What about the reality of communist China developing a 4th gen fighter the Jian J10 and producing Sukhoi SU27’s that are of a higher quality than the Russian versions?
Most of the unit costs that have been quoted for the F22 are the developmental costs that have already been spent. The savings we will get from shutting down the production line will be minimal.
Meanwhile the demands of war fighting have been accelerating the wearing out of the F15, F16 and F18 fleets. All those airplanes are getting to be old. The F15 is a 1960’s design first flew in 1972.
The F16 program started in the 1960’s, the first one flew in 1974. The F16 won the light weight fighter program 1974 by beating the F17, which began development in 1965 and first flew in 1974.
The F17 was further developed and put into production for the navy as the F18. Which first flew in 1978.
If America wants to maintain the technological edge so that the Chinese and Russians are not encouraged to try and compete with us, we need to produce new state of the art fighters.
The Jian J10 is a knockoff of the F16 but is a newly built airplane. It is not old and worn out like Americas F16 fleet.
The SU27 can do things aerodynamically that the F15 just isn’t capable of like the Pugachev’s Cobra.
Agreed. But that said, what I read of the budget reshaping I mostly approve of. In fact, the only thing that I’ve read that I disagree with at the moment is the cutting of the Future Combat Systems program. The reason I disagree with this is that while our current theaters of conflict are counterinsurgency based, I believe that it is in fact very possible (though NOT imminent or in immediate threat) that we will come to blows with a well armed nation-state. When we do that, I would like the command and control that the FCS could give us.
I agree with Gates that we need to rethink how the budget is allocated though.[/quote]
FCS is an even bigger waste of money than the F-22. “Future Contracts System”, as others have noted, is a more accurate name. We can handle any foreseeable “peer competitor” with legacy forces (i.e. Abrams, Bradley, airpower, etc.).