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originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: In4ormant
At this point, no. There will eventually be UAVs capable of doing the mission that the F-35 will do, but right now, there isn't. If they tried, they'd lose them all, over and over again for no gain. I don't see why that's so hard to understand. You're sending a signal across thousands of miles, which means there's a delay. Until they figure a way around that, there's no way to have an air to air capable UAV that can fight its way in, and hit the target.
As for nothing but the F-35, it takes 15-20 years to develop a modern aircraft. We're currently at the point where they're retiring some of the older aircraft in the inventory to have parts available for others of the same type, or that use the same parts. If we waited even 10 years to have something else even close to ready to go, we wouldn't have aircraft flying, unless we want to spend more upgrading the current inventory than they've currently spent on the F-35.