SENIOR serving officers in any country’s armed forces tend to shun public controversy. But Admiral Jonathan Greenert, America’s chief of naval operations, has stoked it in the latest issue of a specialist journal. His article appeared to question the value of the stealth technologies that underpin the biggest weapons project in history, the vast and costly F-35 Joint Strike Fighter programme.
That is controversial enough: the F-35 is the Pentagon’s pride, exemplifying America’s technological lead and military supremacy. But the admiral’s argument, outlined in Proceedings, published by the United States Naval Institute, also has a wider theme. Military procurement is too focused on building ever-costlier new ships and aircraft of complex design, with built-in capabilities to meet specific threats. Instead of procurement being “platform-centric”, he wants it to be “payload-centric”: highly adaptable platforms able to carry weapons and sensors that can be added or removed, depending on the mission or on technological progress.
See the whole story at The Economist: http://www.economist.com/node/21559607