United Technologies: Black Hawks for Brunei & Billions from a Boondoggle
Doing his part to promote the ever-increasing export of aircraft and weapons to shoot them down “made in America” by our Military and Prison Industrial Complexes, last week U.S. Arms-Dealer-in-Chief Barack Hussein Bushbama wrapped up his 9-day Asia-Pacific sales trip by touting $25 billion in new orders from our “allies” in the region. Principal beneficiaries included prison labor exploiter Boeing and other Top 10 war profiteers such as GE and United Technologies, whose Sikorsky subsidiary came away with a $325 million order for Black Hawk helicopters from the Brunei Ministry of Defense:
How a tiny Islamic sultanate of only 400,000 people can afford $325 million worth of “Death from Above” and what they plan to do with it are intriguing questions for you and I, but probably of little concern to United Technologies. Following the money suggests that maintaining their Pratt & Whitney unit’s multi-billion dollar stake in the trillion dollar F-35 Joint Strike Fighter boondoggle takes precedence over any sales to the Sultan:
Pratt & Whitney produces the F135 engine that powers the “next generation” F-35 fighter jet, which according to a study by the Rand Corporation “can’t turn, can’t climb, can’t run”. Beginning with a $4.8 billion development contract awarded just weeks after 9/11 gave our defense industry the keys to the Treasury, by 2010 the cost to “complete” the F135 engine was estimated at over $7.28 billion. On top of that, earlier this year the Department of Defense (DoD) awarded Pratt & Whitney $1.13 billion for F135 engine production, and this month the U.S. Navy gave them another $75 million “to fund a set of studies on feasibility, operational readiness, cost, and implementation of the Joint Strike Fighter engines, which are already in production. [The money is] in addition to the roughly $16 million each engine costs the government…”
Did you catch that last part? The Navy is paying a defense contractor $75 million to study the “feasibility, readiness and cost” of their own product! What do you think their conclusion will be?
The insanity doesn’t end there… Pratt & Whitney’s potential slice of the trillion dollar F-35 pie is estimated at $100 billion. That caught the eye of GE and Rolls Royce, who teamed up to offer the “F136″ as an alternative engine. Against the Pentagon’s wishes, a Congress awash in GE payola (over $30 million in contributions since 1989, and over $245 million in lobbying since 1997) funded development of the second engine right up until last April when – in a rare display of fiscal integrity, or more likely deference to the millions United Technologies invested in lobbying and PR (e.g. F135engine.com) for its demise – the DoD pulled the plug on the secondary engine program:
Whether that plug remains pulled is anybody’s guess, but I’d wager the madness will continue until We the People pull the plug on what is euphemistically called our “Defense Aerospace Industry”:
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