First, a comment from an Ares reader:
Jeff-N is exactly right. The problem, as always, is the empty promises.
It's like we're going to get the 2011 Honda Accord in 2016 (maybe) with 2006 Honda Accord capability, but we're paying the 2016+ plus price for it.
In the meantime, the Hyundai's are getting better and cheaper. So are the Fords, too, btw.
(Jeff-N's is the previous comment, if you're interested. I thought his take was too mild. Sure, programs are problematic. So why in the heck do we keep buying promises of the moon and getting a plate of cheese?!)
i like wjmb75's analogy.
an additional problem is so much 'strategy' planned around those numbers and capabilities. the cascade effect on jets in 3 US services is massive. if we had been more cautious then with the claims, what would we have decided about F-16s, F/A-18s and F-22s and what would the end cost and capability be? without running the numbers, i sense it would be an egregious delta, likely even a criminal one (as in, some people should go to jail).
the American taxpayer foots the bill (well, at least makes interest payments) and LM continues to make money and pay shareholders.
to say nothing of the effects experienced by partner nations (which closer observers should feel free to add).