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Fifth Generation Aggressor Squadron

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posted on May, 9 2019 @ 11:47 PM

The Air Force is reactivating the 65th Aggressor Squadron and moving 11 F-35A Lightning IIs to Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, as part of a larger initiative to improve training for fifth generation fighter aircraft.

The action came after Gen. Mike Holmes, Air Combat Command commander, recommended improving training for fifth generation fighter tactics development and close-air support by adding F-35s to complement the fourth generation aircraft currently being used.

To support this requirement, the Air Force decided to create a fifth generation aggressor squadron at Nellis AFB and move nine non-combat capable F-35A aircraft from Eglin AFB, Florida, to the squadron.

So they are taking Red Air threats seriously... Plan is to use eleven early batch F-35's to form an Aggressor squadron. This solves the "to update or not to update" dilemna for some of the earliest airframes (coincidentally the most expensive and work-intensive to bring up to block 4).

Common sense solution to two problems. They won't transfer the old airframes from Eglin's training squadron until they receive new build replacements. If the Eglin F-22's move to Langley permanently as planned, Eglin is getting another F-35 training squadron to replace them.

Note: we've already seen an F-35 dressed up for threat simulation. This would be creation of a dedicated squadron for that purpose.
edit on 9-5-2019 by RadioRobert because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 10 2019 @ 03:24 AM
Now that's interesting. Are any of the 4th gen fighters updated to aid and share tactical/combat information with that F-35?

I'm under the impression that info shared with the F-35 is tailored for that craft and it's supporting systems.

posted on May, 10 2019 @ 09:28 AM
a reply to: cenpuppie

It can share via link-16. But the communication isn't LPI like MADL which will share between fifth-gen platforms. The F-22 doesn't have Link-16, but it's own LPI "IFDL".

The F-35 is supposed to be able to share with the F-22 via IFDL, but that isn't really working as planned. F-22 was going to get upgraded to MADL, but that made too much sense so was cancelled.

So we probably either see a MADL upgrade for legacy platforms eventually, or maybe we continue working on "other" solutions. Basically encompasses different interfaces (BACN/Talon Hate) for legacy platforms and there are or will be other assets like the E-3/8/EQ-X which can also get MADL-data and can rebroadcast via Link-16.

But it's a right freaking mess right now, to be honest. This has been another Yuma adventure for the Marines getting data to share within their own private network, MAGTF (Marine Air Ground Task Force) as well as everyone else and their brother figuring out their long-term plan.

posted on May, 10 2019 @ 03:04 PM
The aircraft going to Eglin were originally destined to become the 6th training squadron flying out of Luke. That's been delayed 18 months for runway expansion work, leaving Luke with 5 squadrons, probably until 2023.

posted on May, 10 2019 @ 09:05 PM
a reply to: RadioRobert

there is that photo of a MiG 1.44 just sitting outside some hanger and other photos of Russia's new aircraft all over the place and the fact we all know money talks(more like yells) in Russia.

In China pretty much everything is for sale.

Back in the day we had to hope for defectors flying their aircraft into NATO air bases for the most part but these days i wonder how many aircraft/system we have gotten our hands on with cold hard cash.

Back during the cold war there wasn't what we recognize today as a 'Global economy' so i think it was harder to get aircraft or various other military systems.

the same could be said to a lesser extent going the other way.

posted on May, 10 2019 @ 09:57 PM
a reply to: penroc3

We buy/beg/borrow lots of stuff. Money talks. Especially hard currency. Russia was happy to sell almost anything in the 90's. Trouble was they weren't selling the factory new ones-- they were selling the worn out, falling apart ones they could duct tape together and make deliverable. India brought it's Sukhois out to play at Red Flag.
I don't know of anything super exotic, but there are a few foreign built aircraft flying over parts of Nevada, California, and Arizona for different threat simulations. And when you can't buy it, you fake it. Like the very convincing S-55 conversions into "Hinds" and the slightly less convincing Cobra conversion into "Hokums" about thirty years ago. It was a lot cheaper to service heavily modded S-55's, Cobras, AH-64's painted like Havocs than keep Soviet era designs in the air. Apart from evalua purposes, there is probably an institutional preference for "simulated" threats even if the "real deal" is available.

posted on May, 12 2019 @ 06:25 AM
a reply to: RadioRobert

In your first post you mentioned a second squadron at Eglin. The Crows will be reactivating there. Nice prediction. Shacked it.

posted on May, 12 2019 @ 01:12 PM
a reply to: glib2

Just the plan, not my prediction.

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