Thursday, May 24, 2012

F-35 and Concurrency: Steven Bucci at Heritage Gets It

(The Idiots Still Do Not)

H/T Solomon @ SNAFU!

From Bucci's post F-35: Slowing Down Production Makes No Sense we find:
The Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), as the F-35 is known, is designed to maximize both capability and survivability. Its production methodology was developed to allow for faster fielding of the aircraft and calls for incremental improvements in the design as early models roll of the line. Safety is not sacrificed, and the process known as “concurrency” puts the best available plane in the hands of the warfighters as soon as possible. It also allows for cuts in cost per copy as efficiencies build upon one another.
Unfortunately, forces that never wanted the nation’s pilots to have this aircraft in the first place are now trying to pull a bait and switch. They are saying that there is too much concurrency, and they want to slow down production of the JSF. This would drive up the cost per unit of each JSF and probably force some of our allies to cut the number of planes they have ordered. These cuts would further drive up cost, creating a vicious cycle of cost increases.

The clear goal here is to slow down production and drive up costs in a spiral that will eventually allow opponents of military modernization and proper readiness to call for killing the program altogether. Congress should not allow this to happen.

Solomon's right: Bucci nails it.

Nothing New Under the Sun

Good to see Heritage picking up on a theme I identified years ago. Ladies and Gents, time once again for a slide from SMSgt Mac's Acquisition 101 "Slash and Whine" Detractor Strategy course, first seen on the web in 2006 in reference to F-22 critics.
The 'Concurrency Bogeyman' is the 'Reason' this time
 'Concurrency' is the current lie being used by the detractors (including so-called 'reformers') being leveraged to pretend saving money is the objective. And let's not forget to mention (once again) how big a LIE the 'concurrency' angle is. See my post on Congressional Bloviation on Concurrency from about 9 months ago to get the total picture, but here's a sample as cited from a 2010 Defense AT&L Journal article:

What to Do About Concurrency?
So far, no conclusive evidence exists that concurrency (no matter how it is defined) is generally a problem. This does not mean that concurrency is never a problem. But most likely, concurrency leads to cost and schedule growth under very particular circumstances. What these circumstances are is not very clear just yet. Nor is it clear why in our study, the sweet spot for concurrency is somewhere around the 30 percent mark. What is clear is that there are definite advantages to concurrently designing and building a weapons system that most program managers take advantage of, to some extent or another.
The [1988] Congressional Budget Office study advised that “Congress may wish to take no further action regarding concurrent programs as a group,” given the very weak relationship between the concurrency and cost growth. Instead, the office argued that Congress should simply ask that DoD develop a consistent measure for concurrency to be published in a program’s acquisition report and then monitor programs to see how they are performing relative to their planned level of concurrency. More than 20 years later, this advice still seems to be appropriate.

The Concurrency Bogeyman is not going to disappear until people who use it get called out for their lies, so 'good on' Bucci and the Heritage foundation! 

Awww. The Usual F-35 Hatin' Suspects seem to have shown up at the Heritage site with their usual quiver full of lies, half-truths, and distortions. How quaint. They range from ignorant to stupid-but they're quaint. Around here people say 'Bless their hearts' when we see that kind of lunacy.


SpudmanWP said...

The original cost estimates were based on a US buy of 165 per year at FRP (A/B/C). What did they think was going to happen when they cut it back to 130 at FRP?

SMSgt Mac said...
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SMSgt Mac said...
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SMSgt Mac said...

Oh 'they' 'knew' what 'they' were doing. The 'they' who were honest actors knew unit cost would rise, but total cost would be contained within a smaller total budget-- which looked better in an election year. Fine. I'm for living within a budget. I haven't bought 9mm in 1000 round bulk yet though it would save me about 20% total cost, because it would require ~$200 outlay at one time. Buying 100 rounds a week costs me about $25 so I spread the costs over a longer period because it is worth it to me. I don't claim ammo prices jumped $50 because I choose to buy it the way I do.
The subversive 'they' go along with fitting the buy to the lower annual budget instead of ponying up the commitment because they can claim the unit costs have risen without acknowledging total $ commitment has gone down. I hate those 'They'

SMSgt Mac said...

And MAN! I cannot type before coffee!