Head of the USAF: F35 lethal weapon, our "quarterback"

Capacity is the strategic key of the Air Force. To achieve the right level of capacity and to meet mission requirements, Aeronautics will have to rely on a perfect mix of aircraft.

The Chief of Staff of the US Air Force gen. David Goldfein He noted that the acquisition of multiple platforms does not detract from the importance of the F-35 fighter, but allows the Air Force to make the most of the jet's capabilities as the command center of a vast network of systems.

Defense News interviewed General Goldfein during the delivery of the first two Pegasus KC-46 aircraft to the Air Force.

The Air Force may purchase new and improved F-15 fighters, known as F-15Xs.

What does this mean for the F-35?

First of all, I confirm that I strongly support the 'F-35 project, we will take 1.763 copies. If the budget allows, we intend to equip it with additional features. But here's our challenge: to build the Air Force of the future, we need additional capabilities: our analysis shows that at least 72 new fighters need to be put on the track a year to be able to reduce the average age of airplanes.

For me, the F-35 is part of this strategy. If an opponent sees the F-35, I want the message to be "We are here" - not "I am here", but "We are here".

An F-35 will never be alone. We will be there in space - we have been there for a while; we will be there with the high altitude; we will be there with the B-21. There is a weapon system that we have designed that will act as a quarterback to bring enemies into a defined airspace. The quarterback is the F-35: “Combine information, and analyze the data. We will not integrate the F-35 into the common team, we will integrate the team into the F-35.

F35 allows us to establish the scenario that presents itself much sooner. It will allow us to understand first where we are going and which enemy we will face. I bring you my experience as a pilot: "what makes the difference between a really good driver and a great driver is the mental level. The one who can predict what will happen first will be the best pilot. With F35, with the myriad of information it can provide the team, it really becomes a lethal weapon.

The refurbishment of the fleet must not allow, however slow down the acquisitions of the F-35. We want to bring the age of the aircraft down to around 15, compared to 28 today. To do this, as mentioned, you have to buy at least 72 planes a year. If we had an adequate budget the funds would be for 72 F-35s, but we must also consider the rejuvenation of the F-15. It is a capacity that we cannot disperse.

What's happening with the light attack program?

We have been very consistent on the strategy from the beginning. First of all, the problem concerns allies and partners. The National Defense Strategy states that we will invest in and increase our relationships with current allies and partners. This is because so many countries are fighting violent extremism on their borders. We asked ourselves the question of how to face the emergency: "we will build a new weapon system"

If we rely on a weapon system, our partners and allies will too, because they trust us. Many international air force chiefs of staff tell me, "Hey, Dave, I can't afford the F-16s, I'll never get the F-35 and I need something else because my weapon systems that I have now they are getting old. What do you have to offer me? "

The second thing is that as we build the Air Force of the future we need to build light attack capability, especially for our partners. This is a requirement for our allies and partners we are working on. Therefore, given these two fundamental assumptions, we have opened this experiment to industry.

Many options for the various countries. Some countries would choose a rotary wing option; some countries want a fixed but turboprop wing; some countries want fixed wing but turbojet.

Industry is very supportive of supporting this new challenge, due to the strategic needs of modern times.


Head of the USAF: F35 lethal weapon, our "quarterback"

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