Let’s think about this. Since Monday, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has called for checking F-22 production, trimming F/A-18E/F orders, retiring hundreds of F-15s and F-16s, and — egads! — equating fighters with the likes of unmanned Predators and Reapers.
Gates wants to fundamentally change thepreeminence of the tactical fighter community on the Pentagon prioritylist, which has somehow managed to sustain five active production lines throughout most of the last decade in the USA alone.
Some are no doubt applauding Gates’ proposals as a long-overdue course correction. Others will think it is a risky — and perhaps unprecedented — gamble with the nation’s future security. Of course, many in Congress will view the debate purely as a jobs issue.
Here’s our magazine’s news feature for next week about Gates’ proposals for tacair. We wanted to be careful to avoid hyperbole, but at the same time not ignore a potentially historic call for the structural reform of the world’s largest tactical fighter fleet.
Gates vs Tacair: Long overdue reform or reckless gamble?
By Stephen Trimble on 9 April, 2009 in Uncategorised
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