The A-12 development program was terminated with the approval of the Secretary of Defense, Mr. Cheney, in Jan 1991. The terms of the contract, fixed price, were enforced and the government demanded the contractor repay the government for money paid for “progress” not achieved.
If only the contracts managers working the Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle, or any number of failed weapons, had realized the developers were no likely to meet the terms and conditions of the contract, as upheld by this judge, there would be less waste in the military industrial complex.
Washington Post, May 4, 2007, Pg. D8
Court Backs Pentagon In Killing Fighter Jet
By Renae Merle, Washington Post Staff Writer
“A federal judge sided with the government yesterday over General Dynamics and Boeing in a 16-year saga over a canceled fighter-jet program.”
“The U.S. Court of Federal Claims upheld the government’s 1991 decision to terminate the companies’ contract for the A-12 radar-evading plane, General Dynamics and Boeing said.”
“The “contracting officer could have concluded that McDonnell Douglas and General Dynamics had ‘no reasonable likelihood’ of delivering the aircraft on time as measured by the schedule,” Judge Robert H. Hodges wrote in the decision. McDonnell Douglas merged with Boeing in 1997. “We must again uphold the Government’s default termination.”
“In 2002, the Navy told General Dynamics and Boeing to pay $2.3 billion to settle the case, which the companies refused to do. That demand included $1 billion in interest.”
Today, the contracting officers look out for the profits of the contractors, look the other way at failed performance, and allow more time and vastly increased cost while the systems do not perform.
Some contracting officer should have determined that any numbers of weapon systems (B-2, C-17, MV 22, F/A-18E/F,…..) that were not being designed to meet required performance, on time and at the required cost.
But defense contracts are not legal obligations to deliver performance they are locked solid demands on the treasury despite the failure of the vendors to meet any obligations.