The future of the Air Force

Posted on by on September 23rd, 2013 | Comments Off

The US Air Force has always tried to think ahead in order to maximize its grip of the world. And very recently, the The leader of Air Combat Command unveiled his assessment of the blueprint required for the combat air forces in the 2020s in remarks during the Air Force Association’s Air & Space Conference and Technology Exposition here Sept. 17. On the second day of the three-day, 55-session conference highlighting various topics relevant to the Air Force, Gen. Mike Hostage noted the critical role combat air forces will continue to play in advancing the nation’s interests. The general put forward the case for recapitalization following more than a decade of combat air forces support in Afghanistan and Iraq, and two decades “of sustained global engagement and combat operations.” “Air Combat Command’s ability to provide relevant combat forces to the combatant commander will hinge on the recapitalization to a robust, fifth generation fleet,” Hostage said in reference to the F-22 Raptor and the F-35 Lightning II. The F-22 fleet, he added, allows for U.S. forces to “kick down the door.” While a decision between modernization of a fourth generation aircraft or recapitalization of the fleet with fifth generation fighters is not one he wants to have to make, Hostage said to him the imperative is clear. “If … I must pick one or the other, to me, recapitalization is the only thing that makes sense,” Hostage said, adding that a modernized fourth generation aircraft would be irrelevant against adversaries’ advanced capabilities. Read more on Defense News


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