Dr. Roper wants a return to the Century Series days

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sferrin

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Unread post23 Apr 2019, 21:58

USMilFan wrote:As hornetfinn has pointed out, the prevalent trend in the history of aircraft development has followed a path of increased complexity, and has required ever more time and expense to implement. It is logical, therefore, to expect that future systems will continue to increase in complexity, and will very likely require exponential increases in time and expense. Hoping to change this trend seems as improbable and impractical as reversing the flow of the Mississippi River.

While a more incrementalized approach would likely reduce the risks associated with longer development phases, it does nothing to solve the problems introduced by increased complexity. Solving those problems inevitably takes more time and more expense. And though increased complexity is extremely expensive and risky to design, develop, test, build, and make operational, it offers the kind of revolutionary advances in capability that easily justify those efforts and their substantially greater costs and risks. A more incrementalized development process merely forfeits the chance to capture those revolutionary advancements in capability that ultimately save both lives and dollars when wartime comes. These considerations motivate the historical evolution towards ever lengthier and costlier phases of development and implementation.

Finally, we should keep in mind that every time that our people and institutions avoid taking risks and bearing costs, those risks and costs ultimately fall upon the shoulders of the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines who take the ultimate risk to do our bidding. It is our responsibility, therefore, to eliminate as much risk and cost to them as possible. That is the unfair bargain (to them) that military members make with us when they sign up.


They could probably shrink the cycle time by doing more in parallel. For example, they're well down the road with PCA's engine. Why haven't they started working on the radar? The IRST? The OML?
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marauder2048

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Unread post24 Apr 2019, 08:24

sferrin wrote:They could probably shrink the cycle time by doing more in parallel. For example, they're well down the road with PCA's engine. Why haven't they started working on the radar? The IRST? The OML?


In some cases, the underlying tech funding is coming from other sources.

Example: Advanced EODAS is coming from the Army sponsored VISTA effort that advanced Type 2 superlattice
detector tech at L3, Lockheed and Raytheon.

IMHO, the big question is DEWs or no DEWs since that's going to dictate so much of the design of a clean sheet.

All of the issues they ran into trying to power and cool NGJ are a cautionary tale for high power pulsed/continuous systems.
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USMilFan

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Unread post25 Apr 2019, 02:35

sferrin wrote:They could probably shrink the cycle time by doing more in parallel. For example, they're well down the road with PCA's engine. Why haven't they started working on the radar? The IRST? The OML?

I hope that I didn't give the impression that I argue in favor of lengthier and costlier development just for its own sake. If it's at all possible to implement parallel development, I'll join you, sferrin, in advocating in favor of it as a logical step towards reducing development times and costs. Clearly, parallel development makes good sense regardless of whether one favors incrementalized implementation or "big-leap" implementation.

But neither did I mean to give the impression that I favor big-leap cycles just for their own sake, or simply because that seems to be the prevalent trend. I'm a pragmatist with no ideological tendency when it comes to this question. I'm just not convinced that it is possible to achieve significant advances without spending the time and money necessary to solve the woes of complexity. Complexity is risky and costly, but without it, meaningful advancement doesn't seem possible. At least that is the lesson that history seems to be trying to teach us.
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