Saturday, January 28, 2012

Making 'Global Hawk' Brand Defense Sausage

Narrative Building in lieu of say, actual Defense Planning
RQ-4 Global Hawk Preflight at 0-Dark Hundred Hours

Exhibit 1
June 14, 2011. A Secretary of Defense Acquisition Memorandum released following a review of the Global Hawk program. The memorandum states:
1. “…the continuation of the program is essential to national security.”
2. “…there are no alternatives to the program which will provide acceptable capability to meet the joint military requirement at less cost.”

Exhibit 2.
January 27, 2012. Air Force To Cut 10,000; Global Hawks Get Warehoused


So what is the only thing that has ‘changed’ that could have caused such a shift in the Global hawk fortunes in the interim?

Oh yeah - A fatally-flawed world-view was fraudulently packaged into a document posing as a National Defense Strategy and unleashed to provide ‘cover’ for a ton of stupidity that we will experience between now and the end of the current Administration with which we are now plagued.

2013 can’t come soon enough.

BTW: Someone must have telegraphed the ‘Narrative’ early. Senator John Hoven of North Dakota (Where the Global Hawks were to be based) was calling for the Global Hawk to continue back in December ’11.


Unknown said...

Is it possible that this is partly due to the Block 30 operational issues discussed last year by DOT&E? I'd heard that the Block 40 program was continuing, and I assumed that moving onto the next version might be one way of dealing with technical issues.

SMSgt Mac said...

I'm sure what you describe is the 'narrative', but I suspect advocacy 'infighting' and AF embarrassment first when it comes to the GH: and for reasons related to my first exposure to it not too long after Teledyne Ryan won the DARPA contract. In the first 'costs are out of control' crisis that hit, fueled by U-2 advocates among others, I got called in to help them tell their GH story up the line. All the costs that were out of control were in the payloads and the numbers of payloads glomming onto the program like parasites, the plane and control system were fine. Block 30 has much the same problem, except the cost increases are also coming from an 'improved' ground segment that I assume is part of some standardization, the fact the AF pushed for the increased payload and range in the Blk30 without a thorough study of what it would take to accomplish same, and most irritatingly, failure to give GH testing the priority it should have had at the Flight Test Center and therefore stretching the program.
I think the AF wants the GH Blk30 to die because they want it to go away and bury their missteps. this would allow Block 40 to go forward without the Block 30 baggage. Just my suspicions...