Tuesday, June 18, 2013

F-35: More commentary on the F-35's progress

Dr. Loren Thompson of the Lexington Institute follows up the good words about the F-35 program by Under Secretary of Defense Frank Kendall that I posted yesterday with a summary that makes it clear why the F-35 is so necessary, especially given the reality and probability of what we'll face, as a nation in the future.
That's a good thing as U.S. policymakers contemplate what to do next about Syria, North Korea and Iran, because the days of fighting enemies who lack air forces or air defenses are just about over. Tomorrow's adversaries will be equipped with sophisticated surface-to-air missiles and radars that can track pretty much anything that wasn't designed to be stealthy. The F-35 was conceived to combine integrated stealth features with sensor fusion and off-board datalinks that afford comprehensive situational awareness. What that means in practical terms is that we can see the enemy but he can't see us -- a huge advantage in any warfighting situation. So Secretary Kendall's positive take on F-35 is a sign that U.S. warfighters will own the skies through mid-century.
We're apparently going to intervene at some level in Syria.  And Iran and North Korea aren't going away anytime soon.  Anyone who truly believes that our future includes only countries like Afghanistan and enemies like the Taliban,  needs to retrace their logic and examine their premise.  There is nothing to indicate we'll see only those sorts of enemies and a lot to argue for much more sophisticated enemies and their advanced integrated air defense systems being what our pilots will face.

The F-35 provides the capabilities to face and Afghanistan/Taliban type scenario.  But unlike our aging fleet of 4th generation fighters, it also will give us the capabilities necessary to meet and defeat the more sophisticated brand of enemy of the future.


No comments:

Post a Comment