Friday, March 04, 2016

Did the US Navy/Pentagon just cede the Unmanned Air Combat Vehicle to the Europeans?

via Defense Update
Defense ministers of France and the United Kingdom endorsed today the plan to launch the development of full scale operational demonstrator of the ‘Future Combat Air System’ Unmanned Combat Air System (UCAS) next year. This phase will prepare for the full-scale development of unmanned combat air system (UCAS) operational demonstrators by 2025. At a cost of €2 billion this demonstration programme, the most advanced of its kind in Europe, will be centered on a versatile UCAS platform that could serve as the basis for a future operational capability beyond 2030.
Did we just sacrifice our lead in unmanned vehicles in order to protect the F-35?  Are we seeing the end of our dominance because everything must die so that system can live?  Is Lockheed Martin worth US superiority so that they can make profits?

My answer is no.

But its obvious that the F-35 mafia disagrees.  So what do we see instead?  We had the X-47 ready to go from our carriers.  A full stealth UAV that could do the penetration mission much better than the F-35 ever could and would allow the Navy to get cracking on building a Fleet Defense Fighter is instead going to be turned into an aerial refueler.

Even worse?  The Europeans are going full speed ahead with their own designs and we can be sure that the Russians and Chinese are giggling with glee at the idiocy being displayed to protect one underperforming airplane.

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