When does a word of praise for the F-22 imply a latent critique of the F-35?
Consider the following statements by Senator Saxby Chambliss. It’s from a press release on 16 January. Forty-four senators have signed a letter urging President Barack Obama to continue F-22 production.
Some have suggested filling the remaining F-22 requirement with otheraircraft, like the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. However, the F-35 isdesigned for multi-role strike missions and not optimized for the airdominance missions of the F-22.
Fair point. The next paragraph is where it gets interesting.
Further, we must not overlook the fact that our potential adversariesare increasing their air combat capabilities both in terms oftechnology and numbers of aircraft. Several have announced that theyare developing stealthy, twin-engine, high-altitude, fifth generationfighters that will reach production within the next five to tenyears. Additionally, sophisticated and highly lethal air defensesystems such as the SA-20, and S-300/400 are proliferating worldwideresulting in the possible requirement to achieve air dominance inmultiple theaters simultaneously.
Extending the logic, a perhaps unstated assumption is the F-35 can’t stand-up to the next generation of air- or ground-based threats, but the F-22 can. Or is it?
Read a certain way, Chambliss’s letter in defense of the F-22 is not logically far removed from the outspoken critiques of the F-35 by the Air Power Australia crowd.
Read the full letter on the jump.