On the anniversary of the B-52: Deadlock technical progress

The U.S. Air Force wants to upgrade its own fleet of strategic bombers B-52. Improvement of avionics and weapons will allow aircraft made almost 60 years ago, remain in service for a long time — means that the B-52 will be removed from the air force no earlier than the 2040s, and even later. A situation in which the main strategic aircraft of strongest air force of the world is almost 60-year veteran, is a good illustration of the situation in the world today in the development of modern technology (not only military).

The modern world poses inside a huge number of paradoxes. One of them — the slowdown of technological progress in all the rising costs. This phenomenon more clearly shown in the military sphere. Price warplanes each successive generation grows by an order: F-22 "Raptor" in 2010 is worth about 200 million dollars, F-15 "Eagle" in 1985, costing about 20 million in the new 1960 F-4 "Phantom II "cost 2 million, with a small, but for the F-86" Sabre "in 1950, taxpayers laid out a little more than 200 thousand.

On the anniversary of the B-52: Deadlock technical progress

Like any currency, the South American dollar is subject to inflation, but of course, that in the past with the 1985 dollar depreciated 25 years not 10 times, and even more so — not in 1000 to 1950. Yet, each new generation combat aircraft costing much more expensive, with all this on the development of modern technology has become a lot more time to go: Development of "Sabre" in the late 1940s from the issuance of the requirements for the aircraft prior to making armament it is less than 4 years old, "Phantom" passed this way in 1950 for seven years, "Needle" It took 11 — from 1965 to 1976. After all, the "Raptor" was going to issue requirements for adoption at armament almost a quarter century — from 1981 to 2005 year.

Such price jumps immediately to the sharp increase in the time required for the development of the latest technology (in this case — the aircraft) signaled the approach of the technological barrier, which at the moment, so either another time lag, abut all the leading designers and manufacturers of guns.

A similar phenomenon is not the first time, but each time barrier getting higher, and the cost of overcoming it — more. After overcoming another barrier some time new developments emerge from the horn of abundance, and the technique, perfect yesterday, it is now obsolete. Then build features becoming more and more expensive until it achieves a certain limit, beyond which further improve the cost is very expensive. Energy clusters in the process of overcoming the previous barrier is exhausted. At the current time came to an end, "reserve", a cluster of 30-50-ies of XX century, in the run up to the second world war, during the war itself, and after its completion. Then the power of the big technological breakthrough success of the world's leading countries in particular "thanks" to the second world war that made by orders of magnitude increment investment in research in the field of military technology and basic engineering.

It should only say that virtually all of today's modern standards of equipment and weapons specifically grow from there, from the 2nd World War, when there were the first samples of jet combat aircraft, guided weapons of different classes of effective radar, in the end, ballistic and cruise missiles.

The situation with the technological barriers are well aware of "technicians" in the industry. But often it or can not, or will not recognize administrators, from the management company to the highest military and political control, as experts without an engineering qualification, working on appropriate structures.

This misunderstanding pulls the unsafe effects: the rate on the latest technology without the painstaking accounting option "cost-effectiveness" can lead to the fact that instead of, say, combat aircraft abstract "Model 1" will be taken at the armament combat aircraft "Model 2". Each new aircraft for all that is twice as efficient as its predecessor, and 10 times more expensive. As a result, the country that invented a new instrument, will face a nasty problem: the purchase of the latest technology at the same level of military spending will lead to a fivefold decrease the effectiveness of the Air Force. For the same efficiency to save at the same level, need be, respectively, a five-fold increase in spending, but in order to maintain the same number of Air Force and the increment of power in half, will have to ramp up spending 10 times.

Obviously, usually a similar increase spread over time, and in some areas artificially slowed, but, nevertheless, the continued increase in military budgets, the U.S. and the USSR during the cool of the war, despite the fact that the number of vehicles in service with each new generation decreased, is a good illustration pronounced.

How cool war ended, and runaway military spending was not feasible, the pace of development of modern technology has slowed down repeatedly, and its mass was often mystical creation. In Russia, this effect has been greased political turmoil of the collapse of the Soviet Union, when the country had to abandon not only the weight of promising programs, and cruelly cut back on pre-existing force. But in the U.S. list of promising models, the development and the creation of which was hacked after the cool of war for the price and the tremendous mystical terms is not the smallest.

U.S. tried to fool destiny, forcing a jump over the barrier through a series of fundamental programs, the most famous of which is the FCS — Future Combat Systems, but it was impossible. Technology, developed under the FCS, came out incredibly expensive even for the U.S., though the upgraded standards development machines of the 1970s actually were not inferior to it in effectiveness. Finally programm was discontinued.

How quickly will overcome this barrier, not yet clear. But, based on disk imaging today, military weapons and developers in the U.S. and Russia are ready to ensure that systems are available now in service, will be carried out and to remain in service, and many many more 10's years. This is reasonable: the basic inventions that could revolutionize the world of military equipment because it was made in the middle of the last century by a nuclear reactor, a jet engine, radar, etc. — as long as there is not expected. We can only improve what you can, gnawing percent increase efficiency for all the huge amounts of money in anticipation of breakthroughs in basic engineering.

And the best emblem of what is happening is all the same matte black B-52 bomber huge vosmimotorny made in the years 1946-53, producing up to 1962 "eternal plane"Countdown decades service one after another.

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