2012/12/03

A quote on military procurement

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I recall informally proposing a test to disprove a debate-inspired claim that the A-10's anti-tank cannon would "never" destroy tanks in "all future wars." The test would have cost a few hundred thousand dollars. The colonel hearing this proposal told me something like this: When the Air Force needed a new plane - and its reasons were usually valid-it understood that opposition could arise for various reasons, financial, ideological, or parochial. Therefore, the service had to make a strong case, and part of this involved demonstrating that the current plane was dangerously unsatisfactoy.  In this case, the A-10 was the current model, and thus, did I really think the Air Force would give me money to prove it wrong?

From "The Warthog and the Close Air Support Debate" by Douglas Campbell, page xi (found on google books, don't expect me to know the full book).
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5 comments:

  1. Great idea, btw why do so many nations have helicopters and not A-10 like aircrafts?

    Kurt

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  2. I want entertainment! this about the article "comments" which has had their comments disabled, thus I recourse to this article. Please can you publish the troll comments for our amusement?

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    1. You can write me an e-mail for some samples.

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  3. The USAF hates the A-10. It hates the A-10 for the oft mentioned reasons of not being sexy enough for fighter pilots, and not being expensive enough for the bureaucracy.

    And it's interesting that the two most successful aircraft in USAF -- and perhaps even NATO -- inventory is the A-10 and the F-16. Both are aircraft designed to be simple and low-cost. Unfortunately the F-20 never really saw the light of day. According to the people who either flew it, or was trained on it, it was an excellent aircraft.

    As to the latest post, "Comments", I understand your predicament. The existence of conspiracy theories must be accepted when one enters the realm of the internet, but in most cases they're not too difficult to spot. On rare occasions people may have a point, but in most of these cases the theory is quite plausible, and perhaps even proven already.

    Happy Holidays, Sven (and fellow readers)!

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  4. Speaking of procurement, you might want to make a post commenting on what's going on with EADS after the BAE merger fell through. It seems the German government will now have its own share, and continental Europe keeps its own major defence contracting firm.

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