Friday, April 07, 2017

Acting SecNav loves the Super Hornet Block III

via Breaking Defense
Boeing’s proposed Block III upgrade to the Super Hornet would be a “fairly high-end” complement to the F-35C Joint Strike Fighter, acting Navy Secretary Sean Stackley believes. Instead of seeing Super Hornets as a potential replacement for the F-35 — as President Trump proposed — Stackley and other naval leaders at the Sea-Air-Space conference here repeatedly emphasized the two are not competitors, but are complementary. In fact, the Navy sees a role for both in high-intensity, high-tech, high-end warfare against the thick anti-aircraft defenses known as Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD).

It’s not a “high/low mix,” Stackley told reporters yesterday. “That’s too Air Force.” (The term “high/low mix” originally referred to the Air Force’s combination of twin-engine F-15s and single-engine F-16s). In particular, he said, “we’re looking at a Block III F-18. It’s fairly high-end. It doesn’t have all the stealth characteristics of a fifth-gen fighter, all the advanced capabilities of an F-35, but it’s an extremely capable aircraft.”
Nice.  Real Nice.  You can stick a fork in the US Navy buying its full allotment of F-35C's...which means the fewer it buys the more they will cost which means we might see the whole thing canceled.

Finally.  A bit of good news.

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