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Editorial: Give Young plan a chance

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unhappycamper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 07:55 AM
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Editorial: Give Young plan a chance
Editorial: Give Young plan a chance

Any initiative launched in a U.S. administrations last year faces an uphill battle for survival, and the prognosis is even worse when it comes from a team suffering record-low approval ratings. So its no surprise that one of the Bush Pentagons biggest acquisition initiatives would be met with skepticism.

On Sept. 19, Defense Department acquisition chief John Young directed the military services and defense agencies to change how they acquire weapons. Instead of picking new weapons based on PowerPoint presentations and promises, prototypes from two or more competitors would duke it out until a winner is chosen. Its the latest effort to control risk and uncertainty leading factors in rising program costs and slipping delivery schedules.

The initiative would reinvigorate competition, provide more rewarding work for more engineers and ensure that risks are better identified by the time systems enter the critical system development and demonstration phase, which locks designs for production.

Critics agree the effort will yield benefits, but counter that early program costs will increase substantially costs that arent in the current budget plan.

But that doesnt mean the initiative should be sidelined. To the contrary, when you have a highly consolidated industrial base dominated by a handful of titans, anything that advances competition and innovation must be embraced.

The promise is that the investment made in the first phase of the program will be logged virtually immediately in SDD, the second phase where the bulk of development costs are incurred. Such competition has worked on individual programs such as the Joint Strike Fighter, but hasnt been applied wholesale.

Rest of article at: /

uhc comment: The Joint Strike Fighter is the $330,000,000 F-22 Raptor. Which is in the shop for corrosion repairs.
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