Procurement: May 5, 2002



The Air Force has decided on a new system to develop future weapons and other technology, designing them in incremental stages. Each stage would produce a usable system and the starting point for the next phase of development. In time, weapons produced from earlier stages could be upgraded if necessary. The Air Force wants to avoid the current habit of laying out a decade-long "overdefined" roadmap that proves hard to follow and, only after years of work and billions of dollars, produces a weapon that nobody realized (until too late) could not meet the performance promised. By developing weapons in incremental stages, the Air Force will have something usable in a few years and a good idea of whether further
development of that idea is worthwhile. The Air Force has identified ten of its top programs (not the top 10, ten of the top) that it wants to switch over to this development concept. They include: Global Hawk, Multi-Sensor Command & Control Aircraft, Space-Based Radar, Unmanned Air Combat Vehicle, Small-Diameter Bomb, the Predator-B Hunter-Killer Drone, the lease of new Tankers based on the Boeing-767, Improvements to the B-2 Radar, Avionics Modernization for the C-5, and the Global Transportation Network.--Stephen V Cole


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