Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, losing patience with the Pentagon's most expensive weapons system, said Monday that he would fire the general in charge of the Joint Strike Fighter program and withhold $614 million from the contractor, Lockheed Martin.Kind of late in the game - but I think the new guy will unquestionably have a mandate.
The Joint Strike Fighter, also known as the F-35 Lightning II, is touted as the future centerpiece of the U.S. military's approach to waging war in the skies. But its development has already been plagued by billions of dollars in cost overruns and what Gates called "a troubling performance record."
Gates said he was replacing Marine Maj. Gen. David R. Heinz, the executive officer in charge of the Joint Strike Fighter's development. He declined to identify Heinz's successor but said it would be a person of higher rank -- the equivalent of a three-star general -- to reflect the importance of the program.
Tuesday, February 02, 2010
Not a good sign that all is well in aviation.