“What you’re going to see is not a UCLASS [Unmanned Carrier-Launched Strike & Surveillance aircraft] anymore: It’s a carrier-based tanker that is going to be integrated into the carrier air wing,” a senior defense official told me.So they're going for an unmanned tanker now? More F-35's? So the F-35 mafia wins again and any chance of the Navy's carriers doing deep strike goes out the window.
“The combination of buying more [F/A-18] Es and Fs, freeing up Es and Fs that are currently doing tanking, plus more F-35s, this is the best way to handle the problem in the near term,” the defense official said. “Right now, most of the aerial refueling is [Super Hornet] Es and Fs, which is causing a problem when you’re already short of fighters.”
to have an unmanned bomber coming off the carrier?'” the defense official acknowledged. ‘We’d say, sure we would, but, right now, based on our analysis, this is the best way to go about the problem. We don’t have enough money.”
Remember, the F-35 doesn't go as far as the now retired A-6E. If you think that's bad though, check this out...
“This was the fastest way that we could think of to get stealth on the deck and allow the carrier to fight from range…..based on the resources that we had,” the official said. Given rising threats from Russia and China, he said, “we need to get more stealth on the carrier deck in the early ’20s” — too short a timeline to develop an all-new aircraft.So in a bid to counter next gen fighters from China and Russia they're betting it all on the F-35?
So “we decided to accelerate F-35C buys,” the official said. “Some people would say, ‘let’s go all in on the UCLASS and make it stealthy,’ but if you did that, you wouldn’t be able to get can the stealth on the deck as fast. There’s just no way you could have done it.”
They ignore the fact that with the F-35, combat air patrols won't go far enough to shoot the archers and instead will be playing a morbid game of whack a mole against enemy anti-ship missiles that are MUCH faster than both the F-35 AND the missiles it carries.
How can the leadership of our military be this stupid? How can they not see the issues here? This is bigger than fraud. We're looking at treason.
SIDENOTE: Is the very concept of the carrier dead? Lets play a little scenario game. You have a carrier hovering 300 miles off the shore of country X. The country is moderately advanced and has capable anti-air, anti-ship, maritime patrol, access to sats and a good fighter force. Will a carrier even be able to get close enough to launch strikes? If the enemy uses fishing boats to keep tabs on the carrier and provide basic targeting information....if they can launch a few missile boats to engage the carrier....suddenly our nations flag ship becomes a self licking ice cream cone. It exists to protect itself and not to project power!