As the United States Air Force (USAF) seeks to maintain competitive advantage in the skies, it has rolled out a technological marvel—the F-22 Raptor. Indeed, the F-22 takes advantage of the latest in technology to help its pilot’s process battlefield information quickly and make decisions faster. What does this advanced airplane have to do with marketing? Probably a lot more than you think.
As a heavy carpet of snow drapes over the mountains outside of Anchorage, Alaska, a small squad of Raptors flies across the sky. Meanwhile, on the ground at Elmendorf Airforce Base, pilots and ground crews shake their heads in disbelief as they watch the F-22s perform maneuvers in war games against its predecessor, the F-15 eagle.
According to a recent Atlantic Monthly article, the F-15 eagle has been the work horse of the modern USAF for the past twenty five years. Yet airplanes from other countries have caught up technologically and now equally match the F-15 strike eagle in capabilities. Desperate to keep competitive advantage, the USAF turned to the F-22 Raptor which sports improved and advanced avionics. However, competitive advantage in the skies hasn’t always been about technology.