U.S. Defense Department leaders have called for a renewed effort to sustain America’s military technological dominance, but to do so they will have to fight an uphill battle against entrenched bureaucratic interests competing over a shrinking budgetary pie. Whether this initiative will be more than simply Pentagon pabulum depends on the future direction of the Navy’s carrier air wing. The Navy has two next-generation programs on the drawing board, the Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike (UCLASS) drone and the F/A-XX 6th generation manned fighter. Squeezing two next-gen aircraft programs into the Navy’s budget will be difficult, particularly if, as the Navy currently plans, the UCLASS drone does not replace any manned aircraft on the deck. [Read more]

http://wp.me/p4sUqu-Pt – Michael’s Blog