I theorize that the military aircraft procurement process was broken in the 1960's and has only gotten worse. The basic problem is over-specification and the need for one aircraft to do everything, due to the cost of development. Of course, the high cost of development is at least partly due to the specifications that are produced. The first aircraft from the new, broken process was the F-111, which was a costly failure. The last aircraft types built under the old process were the Vought F-8U and the McDonnell F-4D. The air force was already having trouble developing fighters by this time, so the fix was to adopt the F-4 Phantom for use there, as well as the navy. The current JSF F-35 is another example of the new process running amock. It is the one aircraft being built and has to succeed, as there is no alternative. The old process would allow for competing designs, possibly even proposed by aircraft manufacturing companies and the process would be allowed to progress quite far, even to the point of building competing aircraft that would actually enter service. Right now, we can't cancel the F-35 in favor of another aircraft, as there is no other. The old process had its roots from the beginnings of military aircraft development while the new process came from the flawed Robert McNamara mindset (he being the guy who built bad and ugly cars while he was at Ford).