posted on Jul, 28 2018 @ 04:50 AM
originally posted by: Zaphod58
a reply to: Bfirez
We're going to need something with range, and deep magazines. You don't want to tie up bombers, because you get into all kinds of interesting things
with weight and numbers. So you need something smaller.
If you don’t use a very long range platform for an AtA arsenal you just end up congesting Andersen with tacair and tankers. Kadena won’t be usable
in a conflict with China, neither will the southern Japanese or Koreans airbases if the US starts flying combat missions from there.
The US should be able to keep the airbases and civilian airports in the Second Island Chain open, maybe even bases in the Philippines but anything
inside the First Island Chain won’t survive an all out Chinese strike. This means your air assets need to come in from way far out, it’s some 1500
miles from Guam to Taiwan.
The US won’t be able to generate a relevant sortie rate at or inside the Chinese exclusion zones without a lot of tanker support as is. Adding an
arsenal plane based on a tactical fighter exacerbate the problem.
There is only so much space at Andersen and the US has only so many tankers to send over.
In an ideal world you have some sort of high endurance UCAV loitering outside the Engagement Zone hauling long range missiles for the air superiority
fighters as they come in. Failing that you get a bomber, load it up with dozens of long range missiles and sent it in behind some Raptors. Maybe at
some point the PCA will get this done, combining the necessary combat range and a large enough payload in VLO airframe.
Just about the last thing to do is have an arsenal fighter aircraft that is not stealthy at all and probably needs even more tanker support than the
air superiority fighters.
Generally speaking with the Chinese ability to attack airbases even in the Second Island Chain increasing every year, the US needs less platforms with
longer range and greater payloads, not just more tacair. Fighter Jets are the wrong tools to use in a war in the Pacific period. Give it ten or twenty
years and the US might even be forced to look beyond the Second Island Chain for truly survivable airbases in a war against China. How do you fight
them if the Air Force is forced to fly out of Australia and Hawaii?
This is not a premature question to ask. Not if this F-15X is supposed to be around for decades.