Thursday, May 29, 2014
the F-35 isn't that unusual
I have no strong feelings about the F-35, but when I see a story like this -- saying that the Marine version can't land vertically as it's supposed to without destroying the landing pad -- I chalk it up to the dilemmas of just about all major weapons programs. The military planners set performance goals beyond current capabilities, in order to justify the costs and provide technological superiority, and then they have to compromise and make tradeoffs to meet schedule and cost constraints. Senior officials then are faced with approving a less-than-promised system at higher-than-promised costs, or going back to the drawing boards in the hope of doing better next time. Dilemmas and tradeoffs are inherent. But we still get to complain.