The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas on August 5, 1966 · Page 3
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The Courier News from Blytheville, Arkansas · Page 3

Blytheville, Arkansas
Issue Date:
Friday, August 5, 1966
Page 3
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Page 3 article text (OCR)

Blythevllle (Ark.) Courier Newt - Friday, August t, UM - Pift Itow TFX Debate Is Raging By BEM PRICE NEW YORK (AP) - The bit- ler controversy over whether Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara forced a second-best warplane on the nation's military to save $1 billion is heating up again. This latest outbreak centers around development of the Navy version o! the TFX — tactical fighter experimental — now known as the F111B. As a weapons system — aircraft wedded to missile — the program is 12 to 18 months behind schedule. The first three prototypes were so badly overweight they were useless for carrier operations. Further, the research and development costs for the weapons system are soaring although this is not uncommon in projects involving new weaponry. * * * The Fill—and there are two versions to date — may not turn but to be the all-weather, all- purpose air superiority aircraft originally envisioned by McNamara. The Marine Corps already has told Congress it does not intend to buy the Fill in either the Air Force or Navy versions for close air support of troops. There have been published reports out of Washington indicating that the Senate Investigations subcommittee, headed by Sen. John L. McClellan, D Ark., may reopen its still unconcluded hearings. In 1963 the McClellan subcommittee heard testimony covering over 2,700 pages and collected in 10 volumes, but it never issued a finding. * * * To date the controversy over the F111B has swirled around the first three prototypes. A slimmed-down fourth prototype, identified as No. 4 F111B, was rolled off the assembly line in July and its builders contend it will meet the Navy's operating requirements although it, loo, is still somewhat overweight. The No. 4 has been flown for 80 minutes. A Navy decision of whether to buy the F111B is no texpected until December after full evaluation of a fifth prototype, which is due for production this month. Secretary of the Navy Paul Nitze said on July 27 that the P111B was a weapons system 'we must make work." * * • * The controversy over the TFX, or Fill, began in 1962 when McNamara overrode the recommendations of a 235-man panel of aircraft experts four times. The panel had recommended acceptance of a design submitted by the Boeing Co., of Seattle. McNamara selected the General Dynamics design on the grounds that it offered the best chance of producing an aircraft with a high degree of what he called "commonality;" that is, identical parts. The defense chief characterized the Boeing cost estimates as unrealistic although Boeing had been working on a design for a variable sweep-wing aircraft, such as the TFX, since 1959. • In the original competition Boeing proposed to build 23 research and development aircraft for $468 million. General Dynamics' proposal was $543 million. * * * McNamara told the McClellan hearing the purchase of a single warplane for use by the Air Force, Navy and Marines would save at least $1 billion. Subsequently, when the nib- committee asked the then Comptroller General Joseph Campbell to check McNamara's savings claim, Campbell reported he could find no figures and quoted McNamara as saying 'he had made rough judgments of the kind he had made for many years with the Ford Motor Co." McNamara is a former Ford president. * * * During the course of the hearings there were, assorted charges of favoritism, conflict of interest and lack of Defense Department cooperation, but McNamara refused to budge. At the time of the contract award, there was congressional testimony that to buy 1,704 TFX warplanes with spare parts and spare engines would cost around $7.8 billion. As matters now stand, Rear Adm. W. E. Sweeney told a House Appropriations subcommittee last March the Navy F111B research program was running about 30 per cent higher than estimated. Further, Sweeney said, overall research, development and engineering costs had climbed : rom $84 million to around $210 million. One of the major delays encountered in the program has been development of the Phoenix missile. Research costs reportedly have climbed from $137 million to around $240 million. The TFX, or Fill, comes in requirements. General Dynamics Fort Worth Division, said in a telephone intervew he was confident the HUB, final version, would be acceptable to the Navy. A. B. Lemlen, production chief at Grumman, said in an interview: "The Navy has riot test flown No. 4. On the basis of the original specifications and the first three versions, there is no question but what the Navy would not take them. We now think we have one hell of an aircraft and the Navy will buy it." One of the chief r 'urces of the controversy concerns costs and in this area there is a welter of often confusing and conflicting figures. Both Davis and Lemlen say there is now no way to assess unit costs. They contend the unit costs can be ascertained only after a decision is made on how many aircraft will be built. a plan to buy 431 Fills, 24 of which will be for the Navy. This figures out to a unit cost of $2.3 million. '"•*•>* General Dynamics' original unit cost estimates, based on an order of 1,704 aircraft, with spare parts and spare engines came to $2.9 million each. What makes the Pentagon purchase order unusual is that it was announced before a final decision on the F111B had been made and even before the No. 4 improved model had been turned out. Davis said in the telephone interview the only contract he had in hand was a research, development and test one for $460 million with an allowable overrun of 10.09 per cent. Any costs above that, he said, will come out of the company's pocket. Actually, the number of air- The Pentagon has announced ' craft the" Pentagon proposes to buy has varied considerably. While the Original costs centered around a "buy" of 1,704 warplanes, the latest figures, reportedly under discussion call for a purchase of 950 for the Air Force and 231 for the Navy plus 50 for the United Kingdom and 24 for Australia. These latest figures would include the aforementioned 431 Fills. A congressional source said in an interview he understood the unit cost had soared to around $9 million but efforts to check this figure have been rebuffed. If the congressional source turns out to be right, this would FAST REUIEFI ASPIRIN ' BESTBinT mean a "buy" based on the original 1,704 proposal of $15 billion - roughly twice the orif» Inal cost estimate. Drtifus Offers U.JEWEL ELGIN $ only 19 95 • When t,ase, Crown Crystal Are Intact USE YOUR CREDIT OPEN AN ACCOUNT 'ou con depend on it... for oou. racy,., for imarl design,..fof low, low price, lody'i dainty dr«l jlyle.,. mon'i wot«rpreoi* with lummout dial and iwe«p second hand, Astrological * Forecast * , 8, CARROLL Co detennlni rout rorecu.. nut* paragraph opposite dates, whleb include your blrtb dmt« SATURDAY GENERAL TENDENCIES: You are filled with the desire to go places, see people and to do things and this is just the day for you to do so. Do, be very active and let all see you are a doer. The early evening is all right but the later evening is apt to bring arguments, disputes and all sorts of troubles Rise above annoyances. ARIES (Mar. 21 to Apr. 19) Carry through speedly with any plans you have for gaining both personal and business aims, since the planets are favorable. Accomplish a good deal. Take it pretty easy tonight and restore energies. .TAURUS (Apr. 20 to May 20) Preparing for some new system that brings your desires to earlier and greater fruition is wise right now. Much good will come of this in the near future. Show loyalty and gratti- tude to good helpers. GEMINI (May 21 to June 21) Look to tiiose very dynamic and clever pals for ideas that will help you to gain your aims without having to work terribly hard. Lavish your attention on old friends instead of the new. Be more sure of these. MOON CHILDREN (June 22 to July 21) Certain big-wigs are free today and you are able to get in touch with them for ideas, advice. Do more for others and improve, increase prestige. Greater success can b« yours thereby, also. LEO (July 22 to Aug. 21) Certain situations arise tiiat can mean much benefit for you in the days ahead, but you must be able to co-operate wit 1 ,-, new contacts, friends. Contact those who can be helpful. Trust those who admire you. VIRGO (Aug. 22 to Sept. 22) You can be very ingenious in handling both personal and business matters now, so get busy without further ado. Stop procratinating. Do whatever will make your attachment happier, more devoted. urn iJ**i. K * o* m McNansftt Syndicate. Inc. A little conference with partners with whom you wish to be allied in the future can be resultant of excellent results. Days ahead can be much more successful. Showing cooperation brings their good will. SCORPIO (Oct. 23 to Nov. 21) There are so many duties ahead of you that can also be enjoyable if you get right at them. Labor is the keynote right now. Don't rely on associates since two versions — the Air Force and the Navy. General "A" for the "B" for the Dynamics claims the two versions have 85 per cent commonality. The Flll- B is being built for General Dynamics by Gruman Aircraft Engineering Corp., on Long Island, N.Y. i * * Both versions employ a wing which will sweep from 16 degrees off a right angle extension, or nearly straight out, to 72.5 degrees for high-speed operations. The Air Force version has a wingspan of 63 feet and is 73 feet long. The Navy version has a 60-foot wing span and length of 66.8 feet. The Air Force has bought the Fill as a fighter-bomber, while the Navy plans to use it as a long-range interceptor. Since their missions , differ, the electronic equipment, or "black boxes," differ radically. The Air Force version is designed to travel at two and a half times the speed of sound at its service ceiling of 60,000 feet, while the Navy version is supposed to reach 2.2 times the speed of sound at 55,000 feet. The speed of sound at these altitudes is 660 miles an hour. Air Force and industry sources say the F111A has exceeded its speed requirements, has carried a full load of 48 each weighing 813 and has reached its bombs pounds, service ceiling. General Dynamics had produced 14 of the proposed 18 FlllAs at its Fort Worth plant. There is no weigh problem with the F111A. * * * As for the Navy versions, the they have many tasks of their j No. 3 had a 78,000-pound gross own to perform and can't help you. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22 to Dec. 21) Those small Saturday jobs can be done with speed and accuracy so get right at 'em! Later you find that loved one is in a very responsive mood. Get out to the fine amusements, etc. that most please mutually. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22 to Jan. 20) Ideal day to buy whatever you need to make your surroundings more charming and elegant, comfortable. See to it that utilities are in good running order. Have friends in tonight and be happy. AQUARIUS (Jan. 21 to Feb. 19) Enter into those hobbies and amusements with congenials that most please, give you a chance to improve health. Be sure to go after information you require. It is within easy driving distance. PISCES (Feb. 20 to Mar. 20) Doing whatever increases abundance or will make your property more valuable is fine. Bigwigs are definitely helpful and have your interests at heart. Some new friend may have an excellent idea you can use. IF YOUR CHILD IS BORN TODAY he, or sb«, will have an excellent mind and will be eager to become very successful far earlier than others his, or her, own age. Be sure, tho, to insist that your progeny goes through a full prescribed course and not leave school earlier in order to start earning money, or the wonderful success in this chart will be lost. Many ramifications to the chosen career matt UN dittum but weight, a fact which set off the current controversy when the information became public. Since the Forrestal class carriers have an elevator capacity of only 79,000 pounds, this meant the No. 3 if used by the Navy would have to be fueled and armed on deck, thus reducing some of the carrier commander's operating flexibility. After an intensive weight-reduction program, Grumman turned out a slimmed-down F111B in July with a gross weight of 64,778 pounds, according to one source. This was still higher than the maximum of 55,000 pounds set by the Navy. On the basis of information gleaned from assorted sources in Congress, among the military and in industry, here is the way the No. 4 F111B compares with the original specifications. The Navy asked for an empty weight of 39,000 pounds. No. 4 weighs 43,000 pounds. The Navy originally asked for an aircraft which could "loiter" for more than three hours at a distance of 750 miles from the fleet. This was reduced by the Pentagon to a range of around 500 miles and a loiter time under three hours. No. 4 is expected by Grumman to meet the compromised loiter and • range * * * The service ceilmg of 55,000 feet has yet to be met by the F111B. A Grumman spokesman said the No. 3 was never taken to its ceiling because Grumman knew it was overweight and unacceptable. The No. 4 is expected to meet the Navy specifications, he said. Frank Davit, Huffman Brothers Lumber Company Gives You LOWEST PRICES FREE DELIVERY FREE PLANNING FREE ESTIMATES And FINANCING Here is a top quality drill — tne basic power tool for any workshop. Drill in metal, wood, masonry and have power to spare! Lightweight, easy handling drill with 2.5 HID. note*. MOOEl 903 95 21 . . REVERSING DRIVE-R-DRILL •ith Triggtr Speed Control Row drill at speeds from 02000 rpnt in any material. Drive and remove screws, nuts, using exclusive reversing feature. Get any speed A M you need by squeezing the /I* trigger. 2.5 imp notoc. *• ' VA" SAW 95 Here's a. powerful saw for those extra-duty jobs . . . MODEL over 1% h.p. 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