event live here on c-span. now pentagon officials update members of congress on the
military's f-35 joint strike fighter program. this hearing was held by the smart armed services committee and comes after a recent government report that raised concerns about the aircraft logistical software that could affect its deployment. this is just under two hours. sen. mccain: we review the fiscal year 2017 budget request. i welcome our witnesses, under secretary of defense for acquisition technology and logistics, frank kendall, director of operational test and evaluation, dr. mike gilmore. christopher bogdan and michael sullivan. the f-35 joint strike fighter program is the largest and most expensive acquisition program in the department of defense's history. the full capabilities of this aircraft will eventually provide are critical to america's national security,
our ability to deter our potential adversaries around the globe and if necessary, respond with overwhelming force to any future conflicts that may require military intervention. at the same time the f-35's program's record of performance has been both a scandal and a tragedy with respect to costs, schedule, and performance and it's a textbook example of why this committee has placed such a high priority on reforming the broken defense acquisition system. the f-35 schedule for development has now stretched to more than 15 years, costs have more than doubled from original estimates. aircraft deliveries amount to no more than a mere trickle relative to the original promises of the program. the original f-35 deliver scheduled promised 1,013 f-35s of all variants would be delivered by the end of fiscal year 2016.
in reality, we will have 179. because the air force, marines and navy, were all wouldn'ting on the f-35s that never appeared, combat aircraft and strike fighter capacity shortfalls in all three services have reached critical levels severely impacting readyiness and ultimately limiting the department's ability to meet the requirements of the defense strategy. in the department's fiscal year 2017 budget request, dozens more aircraft are being deferred from the future year's defense plan resulting in a situation where the last f-35 will be delivered in 2040. i cannot fathom how this strategy makes any sense. purchasing combat aircraft with a 40-year-old design in light of all of the testimony this committee has received about how our potential adversaries are rapidly catching up with and in some cases matching america's military technological advantages, those
f-35 aircraft being delivered are not delivered as promised. they have problems with maintenance, diagnostic software, sensor foogs shortfalls, fuel system problems, structural cracks from service life testing, engine reliability deficits, limits on the crew escape system that cause pilot weight restrictions and potential cyber vulnerabilities. this list is as troubling as it is long. we are approaching the end of the long nightmare known as currency. the ill-advised simultaneously development testing and production of a complex and technologically challenging weapons system that the department estimates will end up costing the american taxpayers $1.8 billion. many questions remain such as the total number of these aircraft the nation should buy or can even afford, the costs of future upgrades to keep these aircraft he will vanity
in the face of an ever evolving threat and the management and managers of a so-called joint program that general bogdan himself admitted that has aircraft that has 20, 25% commanality as compared to the original goal of 70 to 90%. the f-35 a, b, and c are essentially three distinct aircraft with significantly different missions and capability requirements. the illusion of jointness perpetuated by the structure of the f-35 joint program stifles the proper alignment of responsibility and accountability this program so desperately needs. there are also questions as to when the system, development, and demonstration phase or s.d.d. will actually be completed so that initial operational test and evaluation can begin. originally scheduled to conclude in 2017, we have ever indication that schedule pressures will likely extend
s.d.d. well into fiscal year 2018. i'm very concerned the department may attempt to take short cuts by deferring mission capability content into later block upgrades and by doing so short change the war fighter once again by delaying necessary capabilities. the f-35 was designed to replace multiple aircraft in all three services. that's why the operational sting and evaluation must be done. there can be no questions in the minds of the american people, that their >> i yannick investment in this program will pay off with greatly improved capabilities that far surpass the mission capabilities of all these individual combat aircraft. congress will not likely allow any more of these legacy aircraft to be retired from service until there is no doubt
he f-35 can adequately replace them, nor is the congress likely to entertain a block buy or other multi-year procurement schemes until the initial operational test and evaluation is completed and a positive milestone decision is made to commence full rate production, both of which i understand are scheduled to occur in fiscal year 2019. the department appears to be considering managing the f-35 follow-on modernization which is estimated to cost over $8 billion for the first block upgrade within the overall f-35 program. this is incredible given the department's dismal track record on these upgrade programs as the f-22 a modernization and upgrade debacle showed. i have seen no evidence that d.o.d.'s processes have improved to the level to have a
sprap program that would enable close scrutiny by congress. moreover, i expect the department to use fixed price contracts for the f-35 modernization effort in order to protect taxpayers. despite this program's many stumbles, there are some positive signs for the f-35. the marines declared initial operational cap ability last july in yuma, arizona, and are preparing for their first overseas deployment next year. those who fly and maintain the aircraft are preparing for air force i.o.c. this fall. they report that the latest lots of f-35 as are flying very well with a significant jump in reliability and war fighting capability as compared to earlier aircraft. general bogdan has steadily pushed down aircraft per unit costs, reliability metrics are on the rise and each lot of aircraft deliveries present
increasingly effective war fighting capabilities. all of this is a testament to hard work of military and civilian personnel inside this program today. they're doing their best to overcome misguided decisions taken long ago and they're having success in important areas. however, there is a lot of development left to complete in this program and with it comes the potential for more problems, scheduled delays and increased cost. this committee will remain steadfast in its oversight responsibilities to insure our war fighters get the capabilities they need on time and at reasonable cost. senator. oh, just one second. since a quorum is now present, i ask the committee to consider a list of 920 pending military nominations including this this list are the nominations of vincent k. brooks to be commander united nations command con binald forces, general curtis, u.s.a. to be
commander u.s. european command and supreme allied commander of europe and general lorie j. robinson to be commander u.s. northern command, commander north american space command. all of these nominations have been before the committee. is there a motion to favorably report these 920. >> so moved. compape is there a second? >> second. sen. mccain: all in favor say a. motion carries. senator reid. >> thank you very much, gentlemen. we will seek a better understanding of the progress the department is making in fielding the fighter, what actions the department has taken to amealiate problems with the program, what is the judgment available as to how effective these actions will be in preventing problems in the program including cost overruns and delays. we still have to complete the
system development and demonstration s.d.d. program that is expected to deliver complete war fighting capability each of the three variants of the f-35. we have not seen all of the changes in s.d.d. since not all of the program's difficulties are behind us. according from dr. gilmore's prepared testimony, although the marine corps has initial cape ability in i.o.c. and the air force plans to do later this calendar year, it provides limited combat capability with the officially planned start of operational test and operation, just over one year away. dr. gilmore also assessed that the f-35 program will not be ready until calendar year 2018 at the soonest and these assessments are of concern. several years we required the department to estimate the dates of the three variants of the f-35, the marine corps declared last year in july, the
air force is declared later this year and the navy is scheduled to declare i.o.c. in 2018. the marine corps i.o.c. was on a version of programs. it will be based on the block software and the navy's were based on the block software version. until recently to support the dates, the program office has been working on versions of oth blocks 3 e and 3 i and 3 f of the software simultaneously. it depends on having a stable baseline. with the contractor team working on multiple releases of software, correcting deficiencies and achieving software stability has proved elusive. working simultaneously was intended to save time. it was lost when the project had to be redone because of the mistakes. the past year, they halted work
on the software until the problems with the block 3 i software could be sorted out. we need to understand what effect this altered effect will have on the schedule. we are planning for sizable spiral through development efforts to the block 4 program. it will likely be a multibillion effort. we want to make sure that we don't repeat past mistakes. there is an even larger issue the cost to sustain the f-35. these estimates were at one point as large as $1 trillion. we need to know what the department is doing to reduce these potential costs. the if we do nothing, we run the risk of increased cost to sustain the f-35 and reduce funds available for a future force. this committee has been a strong supporter, however, we must continue our vigilance so there is a proper balance
between f-35 and other the if we do nothing, acquisitions.d. thank you very much for calling the hearing. sen. mccain: i welcome the witnesses, secretary kendall. mr. kendall: thank you chairman mccain, i'm happy to be here today with general bogdan, the program executive officer for the f-35 program as well as th mr. gilmore and mr. sullivan. my opening comments, i would like to discuss my own involvement with the f-35. general bogdan will provide for detail on the current state of the program. my first exposure was in the fall of 2009 as i was awaiting confirmation. i was briefed by a member of dr. gilmore's staff and my reaction at the time was one of surprise at the extremely long period of initial production, approximately 10 years. a very high amount of concurrencey in the program as you mentioned, mr. acquisitions. thank you chairman.
the currency being the overlap between development and production. it was one of the highest and therefore most risky i have ever seen. production was started in 2007, well before the stability of the design could be confirmed through decision. i later call the decision acquisition malpractice, a phrase which has stuck. in 2010, before i was confirmed, the program manager was replaced. the new program manager was an admiral, a seasoned and competent professional. at the time the f-35 went through a review as a result of the cost increases. as a result of the review, the program was rebaselined to the baseline that it's operating against now and has ever since. in 2010, my predecessor, dr. carter, ended the use of cost plus contracts starting in 2004. in 2011, i became the undersecretary. one of my early decision was to bring
.he currency being general bogdn he has proven to be a highly competentnd professional program executive officer. in the fall of 2011, based on early operational assessment report from dr. gilmore's office, i had an independent review focusing on the design stability of the program. at the time the extent of the open design issues and the risk of high currency costs, let me just seriously consider halting production. based on several considerations, i made the decision to hold production constant at 30 aircraft a year for the next two years and to assess progress before increasing production at that point. under lieutenant general bogdan's leadership, it has made steady progress for the last four years. cost and development have remained in the baseline. production costs have steadily decreased. the cost of sustainment has
been reduced by 10% since the program was. he rebaselined. there have been a few months of schedules slip primarily due to software complexity. the f-35 is no longer a program that keeps me up at night. there are some design issues that still need to be resolved. the test program is about 90% complete, but i do expect additional discovery. i will be surprised in a main design program surfaces at this point. our task now is to complete the test program, achieve i.o.c. for the air force later this year and the navy in 2018, complete o.t. and e and support our many partners and foreign sales customers as they become operational over the next few years. we need to move forward with a follow on development. i appreciate the support for funding that important work. the f-35 is a game changing state-of-the-art weapon system. our adversaries are not standing still.
integralive air defense systems, air to air weapons there have been a few and electronic warfare must be continuously countered. we must continuously improve the weapon system to keep pace with the threats and i look forward to your questions. compape thank you, general bogdan. mr. bogdan: thank you, sir, general mccain, ranging member reed, distinguished members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to discuss the f-35 program. my purpose here today is provide you an hon balanced is assessment where the program stands today. i'll tell you what my team is doing to reduce costs, improve f-35 performance and meet our scheduled commitments. the f-35 lightning 2 is vital importance to the security of the united states and as the program executive officer and program director, i'm committed to delivering an affordable, reliability and sustainable system to our war fighters and those of our international
partners and foreign military sales customers. the f-35 program is executing well across the entire spectrum of acquisition to include development and design, flight test, production fielding, maintenance and support and building a global enterprise. the program is at a private point. it is rapidly changing, growing, and accelerating. we'll be finishing our development program in late 2017 and begin a transition to a leaner modernization program. we'll see production grow from delivering 45 aircraft in 2015 to delivering over 100 airplanes in 2018 and up to 145 by 2020. additionally in the next 40 years, we will continue the stand up of 17 new operating f-35 bases all over the world. we are also accelerating the creation of our heavy maintenance in the pacific, european, and north american regions creating a truly global
sustainment capability. the program is not without risks and challenges. i'm confident the current risks and issues we face can be resolved and we'll be able to overcome future problems and deliver the f-35's full combat capability. i have said that the mark of a good program is not that it has no problems, but rather it discovers problems, implements solutions, improves the system and keeps the program on track. i believe we have been doing that for a number of years now. let me highlight a few of recent accomplish it's. we began u.s. air force and pilot training in arizona where a blend of u.s. and partner f-35 instructor pilots are helping to train u.s. air force and other partner pilots and the air force is now receiving f-35 as in utah and training is underway to ready its first combat coded f-35 squadron to be operational later this year.
the united states marine corps is successly flying and dropping and shooting live weapons with the f-35 b today. in addition, industry committed to and successfully delivered 45 airplanes last year including the first aircraft produced in the italian assembly facility in italy. from a production perspective, we have delivered a total of 176 of our test operational and training aircraft to date. on the cost front, the price of purchasing f-35's continues to decline lot after lot, a trend i believe will continue for many years. i expect the cost of an f-35 a with an engine and fee in then year dollars, less than $85 million in fiscal year 19. as i said before, the program is changing, growing, and accelerating, but it is not without its issues, risks, and challenges. let me highlight some of these areas and what we're doing about them.
on the technical front we have a number of risks i would like to mention. aircraft software and our maintenance system known as alice. we have seen stability issues with our block 3 software. we believe we have identified the root cause of these problems and tested solutions in the lab and in flight tests and are now completing our flight tests with these solutions. our initial indications of these flight testing was positive and we have seen software stability improve to two to three times better than what we have seen in the past. by the end of this month, i'm encouraged we'll have enough data to consider this problem and issue closed. we have experienced schedule issues with the development of our next version of alice, version 2.2. i'm prepared to discuss this issue as well as topics such as our egress system, air force i.o.c., initial operational tests and recent deployments and the status of our partners
and customers during the question and answers. in summary, the f-35 program is moving forward, sometimes slower than i would like, but moving forward and making progress nonetheless. we're nearing the completion of development and flight test in 2017. we're ramping up production, standing up new bases and growing a global sustainment enterprise. we have stabilized and reduced the major costs on this program. as with any big complex program, new deliveries, challenges, and obstacles will occur. n the f-35 is still in development, the team has the ability to resolve our current issues and any future cities cover ris. i intend to lead this program and it is my intention to complete this program within the resources and time i have been given and i intend on holding my team and myself accountable for the outcomes on this program.
we never forget that some day your sons and daughters, your grand sons and granddaughters will take a f-35 into harm's way to defend our freedom, delivering them the best possible weapon system is a responsibility i and my team take very seriously. thank you again for the opportunity to discuss the program. i look forward to your questions. >> mr. chairman, senator reed, members of the committee, i will talk about achievement of full combat capability. my estimate of this program will not be ready to begin operational tests and evaluation until medical len dar year 2018 at the latest. that's a one-year delay relative to the program's objective date and six months relative to the threshold date. there are a number of reasons that that's my assessment. the most complex testing remains and fixes to a number of significant problems. in flight stability of mission systems with the new technical refresh 2 processor has been poor, but there is recent
indication of significant progress in achieving stability, although the stability issues, while they were being fixed led to delays in block 3 p development which provides full combat capability. there is good news on the stability front. inadequate fusion of sensor information on a single aircraft and a four ship of aircraft have cluttered and confusing displays are a problem. four ships will be frequently used in combat for applications that are to deal with the increasingly complex and stressing ingratiff air defenses. shortfalls and electronic warfare and electronic attack, countermeasures assist. there are shortfalls in the aperture system. long air refueling times, up to
two to three times of legacy aircraft. lack of mosque target capability which is crucial for missions. lack of display to pilots of fractures in critical mission components which is unacceptable in combat and other issues that are classified. regarding mission systems, the program has now changed its approach as has been discussed from having parallel software released to a serial-based approach which takes longer. that approach has been validated in the recent achievement of improved stability. that approach, the new approach allows for the extra time needed to actually fix problems and as i mentioned, has been validated by the progress recently seen. stealth aircraft are not invisible. mission systems and fusion must work in some reasonable sense of that word. don't have to be perfect, but they have to work to prevail in
combat against the modern, very capable and mobile systems adversaries have been fielding since the last decade. it's a key rationale for the $400 billion program. to continue with other reasons there may be a delay in operational testing, time is needed to certificate and the most recent estimates are 2018 r 2017 for f-35 a, for c and these assume an increase at the rate that tests are accomplished. that may be a challenge to achieve. as has been mentioned, there are problems that continue with the logistics information system or alice which remains immature regarding work rounds not acceptable in combat. under the current schedule, the inal version of alice, and full combat capability will not
be released until the first quarter of calendar year 2018. this could be delayed with the ongoing versions which attempts to integrate the engine data and incorporate other functionality and films. modifications would be required the early lot aircraft that had been bought when it was planned to begin in 2013. the current unmitigated schedule for accomplishing those modifications including those which is turning out to be very problematic, extends into the third quarter of 2019. they are looking at a approach to pull those modifications to the left that includes taking production aircraft slated for operational use and taking hardware from fielded aircraft and the decision on that proach, a decision is needed now. they are precluding the ability to generate files enabling
aircraft to deal with air defense as i mentioned. current schedule shows hardware upgrades required to handle current threats extend into the we're 2020. the program can and has delivered mission data files, but they are not optimized or fully tested to handle the current threat because of the hardware and software deficiencies. probably inadequate in the first quarter of 2018. this assumes it receives a functional app which may be problematic. delays are likely. i want to remind everyone that they will constitute the most realistic and stressing test that will be performed. therefore, discovery of new significant deficiencies as was the case with f-22 is pretty much assured. thank you. compipe mr. sullivan, welcome.
mr. sullivan: thank you, chairman mccain, senator reed, members of the committee. i have a written statement for the record, but i would just like to take this time to briefly highlight what we consider to be the most important challenges facing the program moving forward. in addition to my written statement, i report to this committee and others which was issued on april 14 contains more details on the program's progress to date. first, although the program has managed costs very well since its breach and subsequent rebaselining in 2012, it still poses significant future affordability challenges for the department and the congress. as the program begins procuring more aircraft, the department is expected to spend on average about $13 billion per year over the next 22 years until all planned purchases are complete
in 2040. these annual funding levels will present challenges as the program stacks its funding priorities against other large acquisitions including the b-21 bomber, c.c. 46 tanker, the ohio class submarine replacement, a new contraryier and many more. -- carrier and many more. the department plans to add new capability known as block 4 to the f-35 that is i don't know it's original baseline capability and planning to manager that effort as part of the existing program rather than establishing a separate business case and baseline for that effort. this has significant implications as far as the congress's ability to provide oversight and holding the program accountable. the new work has a projected cost of about $3 billion over just the next six years and that price tag alone would
quality it as a major defense acquisition program in its own right. we think it should be managed as such to allow for transparency and accountability. third, the f-35 software development is nearing completion. it faces challenges in getting all of its activity completed on time for operational testing as we heard dr. gilmore talking about. it has completed over 80% of its developmental flight testing and it's looking to complete flight testing for block 3 f. this final block is critical as it will provide the full war fighting capabilities to the aircraft. program officials have estimated as much as a three-month delay for testing and our own analysis indicates that it could be closer than six months.
i think dr. gilmore's analysis as he just stated has it more than that. getting that past the developmental testing is critical to getting operational testing done and i.o.c.ing the aircraft. with regard to technical risks, the program has found fixes for earlier problems, problems such as the helmet display in the engine and it's working now to find solutions for two other challenges, the ejection seat problem and the wing structure. there are cracks in the wing structure. the biggest outstanding technical risk for the program today, though, as has been discussed already is the all normalic logistics information system known as alice. as you know, alice is a complex supports supply chain management, maintenance and many other processes. in our companion report also issued on april 14, we documented several issues with
alice, most important concerning its ability to deploy right now and a lack of needed resunday dan si at this point that could result in operational and schedule risks in the future. finally, manufacturing and production data continue to show a positive trend for it's more efficient production. and that's good. the amount of labor hours to built each aircraft goes down. the engineering changes coming out of the test program have been reduced significantly and the contractor is now delivering aircraft on time or in some cases ahead of schedule. we continue to monitor the measures for aircraft and engine reliability and maintain ability. while they still fall short of expectations, they continue to improve and there is still time to achieve the program's required goals in that area. i'll close with that mr. chairman, i look forward to
your questions. compape i think the witnesses, general bogdan, how many civilians and contractor positions are assigned to the joint program office and what are the annual costs to operate the office? mr. bogdan: sir, today if you nclude the test force at edwards air force base which are not necessarily part of my program office but i pay for them just like i do support contractors, the number is 2,590 and the annual cost to upgrade is on the order of about $70 million a year. that includes pay for salaries. that includes leasing facilities in space, computers, i.t., everything wrapped up. sen. mccain: the information that i have is that it's nearly 3,000 and the cost is $300 million a year. maybe you can, but $70 million a year to run an office of a
program is pretty disturbing. cretary kendall, last year's included language to invalidate the f-35 total by quantity of 2,443 for all variants submitted a new number by may 25, 2016, does the department intend on meeting this requirement on time? mr. kendall: mr. chairman, as ar as i know, yes, we are. sen. mccain: mr. sullivan, dr. gilmore, you said that the i.o.c. is likely to be delayed. any idea of how long that delay would be in the i.o.c.? mr. sullivan: are you speaking, mr. chairman, about the i.o.c. for the air force with block 3 i? sen. mccain: yes. mr. sullivan: i think it's
unlikely the air force will meet its objective date which is mid 2016, but it could meet its threshold date which is later in the fall. sen. mccain: in the issue, mr. sullivan, of the pursuing a block by, can you provide any examples of a program pursuing a block buy or multi-year procurement strategy trier to full rate production decision? mr. sullivan: you're referring to the, to the proposal right now to buy aircraft in a three-year buy? sen. mccain: yes. mr. sullivan: no, i don't have any examples of that. the only example i know of a block buy situation is our usual multi-year procurements which require a lot of criteria qua to show that the industrial base is stable, the design is stable, they're ready to
produce, usually it comes much later in a production line. i have never heard -- i don't think there is any criteria for that kind of a block buy. sen. mccain: dr. gilmore, in your statement, you said a limited and incomplete f-35 testing accomplished to date has nonetheless revealed deficiencies that cannot be ignored. can you lab on that? dr. gilmore: i would be happy to do so in the appropriate forum. it would require the discussion of classified information. we treat cyber vulnerabilities, the details of them are classified. they are significant in my judgment. n. mccain: general bogdan, dr. gilmore believes there will be a delay in the i.o.c. of the air force version. what is your response? general bogdan: sir, there are many things that the air force needs me to deliver to them before they can declare i.o.c.
all of the things that are necessary for them to make that decision are on track for 1 august 2016 declaration with the exception of alice. i believe alice is i would put alice delivery at one over 2016. they have until december, which is their threshold date. sen. mccain: the fiscal year 2016 limited funds until secretary james a certified the aircraft delivered in 2018 will have a full combat capability locked three f hardware,
software, weapons carriage. do you intend to recommend that she make the certification? packagepreparing the with my recommendation that she make that certification. i needed a few pieces of information before i could feel confident asking her to certify in one of those pieces were that the software stability issues are behind us. i believe that three f will be in 2015 with the full capability so i will for that package to her now. mccain: the believe it should be treated as a separate program for non-mccurdy purposes or as part of the f 35 program? that is not my decision. however, it taking a look and
what i have seen for the current plans, they need to be scrubbed rigorously. anything that will help in that rigorous scrub and bring clarity to performance and cost would be useful. i think that would be a good idea but i hasten to say that it is not my decision. >> i will but to yield to senator donnelly. >> i want to thank the witnesses. as the f 35 2007, was under development, dod supported and alternate engine program. the push was controversial in later years but i'm interested to hear from you and others if you believe the alternate engine program was a smart strategy in those early years? resume my position for the
last couple years of debate. it was really a question of the economics associated with it. it is a was made that the economic case was not there to carry a second engine. the engine, the f on 35 is performing, we are getting cost out of that. we think the strategy is working. we are also forming an advanced development. it could be cut into the production several years from now if we could fund the program for that. >> am particularly concerned about performance given that whitney was recently selected to build the engine for the be 21. looking at the history, there ,re performance issues
recurring manufacturing quality issues that have been an issue for the f-35. could you comment? >> the quality issues you are atking about are primarily the supplier level. nonetheless, brought in whitney is responsible for those suppliers. over the last few years, we have improved our on-time delivery of engines. we were seeing quality escapes in many fracturing issues with the lower tier suppliers. i think the manufacturing of the engine is much more mature than it was a few years ago. today, the f 135 engine has about 52,000 fleet hours on it and it's maintaining about a 94%
mr. sullivan: we have found the engine reliability and the in termsnts we look at of coming off a reliability growth curve engine, pratt and whitney has been consistently below expectations but i would say they have been improving in the last two or three years. click what is the top lesson you have learned to the f 35 that canon process inform future major acquisitions across the services. >> obviously, the first thing we learned with this is you shouldn't concurrently develop technology was a product and you concurrently by aircraft while you are still
developing them. that is the number one thing. >> the f 35 was an extreme optimistic if not ridiculous assumptions of how a program will play out. productionn to begin before much of development have been accomplished was a bad one. department is typically optimistic about schedules and cost, which then sets up the program managers to look like failures from the outside, which is a terrible thing to do to them. >> thank you. >> the question i was going to ask may have been answered in
the second sentence in opening statement when it says the up 35 -- form the backbone we keep. things to the contrary -- we keep hearing things to the contrary. hagel said american dominance in the seas, skies, -- no longer be taken for granted. a commander said in september "the advantage we had from the air i can honestly say is shrinking. this is not just a pacific problem, it is as significant in europe as it is anywhere else on the planet. i don't think it's controversial
to say they have closed the gap in capability. do you agree? i would agreen: with that. our adversaries today are full thed ahead and accelerating development of significant military capabilities to fort ours. ours.art believe the 35 is necessary to give the nation the options to go anywhere on the face of the earth and be survivable and hit a target. other airlieve any fighter can do that. >> you are talking about a fifth generation aircraft from russia and china. 20.a has the j
normallycompare those, they talk about it will have better radar. once you give us an idea of what the opposition is doing right now and how specifically what areas we are better. lt. gen. bogdan: i will try to do that when a walking across the line of classified information. those adversary airplanes look a lot like ours. much of the design of those airplanes came on the outer mold line of what we have developed. what makes us better and special is what is on the inside of these airplanes. our radar, or multicenter
fusion, our ability to take information and provided to the pilot in such a way that he knows everything that is going on around him. and the weapons to employ that knowledge are what makes it different. >> recently, they were talking is,t the fact on the f-22 they're really using those .ordantly anticipated in your presentations, you talk specifically about the numbers of copies we will have. most of us on this side of the table remember we went through this thing with the f-22's.
that is quite a deterioration from the original numbers. is there a reason you don't believe we will experience the same thing with the f 35 lt. in. bogdan: i can't assume the future what the u.s. services will do. you didn't between an f-22 program and the 85 program are significant in that we have many foreign partners also buying the airplane and they continue to buy the airplane, the price will continue to come down. >> that is where you come up with the 85 million ultimately. one less thing. we were disturbed two years ago. we thought we would have if the model and at the last minute, we had to value it.
are you pretty confident it is going to make the front row this year? lt. gen. bogdan: yes, sir. we are planning a deployment of five f 35. one of those being a u.k. airplane. we will fly all of those airplanes. >> thank you. >> i just want to clarify one of your comments. were talking about i think the difficulty of operating with the aircraft in the multi-center fusion of the aircraft operating together, seems to be the preferred form of operation.
and there is a current difficulty in making those assistance even if they operate in a single aircraft. dr. gilmore: fusion has been a challenge. it will continue to be a challenge. it does not surprise me that it is turning out to be a hard problem and to make it work well because you get information from different sense there's on the same aircraft's as well as from different aircraft. you have to have software that sorts through that and says this signal is from the same target as this sensor on another aircraft. that is a very hard physics problem. it's not a matter of writing code for a user interface. understandingdeep . that is going to continue to be a challenge and it will require
where youest fix test subject matter experts to get solutions, implement them, test them. status, do you really get into that multi-aircraft fusion issue or is that simply the aircraft being able to fly? is gilmore: the air force the one, as the marines did, the air force sets the standards for determining what constitutes sufficient performance. i cannot remember the details of what the air force has set about fusion but obviously, the more fusion capability they have, the better. it will be limited. there were fusion shortfalls in block to be that block two f is
meant to surmount. >> thank you. what do you think the most significant challenges are. i know the general talked about alice as a key issue in terms of resolution will stop any others you would identify your focus on? >> the issue that was mentioned earlier, stability was a concern. there are a number of concerns with the testing and i know some steps to general is taking to alleviate some of that pressure. it is a lot of things that have to happen. at the end of the day, the air force will make a decision as to when they think it is ready to occur. i think they will not do that until they are comfortable.
the major issues long-term is the sustainment course of the aircraft, which is seems to be quite significant. can you describe steps you and joe bock dinar doing to lower gdan arese -- joe bo doing to lower the course? variety ofl: a things. we are looking very us ways to structure the business case for the sustainment. that is a work still in progress. introducing competition is a big part of it. we are looking at creative ways to work with our partners so we do things together as opposed to separately. lt. gen. bogdan: we started a
fully funded reliability program about two years ago where we looked at each component on the up 35 to determine if it was maintaining its performance at the pace which we needed. that has proven to be very cost-effective. we're going after those pieces that aren't going well. we look at every idea on how to better maintain the airplane. the original concept for tires, wheels, brakes was to put that off at a contractor. the u.s. air force, navy have that capability today with their legacy systems at their bases so we are moving all that work to them. that reduces the cost and turn time of fixing things like that. we are going about trying to get every piece of cost out of the program. ayotte: thank you.
recently, general welsh came before our committee and said the mission capability of the a-10 will not be replaced by the f 35, yet the website for the joint strike fighter program says the f 35 will replace the a-10. can you answer this question for us? , is ad like to know general welsh right or is your website right? lt. gen. bogdan: thank you. first, the structure of the u.s. air force and its fighter inventory is well beyond my purview. won't try and explain what general welsh said or what the decision-making process is on replacing their fighter inventory.
sen. ayotte: if he comes before our committee and says the f 35 a-10,ot replace the pretty important as we think about the capability of the a-10. sec. kendall: i can't speak for certain but i think what the general was trying to say is we will in fact -- both statements are correct. sen. ayotte: both cannot be correct. sec. kendall: the f 35 will not do missions the same way the a-10 does. the a-10 was designed to be low and slow and close to the target is it was engaging in. we will not use the f 35 in the same way. they're performing the mission very differently.
sen. ayotte: is it not important we understand how the two compare? i would ask you will there be comparison testing with comparative a-frames that the f 35 will replace. >> i have the operational requirement documents for a 35 and on page two, it says it will let primarily on the f 20 24 air superiority and will assume the -- role.-16 will sen. ayotte: it's a pretty important role to our men and women on the ground. what about the fly off? >> we are going to do a
comparative test of the ability of the a 35 to perform close air and certainbat rescue missions. we will also do a comparison test of the ability of the f 35 to perform suppression and distraction of enemy air f-18.es with the f-16 and this requirement document has numerous citations to the relationce expected in to the aircraft and will replace. that testing is entirely consistent with the operational requirements document. the comparison testing is also not unprecedented. there was comparison testing f 15.n the f-22 and there has been testing as part of other operational tests including things like tactical vehicles. to me, comparison testing just makes common sense.
if you are spending a lot of money to get improved capability, that is the easiest way to demonstrate it. and we will do it under all the circumstances we see it conducted, the under-right conditions -- under high threat conditions. including low altitude operations in which there are a lot of arguments that ensue about which aircraft might have the advantage. that is what the comparison test is meant to show. ayotte: that is important so we can understand the capability comparison. i asked a question of general welsh in march as to when you cb2 to maintain a demonstrated capability for the f 35 they?
it is a muchan: more enhanced capability for that precision weapon and his plan for the first increment of our block four and that is approximately in the 21, 22 timeframe. ayotte: that is an important issue as well. i think -- hope that is taken into consideration as we look at this compareison. as i mentioned, right now, the mobile target capability of the f 35 is problematic and how much it will be corrected remains to be seen.
2 will provide a weapon that can follow the target. the current moving target capability is limited. ayotte: under the air force's plans, the a-10s are all retired by 2022 and it seems to me these are still important questions that remain that matter to our men and women on the ground. >> general, the report recommends an approach in which a development efforts are managed as a separate acquisition programs. the geo group to men did that this type of separate for the f 35rogram block for follow modernization efforts. however, the dod has not concurred with the dod recommendations.
plans to remove the f 35 block four follow on existing cost and contract. adopt the not recommendation, would that help eliminate cost for the block for phase of the program? why would they not? lt. gen. bogdan: i am going to defer to mr. kendall to answer the strategy level part. we're talking about a distinction here where we may not have a difference. brings a lot of statutory oversight. what we plan to do with block four isn't sure it is accounted for separately, that we have an independent cost estimate, that there is full transparency to what we are doing. all the things being asked for will be supplied but if we
acted that the label of a major defense acquisition program, that will bring a lot of cost and i was hoping to avoid that. >> we'll want to put anyone bureaucracy on top of you. ?hy did you make that report >> we did a report last year. we call it our efficiency report. i know the undersecretary is familiar with it. one of the things we are also attacking when we attack these kind of accountability questions is let's reduce some of that bureaucracy they have to deal with for the reason we think it's important year is number one, the dollars involved are to twoat even according cromwell, they meet the
threshold. on the f-22 program, we saw something very similar to this when they decided to baseline new capabilities into the program. they did it under the existing program. a $2 billion estimate for development of those new capabilities became $11 billion. there was no accountability because it was in with the baseline program. >> i appreciate the job the d.o.a. does. themust have considered bureaucracy versus the cost as far as contract versus cost have to be significant savings. mr. sullivan: we sympathize with the desire to not have to go through so many reviews and so many offices and comments. we did the report on that and it
was irony for us but to me, that gothey said if they had to to a major defense acquisition program, it would cause a year's delay in getting that development effort going in i just don't understand why that would be the case. they are doing many of the things they would be required to do anyway. >> yesterday, it was announced sending 250 to syria. i understand it is $1.5 million to train one special operator. general, and take the f 35 currently cost 100 8 million per aircraft. i know it will come down to 85 by 2019. cane traded 10 jets, we
increase the size of our special forces community by 650. this was after general moly came and said we are 220,000 short in ground troops. we are looking for ways to make sure we can meet the threats we have. the f 35 pilot home and alone costs $400,000. alone costsmet $400,000. doesn't make sense to spend so much money on f 35 while we currently depend so much more on our special forces around the world will stop since we have to make choices? -- world. since we have to make choices? the department: has many choices to make and try to balance the requirements with the resources they have. i will tell you the f 35 is a
long-term investment in the defense of this nation and our future adversaries are not sitting still and in the next 10, 20, 30 years, we may very well need the capabilities the f 35 will provide us to maintain our leadership in the world. i consider the f 35 as an investment in the future. isi'm saying we have 2500 scheduled to be built, correct? is that the number? lt. gen. bogdan: the services will build 200,443. we could puts, more people on the front lines right now. lt. gen. bogdan: your math is correct. >> thank you. >> dr. gilmore, you stateside were security testing has and thatefficiencies
full testing of the logistics operating unit and logistics not beenon system has permitted. can you give us an overview of the planned cyber security test and whether based on the deficiencies discovered so far, you believe the testing will be adequate? >> if we execute the plan my on, thats been working will be a thorough, rigorous set of cyber security test. the problems we are running into our that the program is reluctant to let us test on live systems for fear that we might damage them and they had not made provisions for backup if the systems went down. and in theis point immediate future, we will have to test on surrogate and
laboratory systems. that is certainly better than if we are going all testing and we are learning from not. as i mentioned in my statement. but we need to do more than that. we need to test on the live systems and we will have to find a way to do some sort of cyber security assessment of lockheed systems. we're working through all those issues and over the next couple years, i asked that we will have done adequate, rigorous testing. general, how is the program office working to address these issues? the doctor mentioned some accommodations but there is the need for the light testing. how are you addressing this? today, ourgdan: logistics information system is
operating on the dod networks and in order for me to be allowed to put the alice system on the network, the grace cyber security testing and certification from agencies outside to include the nsa. the idea that the alice system untested is not an accurate statement. dr. gilmore is correct. i was hesitant last year to give the operational test community the authority to test the operational system because we did not have redundancy in part if the testingnd more to knock off that part of the system, i did not have a backup. we're building that backup today and we will give the operational test community full authority to test the system as it operates in the field today.
>> before the end of the year. we do operational -- cybers an integral security testing is an integral thatof operational systems have been through certifications and we get into them every time. i'm not arguing against those certifications, which are specification-based assessments. .here certainly necessary commercial organizations such as microsoft have said in their assume you have penetrated and continual red to come -- red team, which is what we do. >> mr. secretary, what are the lessons learned from this process?
what are we applying to other acquisitions and how is cyber security going to be included in the requirement process? to integrateoing requirements for cyber security into the whole acquisition process? cyber security is an omnipresent problem. our guidance is that you have to accounter security into . the department is maturing its capabilities in syria. we still had a long way to go. some of our systems were not designed with cyber security in mind. systems and development, we have to integrated into the design process.
it is a pervasive threat. i worry particularly about the loss of unclassified information. a logistic system is a particular problem. working this problem very hard. it will not be cheap or quick to fix it but we have to fix it. >> i know senator donnelly asked about less from the f-35 program and what we might take forward in the other programs, given these problems go back to some members high school years. answer like to hear the to that question from secretary kendall. i think it's a combination of things.
at the end of the day, having a successful program depends on the handful of things. it starts with reasonable requirements. then you have to have recessional management -- professional management. you have to have adequate resources. you have to have a system that will support people doing the right thing. there is a strong bias that is built in to optimism. it's easier to get a program funded if it cost less. most of the problems i have seen in acquisition stem from being in a hurry and being convinced for whatever reason that things will be better, faster than they will be. my office was formed in 1986 because this problem was so pervasive.
we have had a next record of success. one of the things i hope i have to structuret -- programs with a higher likelihood of success. a lot of the things we do are incredibly complicated. when you create something that has never been created before, that is a process that inherently has unknowns. for someupport management, ensuring professionals are in place, resisting the tendency to spend the money just because it is in is something that has to be reinforced throughout the chain of command. i won't bogdan: elaborate.
up a larget acquisition program like this, you must ensure the risk between industry and government is balanced appropriately. government or all industry, you will get bad behaviors from both sides. it's important to make sure you have the incentive structures right and the risk balanced appropriately. we did not get that right at the early part of the f 35 program. i have been doing that for a number of years now and it has proven to be helpful. people do not talk about leadership continuity. if you have a very large program do youy complex, it will know good to put leaders in place that are only there for two or three years. tell you are bigger acquisition programs need stable leadership at the top for many
to help. >> are you talking about uniform or civilian leadership? lt. gen. bogdan: either one. i believe government civilians and military personnel are capable leaders. you just have to put them in place for enough time to make a difference. >> uniformed leadership, is that an acquisition or personnel challenge? lt. gen. bogdan: it is both. how do you provide the incentives for a military person to continue moving up in rank if you leave him in a job for five or six years? that is sometimes necessary for big programs. >> i've heard it from some of our partners overseas, or security partners generally when talking about acquiring certain weapon systems, they worry about beingg with a country -- a plane with a country instead of a country with a plane.
what does that mean in terms of cost of the aircraft and the number of aircraft needed to contribute meaningfully to the program? how many joint strike fighters need a country supplier to have a meaningful contribution to defense? lt. gen. bogdan: an interesting question. countryto what each cares about in terms of its resources and what they care to defend. our i will tell you is even smallest nations on the program are looking at at least two squadrons of f 35's. willdea that a partnership be working together to maintain and train the airplanes is a huge deal for them because otherwise, they cannot afford a fifth capability like they are today. >> thank you. >> dr. gilmore, i'm concerned
why your testimony that the weren't ablefound to achieve aircraft capabilities at the unit or intermediate levels that would support expeditionary warfare. can you expand on this and give your assessment as to whether alice is mature enough to support the sustained operations with a land or ship-based squadron of f 35's at this time. time, it's: at this not sufficiently mature. there are a number of improvements planned as the program moves forward to the fully capable version of the program. if those improvements are realized, they will address a number of the issues mentioned in my testimony. are inly, there maturities of time-consuming , a heavyds required
reliance on contractors present. when we move forward et al. a 3.0, the plan is to fix many of -- whenoblems -- alice we move forward to alice three point at the plan is to fix many of those problems. the program is working on those how welld we will see alice 3.0 does when we get to operational testing. general, can you comment on dr. gilmore's assertion that with the current number of aircraft's plan for testing use and 80% aircraft capability rate needed to accomplish the integration all testing and evaluation on schedule, what would uss is the current aircraft available in the -- aircraft availability rate.
it seems as though you're not making that and you will have more challenges between now and then to meet that. how are we going to meet the testing guidelines laid out in order to meet the guidelines you have laid out? can you comment on that and give us your thoughts? lt. gen. bogdan: i'm not quite sure where the 80% comes from but -- >> for the number of hours or tests you have got to do, 80% of them operational. lt. gen. bogdan: to finish iot, you need within a year. i do not believe we will by the time iot is get anywhere near 80%. the fleet is hovering around 60% availability. the best we have seen so far is the air force airplanes at hill air force base when they deploy this winter, they achieved a 72%
aircraft availability rate. the new were airplanes are doing much better. very unlikely we would get to 80%. it may take longer than we anticipated and that would be the major result. oni'm going to follow up senator ayotte's questions concerning the a-10. as i look back on the information provided, if you theare the across today, time on stations an hour and a half, this is from what i can see the plan to operational capabilities at 25 to 40 minutes on station. with weapons, the a-10. under the to be software, two surface weapons.
which would subject -- suggest we are in the additional capabilities to service them close by those areas. was the way it was decided in the first place, apparently. f 35 was not designed with a gun in mind. a lightweight canon. a 10, a 30 millimeter cannon. and a-10 is double the weight of that carried by the f 35. about doing the job in completely different ways. would that be a fair assessment? dr. gilmore? dr. gilmore: when you're talking about close air support, it will do with much differently and we will do those comparison test of the ability to forecast.
that thet going to say way has to perform the same the a-10 does. we will let the f 35 pilots take advantage of the systems on that aircraft, deal with the limitations you mentioned, and see how well the missions are carried out in terms of the ability to strike targets in a timely manner and report on that. there are numerous arguments about how well each aircraft will do under different circumstances and different threats. the f 35 should have a higher advantage then the a-10 does. the comparison testing and are reported will illuminate all of that. sec. kendall: i'm a huge
proponent and fan of the a-10. a was purpose designed to be close support aircraft. foras a very good design that purpose. if you asked in a 10 to do air to air, it's hopeless. the f 35 is designed as a multiple mission aircraft. it does support differently. it doesn't have the features you mentioned. than whenferent now the time the a-10 is conceived is these precision ammunitions and the ability of a wide variety of aircraft to put ammunition exactly where they want it to go. the aircraft is close air support. times have changed. if we could afford it, i think everybody would like to keep the a-10. ,iven the constraints you have
maintaining a one mission aircraft is not something that could fit into the balance. >> thank you, chairman, for calling this hearing. the 388 and 419 fighter wings at hill air force base in utah prepared to reach additional operating capacity this year. we have been able to to the development of the logistics. effective that they have been called to assist in marine corps and navy in reading the modernization goals for their respective aliens of the f 35.
the men and women working to train on, test, and keep these debts in the air are models of american ingenuity and hard work and patriotism. i hope this congress will provide them with the resources they very much need in order to continue succeeding in their mission. one of the main obstacles for the f 305a reaching its goals this year of course involves the continued development of alice, which is used to manage the logistics and supply chain for maintaining the f 35 not just during the rollout but throughout its lifetime. how is the joint program office working with industry to ensure this capability is functional and is fully integrated into
this weapons platform in a timely and effective manner? lt. gen. bogdan: thank you, senator. the alice system now is on track to be about 60 days later than we planned. the biggest issue we have right now is getting the maintenance and supply chain and of theration management engine integrated into the alice system. it requires both lockheed martin and in the enterprise resource planning systems to talk to each other and to connect with alice. worked with lockheed martin across an entire company as well as some other teammates.
the good news is we understand where the difficulties are and execute.st have to i think we will be two months late to getting that done but i think we will be able to get it done. >> you can at least contain the delay and look forward and conclude that you have a known quantity. >> because of budget reductions and the inability to retire the a-10, the air force is concerned about a potential shortfall to transition to a 35 units and keep those weapons save and functional. able toair force been resolve this problem in the short term and what long-term complications do you see that might still exist for ensuring
the maintainers is keeping pace with the process of integrating the f 35 into the air force. term, with art shortage of maintainers for the ioc capability, they asked the theram office to populate entire squadron at luke air force base. we did that at luke air force base today. maintainedline is with 110 contractors as opposed to maintainers. that gave the air force the flexibility to take those maintainers and transfer them to hill air force base. is a short-term fix. long-term, i believe the air force needs the ability to move maintainers around for the growing fleet of f 35 and we are
committed to working with them to increasing the port of maintainers through the schoolhouse and to work with the gardener reserve in the air force that can provide some of that manpower. i will defer to the air force on those solutions. >> let me ask one more question. department of defense originally intend the f 35 to be therect replacement for a-10 in close air support missions or was it designed to work with other air force and joint force systems to fulfill the department's needs as far as closer as support goes and what is your assessment of how the services will be able to work together to meet closer support needs through integrated and joint operations. over time, the: evolution of the way we conduct
close air support in the department has involved. no longer a single airplane speaking to a ground controller and dropping a single weapon. it is much more integrated, alliant. given that, the f 35 in the future will have the capability to seamlessly integrate into that network and perform close air support. ask the chairman is on his way that from the second vote. i'm also told senator blumenthal is coming for questioning but at this point, if i may take a short recess. perhaps just a few moments. we will recess until the chairman returns. thank you.
gilmore, one of the concerns i have has been touched on is the length of time this platform is expected to serve, roughly 20 years from now, 30 years from initial inception. i think back to any product i i wasve bought in 2004, thinking of senator grams flip phone. i would not want to be buying that in 2040. are we building upgradability into this airplane so that it can keep up with the times? in other words, is it designed with that in mind? >> is that a question to me, senator? >> yes, sir. >> i will differ the details to general bogdan. this aircraft is going to be much more upgradable than the f-22 was.
but having said that, we have already identified a need for an , frome from the current the now being installed technical refresh 2 processor which divide -- provides additional capabilities in the aircraft not there at this point. we identified the need for an upgrade to that. technical refresh 3 processor. in this program, moving from one processor to another is not nearly as arduous a problem as in the f-22 where there was a developed with features that were tied very specifically to the processors in order to maximize capability. but it is still not a trivial matter as we demonstrated recently by the civil problems we hope they resolve with the technical refresh 2 processor.
is being built in, but it will not be trivial. butnd i other questions, what is your thought, can we upgrade this airplane so it is not going to be obsolete in 2025? >> i believe we will, sir. there are a few points week will make. the brains of the airplane, we andrequiring open standards architecture that allows for incorporation of new sensors and new capabilities much easier. second, when we originally designed the airplane, many pet -- many partners wanted to put unique weapons on the airplane, so we treated a system that allowed us to integrate multiple kinds of weapons on the airplane , not trivial am a but in an easier way. from both of those perspectives, it is adaptable and grow a bull.
and the third -- growable. and the third is the software technology. capabilities come on like electronic warfare and attack, we will be double to upgrade -- able to upgrade the software. wholethis has to be a important part of the process, the be 21, ohio submarine. the attempt ats jointness a mistake? assumption.ood i was present at the inception of f 35. it started out as a technology program instituted by one of my predecessors when i was on the staff. we are talking about the follow-on aircraft for the navy and air force. i don't think we are going to
repeat this. the design parameters are going to be different for the fall and aircraft services. we got some benefit from commonality, but there is very little commonality in the structure, so i think we can still get some of those without having to get a single program. senator king: we can get full benefits? frank kendall: and so on. those can still be achieved without the common program necessarily. i think you would have to make that decision as your plans for modernization and evolution became more real and material, whether or not it paid off or not. i think it is astonishing to me, quite frankly, we have been able to keep this program together for so long, keep the three services fully committed, and keep international partners fully committed. we have one or two on the fence, but everybody is still in.
putting all of that off is not a small achievement. it is very hard to do. we have to think carefully about that. the more complexity, the more risk you have. i don't know if the savings are necessarily worth that complexity and the risk that goes with it. senator king: thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i thank you all for your being here today and your insights on this very challenging program. it is as complex as it is critical to the national defense. and we should expect on this committee and the american public to anticipate that a weapons platform of if complexity will also have functions in the road. in its development and research. i take it none of you would disagree with that basic proposition. despite that bumpy road at some
point, the f 35 has already made significant advancements in a number of areas, particularly f 135 program provides a truly fifth generational power capability to the fleet. every low rate as i understand 30 has been on or below cost. the recent announcement of the lrip 9 and 10 will bring the price down another 3.4% from the 8. the f1 35 conventional takeoff and landing engine is being initialby 47% since the flight test engine. stowing has also been reduced in the same time period.
these are real achievements, especially when there is improving technology options that will increase the thrust, durability, and fuel efficiency could ultimately save billions of dollars for this program. the f1 35 is meeting the key f fy2020 milestones. again, my understanding for mission capability and reliability. but those facts are accurately stated as far as the panel knows. mccain: it certainly very accurate. senator blumenthal all that : said, i know have been raised about the f135 performance and i take it that, from your testimony, that quality has not been an issue so far as the
pratt whitney supplier performance has been concerned. >> two or three years ago i would've told you i was worried about that. i will tell you that pratt & whitney have done a good job at standing up a quality organization within the military engines that have dug down deep into their supply chain and helped improve that significantly. senator blumenthal: thank you. well, their supply chain is a lot of it based in connecticut and i can tell you from my , experience in connecticut that our suppliers and manufacturers have recognized the challenge we face for this century, literally this weapons platform will be critical to our national defense. throughout this century. we can look back and draw lessons, and we should, from the challenges that caused that improvement to take place and maybe even the overall conceptual framework as you
kendall,, secretary should there have been more individualization of the platform for different services. but i can well recall that the conventional wisdom not so long ago was that the services ought to get together and collaborate fighter andngle that was the wisdom du jour, and maybe now lessons point in a different direction. i hope we will learn lessons from this procurement experience, but there is, i think, there has to be a recognition that this weapon s platform will do things that no fighter engine or platform has done in the past, would you agree, doctor fillmore? -- dr. gilmore? michael gilmore: the investment
ranking is large and the need that we have is large to deal with the threats that currently exist. and if the f 35 doesn't succeed, we will be in a pickle. senator blumenthal we have a : common national interest in making sure it succeeds. would you agree, mr. sullivan? >> yes, we definitely need to have this moving forward. this is the the fifth generation. center blumenthal: thank you mr. , chairman. john mccain let me just say in : summary that it has been a scandal and the cost overruns have been disgraceful in this committee and our authorization responsibilities we will take whatever actions we can to prevent a reoccurrence. it should not take 15 years and still not have an aircraft ioc. with the cost overrun after cost overrun. so i guess my question finally
, mr. sullivan, do think that we -- do you think that we have learned the lessons and taken sufficient measures to prevent a reoccurrence, or do we need to do some more? mr. sullivan: i think there's always room to do more. i don't think we have learned all the lessons yet, but i would say that if you go back five or six years from now, go back to say 2010, we are not seen as f 35's or these big programs with requirements that are not achievable, so i think were learning some lessons that way. some of that could be from budget constraints, some because of the work congress has done and frankly i think the , department has done a good job of trying to implement and drive down into the culture some better practices. they talk about better buying power initiatives. we have a long way to go though. there is still way too much cost growth in these programs.
we are not using enough and looking at requirements and an -- in an incremental way using , open systems as senator king was talking about. john mccain: dr. gilmore? michael gilmore: i think block four will be a good test. of whether we have learned lessons. as mentioned in my written statement, i see a number of unrealistic assumptions with regard to block four. so i hope as secretary kendall and general bogdan look at how to structure the program but they look at those issues and they'll be good test. john mccain: i hope you all pay attention to doctor gilmore's words, particularly given his responsibilities to the department of defense as well as to congress. nk the witnesses, and i believe that most of the take away from this is that we are
making progress that we have , challenges that lie ahead, but there has been some significant improvements as opposed to some years ago. so i think the committee -- thank the committee for their hard work and the witnesses, and this meeting is adjourned. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
announcer: in his weekly address, president obama talks about his choice of judge merrick garland to serve in the u.s. green court and calls on congress to take up the nomination. mccain senator john gives the republican address. he talks about foreign policy under the obama administration. president obama: hi everybody. it has now been 45 days since i nominated judge merrick garland to the supreme court. he is a man of experience, integrity, and unimpeachable qualifications.
republicans are onset record saying he is a man of honesty, capable. whose reputation is beyond reproach. those are all quotes and republicans in the senate. but so far, most of the senate republicans have refused to even meet with judge garland, which means they have also refused to do their job and hold a hearing on his nomination or an up-and-down vote. but they still found time to head home for recess over the next week. this is an abdication of the senate's responsibility. every supreme court nominee since 1875 who hasn't withdrawn from the process has received a hearing or a vote. for over 40 years, there has been an average of 67 days between a nomination and a hearing. this time to be no different. this is not about partisan upholdingit is about the institutions that make our democracy work. there is a reason judge garland
has earned the respect from people from both political parties. as a young lawyer he went to public service. he went to oversee the federal response to the oklahoma city bombing. for the last 19 years, judge garland has served on the d c court, often called the second-highest court in the land . for the last three years, he served as that courts chief. in fact, judge merrick garland has more judicial experience than any other supreme court nominee in history. mind, a kind of spirit, and a good heart, he has dedicated his life to protecting our rights and ensuring the voices of everyday americans are heard. so there is absolutely no reason for republican senators to deny him the precinct courtesy of a courtesy of ait vote. this should have the seriousness it deserves.
this is why poll after poll shows the majority of americans think senate republicans to do their job, give judge garland a hearing, and give judge garland a vote. from all of the political differences, americans understand that what unites us is far greater than what divides us. in the middle of a volatile political season, it is more important than ever that we fulfill our duties in good faith as public servants. the supreme court must remain above partisan policies. i have done my job, i dominated someone as qualified as merrick garland. now it is time for the senate to do their job. give judge garland a hearing. give judge garland and upper down vote. with him and our democracy the respect they deserve. thanks for listening, and have a great weekend. am senator: hello, i john mccain, and i am proud to represent the great state of arizona. the front page of the washington post read, "peace hopes unravel
in syria, airstrikes on a hospital in aleppo. doctors among the dead in rebel held areas. " the so-called cease-fire in syria ultimately collapse, we know what happens next areas more bombs and slaughter of the innocent by us on, -- by assad, more russian bombing, including those trains are the united states. more refugees pouring out, and the greatest refugee crisis since the end of world war ii. greater on stability of borders of allies. and ultimately, a stronger eiffel that will benefit -- isil from the chaos behind. we have watched piece on wind focus moreme again on withdrawing than succeeding. what is unfortunately clear is this president has no strategy to successfully reverse the tide
of slaughter and mayhem in a world, the director of national intelligence says, has now face more crises and refugees that we confront today. the international order forged by american leaders out of the ashes of world war ii is under assault. those who were there in the beginning recall they were present at the creation. if we remain on our present course, we may well look back and realize that we were present at the unraveling. under this administration, we have been on a holiday from american leadership. too often, president obama has adopted a cheap fatalism about america's rule in the world. ,here are no good options things are limited, we will not succeed overnight, no military solution, we can't solve every problem. these are truisms, but none of
against our sensibility to do better. frommir putin is learning experience in ukraine and syria that military adventurism pays, diplomacy can be manipulated to serve his strategic ambition, and the worst refugee crisis since world war ii can be weaponize to divide the west and weaken as resolve. the only deterrence we seem to be establishing is over ourselves. indeed, two years after russia invaded ukraine and annexed crimea, president obama has shamefully refused to provide ukrainian forces with assistance they need to defend themselves. china is getting less like a great power and more like a petty bully. time and time again, president obama has failed to take