reply to post by C0bzz
The idea that military technology has been devolving technologically is somewhat true - in that there have been massive losses of technological
progress in the public domain.
However, this is only true of the western world - if you look at the Russian Air fleet, they still retain a large number of fighters, enough to make
any pilot sitting in his more "advanced" plane quake in fear before the numerical advantage that the Russians can field.
They have the fuel to support that advantage, too.
It has always been the way, in the west, to strive for weapons that will render the opponent's own weapons technologically invalid.
The problem lies within that very premise - we have to retire older models in order to fund newer ones.
There is one thing which supports USAF black projects, and that is the requirement
of USAF to continually wow the American public with tales of
super-advanced fighter craft capable of speeds of which 30 years ago would seem impossible.
It may well be the case that they possess only one
hypersonic aircraft, but these lone aircraft projects are continuously being retired so that
the developers can move onto bigger, more ambitious projects.
It may well be the case that technologically, the USAF possesses advantages which dwarf
that of other nation's abilities.
However, the one thing we lack is numbers - certainly, having a fighter than can run rings around a MiG in air combat is a marvellous advantage to
possess, but against a wall of fighters, literally putting out a stream of firepower the height and width of a football stadium turned on it's side,
renders that advantage nearly useless in head-on air combat.
My perspective on the matter is thus; Rather than fielding a fleet of fighters capable of annihilating any force that any nation puts in the skies,
what the USAF is doing is designing the blueprints of superiority - in a situation in which it is actually nessecary to field a force with stopping
power, those blueprints will be made available to manufacturers - thereby providing the raw manufacturing capabilities to field a fleet
A lone hypersonic fighter wouldn't be much good against a wall of firepower, but a squadron?
Even a single squadron capable of hypersonic speeds would be more than enough to stop any force dead in it's tracks.
As for the OP's premise - i actually agree that these "Blueprints of Superiority" are essentially throwing a wrench in the works - These Government
projects are diverting attention away from where it's needed.
It is the necessity that is felt towards maintain a technological advantage that, ironically, is restraining technological progress in the domain of
the public eye.
How can this be addressed however?
Simple; We return to the days of the space race.
[edit on 17-5-2008 by Anti-Tyrant]