posted on Dec, 10 2012 @ 07:48 AM
reply to post by JimTSpock
No, there will be manned aircraft after the F-35. The optionally manned bomber that Gates wanted built, is going to most likely be manned now. The
Air Force has said that unmanned technology at that level would be prohibitively expensive for the industry to produce, so they're looking at manned
options instead of optionally manned. That's my problem with the leadership.
The USAF should be years ahead of everyone (and they are now), and stay years ahead, but they're going to lose that lead, because of the entrenchment
of the manned aircraft mentality. Other countries are catching up (allies and not so friendly nations). China has recently flown a Predator type UAV
(not as good as the Predator, but not half bad either), Europe has flown their first stealthy UAV in the Neuron, with Taranis flying next year. The
US still has the lead in stealth, and in UAVs, but what's going to happen when they stop building UAVs, or very slowly develop UAVs? If they wait on
the Navy UCLASS program, they're going to wait 10-15 years minimum, without a truly new UAV coming online. That's a minimum of 10 years to allow
others to catch up to where the US is today. That's a long time, and even then, the USAF is going to have to wait years for any new UAV to be
developed, so we're actually looking at more like 20 years for the MQ-X program. That's huge.
edit on 12/10/2012 by Zaphod58 because: (no