Defense: The Troubled Hybrid

Few projects in the history of armaments have been more controversial and costly than the development of the TFX fighter-bomber, which Defense Secretary McNamara decided in 1961 to have built as a single, all-purpose supersonic aircraft. The Air Force and the Navy objected that their requirements demanded separate planes, and powerful backers in Congress agreed. The controversy heightened when McNamara awarded the construction contract to the General Dynamics Corp., which submitted designs for a more expensive and, in the eyes of most military men, less efficient plane than the one proposed by the Boeing Co. McNamara's detractors, mindful of...

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