Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Obama Military Budget To Kill Tomahawk And HellFire Missile Programs


Aside from cutting our Navy to pre WWII levels, President Obama's new military budget targets what weapons we have left.

The new Obama defense budget will abolish two of our most successful missile programs.Raytheorn's Tomahawk, probably the world's best and most effective cruise missile will be cut by $128 million under Obama’s fiscal year 2015 budget proposal and completely eliminated by fiscal year 2016, according to budget documents released by the Navy. Given the present average usage, there will be no Tomahawks left by 2018 at the latest.

Aside from the severe financial cuts, the Navy will be limited in the amount of actual Tomahawk missiles they are allowed to acquire, from 196 last year to just 100 in 2015, with no Tomahawks at all in 2016. This was probably included to make sure that no one tried to preserve the program by shifting funds from other areas.

According to Obama’s proposal, the Navy is also going to be forced to cancel any purchase of Hellfire missiles in 2015, one of our most effective tools of the trade.

The president and his team are mandating this change without a replacement missile currently ready to take the Tomahawk's place.There is a new missile currently in development, Lockheed Martin's Long Range Anti Ship Missile, but like Lockheed Martin's other dysfunctional product, the F-35, the Long Range Anti Ship Missile has been plagued with massive development costs and overruns, has vastly underperformed when tested and might not be fully ready to be deployed for as much as ten years.

 Lockheed Martin, by the way, spent something like $14.5 million in lobbying, much of it aimed towards President Obama and Democrats. And the company has been credited in some corners as helping to deliver Virginia for Obama in 2012 by delaying planned  layoff notices to workers, followed by a timely last minute Pentagon announcement just before the election that no Lockheed Martin contracts were going to be cut.Probably just one of those funny coincidences, I'm sure.

Considering how other countries like China, North Korea and Iran are actually working to improve their naval and anti-ship capabilities, killing off the Tomahawk and Hellfire along with the other severe cuts mandated for our Navy is the equivalent of running up the white flag when it comes to our global military dominance.

This will not end well.


louielouie said...

i don't understand how these gov't departments/agencies/bureaus have budgets.
did congress pass a budget?
to best of my knowledge they haven't passed a budget in over 5 years.
do these departments/ agencies/bureaus function by the dictates of their respective czars now?
do they spend the money they want to and don't have?
in short, how can you cut something from a budget when you don't have a budget?

B.Poster said...

"This will not end well." With all due respect at this point, we don't know how this will "end." With that said as long as the current people or people with a like mind set to those currently managing things are allowed to continue, I'd tend to agree that a good ending is unlikely. So far nothing has been done yet that can't be fixed. The optimum word being "yet."

".... is the equivalent of running up the white flag when it comes to our global military dominance." In order to run up the white flag in this area, we would first need to acquire global military dominance. While the US is very influential in this area, it is far from certain that such dominance really exists. The experts, whom you sarcastically pointed out that you "love" in regards to your post regarding the Iranian simulation of one of our air craft carriers may tell us such things but they have a track record of overestimating our capabilities while underestimating those of adversaries and potential adversaries. As such, the analysis of these "experts" should not be taken at face value.

While it is clear given America's current economic situation, it's weaknesses in infrastructure that needs to be addressed, lack of industrial capability, and it's massive national debt especially when the unfunded liabilities are considered, that major cuts to military spending have to happen, there is no choice, the leadership seems to be going about this in the wrong way.

It would seem the best approach would be to keep the systems we have such as the tomahawk and hellfire missiles while discontinuing research on the replacements that may or may not work and we don't seem to know when they are available!! Fore example, a great program to cut would be the F-35. While it is true that the tomahawk and hellfire missiles have a limited useful life as adversaries and potential adversaries will adapt to them and eventually render them useless, nevertheless when faced with limited resources a more prudent course of action would seem to be keep the systems that work and maybe try to improve them over time rather than scrap them in favor untried alternatives that may or may not work and it is can't be said with certainty when they will actually be available.