“Navy is considering a full spectrum of potential alternatives to balance capability, lethality, affordability, and survivability. The solution may be comprised of a family of systems across multiple domains vice focusing on a single aviation platform.”Do you get the force of connection between the Navy and Air Force's efforts?
While the NGAD program might ultimately produce a collection of different platforms, weapons and other technologies, the core concept remains to address the capability gaps that might open up when the F/A-18 family is finally retired.
“The AoA team is looking to replace the capabilities from F/A-18E/F and EA-18G when those aircraft reach the end of their service lives, Yingling said.
“The F/A-18E/F and EA-18G currently cover a wide spectrum of mission sets in support of the Carrier Strike Group (CSG) and Joint Operations, including fleet air defense/air superiority, and strike. The study will identify a capability replacement solution that preserves the effectiveness and viability of the CSG amidst emerging/evolving threats.”
Those emerging threats include—among many others—a host of new enemy aircraft like the Chinese Chengdu J-20 and J-31 and potent new air and missile defense systems like the Russian-built S-400 and S-500.
And the problem is not just the performance of individual enemy missile batteries or aircraft, both the Russians and Chinese have learnt to network their forces together into a coherent whole, as Rear Adm. Mike Darrah, the Navy’s program executive officer for unmanned systems and strike weapons described at the Navy League’s Sea, Air and Space symposium in May. Moreover, it’s not just the threat to the Navy’s aircraft, new Russian and Chinese long-range anti-ship cruise and ballistic missiles—particularly Beijing’s DF-26—have the ability to threaten an aircraft carrier far out to sea.
The Navy hopes that it will be able to use a family of systems approach to develop the NGAD capability to overcome those threats and maintain the carrier’s role as the dominant maritime power projection platform without breaking the bank.
They're both trying to re-do the F-35 but this time do it right! Lethal, survivable, adaptable and affordable...sure sounds like what the F-35 promised us doesn't it?
The F-35 program is spiraling the drain. But that won't be good enough. Someone needs to be held responsible for this massive clusterfuck. Someone needs to pay for the money wasted, time/tech lead lost because of the misguided belief that they could make this work.
It won't happen and they'll claim that this time they're gonna do it right....but if we lived in a world where the rule of law applied....then more than a few people would be going to jail.