Pentagon IG releases harsh Lockheed Martin report

The Joint Strike Fighter (JSF), also known as the F-35, has been a source of continued problems for the U.S. government since the fifth-generation jet fighter program was initiated over 10 years ago. Lockheed Martin, the company contracted for the job, has suffered from a number of issues that a Pentagon Inspector General (IG) report states has cost American taxpayers over $1 trillion with little to show for it.

The F-35's roots go back to the Department of Defense's desire to have one single fighter jet for each branch of the military. Doing so would allow them a more customized approach to military operations. However, technological setbacks and, in some cases, disasters, have led many analysts to question the effectiveness of the JSF program. 

According to Reuters, every single jet produced by Lockheed Martin has suffered from roughly 800 problems, many of them related to engine cracks, tube fractures and software glitches. Each one has resulted in millions of dollars in extra costs per plane. Still, the IG report identified a number of ways that the Pentagon – and Lockheed – could fix the issue.

"Although it would be unrealistic to expect first production to be issue free, our contractor assessments indicate that greater emphasis on quality assurance, requirement flow down and process discipline is necessary, if the government is to attain lower program costs," the report said.

This development illustrates how misguided government expenditures are when a well-connected contractor is involved. Investors, hoping to shield themselves from the lopsided U.S. economy, should seek out alternative sources of revenue like cash flow real estate