Air Force's Combat Aircraft: A Future Holding into the Past
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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Americas AF has adopted a strategy that reduces and then modernizes its remaining legacy fleet of combat aircraft. The strategy attempts to free up the necessary funding required to procure a modernized AF with all stealth bombers and fighters. It has been plagued with setbacks because of production delays and cost overruns. The newly attained stealth aircraft have also fallen short of their projected and required mission capable rates and drastically exceeded their estimated cost per flying hour. While the AF attempts to explain away the costs as temporary or as costs that will dissolve when maintenance practices are developed and matured, the history of stealth aircraft reveals differently. It reveals instead that stealth aircraft cost drastically more per flying hour than do their predecessors. Given the history of how Americas combat AF has fought to gain air superiority and provide support to the forces on the ground, it needs to procure a mixed stealth and legacy combat force capable of gaining air superiority at an acceptable cost. This total stealth and legacy force make-up should be sized to gain air superiority over the future battlefield, thus enabling a modernized legacy fleet to sustain air dominance over its enemies while achieving its nations objectives. This solution will prove itself affordable while allowing the AF to continue its investments toward a stronger future.
- Attack and Fighter Aircraft
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics