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Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by ISUAlum2002, Feb 23, 2008.
Stealth bomber crashes on Guam - Military - MSNBC.com
Bye bye $1.2 billion in taxpayer dollars.
Because it is stealth, did anybody see it crash or did they just see the smoke and flames?:smile:
I think the smoke and flames are invisible.
$1.2 billion to make???? What a fricken joke. The stupid thing good be 100% gold and probably not be too close to that number. But I guess the aircraft industry must be as stupid as the healthcare industry. Instead of us paying $7.5 for one Tylenol tablet at the hospital, our government is paying $25 for a 5/16" washer and $60 for the bolt. That is ridiculous.
invisible bolts, them things is expensive.
I'm sure the majority of the cost is in research and design.
It actually does cost more than it's weight in gold.
The problem is that the R&D costs are so freaking high for these planes, if you don't purchase very many of them, they have a VERY high unit cost. The more you buy, the cheaper each unit costs. Of course you spend more money overall, but you have to understand that most of these programs were started during the cold war and we originally were going to buy a ton more of them. The R&D was pretty much already done by the time the cold war ended, and most of the money was already sunk into the project. Buying a few was pretty much a foregone conclusion, but buying as many as were originally planned was not. On top of all that, one B2 was originally designed to replace a host of B-52s and B-1s, and would have actually cost less to operate over it's lifetime. At least that was the plan.
The gov't pays a ton of money for some of those parts and pieces PARTLY because there are some unique engineering challenges to solve that you can't necessarily just grab stuff off the shelf for. A toilet seat on a C-130 NEEDS to be a lot better than a toilet seat you buy at home depot, and hence more expensive, especially since they are designed just for the C-130.
Sometimes there are engineering requirements that aren't REALLY necessary that drive expensive things as well. For one piece of equipment I'm familiar with, they needed a certain speed and volume from a printer that was being designed in the late 70s. They decided that the only way to get that performance was to develop a printer from scratch. It was a thermal fanfold paper printer that nobody ended up using and prints paper that you can only buy from a handful of vendors these days and costs 1-2 dollars a sheet. On top of that, it prints stuff out constantly that we end up having to shred. The system requirements forced them to develop it as part of the weapons system, but most users could tell you that the system requirements were bogus.
Part of it is caused by government oversight as well. The whole contracting and acquisition process is so chock full of laws and lawyers, required to make sure that the whole contracting process is "fair", that it's nearly impossible for all the waste to be eliminated from the system.
I will second what Jumbopackage already said. In the contract I work, regulatory and oversight costs sometimes outweigh the entire cost of projects.
We are just about to enter an annual review process for a certain project, where for the last three years running, the annual accountability review will cost over 3 times more than the "savings" it produces.
Aviation parts are expensive, period. And B2s are awesome.
Of course, if you want to volunteer to do bomb runs over sophisticated air defense systems in a non-stealthy aircraft, feel free to put your own butt on the line.
This thread could really get me going so I'm going to do my best to hold back.
Suffice to say that I have sold goods to the federal government (the USAF) and the rules changed depending on who I was talking to.
In addition, I have administered federal grants. The administrative costs often exceeded the value of the grant.
ah money well spent
First, I'm happy the pilots managed to eject safely. I also agree with what Jumbopackage said.
You probably ran into that because the rules are so complicated and complex that not everybody knows them. There are also different rules for different things. It's a nightmarish process if you're just trying to get things done. The whole acquisition system is geared around buying big, complex things that have a long life cycle, when in todays world that doesn't really fit.
It's a broken system, IMO, but after a while, when you see all the stuff that goes on, you can understand why it is the way it is. Gov't contractors CAN be slimeballs, and they'll get away with what they can get away with unless it's all explicitly defined and legislated.
Incidentally, I read somewhere that the actual cost to build a B2 is around 400 million. Still a TON of money, but the thing was designed to replace a whole strike package of aircraft (perhaps as many as 20 planes), and is still probably not that bad of a bargain for the capability it brings to the fight. It's just not a capability we use very often. Hell look at how much the ICBM programs have cost us over the years and we've NEVER had to use one of those (thank god). At least we are getting SOME utility out of the B2.
The B-2 is the first plane that also averaged in the developmental costs as part of the plane costs. Previous planes cost more than stated if one had counted the development programs.