posted on Aug, 23 2017 @ 12:21 AM
a reply to: anzha
They killed further F-22 procurement to save the F-35 IMO.
Sure, the US needs to replace F-15Cs and F-22s but the hope of replacing them on a one to one basis with the PCA is far fetched. They are already
looking at retiring the entire F-15C fleet without any real replacement within the next decade.
And while quantity is important, its far less important than provided capabilitys.
Today an F-15c can haul 8 AAMs for something like 1000miles using a pretty decent AESA radar. An F-22 has less range (especially if you get cute with
supercruise), carries a similiar weapons load uses a comparable radar system. And its VLO of course.
Both air fleets need significant tanker support do operate over the vastness that is the Western Pacific Region- lets be honest, nobody besides China
matters when it comes to the PCA at this point. Due to doctrine and limited weapons load they also need to be deployed in significant numbers,
straining an also limited number of air bases in the Region.
Or to put it more bluntly, the amount of sorties you can generate against the Chinese A2AD umbrella using tactical fighter jets with tanker support
will be very small if you have to fly out of Andersen. It basically wont work. Especially if the Chinese have a working brain and go after the
Thats why a larger platform with a greater range and larger weapons load would make so much sense. An LRSB sized platform would be able to carry
dozens of extremely long ranged BVR AAMs over far greater distances. You dont need to deploy it in small numbers, a single LRSB sized PCA platform
could easily do the job of a dozen Air Superiority fighters sanitizing the air space to get the bomber carrier in striking range.
Purchasing such a platform might not be cheap, but operating it is far cheaper than deploying entire squadrons of tactical fighter jets with tanker
Of course just using a modified B-21 to provide a penetrating counter air capability is not sexy enough and wouldnt funnel enough money to the right