From: Peter Goon
Sent: 16 March 2012 09:57
To: 'Senator Mark Furner, Chair'; 'Dr Dennis Jensen MP'; 'Little,
Subject: There is Nothing Normal nor Usual let alone Standard about
JSF . . .
Attachments: Program Comparison_JSF vs F-111_2009.pdf;
DAR-Review_2010-11_APA Sub3_ 16Mar12_A.pdf
Dear Senator Furner and Members of the JSCFADT:
Subject: THERE IS NOTHING NORMAL
LET ALONE STANDARD ABOUT THE JSF
This submission is provided in support of the JSCFADT Public Hearing,
In his article, Mr Ian McPhedran reports on what, inter alia, was
predicted years ago as the likely next stage/phase of the Lockheed
Martin/Ft Worth Division marketing strategy for the JSF –
euphemistically called the “Don’t You Worry About That; All is Normal;
Nothing to See Here -So Let’s Move Along” Phase.
The contractor and the JSF Project Office are both saying things like:
“The JSF's problems published in the media are normal
for a brand new
strike fighter project . . .”
“These are just normal teething problems that you always fight in
fighter aircraft development . . ”
Nothing could be further from the truth but there is a better than even
chance that similar claims will be made before you today by senior
Defence Portfolio officials.
As advised in submissions to these same senior Defence Portfolio
officials, successive Defence Ministers and Governments, and
Parliamentary Oversight Committees since circa 2001, there is little if
anything that is normal or usual about the JSF Program or the JSF
This program and the aircraft it is producing are "outliers" of
enormous disproportions, in pretty much every sense of the word.
For example, compare the JSF Program with, say, the F-16 Program. This
can be easily done by looking at the data and the facts, then testing
the evidence contained in the US Comptroller Reports on the F-16
Program at the time (circa 1980s).
In the F-16 program, schedule delays were measured in months, not years
let alone the decade plus (that was predicted by independent domain
experts) and is now currently "planned" for the JSF Program.
Cost overruns were measured in Tens to Hundreds of Millions of Dollars,
not Billions let alone the Tens of Billions of Dollars (which,
again, were predicted by
independent experts) and have now been spent and, worse, with even more
"planned" to be spent.
For economic factors to be the cause for these much greater budgetary
blowouts, the inflation rate would have had to have been running well
in excess of 15% per annum, compounding each year for the intervening
30+ years, for this to be anywhere near correct. So don’t fall for that
hoary old piece of “a total indifference to what is real”.
There were problems and issues with the F-16 designs but the fixes took
in the order of months to effect. These didn’t take over a year let
alone the multiple years that are now panning out in the JSF Program.
Fixes in the F-16 Program were usually achieved in the first attempt.
They did not take the 3 or 4 or more attempts that are common in the
JSF Program nor did they generate further issues/problems in other
parts of the aircraft designs nor require the specifications to be
dumbed down in order to get the aircraft to “meet spec”.
Speaking of which, the specifications were “Target Objective”
specifications which the F-16 aircraft met and, in some cases,
exceeded. They weren't the "bare minimum acceptable" Threshold
Specifications that we see today as the “JSF contractual obligations”
on Lockheed Martin, quite a number if not many of which the contractor
almost certainly won’t meet and, moreover, has clearly known this would
be the case, for years. Refer JSF Selected Acquisition Reports, in
particular the JSF SAR dated December 2003.
As advised all those years ago, the word is "outlier" and the
the biggest and ugliest, by far, of all time.
Trying to "normalise such deviance", as this latest phase of
marketing strategy is endeavouring to encourage people to do, is just
more of what has come to be expected as the normal approach, based on "a
total indifference to what is real", employed by those responsible
JSF Program. So, one could say there is something that is “normal”
for the JSF Program, however this is certainly not something of which
one could or should be proud.
The JSF even makes the much maligned development of the F-111 look like
a model acquisition program, which, for its time, was a far more
complex set of design tasks than those being attempted under the overly
self complicated JSF Program. Once again, this is proven (and becomes
obvious) by looking at the data and the facts, then testing the
evidence. See Table below.
On the matter of complex systems, in the development and the managment
of same, one of the ways Engineers (and Scientists) measure the
complexity in the development of systems and the systems themselves is
on the basis of the tools and knowledge that are available to do the
In the main, the leading edge aircraft designs and systems being
developed and integrated into aircraft, today, are far less complex
than those of 15 years ago, let alone 20 and 30 years ago, back in the
age when Slide Rules “ruled”.
What is apparent is that the development and management of complex
systems today, though, have been allowed to become far more
complicated; unnecessarily, expensively, with more and much higher
levels of risk, and, thus, dangerously so.
If you or other members of the Committee have any questions about the
information provided in this submission, we would be more than happy to
answer them. A PDF copy of the following table and this submission have
been attached for your convenience.
Principal Consultant/Advisor Head of Test and Evaluation Co‐Founder,
Air Power Australia
"Our role is to be so capable and so well prepared that
the other guy
doesn't even think about taking us on."
Australian Defence Force
Leadership prior to 2000