The DEW Line and Addison Schonland, of the Innovation Analysis Group in San Diego, teamed up this week for a podcast discussion about the Saab Gripen’s recent inroads in F-35 Joint Strike Fighter territory in Northern Europe, as well as the C-130XL debate.
Listen to the podcast here.
I also recommend checking out the Ares blog this week to read or participate in a most profound and informed debate about the relevance and strategy of the F-35. I particularly liked Solomon’s thoughts about the program, which I’ll excerpt here:
I keep being amazed at the ability of certain people in the media andon these pages to overlook the history of this aircraft. The F-35 wasto be part of the Air Forces –Air Dominance strategy.
That meant aforce composed of STEALTH AIRCRAFT. Once again boys and girls, ifyou’re saying that stealth is irrelevant then I say put the avionicspackage, engines, etc…into new build F-15′s perhaps add canards andyou have your relatively cheap war winner. The Navy did essentiallythat with the F/A-18 and the boys in blue stated that it was no upgrade.
Secondly.The glue for this is the international buys and I’m not talking aboutthe Dutch or the Australians. I’m talking about the UK, Spain, Italyand perhaps India who along with the USMC will be needing a MODERN,HIGH PERFORMANCE REPLACEMENT for the AV-8B, Sea Harrier, Harrier GR.9′s….
Lastly, the performance figures are faulty. Load up an F-22 instealth configuration and it won’t hold as many missiles as the SU-35.In the same scenario (with the performance capabilities of theAIM-120D) it would still be within “knife cutting range of the SU andalthough its only rumor, I’ve heard, read, whatever that the F-22 is noknife fighting airframe.
IF your arguments are that STEALTH is not the”winner” that many believe it is, then upgrades to legacy airframes isthe way to go. If you’re a believer in Air Dominance, ISR warfare andthe supremacy of Electronic Attack, then the only real choice is theF-35.