Cutting-edge weapons such as the Army’s RAH-66 Comanche take decades to develop and produce, and may be obsolete by the time they arrive on the battlefield. Is our Byzantine procurement system permitting our enemies to get ahead of us?
In 1968, Gordon Moore, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Intel, forecast that the number of transistors that could be etched onto a single silicon wafer would double every 18 months. In the intervening 30 years, that doubling period has varied between nine months and two years, but the prediction itself has remained remarkably stable. It has been extended to a wide variety of other information technology-related areas such as central processing unit speed and mass storage density. The dollar costs of these technologies also have remained quite stable: succeeding generations of leading-edge technology generally cost the same as the preceding generation. Advanced information technologies are clearly continuing a decades-long trend of exponential growth.