via National Defense.
A combat rehearsal that pits the Air Force version of the F-35 against the A-10 “falls into the meaningless category,” he insisted. “The idea that we are going to go test the F-35 in a close-air support role is a good thing. We want to know how it performs in that environment. But what we really want to know are its deficiencies in doing the missions the services and international partners need, not to see how good it does compared to the A-10.”The highlighted portion should have every Colonel involved in ground combat in the Marine Corps calling up the Assistant Commandant for Aviation (ok, maybe e-mailing him) and asking him WHAT THE FUCK!
It’s not a fair comparison, Bogdan argued, because close-air support missions are diverse and a specialized airplane like the A-10 is too slow and lacks the range to do what more advanced systems like the F-35 can do. “Any comparison to any other airplanes might not be the best use of taxpayer dollars,” he said. “I would much prefer to see the airplane tested in a realistic environment, on the missions it’s supposed to do, not on the mission set of another airplane.”
In situations when air support is needed quickly and combat airplanes are far away, “I wouldn’t pick up the phone and dial A-10,” he said.
“You really have to balance what you look for,” he added. “In today’s budget environments, I’m all for putting the F-35 through its paces. But measure it against what the services need, not some arbitrary measure of what it does compared to another airplanes.”
The implication is clear.
Bogdan is claiming that the close air support mission isn't what the F-35 is intended to do ... and it isn't what the services WANT it to do.
So if you're a Marine, the next question becomes....If the USMC doesn't want it for close air support then what the does the Corps want it for?