WRWR l New fighter production could be casualty of defense drawdowns

March 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

Fighter Generations - By David Cenciotti

Fighter Generations - By David Cenciotti

The nation’s ability to develop a “generation six” fighter jet could be the first casualty of defense budget cuts.

Fred Downey, Aerospace Industries Association vice president for national security, told an Air Force Association audience earlier this month that the most threatened specialty in the defense industrial base is manned fighter aircraft design.

“Maintaining such design talent is expensive and there are no new manned fighters in planning, let alone on the drawing board,” Downey said.

The U.S. has the edge in generation five fighters, but that edge could be lost over time. The Pentagon has ended the abbreviated production of the F-22 fighter while F-35 development continues to suffer criticism due to cost overruns.

Pentagon officials have mentioned the potential of a “generation six” fighter, but no serious commitment has been discussed publicly.

Downey said companies cannot retain “military-unique” design and production capabilities without the prospect of demands from the Defense Department.

“Our boards won’t let us and our investors won’t let us if there is no market or no profit,” he is quoted in an AFA account of his remarks. “Industry is most concerned about the evaporation of its skilled workforce which is not easy to reconstitute.”

He stressed that reconstituting that capability in the wake of a bad Pentagon decision is “problematic at best.”

By Gene Rector

March 27, 2012

WRWR l New fighter production could be casualty of defense drawdowns

Advertisements

Tagged: , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

What’s this?

You are currently reading WRWR l New fighter production could be casualty of defense drawdowns at Defense & Aerospace News.

meta

%d bloggers like this: