via Investors Business Daily.
The Navy plans to "continue to modernize" Boeing's (BA) F/A-18 Super Hornets, said Vice Adm. Mike Shoemaker, the commander of Naval Air Forces, calling newer versions "4.5-generation" fighters.The Admiral's words betray him. It isn't hard to read between the lines here. He has to say the good stuff about the F-35 because...he has to. The problem is that he exposes some serious reality here.
During a talk Thursday at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Shoemaker said he isn't minimizing the need for Lockheed Martin's (LMT) F-35, a fifth-generation fighter. Instead, he sees a role for both of them.
"We absolutely need the F-35 as soon as we can get it," he said. " We want to pair those two up together."
Shoemaker said the two jets could be flown in tandem to take advantage of the planes' "very good complement of high-low mix."
First by calling the F-18 a 4.5 gen bird, he's essentially stating that the F-18 in its latest versions has everything the F-35 has except for stealth.
Second, he's practically screaming that the F-35 has no chance at coming in at the cost projected by the Program Office. If it did then the Navy wouldn't buy one more Super Hornet and they'd be looking to fill the carrier decks with the F-35. They aren't because the F-35 won't meet performance or price specs.
Shoemaker said alot by saying only a little!