Quality, Quantity, and Technology — A Perspective on Fighter Development 811097

There is a growing controversy in the defense industry as to whether or not new weapons systems are becoming too complex, sophisticated, and costly to be effective. To the extent that they are, the problem is often attributed to the growth of technology.
This paper reviews some of the effects of the growth of technology as exemplified by a comparison of the B-17 and the F-16 in a historical context. It then looks at some of the implication of quality/quantity trades for new fighter aircraft. The conclusion is that intensive efforts to improve technology are justified.


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