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Protests as a way of life--(read, business)

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shawn a:
Third paragraph of this weeks AW&ST's "defense" section's first article is "However, a recent Army effort to quickly field a new SIGINT collector has been stalled by contractor protests".
Evidently, "what goes around, comes around", as Boeing now gets stung by the protest bee.
So, what's your opinion of this "protest" part of defense acquisition? Is it a Robert Gates-friendly way of controlling costs, cutting fat and increasing capability, or is it decreasing readiness and availability of necessary military systems?

Sole-sourcing is bound to get criticized.

But besides that, on the protests... that has little to do with R. Gates, I think. These protests wouldn't be so much of a problem if the contractors didn't have such powerful lobby's going on, with then everyone interferring in what should be the Pentagon's business. Maybe the law needs some adjustments as well (sole sourcing in certain cases based on urgent requirements)... but I think the "protests" are part of the money-driven political system. Russia/China/France don't have this problem, although yeah certain contractors do get more love then.  ;)

shawn a:
A decision on the Enhanced Medium-Altitude Reconnaisance Surveillance System's protest is expected next month.
Why am I not impressed?
Could it be because American defense procurement these days resembles the idiocy of a Three Stooges movie? (Not even approaching the efficiency of a Keystone Cops episode, or a Laurel and Hardy escapade)!!
Expected next month?
Anybody wanna bet on that?

shawn a:
In this weeks AW&ST, there is a very telling paragraph in an article about the new trainer that the US Air Force wants.
Apparently, the Air Force will keep specifications of speed, acceleration, sustained G-force, and probably several other performance parameters low so as not to generate a protest.
Isn't it nice to know that the Air Force will kowtow to the "Protest Industry" by lowering key performance parameters, and thusly get an inferior product?
I've always wanted the military to be obsessed with industrial political correctness instead of accomplishing their mission.
Shawn A.

So atm that's throwing a bone to the Hawk Mk.1xx? Seems to be the underperforming one of the bunch, but good record (although all leading into types that have twoseater for conversion...), honestly I don't think it stands a chance anyway... So I don't know how much lower the specs are, and not because I don't think Hawk is up to the task, but I suppose that this allows Boeing/Saab to come with a mediocre design... that may be way more affordable, barely fitting the lower specs, and thus putting the T-50 (and the M-346) out of the contest... Is that what you worried about?

Do you think LM would change the T-50 because of this, like removing the afterburner or lower performance engine altogether?


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