Anyone who has paid attention over the last few years to what has been happening within Congress has to be concerned about the future of our national security.
We presently have fighter aircraft in service which are 30 plus years old. For the last 10 years they've seen hard service in two wars. For their era they have been excellent. But that era is passing.
Yet, as the new 5th generation of fighters begun to be produced, Congress has gotten cold feet.
The air superiority fighter of the future was to be the F-22 Raptor. A stealthy, state of the art jet, the F-22 was to continue our 60 year tradition of air dominance by besting everything potential enemies could launch at us. The original buy was to be 400 to 500 fighters. But Congress decided to cut that to just 187 citing cost (of course, cutting the buy to 187 destroyed any economies of scale). The obvious problem in terms of national security is that number of air superiority fighters is inadequate for the job it was designed to do.
But don't worry, Congress said, we'll make up for it with the F-35. The Joint Strike Fighter was to be the means by which the fighter gap created by the cessation of the F-22 program was filled.
Then came the financial crisis and while the gap remains, the will to fill it seems to be rapidly waning.
The reason for the blog is multifold. Its purpose is to discuss national security as it applies to the F-35 and the "why" of the F-35's importance to maintaining our combat edge in the air. It is to note and confront critics of the fighter when they are factually incorrect in their characterization of the fighter. And finally, it is to put out information about the F-35 to those interested in maintaining the level of national security we now enjoy so they can understand how vital the F-35 is to those interests.
Come back often, check out the new posts and feel free to comment.