Days before taking office, President-elect Donald Trump made two surprise calls to the Air Force general managing the Pentagon’s largest weapons program, the Lockheed Martin Corp. F-35 jet. Listening in on one of those calls was Dennis Muilenburg -- the CEO of Lockheed’s chief rival, Boeing Co. Trump, who has repeatedly criticized the $379 billion F-35 program as “out of control,” made the highly unusual calls to Lieutenant General Chris Bogdan on Jan. 9 and Jan. 17. Muilenburg, whose company makes a fighter jet Trump has suggested might be an alternative to the F-35, was in the president-elect’s New York office
Comments: Mr. President, this is not an honorable thing for you to do.
Trump can put ANYONE he wants in on a call to his employees. These generals serve at the pleasure of the President.
The problem here is that the F/A-18 Super Hornet has no stealth capability, and it is not something that can be grafted on, it is fundamental to every aspect of the design.
An improved Super Hornet with some of the helmet mounted display, multisource data integration and presentation, and weapons systems integrated would be a good thing.
But the Super Hornet will never have the stealth capability that the F35 has. In some operational environments, stealth will be absolutely mandatory to survive. In other environments, not so important.
Bringing some of F-35s technology to the Super Hornet would be smart and good, but it can never fully replace the F-35.
Pet peeve: "F-35" should be "A-35", or at least "F/A-35" as it is primarily a bomber (attack) aircraft with some air-to-air self defense capability. F-22 is primarily (only, really) air-to-air stealth aircraft.
There is nothing at all wrong with what he did. The article is very poorly written - especially the misleading headline.
President-elect Donald Trump called the general who was the head of the F-35 program and asked him general information. The Boeing CEO was in his office. If you read the article (and are able to understand it) the general published their conversation in a written paper that was distributed to appropriate persons internally.
"I would consider the calls to be very straightforward. He asked a lot of very, very, very good questions because he was in the learning mode,” Bogdan said of Trump. Speaking to reporters Thursday after a congressional hearing on the F-35, Bogdan said that Muilenburg listening to the call “was not inappropriate. The things I talked about in front of Mr. Muilenburg were clearly publicly releasable information. I understand the rules.”
After speaking with Trump, Bogdan wrote two three-page memos, titled “phone conversations with President-Elect,” dated Jan. 10 and 18th and stamped “For Official Use Only,” to limit distribution, according to the people. The memos outlined Trump’s questions about the capabilities of Boeing’s Super Hornet fighter and how it might compete against Lockheed’s F-35C. About a dozen Pentagon officials were alerted to the calls after they occurred, the people said.
The headline implies he was talking with Lockheed with Boeing’s CEO on the room. No, he wasn’t.
Much ado about nothing. A defense analyst with somethine called the Lexington Institute, in Arlington, VA, didn’t like what he did. So what?
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