Air War College Air University Maxwell AFB United States
The US military procurement system in general, and military aviation procurement in particular, is in a financial death spiral. Conventional wisdom from many in the Department of Defense DOD and the military aviation industry has been that the best method of achieving efficiency and economy in the procurement cycle and delivering flexible capability for deployed forces is to develop qualitatively superior multi-mission aircraft. The need to justify every new platform as being superior to aircraft currently fielded has consistently caused the military-industrial acquisition complex to push the edge of technology too far. This mindset has led to steadily lengthening procurement times and steadily decreasing force levels made up of highly expensive aircraft with debatable net gains for the war fighter.