So here's an interesting bit of defense technology related info presented by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments at a press conference to discuss defense spending yesterday.
It's a breakdown of just how much all those weapons programs that were cancelled in the last decade cost us:
Future Combat Systems (FCS) $18.1B
Comanche helicopter $7.9B
nPOESS satellite $5.8B
VH-71 Presidential Helicopter $3.7B
Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle (EFV) $3.3B
Transformational SATCOM (TSAT) $3.2B
Advanced SEAL Delivery System (ASDS) $0.6 B
Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter $0.5 B
Aerial Common Sensor $0.4 B
CG(X) next Generation Cruiser $0.2B
All told, that's about $46 billion, a significant chunk of change. CSBA's Todd Harrison (and many others throughout the years) urged the Pentagon to start programs off right with realistic requirements and tight oversight to prevent such cancellations from ever happening. Still, you've got to realize that a lot (but certainly not all) of the lessons learned in the development of these systems will be put to use in their replacements. Who knows how much tech from the Commanche was featured on the stealth helos that took out bin Laden?
Check out Steve Trimble's list of successful DoD programs of the last decade and notice, as he points out, that they're all derivatives of existing systems.
Click through for a copy of the CSBA report. The chart with the cancelled programs is on page 36.