One of the main rebuttals to our FIST concept is that it is incapable of producing the kinds of capabilities seen in weapon systems like the F-22 or an aircraft carrier. The argument is that these kinds of capabilities can only be produced by programs that are methodical, deliberate, systematic and massive. We often hear that FIST programs are cute and may be fine to fill stop gaps, but aren't sufficient to do the heavy lifting of developing and fielding "real" weapon systems.
But that's our point exactly. Weapon systems with tons of capabilities and features are overrated, if not useless, in the current state of warfare. We postulate that what the warfighter's really want and need is something that is Good Enough. Turns out defense isn't the only industry where this is true. WIRED just published an amazing article which could easily be our manifesto for FIST, The Good Enough Revolution: When Cheap and Simple is Just Fine. An excerpt:
Military aircraft are experiencing their own version of the MP3 effect.
Why, if manned planes are so superior, is the Predator saturating the combat market?
[Their] ability to maintain a constant presence in the air. That's because the drones are relatively cheap to build, can fly for more than 20 hours straight, and don't require pilots who need sleep, food, and bathroom breaks (and who might die if the plane is shot down).
Piloted aircraft are still valuable......but because the Predator can linger, it has enabled a new type of strategy—remotely guided surgical strikes with fewer troops and armaments. It's a lesson that surprised the Air Force and other services, Mathewson says, but one that has been learned definitively.