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Mon Mar 11, 2013, 07:37 AM

Lockheed Martin's Herculean Efforts to Profit From Defense Spending


from TomDispatch:




Lockheed Martin's Herculean Efforts to Profit From Defense Spending
The Epic Story of the C-130

By Jeremiah Goulka


When I was a kid obsessed with military aircraft, I loved Chicago's O'Hare airport. If I was lucky and scored a window seat, I might get to see a line of C-130 Hercules transport planes parked on the tarmac in front of the 928th Airlift Wing's hangars. For a precious moment on takeoff or landing, I would have a chance to stare at those giant gray beasts with their snub noses and huge propellers until they passed from sight.

What I didn't know then was why the Air Force Reserve, as well as the Air National Guard, had squadrons of these big planes eternally parked at O'Hare and many other airports and air stations around the country. Itís a tale made to order for this time of sequestration that makes a mockery of all the hyperbole about how any spending cuts will "hollow out" our forces and "devastate" our national security.

Consider this a parable to help us see past the alarmist talking points issued by defense contractor lobbyists, the public relations teams they hire, and the think tanks they fund. It may help us see just how effective defense contractors are in growing their businesses, whatever the mood of the moment.

Meet the Herk

The C-130 Hercules is a mid-sized transport airplane designed to airlift people or cargo around a theater of operations. It dates back to the Korean War, when the Air Force decided that it needed a next generation ("NextGen" transport plane. In 1951, it asked for designs, and Lockheed won the competition. The first C-130s were delivered three years after the war ended. ...........................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175659/tomgram%3A_jeremiah_goulka%2C_c-130_math_and_a_cargo_of_pork/#more



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Reply Lockheed Martin's Herculean Efforts to Profit From Defense Spending (Original post)
marmar Mar 2013 OP
bemildred Mar 2013 #1
cbrer Mar 2013 #2
bemildred Mar 2013 #3
cbrer Mar 2013 #4
bemildred Mar 2013 #5
cbrer Mar 2013 #6
bemildred Mar 2013 #7

Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 09:15 AM

1. Yeah, the basic problem in the defense business is how to get rid of the old stuff

so you can sell yet more stuff, which is what these stupid little wars are good for, you can blow up boatloads of stuff.

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Response to bemildred (Reply #1)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 06:28 PM

2. You're right, but it brings to mind...

 

The parable of throwing the baby out with the bath water.

The C-130 Hercules aircraft in some of those remote locations have been responsible for a number of humanitarian and life saving missions.

To say that there's not room for cuts and better management would be disingeuous and horribly inaccurate.

Of course it helps when you're not going further into debt to wage illegal and immoral wars!

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Response to cbrer (Reply #2)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 06:42 PM

3. The Hercules is a fine machine.

From a bygone era, so to speak, like the Warthog.

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Response to bemildred (Reply #3)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 06:47 PM

4. Umm, the Warthog currently serving ground support role in the Mideast?

 

That has an outstanding certification of female fighter pilot success on its pedigree?

And I flew a Herc. about 5 weeks ago.

Still moving mail, trash, and ass to all corners of the globe.

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Response to cbrer (Reply #4)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 06:51 PM

5. Yep, that one.

I haven't followed these things for a long time now (disclaimer), but what I see in the news suggests that they keep trying to replace it, and they keep not being able to.

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Response to bemildred (Reply #5)

Mon Mar 11, 2013, 06:59 PM

6. This goes back to your "basic problem"

 

Weapons systems that are currently deployed have existing logistics trails, life-cycle management programs, and crew training systems in place.

If you don't think an Infantry Boot Platoon Leader weeps a little when that thing starts laying down fire, you've never been ambushed!


Muuuuuuuch too cost effective for todays MIC.

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Response to cbrer (Reply #6)

Tue Mar 12, 2013, 08:25 AM

7. I used to do software engineering for DoD, so I saw the same problem a lot.

In software, it's called "re-inventing the wheel", and the trouble is that the new wheel is often, even usually, not superior for the intended purpose, and the users always hate learning new stuff even if it's better, let alone if it's worse. But, since there is no way to become a big-shot and make the big bucks without pissing on every post in the neighborhood, they keep doing it anyway.

Another bad side-effect of that new-stuff rules attitude is that systems become encrusted with marketing fetishes, things added because some market-droid was of the opinion it would help sell the system, a subject that always raises stress-levels to the 90% range. And then the users become annoyed becasue they have to fight through the marketing fetishes to get to the old functions that they want and know how to use. Like all that computer crap they put in cars now that few drivers bother to learn about.

And then there is the cost of continuous re-training, and keeping software "up to date", and all the other wastes of time.

Have you ever thought about how much time you waste dealing with your computers and things instead of "using" them for some non-computer-related purpose like email or surfing the web?

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