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originally posted by: RadioRobert
a reply to: mightmight
And as a general rule, you buy (and operate) aircraft by the pound, so the odds of a B-58 sized aircraft being purchased and operated in large enough numbers to replace F-15's etc as a tactical fighter are near zilch.
A somewhat smaller F-111-sized platform aimed at those missions would probably be welcome by TAC air. But there's merit to the idea of canceling such a program for the smaller platform and using all that development and procurement money for even more Raiders where you already have sunk costs in a platform that can already perform those roles where/when needed.
The problem, he [Air Combat Command chief Gen. James Holmes] said, is that “I don’t know what my budget will be at the end of the 2020s, but I can assume that it won’t be radically different from what it is now.” If the Air Force is to stay at about 55-60 fighter squadrons, and a growing number of them will be filled with F-35s and the anticipated Penetrating Counterair Aircraft, “then I have choices I have to make. Something has to go,” Holmes said.
To keep the F-15s in the fleet only through the end of the ‘20s means the decision can be postponed until about 2022. “But if I’m going to … go forward with the Penetrating Counterair Aircraft, then I have to prove to people that I can afford it, and so I have to plan.”
The risk of pushing for PCA earlier than 2030 and leaving the Eagles in service for another decade is if/when the PCA lags. Then when you retire the Eagles on schedule, there is a deficit of airframes and no clear path forward short-term. I think they'd better served shoring up the F-35 program and using it as the "replacement" airframes for the F-15. Push PCA back and let the systems and requirements mature before sprinting toward the "6 gen" goal.
We're basically #'d if th balloon goes up with China. They can just overwhelm most theatre defense with IRBM's.
The big hope is cruise missiles and the B-2/21 fleet can do enough damage to airfields, bridges, rail, harbors, etc to slow a ground wave. I don't think PCA will be relevant. Even if you can keep airfields open on Japan or the Phillipines, a 1,000 mi combat radius barely touches past the eastern quarter of China. It's a big map.
We have to address theatre air and ABM defense effectively before we can offer a real solution to airpower in a full-on war.
Sure, there will be an airframe deficit. But so what?
Perceived or actual airframe deficits will be irrelevant if you cant deploy more than at best half your fighter inventory anyway.
Depends on the scenario I guess. I don’t think a ground war [in Korea] is a given if there is a conflict between the US and China
Well, if we're going to continue in a state of perpetual combat action, you need enough horses to rotate through to keep them fresh. Otherwise, you're going to grind down even your new shiny toys real quick. It's less, "the Eagle brings something irreplaceable" and more "love the one you're with" if you don't fund additional airframes in the shortterm.
If only the Pacific was the sole need for tac air!
If it's anything but a skirmish over the Spratly's they have little reason not to settle all their old scores while the iron is hot. Roll into Vietnam, Tibet, Korea, Bhutan and just say "make me move"..
imagine they'd prefer to just do things with overwhelming force so that we're effectively deterred from doing anything but bitching and moaning about it […] Do we have the stomach/capability to push them back to antebellum? If not, they win without a war at all.
There is serious concern in naval circles about the shortage in total VLS cells afloat and available. Even if you packed them all, there aren't enough to make sustained naval action possible.
Chasing hard after a 6gen, DEW-ladden B-58 for PCA is idiotic right now
Whether or not the F-15C squadrons remain would have no direct impact on the current iteration of bombing some Islamist somewhere.
. Take look at Israel of all places, they’re in the process of building up artillery units equipped with precision guided long range missiles to provide an organic fire support / interdiction capability for the ground forces
As for the possibility of keeping Japan and South Korea out of the fight – its hard to tell how the chips might fall.
China can be handled very similarly actually. The country is dependent on import of raw materials, crude oil, ores and agricultural products. Nearly all of it gets imported by sea.
You can run a 5gen Have Raider wingman just fine from an F-35 or Raider. Those programs are relatively mature. That should be the next program on the table. Semi-autonomous wingmen within a MADL network.
originally posted by: anzha
a reply to: RadioRobert
MM: Why do you think the PCA will not be 6th gen? How do you define 6th gen, in your opinion? What technologies are required to be considered 6th gen?