Smithberger cited the cost overruns and production delays associated with the F-35 fighter jet as a prime example. By the time a critical upgrade was ironed out, the cost of upgrading planes already in the Defense Ministry’s inventory to fix the problem prompted defense planners to consider scrapping for $ 21 billion. fifth generation hunters, she said.
“As much as possible, the department and Congress should make sure we fly before we buy,” she said. “While we understand the need to speed up the acquisition process, bringing immature and unproven technology to production is expensive and undermines readiness. As this committee is all too well aware, cost overruns impinge on the priorities of other departments, including modernization, and create preventable operational risks.
The infinity button
Committee chairman Adam Smith, D-Wash. Opposed the idea that the US budget must be large enough to ensure that the military can defeat any adversary in any conflict. The military must be capable (and sufficiently credible) enough to deter aggression from adversaries and make them believe that the cost of starting a conflict would be too high to be worth it.
Preparing to win an all-out war against China or Russia seems to be driving the demands, he said, “and I don’t think there is any fiscal way to guarantee that.”
“Once you establish that premise, once you say that China and Russia are terrible, awful and they do all these things, we have to stop them and the only way to stop them is to be ready to win all-out war, well then, yeah, you might as well push the infinite button on how much we’re spending on defense, ”Smith said.