The Cutting Edge: A Half Century of Fighter Aircraft R&D

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Rand Corporation, 1998 - 221 σελίδες
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The proposition that innovation is critical in the cost-effective design and development of successful military aircraft is still subject to some debate. RAND research indicates that innovation is promoted by intense competition among three or more industry competitors. Given the critical policy importance of this issue in the current environment of drastic consolidation of the aerospace defense industry, the authors here examine the history of the major prime contractors in developing jet fighters since World War II. They make use of an extensive RAND database that includes nearly all jet fighters, fighter-attack aircraft, and bombers developed and flown by U.S. industry since 1945, as well as all related prototypes, modifications, upgrades, etc. The report concludes that (1) experience matters, because of the tendency to specialize and thus to develop system-specific expertise; (2) yet the most dramatic innovations and breakthroughs came from secondary or marginal players trying to compete with the industry leaders; and (3) dedicated military R&D conducted or directly funded by the U.S. government has been critical in the development of new higher-performance fighters and bombers.
 

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Περιεχόμενα

Chapter One INTRODUCTION
1
THE LONG ROAD TOWARD US LEADERSHIP IN FIGHTER RD
15
Chapter Three THE SUPERSONIC REVOLUTION
51
ACQUISITION REFORMDOCTRINAL FERMENT
89
Chapter Five REVIVAL OF THE AIRSUPERIORITY FIGHTER
103
THE STEALTH REVOLUTION
129
Chapter Seven CONCLUDING OBSERVATIONS
155
Appendix A DATABASE DESCRIPTION
163
Appendix B DATABASE
169
BIBLIOGRAPHY
201
INDEX
209
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
221
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Levaux is a doctoral fellow at the RAND Graduate School with expertise in the aerospace industry, defense R&D, strategic planning, international trade, and Asia's economic development.

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