Five Reasons The Air Force’s Digital Century Series Is Doomed To Failure

The Air Force has embarked on a revolutionary approach to aircraft, satellite and software development that it hopes will greatly compress the time required to bring major advances into the active force. Dubbed the ?Digital Century Series? after a burst of early Cold War innovation, the new approach could reduce the time required to develop new combat aircraft to five years, with additional years of time saved in developing military spacecraft and major software advances.

At least, that?s what the service?s charismatic chief weapons buyer, Dr. Will Roper, proposed at the Air Force Association?s annual air, space and cyber exposition last week. In an eloquent call for faster progress in fielding weapons, Roper talked about high-leverage development tools such as agile software generation, open architectures and digital engineering with the confidence that you would expect from an intellectual who earned his doctorate in mathematics at Oxford.