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Title: The Sixth-Generation Quandary
Authors: Raymond Franck
Bernard Udis
Keywords: Major Defense Acquisition Programs
Air Combat Forces
Issue Date: 5-May-2016
Publisher: Acquisition Research Program
Citation: Published--Unlimited Distribution
Series/Report no.: Major Defense Acquisition Programs (MDAPs)
Abstract: During the Cold War and its aftermath, technical superiority was a core competency of the U.S. military, which relied on platforms that were high-performance, multi-role, expensive, and with long development times. This approach generally worked because adversaries couldn't easily counter those capabilities. However, the unipolar moment featuring the U.S. as the sole superpower may well be ending, and a number of capable rivals have emerged. In this changed world, a well-considered, timely response is therefore strongly indicated. But U.S. acquisition programs are taking ever longer to field combat capability. At the same time, adversaries are becoming more sophisticated and agile. Accordingly, our paper addresses the following questions concerning 6th-gen air combat. First, what are the lessons learned from 5th-generation fighter programs, especially the F-35? Second, how many new 6th-generation fighter aircraft should the U.S. develop and field? Two, one, or none? Third, what are the likely building blocks of the kinetic component of the next generation of air combat forces? Fourth, what might all this mean for acquisition professionals?
Description: Acquisition Management / Defense Acquisition Community Contributor
Appears in Collections:Annual Acquisition Research Symposium Proceedings & Presentations

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