Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Egads on NGAD

I don't know who lead it will be or what crisis will cause it, but at some point we will realize that the golden calf idol of a procurement process we seem to think is a god is not only false, it is evil.

An entire generation going or two of acquisition professionals have grown up in a system that consistently fails the nation.

It doesn't have to be this inefficient or this ineffective, but it is. 

Latest datapoint is the overthinking and self-doubt is the replacement for the Super Hornet.

We have individuals who know what needs to be done - and if they had their way we would be a long way down the road to a modern fighter to replaced the butched-up 1970s runner-up that we have now ... but our self-imposed and voluntary system we work under won't let them. The amount of time this takes is simply gobsmacking - but we don't change.

Example. This sounds correct and sound.

The Navy is leaning toward replacing its fleet of Super Hornets with another manned fighter that will work with emerging unmanned aircraft concepts under the umbrella of the service’s Next Generation Air Dominance program.

Yes, that could have been said a decade ago and more - as a matter of fact it was, however ...

Rear Adm. Gregory Harris, who leads the chief of naval operation’s air warfare directorate (OPNAV N98), said Tuesday that the aircraft following the Super Hornets will “most likely be manned,” but that the Next Generation Air Dominance program will include a mix of both manned and unmanned platforms.

“As we look at it right now, the Next-Gen Air Dominance is a family of systems, which has as its centerpiece the F/A-XX – which may or may not be manned – platform. It’s the fixed-wing portion of the Next-Gen Air Dominance family of systems,” Harris told attendees at a Navy League breakfast. 

Is that clear? Sound confident?

Of course not. Harris knows what we need ... but ... 

“But we truly see NGAD as more than just a single aircraft. We believe that as manned-unmanned teaming comes online, we will integrate those aspects of manned and unmanned teaming into that,” he continued. “Whether that – we euphemistically refer to it as our little buddy – is an adjunct air-to-air platform, an adjunct [electronic warfare] platform, discussion of could it be an adjunct advanced early warning platform. We’ll have to replace the E-2D [Advanced Hawkeye] at some point in the future, so as we look to what replaces that.”

The Navy has been inching toward a family of systems approach for NGAD over the last several years. USNI News previously reported the service was leaning toward a manned fighter aircraft as part of the NGAD family of systems. The Navy last year quietly stood up its NGAD program office.

He can't see the future through a cloud of good idea fairies, snake oil salesmen, rent seekers, and people hanging on long enough to maximize their retirement. 

The system we have is so ossified and impeded by accretions, we can't just fiddle with it - it needs to be ripped up by the root and thrown in a chipper. 

DOD/DON won't do it either - Congress must act. 

Our acquisition systems isn't just not fit for purpose, it is an obstacle to producing the weapons our nation needs to win ... or even have a chance to win.

If you think this is a normal, efficient, and effective system - you are delusional.

No comments: