TIME FOR SOME NEW WEAPONS?….Whatever else you think of him, Gregg Easterbrook is an engaging writer when it comes to explaining fancy new weapons systems. Basically, he says we need some new ones:
Pentagon spending is reaching the end of a “procurement holiday.” There hasn’t been a major new aircraft or helicopter acquisition program in a decade. The “futuristic” F117 stealth fighter is 15 years old; the design of the Army’s M1 Abrams main tank is 20 years old; the B52 bombers that did yeoman work in the Iraq war are 40 years old; Air Force fighters average almost two decades in age; the primary United States tanker plane is 45 years old; it goes on.
So which new systems do we need? Yesterday he trained his eye on the F-22 Raptor (he says thumbs down, we should buy the F-35 instead) and today he takes on the Littoral Combat Ship (thumbs up, but only if we fess up to its real purpose). He’ll examine one new weapons system a day for the remainder of the week.
I can’t judge myself whether Easterbrook is right about this stuff, but it’s interesting reading anyway.