The Next-Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) program was once meant to revolutionize only air warfare, but now it is also trying to disrupt how airplanes are designed, built, upgraded and sustained. In this new conception of the industry, the exclusive group of entrenched, powerful prime contractors controlling the rights to highly crafted and customized combat aircraft—released only after prolonged and costly development cycles—would have to give way to a new model. A freshly ...

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