These U.S. military weapons flopped (and thanks God for that)

Weapon systems can be passed over for myriad reasons, writes Robert Farley for TheNationalInterest.org.

The XB-70A, capable of flying three times the speed of sound, was the world's largest experimental aircraft in the 1960s. Two XB-70A aircraft were built. Ship #1 was flown by the NASA Flight Research Center, Edwards, CA, in a high-speed flight research program. The aircraft was not selected to enter service due to advances in ICBM delivery and with the high price tag associated with the bomber, writes Robert Farley for TheNationalInterest.org.
The XB-70A, capable of flying three times the speed of sound, was the world's largest experimental aircraft in the 1960s. Two XB-70A aircraft were built. Ship #1 was flown by the NASA Flight Research Center, Edwards, CA, in a high-speed flight research program. The aircraft was not selected to enter service due to advances in ICBM delivery and with the high price tag associated with the bomber, writes Robert Farley for TheNationalInterest.org.

WASHINGTON - Weapons die for all kinds of different reasons. Sometimes they happen at the wrong time, either in the midst of defense austerity, or with the wrong constellation of personnel. Sometimes they fall victim to the byzantine bureaucracy of the Pentagon, or to turf fights between the services. And sometimes they die because they were a bad idea in the first place. For the same reasons, bad defense systems can often survive the most inept management if they fill a particular niche well enough, writes Robert Farley for TheNationalInterest.orgContinue reading original article

The Intelligent Aerospace take:

October 7, 2019- Unsurprisingly, a good number of the weapons selected by Farley for his piece for The National Interest focused on aircraft, which are often put into competition to be selected by the Department of Defense and individual branches. Anyone reading this likely recognizes that aircraft and associated components are both expensive and difficult to design with both cutting-edge technology and taxpayers in mind. One such system Farley selected was the B-70 Valkyrie, which was a speedy heavy bomber that could prove useful in delivering nuclear bombs to the Soviet Union in the early days of the Cold War, but was quickly made redundant as Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles could deliver (possibly world-ending) destruction from a distance without an aircraft and crew.

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Jamie Whitney, Associate Editor
Intelligent Aerospace

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