Your Loving Daughter,
Wikipedia says that Kelly Johnson's current campaign for a "simple" fighter, inspired by "a series of interviews with Korean War fighter pilots," is going to lead directly to the F-104 Starfighter, which is going to gobble up a large proportion of American Mutual Defence aid at the expense of the Lightning, which was no big loss, and the Buccaneer, which was. In retrospect it seems absurd that the F-104 beat out the Blackburn product in the ground support role. Of course, it turns out that Lockheed edged out foreign orders in the fighter and turboprop transport sectors on the strength of massive bribes, and it is this overwrought demand for the Yankee dollar that the MSDAP was obliquely addressing in the first place.
The question here is what "complicated" looks like, and the answer is the Starfighter's predecessor, the F-94C Starfire, a "first generation . . . all-weather, day/night interceptor," which renders into the English as "Oops." And I say that as a Canadian with a patriotic attachment to the CF-100, but there's a reason the pilots nicknamed it "the Clunk."
319 Squadron USAF, flying F-94Cs, deployed to Suwon Japan in January, 1952, so Johnson would have had a chance to interview pilots and RIOs flying the latest Lockheed product.
He would have heard all about the basic problem with this generation of aircraft, which was their marginal uselessness. Instrument flying and radar interception require two crew, and extensive electronic impedimenta. This gave them marginal performance at interception altitude, particularly the F-94C, which was heavily dependent on an inefficient afterburner to get the necessary performance boost. This meant that they have only a very short window to gain a firing solution before the pilot has to wrestle the plane into a not-stalling trajectory. That meant a "fire control system," which was not a novel concept at the time, and worth developing in its own right from an industrial strategy point of view, but leading to carrying even more weight, and also Fifties-era electronics, into the air. The Hughes E-1, and later E-5, which combined a radar, a computing gunsight, and, as we heard in the first installment of June techblogging, a crude heads up display for targeting. Clearly none of this would be practical in a high performance single seater, and the MiG-15 was doing fine in the air defence role by depending on GCI. The F-104 ended up with a spartan set of avionics by the standards of its competition, notably the Lightning's AIRPASS. It never mattered in the least on account of operators declining to fight any major wars with F-104s, but one has to wonder if it was the right decision.
It also, of course, places a heavy reliance on the ground side of "ground controlled interception," about which I am going to talk today. No history of Twentieth Century technology can ignore SAGE.