With all the discussion recently about cuts and rising costs, gap filling and cheap solutions what are the most appropriate design drivers for new equipment?
It’s a problem that seems to afflict all nations with the defence industry, performance is always involved in a race; higher, faster, further and more destructive but given the huge disparity in equipment quality between modern capabilities and the most common opponents is it time to change the runners and riders in the race?
Instead of putting performance at the forefront of equipment should we, as a fundamental requirement, be demanding cost reductions, maintenance overheads and other cost-related characteristics?
Of course, these always design factors and the reality is that sometimes the scope for doing so is limited but if a manufacturer of say, a combat aircraft, were to design something that had a modest performance but at a fraction of the cost of the latest hi-tech toy, would it be a success?
How good is good enough?
Simplicity is very difficult but perhaps we are making things more difficult than we need.