It may seem like a small thing to most people who don’t watch these things but here’s the outline.
IF the U.S. got in real trouble in the next 5 years (much more likely than even just 5 years ago), the military side of things would be decided in the air. Ever since the battle of El Alamein in the North African desert, those who own the sky — prevail below.
So we’ve got the F-35 and F-22 super stealth planes right? What’s the problem?
For a list of complicated reasons too long to recite here, including a history of competing fighter jet theories in the U.S. military industrial complex that goes back decades, and the difference between the potential of non-vtol vs. vtol airframes to impact the EM ratio; let me just say instead of that long technical expose — right now — the U.S. needs 3 things real bad; (a) More fighters period (b) More F/A-18 Super Hornet fighters (c) Continuation of the manufacturing line producing the F/A-18 Super Hornet, a proven, capable, strong in all areas the 5th generation vtol’s are weak in; 4++++ generation fighter, something we have a big need for in the “new” contested environment.
Which brings me to some extra good news from this Reuters piece.
RUETERS: By Andrea Shalal
“WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Navy included 12 Boeing Co F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jets and eight Lockheed Martin Corp F-35s on a list of “unfunded priorities” prepared for Congress, defense officials and other sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.”
“The Navy’s list was reviewed by senior Pentagon officials and the Joint Chiefs of Staff this week, and should be sent to U.S. lawmakers in coming days, said the sources, who asked not to be named because the vetting is still under way.”
If I was buying these babies, it would be 24 Hornets and 12 F-35’s but it’s still a move in the exact right direction and I see that so infrequently anymore, I consider a news item like this a godsend.