The Air Force’s tech chief, Will Roper, is pushing a plan to develop future aircraft in small numbers on greatly compressed schedules. Using digital engineering and other innovations, he wants to acquire tactical aircraft in a few years that would only stay in service for a decade. The initiative is named after the Century Series of fighters developed at a very fast pace in the 1950s. However, the plan does not look promising. The original Century Series was something of a fiasco, and the Air Force is not running a science fair. Buying small batches of specialized planes would turn the air fleet into an incoherent patchwork. Once funding tightens and politics intervenes, the Digital Century Series will crash and burn. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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