Tuesday, December 31, 2013

F-35: Critic - "F-4s and A-1 Skyraiders would do fine"

Sometimes you read something that is supposedly aimed at objective criticism and you run across something so silly you just throw up your hands and say, "I'm done".  This article was one of them.  It rehashed all the old, stale arguments against the F-35 and then claimed all we needed to do was buff up our legacy aircraft (and in this case, gen 2 and 3 aircraft) a bit.

In fact:
Indeed, for many of the missions associated with the modern practice of airpower, A-1 Skyraiders and F-4 Phantom would perform perfectly well.
This is what I call the 'present conflict' syndrome.  "Thinkers" like this can't or won't look past the present conflict in which we're involved to possible conflicts of the future.  You build your force for the future, not the present.  You do it with an eye on who those conflicts might involve and what it might require to be on at least equal and hopefully superior footing.

Critics like this also tend to tell us how "expensive" a program like the F-35 is, but never seem to realize that maintaining and upgrading a raft of different lines of mission specific legacy aircraft would be prohibitively expensive.  And even then, in a world going stealth, they would be inadequate in almost every way.

Could we use F-4s and A-1 Skyraiders?  Possibly, in very special circumstances, like Afghanistan.  But against China?  Iran?  Any of a host of other hostile nations with sophisticated air defense systems (another of many potential enemy capabilities they usually ignore)?  Of course not.  Nor would we do well with our current crop of legacy aircraft.  So what then?

Warfare evolves.  It moves on.  While a critic may believe the F-35 has shortcomings, they lose all credibility when they make silly suggestions such as we should just keep what we have while other countries move into the same areas of development as the F-22/F-35 programs are involved.  If they had a valid point, I'm sure we'd still be using Gatling guns and muzzle loading cannon.  I'm sure they would "perform perfectly well" in certain circumstances.



  1. Sorry ,but i think the author of the text made that claim to prove a point...expensive fighters are often an over kill against most enemies.
    Also consider that MD did a study in the late 1970s were it reach the conclusion that there was a market for arround 500 more F-4s in the 1980s...at the expense of their more modern produts like the F-15 and F-18.Boeing proposed the Enhaced Phantom(conformal fuel thank,APG-65 radar,new PW1120 engines).IAI proposed the similar Super Phantom.These F-4 outperformed the Hornet and were killed to save the newer products.In the 1987 Paris Air Show the Super Phantom showed its hability to supercruise!!!!And what to say of the F-4X,a mach 3 fighter that outperformed the Eagle ...killed by the USAF to save funding for the F-15...
    And if the A-1 is so bad,why are these air forces buying a similar aircraft?http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Embraer_EMB_314_Super_Tucano

    1. Multiple conspiracy theories overlapping here. Need proof to back those statements up, beyond RC sites and abovetopsecret

    2. And the Kurnass 2000 barely made it past Mach1 without afterburners. Not the same thing.

    3. You can read it in the Wikipedia page about the Phantom...
      In the bottom of the page you have the links that direct you to the source.I first read it more than 20 years ago in a book written by Sir Bill Gunston...
      Can i take my tin foil hat off now?

  2. If you are one of the thousands of people out there that are wondering which smartphone is the best one to buy right now 4s this review of two of the top phones available on the market now should help tremendously. Breakdowns and comparisons of cosmetics, networks, services, and more