January 19, 2016

WHAT SHALL WE DO WITH THE SURPLUS?:

How Drones Are Rapidly Making the F-35 Obsolete (T.X. Hammes, 1/19/16, Defense One )

Rather than simply arguing about more money for legacy systems, we need to think through how we will gradually phase them out over the next decades while using the savings to shift to a new approach to war.

Today, the vast majority of U.S.procurement spending goes toward very mature weapons: F-35s, LRS-Bs, aircraft carriers, and systems that support them. These technologies came to the fore in the 1930s and '40s. Unfortunately, even massive investment in mature technologies brings only minor increases in capability. One oft-expressed rule of thumb is that the last 5 percent of capability adds 50 percent to the cost of a weapon.


This is of particular concern because of the rapid advances in robotics and artificial intelligence, additive manufacturing and nanoexplosives, composite materials and energy-reflecting coatings, and improved energy densities in gel fuels. Taken together, these technologies mean that long-range, autonomous, stealthy, precision weapons will soon be cheap and ubiquitous. These new systems will challenge the dominance of the last century's weapons and change warfare dramatically at the operational and tactical levels.

Posted by at January 19, 2016 6:44 PM

  

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