The system used by No. 1 defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp.’s aircraft unit to track aircraft costs and schedules has lost its Pentagon certification because of persistent deficiencies, a Defense Department spokeswoman said.
De-certification of the Fort Worth, Texas-based unit’s so- called “earned value management system” was intended to “help ensure Lockheed Martin devotes the needed attention to complete” corrective actions “in a timely manner,” Pentagon spokeswoman Cheryl Irwin said in an e-mailed statement today.
Major U.S. military suppliers are required to use earned value systems to track spending, comparing actual costs and performance against projections so the Pentagon and companies can spot looming overruns. Lockheed Martin’s system is used to track cost and schedules of the $382 billion F-35 fighter, the Pentagon’s most expensive weapons program.
You know, this casts quite a shadow on certain rationales our government is spouting about the apparent "best price" we're getting for the F-35. Tell us Pete, how do you know what price we'll pay when even the tech-dazzled waste-addled Pentagon slams the maker for accounting problems?
The whole deal stinks and without a competitive bidding process, the government is gambling on a single aircraft from a company that is showing itself to have a marketing and accounting practice modelled on the Corleone family.
Even if the F-35 won a competitive and rigorous bidding process, the act of having such a process might have had the effect of forcing clarity on costs and such. Now because the Cons already made up their mind and skipped the steps of the acquisition procedure, we're jumping through Lockheed Martin's hoops and not the other way around.
At the end of the day, it's just an airplane. An airplane whose merits will mean squat if it ends up priced out of our range, or their accounting practices end up delaying delivery or handing over substandard airframes. There are others that will do the same thing and possibly for much less of an headache.
(h/t Impolitical twitter)