Requirements Discipline and Sixth Gen

Gen. Michael Hostage, head of Air Combat Command, said he is “pushing back” on the idea of locking in requirements for future aircraft. Answering questions after his speech at AFA’s Air Warfare Symposium in Orlando, Fla., last week, Hostage said ACC is doing “due diligence” talking to “scientists and the science world” about what technological “game changers” would define a sixth generation fighter, which he called F-X. “My job is to look into that future,” he said. “We’re in the early stages of that, but I have to tell you, I’m pushing back on the idea that I have to freeze a requirement right now because I’m going to buy something in 15 years. That just really frosts my cookies. And I don’t think we ought to accept that.” While Hostage acknowledged the need for acquisition reform to keep design appetites in check, he said he’s “not ready to freeze a requirement on something I’m just barely able to understand.” He wants to ensure that “when my successor’s successor’s successor has to make those decisions,” that ACC commander will be set up “for success with capabilities that will truly define a new generation.”