Augustine's laws

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Law 16 showing the price of military aircraft over time

Augustine's laws were a series of tongue in cheek aphorisms put forth by Norman Ralph Augustine, an American aerospace businessman who served as Under Secretary of the Army from 1975 to 1977. In 1984 he published his laws.[1] The book and several of the laws were the topic of an article in Sound and Vibration magazine in March 2012.[2]

Law 16[edit]

His most cited law is number 16, which shows that defense budgets grow linearly but the unit cost of a new military aircraft grows exponentially:

In the year 2054, the entire defense budget will purchase just one tactical aircraft. This aircraft will have to be shared by the Air Force and Navy 3½ days each per week except for leap year, when it will be made available to the Marines for the extra day."[3][4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Augustine Laws". United Press International. May 24, 1986. Retrieved 2010-08-30. 
  2. ^ David O. Smallwood (March 2012). "Augustine Laws Revisited". Sound & Vibration Magazine. Retrieved 2012-09-02. 
  3. ^ Norman Ralph Augustine (1984). Augustine's Laws. ISBN 978-1-56347-240-4. "In the year 2054, the entire defense budget will purchase just one tactical aircraft. This aircraft will have to be shared by the Air Force and Navy 3½ days each per week except for leap year, when it will be made available to the Marines for the extra day." 
  4. ^ "Defense spending in a time of austerity". The Economist. August 26, 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-31. "In a book published in 1983, Norman Augustine, a luminary of the aerospace industry, drafted a series of lighthearted 'laws'. In one aphorism, he plotted the exponential growth of unit cost for fighter aircraft since 1910, and extrapolated it to its absurd conclusion ... Nearly three decades on, Mr Augustine says, “we are right on target."