via Janes IHS
It is intended that the SHiELD pod would better enable the USAF's fourth-generation fighter fleet, such as the Boeing F-15 Eagle and Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon, to survive in contested airspace. The fifth-generation Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II would probably not carry the pod, as it would negate their stealth characteristics.So wait one gawd damn minute.
All the F-35 fanboys have been stating that 4th gen fighters won't be entering contested airspace. The F-35 and F-22 would have to clear the way to "make it safe" for them.
Now the Air Force is building a pod so our 4th gen fighters can enter that fight? It appears that planning for the future USAF fleet is changing. I wonder what they're not telling us.