The Navy Almost Bet Big On Seaplanes To Carry Out Its Nuclear Mission
Throughout the 1950s, the Navy explored various technologies in an attempt to give the service an advantage in the nuclear era.
But the legacy of the Seaplane Striking Force is more than just its awesomely cool aircraft. It’s a cautionary tale of technological change.
“Planners and strategists would do well to take the lessons of the SSF to heart,” wrote William Trimble in Attack From the Sea, “before forging ahead with costly technologies based upon preconceived expectations that they will provide swift and simple solutions to difficult military problems or bring about a revolution in the way wars are fought and won.”
Weapons systems today take even longer and cost far more than they did 60 years ago. It’s far more difficult to kill off weapons programs. But the same kind of inter-service rivalries that led to the jet-powered seaplanes still exist.
This first appeared in WarIsBoring here two years ago.