Weapon System Effectiveness

By examining how well our forces perform in the field against today’s threats, we can gain some insight into what sorts of forces and weapons we will need in the future. Are our Cold War era weapons, perhaps employed with new doctrines and tactics, suitable for this new world? Or do we need to develop new (and not necessarily just cheaper) weapons?

4/10/04 Rise of the Machines Foreign Policy in Focus by Conn Hallinan. Boyd’s imperative as “People, ideas, and hardware in that order!” The Pentagon’s idea of utopia appears to be “Hardware!” (no ideas and no people.)

Stryker Brigades vs. The Reality of War. Will the Army’s new light armored vehicles do the job in the real world of 21st Century warfare? Noted author Victor O’Reilly (Games of the Hangman, The Devil’s Footprint) looks at this issue and the answer isn’t good. Read this well-publicized report and decide for yourself. (3.4 MB PDF)

Phase Four Operations in Iraq and the RPG-7, by George J. Mordica II, Senior Analyst, Center for Army Lessons Learned, November - December 2003

Comanche Program Objectives Need to be Revised to More Achievable Levels,” latest GAO report (June 2001, 336 KB .pdf) The title pretty much says it all for this program, which began in 1983 and has been restructured five times. In the last 18 months alone, projected costs have increased over 10%.

The latest F-22 Operational Testing and Evaluation (OT&E) report. Overview of F-22 testing during FY 2000. As major procurement decisions loom on the program, this report observes that “The F-22 flight test program has fallen considerably behind schedule during the last year … As of January 3, 2001, flight test aircraft have only accumulated 324 hours of the 590 hours planned just one year ago.” The full report on all DOT&E activity for the year is available from their web site at http://www.dote.osd.mil/reports/FY00/index.html

The F-22 Program: Fact Vs. Fiction.” Retired USAF fighter pilot, designer, and tactician, E. E. Riccioni, takes on the F-22 as the wrong airplane at the wrong price for the 21st Century. Offering only a marginal increase in capability over the F-15C, it will absorb money badly needed to solve our real problems, which include fire support for land forces and the emerging threat of 4th generation warfare. In MS Word format, 196.5 KB. Also available in HTML from the POGO site.

Three Reasons Why the ATF Should Not Be Approved for Engineering and Manufacturing Development,” Franklin C. Spinney, July 23, 1991. Author’s Note: In 1991, the F-22 was known as the ATF or Advanced Tactical Fighter. When this paper was written the AF planned to buy over 648 as part of its plan to retain a force structure of 26 tactical fighter wings. Since that time, the force structure has been reduced to 20 wings and the number of F-22s has been reduced to 341 F-22s, so the basic problems outlined in this paper remain uncorrected. (554 KB PDF document)

Military Analysis Network. Probably the best single source for information on any weapon system worldwide. Published by the Federation of American Scientists.