We The People     2020

Stephen Feldmeie​r


Working on the Vultee A-31 Vengeance


"Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer."

John F. Kennedy

My Views on Defense Spending

  • Spending less and getting more with  tax dollars
  • Maintaining a 100% effective force   by a continuous supply of equipment.
  • Do away with the old way of contracting out the manufacturing of planes, ships, and tanks. 

"The less we spend on military contracts the more our military gets in return."

Stephen Feldmeier

Defense Contract Outlook

 

   

                                                 By building common sense weapons systems


   Back in the 1960’s, 70’s, and 80’s, the military contracts were awarded in the following way. Let’s say in the 1960’s we contracted an aircraft manufacturer to produce a fighter. The manufacturer would use the latest technology to design this aircraft. They would make a prototype and test it to make sure it meets all military standards.


     After a few years of testing the production phase would start for this new advanced fighter. In the meantime, as technology improved, the manufacturers were able to present an even more advanced fighter to the military. So, by the time the last aircraft rolled off the assembly line a prototype of a more advanced aircraft was being tested.

  

     On an average every 30 years The United States was able to change to a more advanced aircraft. Back then it made sense to have our aircraft contracts to have a production quota set. 700 of these type of aircraft, 800 of these aircraft and so on.


    With the improvements of computers and such, today's aircraft designers basically reached their pinnacle of conventional fighter aircraft design. Today we can no longer produce an aircraft with the current wing designs, engine designs and fuselages designs to where a new designed aircraft would out preform the current aircraft we have now. The aircraft design we are building today can last up to 60 plus years of service. This why we need to keep the latest aircraft production going without having a cut off quota.


    Right now, the current aircraft we have the A-10, F-15, B-1 bomber, B-52 and a few others, have no replacement aircraft in any plans. These aircraft are top of the line aircraft in their class. If we lose an aircraft, there is no replacement. The F-18, the F-16 are still in production until 2016, I would continue the production, replacing the earlier ones we still have flying.

 

    The problem we have is that these aircraft are at the limit of their service life. To keep these planes flying we are spending as much money to rebuild them as it would of cost to produce them. We are trying to extend the life of these aircraft another 30 years. The aircraft we are developing now are stealth and uniqueness over performance. These newer type aircraft are not better in performance than our current inventory but cost 3 to 4 times as much as the aircraft in our current inventory.

  

   The V-22 Osprey is unique, but the aircraft it’s replacing the CH-53 is a better aircraft all-around than the V-22 and cost 2.5 times as much as the CH-53. The V-22 was designed for commercial use and was forced onto the military by members of congress who had finical gains to push it through congress. The F-35 is supposed to be a replacement aircraft for all of our fighter type aircraft but cost 3 to 4 times the cost of the planes it will be replacing. The
performance of this aircraft matches that of the aircraft we have in our current inventory. Again it’s being pushed through by members of congress for finical gains. 

 

      

        Another problem we face is that our military is procuring aircraft and ships that we don’t need. We are spending 5 time as much in these “Space age” ships and aircraft. Such as the F-35, the DDG 1000’s, and so forth. We need to go back to buying sensible and reliable weapons systems. 

   



PRESENT

COST

BEING REPLACED BY

COST

Austin Class LPD

300 Million

San Antonio Class  LPD

1.6 Billion 

Ohio Class SSBN

2.2 Billion

Columbia Class production starts by 2021

4 - 5 Billion

CH - 53D Sea Stallion 

30 Million

V-22 Osprey 

87 Million

F-18 Super Hornet

A-10 Warthog

AV-8b Harrier II

F-15 Eagle

40 Million

14 Million

25 Million

30 Million

F-35  - this program cancelled

199 Million

B-1 bomber

283 Million



Marine Corps  LVPT7

2 Million

Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle Canceled for now

22 Million

U-2

25 Million

Global Hawk

122-131 Million

B-2 

737 Million





      

So by looking at this chart someone in our defense department has totally lost focus on what is going on here.   

   
       The Navy is all excited about the San Antonio Class LPD that only carries 800 Marines at 1.6 Billion dollars apiece. The Navy has 7 of them and planning on a total of 11 ships.      

    
      Now the Navy built 8 LHDs the Wasp Class that carries 2,200 at 750 million dollars a ship.

Here is the current list of amphibious ships we have.  Today the Navy has 5 class type amphibious troop carrying ships.

 

Whidbey Island Class LSD- 8 ships each carries 500 Marines - 250 million per ship

Harpers Ferry Class LSD - 4 ships each carries 504 Marines - 324 million per ship

San Antonio Class LPD - 7 ships 11 planned total each caries 700 Marines - 1.6 per billion ship.

Wasp Class LHD - 8 ships total each carries 2,200 Marines - 850 million per ship

America Class LHA - 1 ship 1 planned each ship carries 1,687 Marines. 3.4 billion dollars per ship.

    
      Again look the San Antonio class LPD at 1.6 billion dollars for a ship to carry 700 Marines.  Are you joking me?

    
      Again instead of going to a completely new class of ship, improve on the Wasp Class but keep the production going to save cost per unit as with the Harper Ferry class and Whidbey Island class. 

    
       Numerous proven aircraft and ships that were built in the past could still have been in production saving the defense department billions. But too many times as in the past, it has been proven new does not mean better. Look at the San Antonio class LPD. It is replacing the Austin Class LPD. In my opinion the Austin Class is a better design. Right now the Arleigh Burke-class destroyers are being built, I would not have a cut off number.


      The Ticonderoga-class cruiser I would put back into production, these two Classes of ships complement one another. For what one can’t do the other can vice versa. 

    
      Right now our Ohio Class Submarines (SSBN) Trident Missile submarines are starting to reach the end of their service life. The first one, USS Ohio was commissioned in 1981 and the last one, the USS Louisiana was commissioned in 1997. The Ohio Class submarine cost 2.2 billion per submarine. We have a total of 18 subs and the plans for replacing these subs will cost 4 to 5 billion per submarine. Instead of coming up with plans on building a new type of submarine, just keep building the Ohio Class and make improvements as needed during the production cycle. These submarines are still the best in the world in its class. 

     
      The first 4 subs - Ohio, Michigan, Florida, and the Georgia are being converted into a conventional weapons delivery (SSGN) subs to deploy the Tomahawk Cruise Missiles and smaller intermediate range ballistic missiles and similar weapons. Which is not a bad concept to have different types of weapons available? 

 

      A Global Hawk aircraft (an unmanned drone) cost 131 million to 222 million dollars and has about the same flight characteristics as an U-2. U-2 cost today would only be 25 million per aircraft if production restarted. Today, we are experiencing other countries hacking into the operational controls of these drones. It's a matter of time until they figure out how to take control of the unmanned armed drones and turn them on our own troops.

    

     The United States no longer makes the M1 Abrams Tank. When we lose a tank, there is no replacement. The government sent all the tooling to Egypt, as Egypt will end up with 1,130 M1 Abrams Tanks as the United States maintains some 8,000 M1 Abrams Tanks.     


    Replacing the A-10, the best air to ground support aircraft ever made (or ever will be made) with the F-35 does not make sense. If the production of the A-10 started back up again, the cost per unit would be 14 million and I feel that’s a very high estimate. So why replace it with the F-35 that cost 199 million dollars per unit? But people are trying to do it.  


    As one can see, this much waste in our defense contracts is to the point where it becomes criminal and someone needs to go to jail over this. To prevent so much fraud and waste I’ll make a policy where the next replacement weapons system must perform 15% better and cost no more then 25% of the previous weapons. Of course there will be exceptions, but this will take any personal gain to a politician out of the picture and it will prevent the V-22 and F-35 debacle from happening again.