USAF wants a new fighter to fill in for the F-35?

Discuss the F-35 Lightning II
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loke

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Unread post16 Mar 2021, 12:06

hornetfinn wrote:I really don't get the fixation on a flight hour cost by individual aircraft by USAF top brass for example. A single F-35A delivers several times (very conservative estimate IMO) the military impact compared to a single F-16. Even with conventional metrics like payload and range it's no contest. Let alone things like ISR, survivability, EW and SEAD/DEAD capabilities. It's like comparing F-16 to F-86 Sabre and complaining about higher operating costs... :roll:

I think they USAF are totally shooting themselves on the feet with so many weapons currently that I can't possibly understand. They might end up with relatively low number of capable 5th gen jets accompanied with legacy jets and armed trainers if they keep this up.


Our current readiness model strongly biases spending on legacy capabilities for yesterday’s missions, at the expense of building readiness in the arena of great-power competition and investing in modern capabilities for the missions of both today and tomorrow.

In 2010, a North Korean submarine sunk an advanced South Korean warship. If a similar attack were launched today on a large U.S. surface combatant, would the outcome be any different? In 2018, a Syrian S-200 air defense system dating back to the 1960s shot down an Israeli 4th generation F-16 operating at high altitude. In 2019, swarming drones and cruise missiles were employed by Iran to attack Saudi Aramco facilities. During the most recent conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh, Armenian ground forces that we would have labeled “ready” based on their availability, were easily targeted and destroyed by Azerbaijani forces employing a mature precision strike regime to include swarms of loitering munitions and lethal unmanned systems. In just 20 days, hundreds of tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, and other pieces of traditional ground combat equipment that were ready, were also destroyed by a more sophisticated modern adversary employing capabilities that were both available and providing advantage.


https://warontherocks.com/2021/03/redef ... s-or-lose/

I think we will see an USAF moving toward F-35/F-22/NGAD/B2/B21 + a new fighter jet that might be the "loyal wingman" that's just around the corner. F-16 will be out, although I guess they will keep some F-15 in particular the new EX.

USMC got the memo about China already:

The Marine Corps has begun a process that will see the inactivation of all units operating conventional helicopters in Hawaii by the end of next year. At least two relatively young AH-1Z Viper attack helicopters are reportedly in the process of being "decommissioned" as part of the plan. The decision to stop flying AH-1Zs, as well as CH-53E Super Stallions and UH-1Y Venoms, at Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay is a part of a broader, radical force structure redesign the service unveiled last year that also includes the elimination of its entire fleet of M1 Abrams main battle tanks, among other things.

The Marine Corps primary argument for shuttering its conventional helicopter units in Hawaii is that the MV-22B's speed and range, together with aerial refueling support from KC-130Js, which are now set to become organic to MAG-24, make the tilt-rotors better suited to operations across the broad expanses of the Pacific. "This capability has been utilized multiple times during Osprey trans-Pacific flights between Hawaii and Australia’s Northern Territory," Captain Kennard, the III MEF spokesperson, told the Star-Advertiser.

In addition, the Marine Corps says that Force Design 2030, as a whole, including inactivating HMLA-367 and HMH-463, will help free up approximately $12 billion that it can then reinvest in various critical new capabilities, such as unmanned aircraft and long-range, ground-based anti-ship and land-attack missiles.


https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/3 ... -in-hawaii
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XanderCrews

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Unread post16 Mar 2021, 15:19

loke wrote:
USMC got the memo about China already:



Just be careful, this contradicts some of your other narratives.
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Unread post16 Mar 2021, 15:50

XanderCrews wrote:
loke wrote:
USMC got the memo about China already:



Just be careful, this contradicts some of your other narratives.

Or perhaps you misunderstood some of my "other narratives". 8)
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doge

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Unread post16 Mar 2021, 16:56

Adm. Phil Davidson says. 8)
https://www.aviationtoday.com/2021/03/1 ... nder-says/
Fifth Generation Fighters Vital to Respond to Future Crises in Pacific Theater, Commander Says
By Frank Wolfe | March 15, 2021
Adm. Phil Davidson, the commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, told lawmakers this week that fifth generation fighters, such as the Lockheed Martin F-35 and F-22, are vital to respond to future crises in the region.
“Certainly, fifth gen fighters, I would tell you, are the backbone of any of our planning for a crisis forward in the theater and would be needed at dispersed locations within the first and second island chain,” he said during a March 9 posture hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee in response to a question from Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska).
The first island chain runs from the Kuril Islands through Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines to Borneo, while the second island chain runs from Japan south to the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Micronesia, Palau and Papua New Guinea.

“Alaska will soon have over 100 fifth generation fighters stationed there,” Sullivan said before Davidson’s remarks. “If you have the right mix of tankers, those assets could be in, for example, the South China Sea or Taiwan Strait within hours with the right tankers.”
Amanda Coyne, a spokeswoman for Sullivan, wrote in an email that U.S. Alaskan Command had told Sullivan’s office that there are 54 F-22s at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson, Alaska (JBER) and that there will be 54 F-35As at Eielson AFB, Alaska “once the beddown is complete” for a total of 108 fifth generation fighters in Alaska. The Air Force has said that Eielson will have 54 F-35As by the end of this year.
In response to a question on the F-35 from Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio) during a March 10 posture hearing before the House Armed Services Committee, Davidson said that “fifth gen fighters, the F-35 and the F-22, are critical to any future war fight we might have in the theater.”

“Or adversaries are fielding already fifth gen fighters themselves,” Davidson said. “To go backwards into fourth generation capability as a substitute broadly would be a mistake in my view and would put us at a severe disadvantage over the course of this decade.”
While the U.S. Air Force still is officially committed to buying 1,763 F-35As, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) has said that he favors curtailing the F-35 buy and pursuing less costly options to deter China.
Partnerships with allies and diplomacy will play a crucial role, along with military strength in such deterrence, Smith has said.

“I think we need to be really careful about stumbling into a Cold War with China,” he said on March 5 during a Brookings Institution discussion. “There’s been a lot of talk about the Office of Net Assessment and the wargames/exercises they’ve done over the course of the last six or seven years that show we struggle in a straight-on confrontation with China. I think the wrong message to get out of that is, ‘Oh, my gosh. We have got to build a military that enables us to dominate China.’ I don’t think that’s possible, and I don’t think it’s desirable. I also think that runs the distinct risk of creating conflict where it doesn’t need to be. What we need is an entire approach that deters China and others from doing the things we don’t want them to do.”
In the deterrence and dominance equations, it is difficult to parse out the utility of Air Force fighters–the Boeing F-15 and the Lockheed Martin F-16, F-22 and F-35A. The service public affairs office said that it does not have the number of combat sorties flown by each of the aircraft. Previously disclosed data, however, indicate that the F-22 had its combat debut over Syria on Sept. 22, 2014–nine years after its initial fielding–and that the F-35A had its combat debut over Iraq on April 30, 2019, less than three years after its initial fielding.
The F-35As used in the Apr. 30, 2019 strike used a Boeing Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) in Wadi Ashai, Iraq “to strike an entrenched Daesh tunnel network and weapons cache deep in the Hamrin Mountains, a location able to threaten friendly forces,” AFCENT said at the time.

Data released in 2016 by Air Force Central Command for Operation Inherent Resolve against ISIS in Iraq and Syria revealed that the F-22 had flown hundreds of combat sorties since its combat debut, but significantly less than the F-15s and F-16s.
AFCENT did not respond to emails requesting the number of combat sorties flown by each of the Air Force fighter types since the F-35A’s combat debut on Apr. 30, 2019.
While the legacy F-16s and F-15s are one-fifth to one-half the procurement cost of the F-22, the Air Force has said that the value of fifth generation fighters is in penetrating advanced enemy air defense systems, such as those employed by China, with little risk to aircrews.

As Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin conducts a Global Force Posture Review, the U.S. Air Force and the Pentagon’s Office of Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE) will run a tactical aircraft (TACAIR) study to inform needed fighter capabilities and numbers for the Air Force fiscal 2023 budget submission, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown said last month.
“One of the areas I am looking, we’re pushing through is a TACAIR study for the United States Air Force to look at what is the right force mix,” Brown said. “There is a need for fifth-gen capability. There’s a need for NGAD [Next Generation Air Dominance] and that particular capability to remain competitive against our adversaries, and then there’s a mix for a low-end fight. I don’t know it would actually be F-16. I’d want to be able to build something new and different that’s not the F-16, that has some of those capabilities but gets there faster, uses a digital approach.”
Brown said that such an F-16 replacement could be a clean sheet design.
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XanderCrews

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Unread post16 Mar 2021, 19:14

loke wrote:Or perhaps you misunderstood some of my "other narratives". 8)


I can always go take a look at your posts at key publishing and some of the other whoppers here.

As Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin conducts a Global Force Posture Review,


He's actually going to concern himself with military capability? That's refreshing

blast from the past:

Air Force stands by A-10 retirement
BY KRISTINA WONG - 07/30/14 04:52 PM EDT 10

The Secretary of the Air Force on Wednesday stood by her department’s proposal to retire the A-10 fleet, arguing the United States has plenty of replacements available should the nation land in an armed conflict.

"It's possible we could get into something else where we would need higher levels of close air support in the next year or two or three," Deborah James told Pentagon reporters.

"And if that is the case, we've got it. We've got the F-16. We've got the F-15E," she said, referring to other aircraft that could perform the mission. "So the close air support mission is a sacred mission. And we got it."


Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), the Senate's top A-10 supporter, issued a statement after the briefing Wednesday that noted the Iraqi government was currently using a similar aircraft to battle terrorist forces in Iraq.

"It is worth noting that the SU-25 'Frogfoot' — the inferior Russian version of the A-10 — was recently sent to Iraq to battle ISIL forces there," she said.

"Evidently, the Iraqis believe such a [close air support]-focused aircraft can operate effectively against the ISIL forces that are operating in Syria and Iraq," said Ayotte, whose husband was an A-10 pilot.

The Air Force recommended earlier this year that Congress retire the A-10 fleet in 2015 in order to save $4 billion dollars. So far, the House, and both the Senate Armed Services and Senate Appropriations Committees have rejected that plan.

Ayotte argued that in close air support missions where a close air support aircraft must fly slow and low above troops in danger, "there is no aircraft currently in America's arsenal that is more survivable than the A-10."

"I appreciate the difficult budget environment the Air Force confronts, but it's important that the debate going forward be based on facts rather than arguments that do not hold water," she said.

Gen. Mark Welsh, the Air Force's chief of staff and a former A-10 pilot, said the decision was "not about the A-10."

"It's about balancing an Air Force to provide the spectrum of missions we provide to a combatant commander," he said. "I now have a list of 15 things they'd prefer us to spend the money on."

Welsh added that $20 billion in cuts to the Air Force under sequestration was to blame.

"So if anyone else has got a solution that balances Air Force capabilities across the mission areas we are responsible to the combatant commanders for, we'd love to hear it," he said.
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doge

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Unread post20 Mar 2021, 09:34

Opinions of the Mitchell Institute executive director. 8)
https://www.defensenews.com/opinion/com ... ghter-jet/
F-35 in the crosshairs: Despite criticism, America needs the fighter jet
By: Douglas Birkey March 18, 2021
The F-35 is in the middle of a public relations storm.
With the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Adam Smith, referring to the program as a “rathole” and news reports attacking the aircraft, the public is left to wonder about America’s newest fighter. However, reality dictates a far different conclusion: The F-35 is an operational success.
While the program has challenges that must be rapidly addressed, war-fighting realities demand we stay the course. Air superiority — a fighter’s primary mission — is an imperative required for any successful military effort. Ships at sea, forces on the ground, space control stations and rear echelon bases will stand little chance if subject to enemy aerial attack.
The U.S. has held an advantage in this regard for so long that many now take it for granted. Attacks leveled against the F-35 in recent weeks speaks to this hubris. Critics seem to want it both ways: wanting the benefits of air power while seeking to undermine necessary mission investment.

Adversaries like China and Russia have long sought to challenge America’s ability to project power through the air. They saw the decisive advantage yielded by U.S. air power in Operation Desert Storm and beyond. In response, they developed highly capable air defenses in the form of advanced surface-to-air missiles, next-generation fighter jets, and sophisticated sensor networks tied to command-and-control facilities.
America’s air power arsenal is woefully ill-equipped to face these new realities: 80 percent of the Air Force fighter inventory is comprised of aircraft designed in the 1960s and 1970s, primarily built in the 1980s and flown hard for decades. This is literally Ronald Reagan’s Air Force, and that’s a problem.
The ability for airmen to launch into harm’s way in a 30-year-old aircraft, attain mission results and get home safely is eroding precipitously. A mere 20 percent of the fighters in the inventory are built with the modern attributes of stealth, situational awareness and electronic warfare systems necessary to succeed in the modern era. The F-35 is the only U.S. fighter in production with these attributes.

The critics of the F-35 do not overtly deny the challenges, but their answers to the issues invariably focus on the promise of tomorrow’s solutions. Paper programs are tempting facades: They cost little in the near term, they can be anything to anyone, and they have yet to encounter the invariable technological challenges, budget growth and schedule slips that beset any modern military acquisition program.
However, if the focus is always on “program next,” the nation will never realize meaningful capabilities and capacity. Leaders will commit billions of dollars to research and development, testing, and early production, but squander these investments amid the calls for program cancellation at the very time meaningful production should accelerate. This is exactly why today’s Air Force is the smallest and oldest it has ever been since the service’s founding.

Whether discussing the decision to truncate B-2 production at 21 airframes, not the 132 required; the F-22 line canceled with just 187 of the 381 aircraft needed; or C-17 production halted despite a never-ending need for the type, among numerous other examples, leaders in the Department of Defense and Congress have grown far too comfortable pursuing a destructive modernization pathway that yields too little at a tremendous expense.
The reality is that the perfect acquisition program never existed. Now legendary aircraft like the B-52, C-17, F-15 and F-16 were pilloried in their early years. Headlines of the time reveal scathing assaults. Yet today, these aircraft are viewed in a wholly different light. The reason for this transformation is simple: commitment. Leaders recognized that successful programs are a journey, not immediate miracles.

Frankly speaking, the F-35 is doing well in this vein.
The Air Force’s version of the aircraft now costs less than new-build versions of older types, like the F-15EX. A 2019 report by the Government Accountability Office cited the mission-capable rate of combat-coded F-35s at 80 percent. More recently, then-Under Secretary for Acquisition and Sustainment Ellen Lord said in January 2021 that the military’s F-35 mission-capable rate sits at 69 percent; however, that number included noncombat-coded aircraft. But those who fly the F-35 still rave about its performance.
Many areas of the F-35 program that need improvement, like availability of spare parts, are tied to past attempts to squeeze budgets by underbuying components, not the actual design of the items themselves. Figures like the cost to fly the aircraft on an hourly basis do need to come down, but such assessments fail to recognize that a handful of F-35s can accomplish what would otherwise take more than a dozen older aircraft to accomplish, thus providing enterprise savings and better combat value at lower risk. Critics normally miss these points in their rush to attack the program as pure evil.

In many ways, the attack on the F-35 is not about the aircraft. America faces tremendous fiscal challenges in the wake of COVID-19. The F-35 is one of the larger defense procurement efforts in play. Those who seek to cut defense are going after targets of opportunity absent prudent consideration regarding national security requirements.
Operational realities demand the F-35′s capabilities in quantity. Modern alternatives would not be available until the 2030s, would run into similar teething challenges and would end up costing more. Ronald Reagan’s Air Force is simply worn out, and new aircraft are needed today. Bottom line: America needs the F-35.
Douglas Birkey is the executive director of the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies. He previously served as the Air Force Association’s director of government relations.
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XanderCrews

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Unread post20 Mar 2021, 15:24

doge wrote:In many ways, the attack on the F-35 is not about the aircraft. America faces tremendous fiscal challenges in the wake of COVID-19.



I can get the Americans to destroy their own defense capabilities

Xi, how?!

*Coughs*

boy that oopsie daisy bio warfare is paying dividends
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Unread post23 Mar 2021, 17:22

The lack of integration among America’s military services has also fueled the country’s persistently high defense budgets, producing systems and platforms that exacerbate the problems of operational redundancy and inherent incompatibility. Case in point is the F-35 “Joint Strike Fighter,” which is widely regarded as too expensive.

https://thestrategybridge.org/the-bridg ... e-next-nss
:doh:

Wouldn't you know, I thought the common wisdom was that the F-35 is perhaps the most integrated and compatible fighter ever among the services.

I have a feeling that article with a header "Prioritizing Jointness" should somehow see the forest from the trees and acknowledge how F-35 is and has been a major enabler, not a hindrance towards achieving it.
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Unread post23 Mar 2021, 17:58

LOL! Yeah, the plane that can spot for an AEGIS and guide SAMS and HIMARS for other services... is incompatible...
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Unread post23 Mar 2021, 19:20

Joint strike fighter isn't joint.


U wot M8?

I hate this style of "analysis" -- Do the thing I want, unless you do it and it doesn't work in which case, don't do that. Do the opposite of what I said.

JSF is jointness. How is that working out for everyone?
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Unread post23 Mar 2021, 19:49

Read the dude’s bio — he’s an academic who taught at West Point. This is ‘don’t leave the Army out of the money when the music stops’ article.
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Unread post24 Mar 2021, 22:09

Opinion of retired USMC aviator. 8)
https://breakingdefense.com/2021/03/bye ... ers-f-35s/
Bye-Bye, B-52s & Carriers; Hello, More Destroyers & F-35s
The US needs to shift investment from hallowed but vulnerable legacy platforms – especially aircraft carriers and B-52 bombers – to more flexible and survivable weapons systems – above all, Aegis warships and the unfairly much-maligned F-35.
By SCOTT COOPER on March 22, 2021
The Biden administration aims to deter aggression by China and Russia, all without significant defense budget growth. The challenge then is to discern where to invest, where to divest, and where to accept or manage risk: That is the essence of strategy.
Strategy must begin by analyzing the threat. Based on my analysis, the US needs to shift investment from hallowed but vulnerable legacy platforms – especially aircraft carriers and B-52 bombers – to more flexible and survivable weapons systems – above all, Aegis warships and the unfairly much-maligned F-35.
Why? The recently released interim national security strategic guidance states “in the face of strategic challenges from an increasingly assertive China and destabilizing Russia, we will…shift our emphasis from unneeded legacy platforms and weapon systems to free up resources for investments in the cutting-edge technologies and capabilities that will determine our military and national security advantage in the future.”
“There is no doubt” that China “poses the most significant challenge of any nation state to the United States.” So said Secretary of State Antony Blinken during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin during his confirmation hearing noted “we’ll have to have capabilities that allow us to hold – to present a credible threat, a credible deterrent…to China in the future.”

Current plans call for maintaining 76 B-52 bombers until at least 2050, an aircraft that is not survivable against even archaic air defenses: 17 B-52s were shot down in Vietnam. Estimates to just replace the engines are $1.4 billion, and the cost to bring a single moth-balled B-52 aircraft back into service will run $30 million. Bombers do far less than we think and are also far more costly than we recognize.
In contrast, the F-35 will be one of the keys to that credible deterrence against China. It costs less to fly than the B-52, and operating alongside F-35s from Japan’s Air Defense Command, and even our close British allies, who have F-35s aboard the HMS Queen Elizabeth’s maiden deployment, which will include the Indo-Pacific. That an assertive China would confront an alliance of interoperable, equally capable and survivable air forces is the most credible deterrent to Chinese military aggression.

Scott Cooper is a retired Marine Corps aviator and the author of the book No Fly Zones and International Security, published in 2019 by Routledge Press.
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Unread post24 Mar 2021, 22:14

Opinion of Heritage John Venable. 8)
https://www.heritage.org/defense/commen ... dy-threats
Why the F-35 Rules: Study History, Study Costs, Study Threats
Mar 22nd, 2021 John Venable
    KEY TAKEAWAYS
    1. In fiscal year 2022, a fully combat-capable F-35A will cost $77.9 million, but a fourth-generation baseline F-15EX will cost $87.7 million.
    2. The baseline F-15EX has no targeting pod and no electronic self-defense systems. In other words, it’s incapable of flying any combat missions.
    3. The F-35A’s cost per flying hour is almost a wash with that of the F-15EX, and fighter pilots who have flown the F-35s love them.
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith, D-Calif., recently lamented the supposedly exorbitant costs and “poor track record” of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
Smith’s lack of expertise in airpower might qualify him for a pass, of sorts, for those ill-informed comments. But Gen. Charles Q. “CQ” Brown’s own recent public statements on the subject are real head-scratchers.
Following in the footsteps of his predecessor, Brown, the current Air Force chief of staff, is sending mixed signals—being openly tepid toward the F-35 one minute, then trying to reassure the world of his support for the fighter the next.

In February and again more recently, Brown expressed his intent to conduct a study to determine what the right mix of fifth-generation fighters and fourth-generation fighters should be.
That in itself is puzzling, as the ink hasn’t faded on his predecessor’s study, “The Air Force We Need,” which should have more than answered that question.
What are we to make of this? First, let’s consider the advantage of sustaining a “balance” of outdated weapons systems and leading-edge fighters by looking back at the last time we actually fought a war with a peer competitor with mixed fleets of aircraft. (We’ll come back to the question of cost shortly.)

In the days leading up to World War II, the Roosevelt administration moved aggressively to build a fleet of the most viable fighter aircraft available: the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk.
First flown in 1938, the P-40 began rolling off production lines in 1939, and by the time the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941, the U.S. had more than 40 squadrons of P-40 fighters based around the world.
The P-40 was comparatively cheap. By 1943, it cost 15% less than the newer model P-51 Mustang, and you could buy two P-40s for every P-38 or P-47 (also follow-on models) the service acquired.

Unfortunately, with the rapid advances in fighter technology in the late 1930s, the P-40 was already outdated by the time the U.S. declared war on Japan.
By 1943, with even the best-trained pilots in the world, pitting the P-40 against German Messerschmitts would have been virtual suicide—not just for the P-40 pilots, but for the B-17 and B-24 bomber crews they were tasked to protect.
The Air Corps continued to buy the P-40 as an offering to allies through the lend-lease program, but wisely refitted its front-line units with P-51s, P-47s and P-38s as fast as they were available. Over time, the fighter inventory went from nearly 100% P-40s to a ratio of 80-20, then 50-50, and on down.

As the P-40 was removed from service and the percentage of leading-edge fighters grew, the bombers started getting the top cover they needed and engagement ratios became more and more favorable for the U.S.
It is hard to imagine Gen. Hap Arnold, the commander of the Air Corps, suggesting that the service slow acquisition of the most dominant fighter of the war, the P-51, by fielding new, less expensive, P-40s for U.S. pilots to fight (and die) in, in the pursuit of a balanced mix.
Yet that is exactly what congressional and senior defense leaders are proposing today, on the mistaken belief they’ll be saving money.

In fiscal year 2022, a fully combat-capable F-35A will cost $77.9 million, but a fourth-generation baseline F-15EX will cost $87.7 million. The baseline F-15EX has no targeting pod and no electronic self-defense systems. In other words, it’s incapable of flying any combat missions.
When you add in the additional systems and equipment required to make it combat capable, an F-15EX will cost $102 million—30% more than a stealth fighter able to fight in all combat environments. The F-35A’s cost per flying hour is almost a wash with that of the F-15EX, and fighter pilots who have flown the F-35s love them.
The Air Force chief of staff and others argue there are places in the world where you could save money by flying less capable fighters. So what? We have plenty of jets that can fill that role now. Adding new, more expensive, fourth-generation fighters to their numbers to “maintain a balance” would make even less sense than it would have in 1943.

Ongoing Russian or Chinese programs that sell or “loan” high-end surface-to-air missile systems to any nation willing to buy them make fourth-generation fighter employment untenable. The Russians have already done that in Syria, and those incredibly capable SAMs are proliferating globally.
Using an F-15EX, a fighter designed in the 1970s, in a hot, high-threat environment today would be suicide—not just for the F-15EX crews, but for the combatants relying on those jets to come through.
The Air Force doesn’t need another study to figure that out. And with peer states growing bolder and more capable by the day, it cannot afford to delay the growth and refitting of its fleet of fighters with the most viable weapons system available in the world today: the F-35A.
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doge

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Unread post24 Mar 2021, 22:17

Sen. Jim Inhofe says he needs the F-35. 8)
https://www.inhofe.senate.gov/newsroom/ ... ded-to-win
Inhofe Gets INDOPACOM Nominee on the Record: F-35 'Needed to Win'
March 23, 2021
U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), today questioned Admiral John C. Aquilino, USN, nominated to serve as Commander of the United States Indo-Pacific Command, about two critical elements for deterring China’s use of military force — fielding the F-35 and fifth-generation aircraft and the importance of the United States forward-positioning its forces in the Indo-Pacific.

Inhofe: Let me draw on your experiences as a fighter pilot. It's been concerning to me for quite some time, the criticism about our F-35 that we hear from a lot of people — I won’t even mention the sources — but it is something that really bothers me when you stop and think about what we don't have in terms of fifth-generation fighters. In Admiral Davidson’s testimony— this was way back in March at the House Armed Services Committee — he said that our adversaries are already developing or fielding fifth-generation fighters. “We know from our own gaming and emulations that fifth-generation fighters are game changers.” As a fighter pilot, kind of explain why the F-35 as a fifth-generation fighter is so critical to deterring and if necessary to beating China's use of the military force, and in your opinion, why it's important to the ability to fight and win inside the first and second island change.
I can remember we had the F-22. We talked about the fact that it's a fifth-generation fighter. We started out, we're going to have 700, and we ended up getting to 200. I remember that very well, and that criticism that I had at that time, and we've had the same problems. And yet, now we know it's a different game now because our competition has fifth-generation fighters. What are your thoughts on that?

Aquilino: Thank you, Senator. As you know, the Chinese Communist Party has generated some capabilities in the region that are designed to keep us out. Some refer those as A2/AD, and when we talk about them, we talk about operating in contested space. Fifth-generation airplanes and beyond are required to be able to generate a lethal force and posture in a place where it's needed to generate the deterrence that I've mentioned.

Inhofe: Are your concerns like mine in terms of the attacks on the F-35 — what our capacity would be if we became weak in that area?

Aquilino: Yes, Senator, I would be concerned if we lessened our capacity of fifth-generation airplanes. I think they're needed to win.

Inhofe: OK. As General McMaster told this committee, and this is a quote, “Taiwan may represent a dangerous flashpoint for war.” He went on to say, because of that very real threat, quote, “it is immensely important to keep forward-positioned, capable forces in the Indo-Pacific.” So, Admiral, as the — I've been co-chairman of the Taiwan Caucus for quite a while, and I've been concerned that the Chinese invasion of Taiwan would represent the hardest test for the U.S. military response times. Can you talk about why the U.S. forward positioning forces are so important, and what do you mean by forward positioning, and where do the forces need to be?

Aquilino: Thanks, Senator, I agree with General McMaster’s discussion on the most dangerous concern is that of a military force against Taiwan. To combat that, the forward posture west of the International Dateline is how Admiral Davidson describes it, and I concur with that. Forces positioned to be able to respond quickly — and not just our forces. Those forces combined with the international community, with our allies and partners, those nations with common values — those two things would position us very strongly for the deterrence required.

https://news.usni.org/2021/03/23/milita ... e-aquilino
Military Takeover of Taiwan Is Top Concern for INDOPACOM Nominee Aquilino
By: Mallory Shelbourne March 23, 2021

Asked about the F-35 Lighting II Joint Strike Fighter, which has recently come under fire in Congress, Aquilino said the fifth-generation capability is crucial for the region.
“Yes, senator, I would be concerned if we lessened our capacity of fifth-generation airplanes. I think they’re needed to win,” Aquilino told SASC ranking member Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.).

House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) recently criticized the F-35, citing its cost and program issues.
Aquilino argued fifth-generation aircraft are important to countering China in the Indo-Pacific.

“The Chinese Communist Party has generated some capabilities in the region that are designed to keep us out. Some refer those as [anti-access and area denial], and when we talk about them, we talk about operating in contested space,” Aquilino said. “Fifth-generation airplanes and beyond are required to be able to generate a lethal force and posture it in a place where it’s needed to generate the deterrence that I’ve mentioned.”

But, Defensedaily's interpretation is twisted. :doh: :bang:
https://www.defensedaily.com/indopacom- ... echnology/
INDOPACOM Nominee Does Not Specifically Defend F-35, But Says Fifth and Sixth Generation Planes Needed
By Frank Wolfe |03/23/2021
U.S. Navy Pacific Fleet Commander Adm. John Aquilino, who has piloted F/A-18 and F-14 fighters, did not specifically defend the Lockheed Martin [LMT] F-35 during his confirmation hearing to head U.S. Indo-Pacific Command (INDOPACOM) before the Senate Armed Services…
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Unread post02 Apr 2021, 08:27

There are people who support the F-35. 8)
https://www.daytondailynews.com/local/d ... EHRHIAPIU/
Despite new criticisms, F-35 office still bound for WPAFB, advocates say
LOCAL NEWS| March 25, 2021 By Thomas Gnau
Pilots and allies still love the plane, says Rep. Turner
Criticism of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter seems to have amped up recently, with pointed comments coming from two members of the House Armed Services Committee.
But others knowledgeable about the plane say the criticisms aren’t especially new. They say as well that the plane has a solid future and that Air Force plans to move an F-35 support office from Virginia to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base remain on track.
The chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Adam Smith, this month talked of “scrubbing” programs like the F-35.
“What does the F-35 give us,” Smith said in a Brookings Institution webcast. “Is there a way to cut our losses? Is there a way to not keep spending so much money for such a low capability, because the sustainment costs are brutal.”

Rep. John Garamendi, chair of the Armed Services Committee’s readiness subcommittee, had his own criticism, saying: “We’re not able to maintain the older ones (F-35s), so the more we buy, the worse the overall performance has been. That is going to stop.”
However, plans to move an F-35 management office to Wright-Patterson have not been derailed, said those who spoke with the Dayton Daily News. The office is set to be fully established by fiscal year 2022.
U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, R-Dayton, said his Armed Services Committee colleague Smith actually has a long record of support for the F-35. Turner said Smith has raised concerns about how the F-35 fares against some of the newest capabilities of America’s adversaries.
But the program is not imperiled, he said.

“What you will see, both from the Biden administration and from the House Armed Services Committee and Senate Armed Services Committee, is a strong commitment for continued acquisition and deployment,” Turner said. “Also, you will see support from our allies” for the F-35.
Wright-Patterson’s role is not endangered, he emphasized.
“Wright-Patterson Air Force Base will play a critical role in the future acquisition and sustainment of the F-35, both for the United States and our allies,” said Turner, who serves as a subcommittee chairman on the House Armed Services Committee and is a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
The program supporting the F-35 fighter is set to move to Wright-Patterson in the spring of 2022, an Air Force Materiel Command spokesman told the Dayton Daily News in 2019.

Questions about those plans were sent Wednesday to representatives of Air Force Materiel Command at Wright-Patterson. But in 2019, then-Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson confirmed the selection of the local base to host the F-35 Hybrid Product Support Integrator organization. The office has been in Crystal City, Va.
“Wright-Patt’s work in aircraft acquisition links our community to the F-35 and made the base a natural fit for the F-35 HPSI program,” said Jeff Hoagland, chief executive and president of the Dayton Development Coalition. “We’re aware of the discussion regarding the aircraft, but have no reason to believe this would affect the establishment of the F-35 HPSI program on base.”

Construction for that new office at Wright-Patterson has begun, Turner’s office said Wednesday.
Dan Grazier, the Jack Shanahan Military Fellow at the Center for Defense Information at the Project on Government Oversight (or POGO), last month released a new analysis of issues that have plagued the F-35.
From the outset, any attempt to produce a plane that was somehow all things to all military branches was flawed, he believes.
About 400 to 500 of these planes have been purchased, Grazier said in an interview. But if the plane had been in full production by now as originally envisioned, that total number of purchases would stand closer to about 2,400, he believes.

“If we had a fleet that size (2,400), it would basically bankrupt the Pentagon,” Grazier said.
According to a Government Accountability Office report in 2019, F-35s were unable to fly about 30% of the time due to a lack of spare parts from May to November 2018.
“The F-35 is also DOD’s (Department of Defense’s) most costly weapon system, with U.S. sustainment costs estimated at more than $1 trillion over its life cycle,” the GAO said then.
However, more than a few pilots have voiced enthusiasm for the F-35, both here and abroad.

“The F-35 absolutely is fun to fly,” Royal Air Force Squadron Leader Andy Edgell told Air & Space magazine in 2019. “It’s exhilarating because there is so much power.”
“In situational awareness, the F-35 is superior to all platforms, including the Raptor,” Marine Lt. Col. David “Chip” Berke, the first non-test pilot to fly the F-35, told the same publication. “I’d never been in an airplane that so effectively and seamlessly integrates information to tell me what’s going on around me.”
Pilots love the F-35, said Turner, who said he has spoken with pilots across the U.S. and the globe about the plane.
“The F-35 has great reviews in operations both from pilots and from military planners,” the congressman said. “It is the most capable plane being fielded by any nation.”
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