The report's authors said purchasing a combination of high-tech systems along with cheaper, lower-tech options would allow the Pentagon to increase the size of its force and permit the US to invest in equipment to handle emerging threats.And then this.
"There is a point where quantity does have a quality," Hendrix told CNN, adding that it is easier to maintain a presence around the world with higher numbers of ships and planes.
For example, rather than buying two F-35s, the CNAS report suggests purchasing one F-35 and two older F-16s or F-18s.
It's about applying the right type of force to right combat situation," Hendrix told CNN. "You don't have to be all high end to manage national security issues."Interesting.
Despite cutting the Ford-class carrier program after only two of the four planned ships are complete, the three think-tank experts said their plan will ensure that the US still has 10 aircraft carriers by the end of the decade due to their 35-year lifespan, but that the carriers would take on new functions, acting as prepositioned operating bases around the world.
Investing in the airwing gives aircraft carriers utility going forward, Hendrix said, noting that long-range strike aircraft would allow the carriers to sit out of range of Russian and Chinese anti-ship missiles.
The money saved by cutting the additional carriers could also allow the Pentagon to counter China and Russia's anti-ship and anti-air defense systems by bolstering the US submarine fleet and developing unmanned systems and undersea technology.
Asked for comment on the CNAS report, the Pentagon said only, "Our strategy is laid out in the President's Budget for Fiscal Year 2017."
Now think tanks are calling for cuts to the F-35 program? Wow! They really took too long. They lacked a sense of urgency in this program and now its gonna bite them in the ass.