The F-35 is being touted as the stealth fighter that will guarantee US air superiority till at least 2070. They tell us that between its stealth and sensor fusion, nothing will be able to touch it. We complain about its pathetic payload and we're told that it can load up its pylons with missiles and still win.
So if all of the above is true then why are they pumping out concepts like this? via Flight Global.
Deputy defence secretary Robert Work touted the long-considered “loyal wingman” concept at a forum hosted by the Washington Post in Washington DC on 30 March, where he explained that the air force will pair unmanned Lockheed F-16s with F-35s in future battles.Between this drivel from Work (who I once held in high esteem) along with the other bits of idiocy from HQ AF and General Davis have me wondering.
"You take an F-16 and make it totally unmanned," Work says. "The F-16 is a fourth-generation fighter, and pair it with an F-35, a fifth-generation battle network node, and have those two operating together.”
Work says he expects "unmanned wingman, unmanned undersea vehicles and surface vessels" as well as pilotless cargo helicopters for delivering supplies to troops on the battlefield to be introduced operationally before robotic military vehicles.
Work says the spread of autonomous technology and platforms "is inexorable". "It is going to happen," he says.
Is this about trying to save their collective legacies for pushing a substandard warplane on the West, worry about how underperforming the F-35 is against current and anticipated threats or all of the above?
Pairing an unmanned F-16 with the F-35, developing an arsenal plane, working on a mythical missile that's smaller than the AIM-120 but is faster/flies farther and dreams of lasers tells us all we need to know.
The F-35 is a failure.