Rep. Curt Weldon says the cancellation of the Joint Strike Fighter alternate engine is one of the two “most significant issues”—the other is the F-22’s new procurement plan—facing the House Armed Services TacAir subcommittee this year. In Weldon’s view, the decision to “sole source an estimated 5,000 to 6,000 JSF engines” defies logic. He noted that the competition for just 1,800 F-15 and F-16 engines delivered a “21 percent savings in life cycle costs” and maintained that it is “intuitive” that a much larger program would return at least similar savings, as well as potential engine performance increases. Weldon maintained that the decision may “look like the right one” over the “short term” but could cost more over the life of the program.
Unlike nearly every other innovative technology throughout history, Maj. Gen. DeAnna M. Burt believes the space enterprise emerged backward. “Every other domain started with an entrepreneur who built something,” Burt, the special assistant to the Chief of Space Operations, told an audience at AFA’s Air, Space & Cyber Conference.