Today's "why are you spending so much money when the old stuff is doing the job?" article is brought to you by the Washington Post.
I remember these sorts of stories coming thick and fast during the last fighter jet procurement cycle. Everyone knew the F-4 was the plane to have, we knew how they worked, we had tons of parts, and all the R&D was paid for. Of course, it wasn't their butts getting strapped into a design a generation out of date, so who cared?
I do think the development cycle of modern combat weapons is suspiciously protracted. Then again, considering it's the federal government we're talking about here, I suppose I should be impressed they're able to get anything done well.