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More Pentagon Logic

May 12, 1985

I read with delight "Air Force May Still Buy Northrop Jet" (April 26). For the first time since who knows when, the Congress and the Pentagon are actually using valuable information and logic to consider the purchase of fighter aircraft for use by our own military forces.

Historically, if one goes back to the days of John Northrop's Flying Wing aircraft design of the 1950s, we find a continual political dogfight that Northrop would have no part of.

Back in the mid-1960s, I was in Texas for my Air National Guard training and, during that time, we saw films on the F-111 from General Dynamics.

That particular aircraft was chosen over other designs despite several criticisms leveled at it by experts from aircraft designers to pilots and line mechanics.

It was said to be slower, potentially less reliable, more difficult to service, carry fewer weapons and consumed more fuel per mile than its competitors. Yet, President Lyndon B. Johnson handed the contract over to this Texas-based contractor.

Since then, we have seen the F-111 suffer several accidents resulting in questions concerning possible design flaws.

So, now we are finally getting a clearer image of what's been going on in the Pentagon, Congress and the Oval Office thanks to increased exposure of cost overruns for everything from toilet seats and screwdrivers to tanks and submarines.

The President wants a superior defense for our country as we all do. But Mr. Reagan doesn't seem to care how much it costs any more than past Presidents, and the time has come to express our outrage for these "irregularities".

I urge each of us to apply pressure to our congressional "leaders" to put an end to this legalized form of corruption at the highest levels of our government.

Sen. William Proxmire (D-Wis.) has long been a seeker of truth and has repeatedly pointed out ridiculous waste in government spending only to be perceived as some crackpot congressional humorist. We need more Proxmire's and Northrop's if we're going to survive this deficit spending, which has become so popular in Washington.

Then, just maybe, we can put some of the money back to work to put our people back to work.


Corona del Mar

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