Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Game Changer: The F-35 and the Pacific By Robbin F. Laird

To understand the real value of the F-35 one must consider its operation as a fleet, not simply as an individual aircraft.
It is difficult to discuss the F-35without actually knowing what the aircraft is and how F-35 fleets will reshape combat. But this is precisely what the budding negative commentary on the F-35 is built on – a lack of knowledge. 
Even worse, the existing 5th generation aircraft is not well known either, because of its limited numbers and its condemnation by Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and President Barack Obama as a “Cold War” weapon. One could note that when the latest Korean crisis flared up, those “Cold War” mainstays, the F-22 and the B-2 (which has been flying now for more than 20 years) were called upon very quickly. And the U.S. Air Force (USAF) began to do sortie surge exercises in Hawaii and Arctic exercises in Alaska to increase the quantities of F-22s available for immediate Pacific operations. 

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