Navy Plans for Fighter to Replace the F/A-18 Hornet in 2030s

MSF13-0082The Navy is beginning to work on a a next-generation carrier-launched fighter jet to replace the existing F/A-18 Super Hornet and Growler aircraft by 2030 and supplement the F-35C the Pentagon is still developing, service officials said.

The Navy effort, called the F/A-XX study, includes early work on the desired technological capabilities for the new aircraft. The idea is to have a new aircraft ready and producible by the time existing F/A-18s reach their end-of-service dates. Navy officials emphasize that the early work is in the very early stages and purely a conceptual effort to explore alternatives.

The Navy is analyzing industry proposals on the F/A-XX it started collecting two years ago. Navy officials are trying to pick out what they like and study potential ideas.

This effort is going on as the Navy considers various upgrades of the existing inventory of F/A-18s in order to extend its service life well into and beyond the 2030s. Nevertheless, unless more aircraft such as Growlers are purchased for future production, Boeing’s domestic production of the F/A-18 will come to an end in the next several years.

Meanwhile, these early F/A-XX efforts are going on while the service vigorously pursues ongoing developmental testing of its F-35C, slated to be ready by 2018.

Navy officials did say the platform would be a sixth-generation fighter but emphasized that service experts were reluctant to talk about the new aircraft because so much has yet to be determined and the project was still in the very early stages.

Meanwhile, exactly how long the F/A-18 will fly remains somewhat of an open question. At a certain point the aircraft will eventually need to be replaced, however the Navy is still interested in acquiring more Growler electronic jamming aircraft and continues to upgrade the F/A-18 platform.

There are near term efforts such as the ongoing initiative to outfit 170 F/A-18E/F Block II fighter jets with a next-generation infrared sensor designed to locate air-to-air target in a high-threat electronic attack environment.

Infrared search and track, or IRST, system, is a long range sensor that searches for and detect infrared emissions, Navy officials said. Slated to be operational by 2017, the system can simultaneously track multiple targets and provide a highly effective air-to-air targeting capability.

While the Navy is making progress with existing modifications to the platform, the service is also looking into slightly longer-term anti-surface-warfare upgrades to the aircraft such as improving the active electronically scanned array radar and forward looking infrared radar technologies such as IRST, Navy officials said.

Alongside upgrades to the platform that are already underway such as targeting improvements and experimentation with conformal fuel tanks and an external weapons pod, the Navy is investing research dollars into upgrading the plane’s sensors, radar and computer  systems, Capt. Frank Morley, program manager for the F/A-18 and EA-18G Growler aircraft told Military.com in an interview last summer.

One analyst said if Navy F/A-XX developers seek to engineer a sixth-generation aircraft, they will likely explore a range of next-generation technologies such as maximum sensor connectivity, super cruise ability and an aircraft with electronically configured “smart skins.”

Maximum connectivity would mean massively increased communications and sensor technology such as having an ability to achieve real-time connectivity with satellites, other aircraft and anything that could provide relevant battlefield information, said Richard Aboulafia, vice-president of analysis at the Teal Group, a Va.-based consultancy.

Hypersonic Scramjets

The new aircraft might also seek to develop the ability to fire hypersonic weapons, however such a development would hinge upon successful progress with yet-to-be-proven technologies such as scramjets, Aboulafia added.

Super cruise technology would enable the new fighter jet to cruise at supersonic speeds without needing afterburner, he explained.

Smart aircraft skins would involve dispersing certain technologies or sensors across the fuselage and further integrating them into the aircraft itself, Aboulafia said.

‘Smart skins with distributed electronics means that instead of having systems mounted on the aircraft, you would have apertures integrated on the skin of the aircraft,” he said.

This could reduce drag, increase speed and maneuverability while increasing the technological ability of the sensors.

Finally, Aboulafia said the Navy may be interested in developing a super-capable air-dominance or air-to-air fighter capability as a new, next-generation aircraft to replace the F-14 Tomcat – an aircraft known for its air-to-air fighter capability.

Navy officials said the F/A-18 is the current replacement for the F-14 Tomcat.

Also, about 20 years ago the Navy was interested in acquiring a Navy variant of the F-22 through what was called the Naval Advanced Tactical Fighter program, Aboulafia explained. This effort never came to fruition, leaving the Navy without a fifth-generation air-dominance platform, Aboulafia said.

While the Navy’s F-35C is engineered for strike missions, next-generation sensor fusion, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance and air-to-air combat, experts maintain it does not have the fifth-generation air-to-air dominance and speed of the F-22. Nevertheless, Navy officials emphasize that the now-in-development F-35C is the service’s fifth-generation platform.

About the Author

Kris Osborn
Kris Osborn is the managing editor of Scout Warrior.
  • Virgil Cuttaway

    US will be second rate by 2030 with 90% going to Social Security and social programs. China will be the dominant military and economic power at the time.

  • Rat

    Maybe they can replicate the success of the Phantom II that was used by the USN and USAF (plus the USMC) if the USAF picks it up as a 22 and 15 replacement.

    I only hope the marines don’t jump into the fray and require a STOVL version while someone else gets the bright idea to build a less stealthy version for export. :/

  • Bernard

    They need an air dominance drone. It needs to be a full sized single role interceptor with the ability to ID and kill air targets even without communication. The sensors on board will have to be very high resolution to ensure proper identification.

    • Bernard

      Since it won’t have a pilot it should be able to pull 30-50g maneuvers.

      • tiger

        30 G’s??? Find me a airframe not breaking at 15G load?

        • Bernard

          Missile airframes routinely handle 50G loads. You must have missed the “unmanned” part of the equation.

          • LPF

            Yes because obviously AI’s have been created good enough to take on and beat a human pilot….NOT!

          • Thomas L. Nielsen

            Missile airframe =/= aircraft airframe

            Regards & all,

            Thomas L. Nielsen
            Luxembourg

  • Bigpapfi

    Let me get this straight. The brass sold the golden pig (F35) and now the Navy has it’s hand out for a golden sow to put on the world’s biggest targets. I guess they’ll guard them both with a squad of Littorals. They can’t complete their designed roles either. The taxpayers can hold their heads high. Never have so many paid so much for so little. Hail the golden idols!

    • maximilliangc

      YOU Nailed it !!

  • Lance

    Not happening due to sequestration for the next 10 years on even design plans. We had a superior fighter in Navy service before the Super Hornet the F-14A D and proposed F fighter beat the Hornet every time. Due to Dick Cheney and his bias for then McDonald Douglas mad the Hornet stay when it had shorter range carried lass ordnance and was less maneuverable. Face it the Navy keeps selecting the inferior fighter. Instead of the Fleet defender that can kill threats a hundred miles away we got stuck with a light strike fighter with the same capabilities as the MiG-29. Russia and China keeps on laughing at us for now.

  • Highguard

    Thankyou US Navy for making the case for me! As the new service for Air Power advocacy, congradulations on having the fortitude and courage to move us into 6th Generation Air Dominance in a way that will actually make a difference.

  • William_C1

    Good news about F/A-XX, I’m not at all familiar with this “smart skin” concept though, how is that different from the DAS and ESM systems on the F-35 for example? Calling it a “6th generation” fighter however? We don’t even know what features will define this “6th generation”.

    The AMRAAM has given us good service but it’s time for a successor. We can build a significantly more capable missile and it would also increase the effectiveness of all our fighter aircraft, not just F/A-XX.

    • tiger

      Uh, the AMRAAM that has had bad rocket engines for like 5 years?

      • William_C1

        That wasn’t the fault of the AMRAAM design, the company building the rocket motors screwed up. Note that the AMRAAM didn’t have this problem for the first 19 years of its career.

    • Tee

      It’s already out, it’s called Meteor and it’s flying on the Gripen

      • oblatt22

        Just like everything that is touted for the F-35 it already exists on the gripin. at a fraction of the cost.

      • William_C1

        Meteor entered service on the Typhoon first, but despite being an improvement the US is going to want its own missile with large improvements in areas like guidance as well. There is a high possibility it will be a VFDR design like Meteor however.

    • Tom

      why not buy meteor missiles and when your on it buy a couple grippen e fighters as well. grippen e has all the features asked for. mabe that´s why boing has bought into the saab development…..

  • Dfens

    It would be great if the F-18 were replaced by the F-23. Plus it would be a little ironic given that had they chosen the F-23 over Grumman’s switchblade back in the days of the NATF program the F-18E/F would have never been born. Even today no one is talking about airplanes having the kind of IRST capabilities the F-23 had back in the ’80s. Plus that bad boy would make the F-22 look like it was tied to an anchor when it comes to fast.

  • rtsy

    Here we go again…

  • dubweiser101

    So in other words the F-35C is not expected to provide fleet defense as originally planned. I’m beginning to think all of the rumors surrounding the F-35 lacking air combat performance are true.

  • MAC

    Remember that the Pentagon when releasing information to the public always over estimates the enemy and under estimates the U.S. military. This is done on purpose, partly for propaganda and the other to influence the public to secure additional funding.

    China’s biggest issue is 20 million men who will never have a wife/girlfriend due to the one child law and the abortions of females. In the Chinesse culture it’s more productive/economical to have a male child for the family. The question is, what will China do with 20 million men full of testosterone? You either put them in the army or you will have civil unrest. Everyone seems to forget that China is surrounded with potentially powerful unfriendly neighbors (India, Japan & America). Both India and Japan have increased their mililtary budgets and aspirations for more advanced avaition and ships, including aircraft carriers. Japan knows how to build them. They are a difficult technology to master and to maintain. China does not want Japan to go Nuclear (weapons) which would not take them long to do as Japan has several nuclear power plants. Japan also has the second largest navy in the world with American ships and technology.

    China also has many internal problems. There are two main languages and many sub-dialects with their individual customs. A large Muslim population in the far western provinces who are unfriendly towards Bejing. Major government corruption and a large part of the population that did not get to benefit from the recent economic boom that the 300 plus million costal residents enjoyed. Finally, the Chinese have a very small domestic economy that cannot support the governments grand aspirations. Thus, they are dependent on foreign trade and a house of cards currency/economy.

    China’s military is still a paper tiger with its main goal to secure and protect ocean trade routes (through India’s backyard), possible energy producing areas, and it’s boarders. China still remembers the Japanesse occupation of the 1930’s and 1940’s. China’s military is still technologically behind the Americans but trying to catch up as fast as possible as long as its economy will let them.

    The 21st century will still be an American century.

    MAC

    • MacPaul

      “The 21st century will still be an American century.”

      May “your god” help us!

    • blight_weroasdfl

      It may lead to a reversal of cultural tradition. Men’s families will have to buy women, instead of women’s families selling their daughters. And as we all know, you can marry off women that are borderline legal to the wealthiest bidder, and still produce children.

      No demographic crisis here, just tons of May-December relationships that we used to see in feudal times between old rich men and young women.

    • Mastro

      “The question is, what will China do with 20 million men full of testosterone?”

      OK- I’m going to Macau to open a brothel!

    • Jim

      Does it worry anyone else that China will have 20 million men without wives? 20 million guys without a wife going, “calm down honey and take a few deep breaths”. No, us guys tend to be impulsive and make rash decisions when it comes to hurting our pride. China is going to be dangerous!

    • Eli

      There are so many inaccuracies in your comment.

      “China’s biggest issue is 20 million men who will never have a wife/girlfriend due to the one child law and the abortions of females”

      America has this same problem, and so does Japan and many Northern European countries. No, not due to a fertility problem, but due to severe social anxiety among males in Western countries, which results in an inability to converse with girls, much less a group of them. This does not translate into a cataclysmic problem. At worst, severe mental illness, insecurities, and high incidences of school shootings.

      “Japan also has the second largest navy in the world”

      Actually, by gross tonnage China has the 2nd largest navy; Japan is 4th. By total number of ships, China is 1st and Japan is 7th.

      “There are two main languages”

      Everyone in China speaks Standard Beijing Mandarin, in addition to their local dialect if they have one. So no, there are no two main languages. Chinese don’t even consider themselves one nationality, nor even one race, but one ethnicity. There are VERY few places which have this level of social cohesion (Japan, Korea, and other East Asian nations). The “large” Muslim population makes up 0.6% of the Chinese population. In America, it’s almost 1.0%, which I find hilarious. China is 92% one ethnicity (Han Chinese) and 98% one race (East Asian). There are only a handful of nations as racially and culturally homogeneous as the Chinese. Meanwhile America’s single largest ethnicity is unknown, but comparing races, it’s largest is White, which comprise 63% of the population. Nowhere near china. And you have some 17% Hispanics (and rapidly climbing) which are nowhere near well-integrated into your society.

      “Finally, the Chinese have a very small domestic economy that cannot support the governments grand aspirations”

      There are two metrics for GDP: PPP and Nominal GDP. By the first measure China is the LARGESt economy in the world, having surpassed the US this year. Go look up the news articles; it was reported everywhere. By the Nominal GDP measure, China is already 70% the size of the US economy, and is set to surpass it in ~5 years.

      Finally, the aspirations of the government in terms of power projection are indicative in the amount of money they spend on their military. Defense spending is at 1.3% of GDP. Even if you don’t believe these figures and take SIPRI estimates, it’s at 2.0% of GDP. Meanwhile the US almost hit 5% of GDP a few years ago and has historically spent almost double that. It’s still hovering in the 3.5% area, much larger than China.

      When a country with a GDP per capita of $7,000 and military spending at 1.3%-2.0% of GDP gets this much attention from your country, I can’t wait to see how you’ll react when they are at $50,000 per capita GDP and spending 3.0% on defense. Things haven’t even started with the Chinese yet. They’re not even in training mode yet.

  • Christopher

    This is old news. There is already a Wikipedia article about the NGAD.
    USN unlike the USAF and USMC are actually testing two planes as a possible replacement for the legacy Hornet. The F-35C and what is pictured in the news post the Advanced Super Hornet. Say hello to your possible new interim fighter America!
    So when the F-35 numbers get cut. As one can guess the USAF is not going to get the 1763 planes their asking for. USMC wants 80 C and 340 B fighters. Which seems good at first glance except it will cost over 58 billion all together.
    The Navy unlike the other two air branches has a cheaper option in case they don’t get the numbers their asking for. They may go with Advance Hornets instead of F-35. As the current projected number leaves them short of 99 aircraft to replace each Hornet.

    A flying wing like the Boeing F-XX concept would be more stealthy then current aircraft. I.e. see B2,A12, even the NGB concepts are mostly flying wings.
    However to make up for a lack of a tail, Thrust Vectoring would be needed to keep the plane stable. Lockheed’s design looks like it came from a bad sci-fi movie. While ripping off elements from the F-23!

    Just hope the Navy brass isn’t stupid enough to let the Air Force have a say or join on to the program. As we’ve already seen what happens when they do.

    • The one armed man

      What is the ASH projected to cost?

      • Christopher

        Boeing says 1.7 billion less then a fleet of F-35’s. I’m also reading that they only cost ten percent more then the “old”(like our second newest plane after the F-22 is old) Super Hornet. So if I did the math correctly. 55,000,000 per unit.

  • d. kellogg

    We’ve now seen that two revolutionary aircraft designs broke the bank, yet evolutionary upgrading of legacy designs (but hopefully in newbuild form, not old airframes) has produced a majority of the world’s current frontline, brunt-of-the-workload combat aircraft.

    Seeing all the developmental tech investigated in the F-15 (S/MTD) and F-16 (-XL, AFTI/CCV, AVEN), it would be interesting to see Boeing actually produce flying variants of some of their future Hornet concepts, just to see how much further they would push aircraft technologies.

    Revolutionary platforms like the F-22 and F-35 both have proven so far to be bank-breaking expensive, to the point neither deliver the initial service numbers all the customers hoped for.
    Sadly, it appears the further up the ranks leaders go, the more distanced they become from practical engineering reality.

  • Brian

    These cats have been reading Dale Brown again.

    Think small, swarming drones. They don’t need firepower to FOD an enemy engine.

    This new toys plan is beyond our ability to pay!

  • Franklin

    Payload, range, speed, and stealth are all that matter beyond the sensor package. Beam tech will have matured by then making dog fighters history. Get there fast, loiter unseen, and release on command with full ISR. You don’t build a sports car when you need a truck. The reality will be no human can beat a bot doing Gs. Battlestar Galantica, The terminator, and The Matrix were all fantasies! You can live with reality or die with your dreams! We can’t even get off the planet (without hurting ourselfs) for short durations while a bot has left the solar system. Go Voyagers!

  • FX102A

    Despite being 15-20 years away, I doubt we’ll see a generational leap to 6th Gen by then so perhaps something more akin to a 5.5 / 5+ Gen aircraft is likely. My guess is that the USN may go for a mixed manned / unmanned system, perhaps optionally piloted or a common design with the crew station, crew escape & life-support systems removed for the UCAV variant; kind of like some of the concept art Boeing showed in the past.

    One thing I do hope for is that after F/A-XX is fully developed, a land-based version could be sold to the USAF as an F-15E replacement. Though only after its finalised to avoid compromise; tis easier to de-navalise a carrier-borne fighter than the other way around.

  • Rob C.

    I hope the service is able to fund the F/A-XX, it will be difficult. I’m not trying be negative, but their tight budget they’ve been experiencing these last decade is really making things difficult on them trying get new platforms. Politics kept the F/A-18 around, redesigned as E/F verses a new plane since it was easier to convince politicians to approve a proven platform. Look at DDG-52, something made in the late 1980s has been in continuous production/restarted production for decades with upgrades being slipped in.

    F/A-XX is needed thing, I just hope Navy and possibly the DOD can overcome the technological hurtles that lie ahead of them. I think some of the more advanced abilities, like the skin for the hull may be a potential problem of cost if they don’t get production numbers high enough to keep down the cost per unit of the plane.

  • BlackOwl18E

    Hahahaha! All those people that kept doubting the Navy would get funding for such a fighter can shut up now. FINALLY.

    The F-35C is still too expensive and unnecessary. The Navy asked to leave the program and was told by the DOD they couldn’t. Looks like they’re already moving on in the best way they can.

  • joe

    The japanese are working on a new jet and the sea grippen will be available in 10 years or so. Failing that we can always buy chinese.

  • Brian B. Mulholland

    The Japanese aircraft is not likely to be designed with the constraints of a carrier deck in mind. The Sea Gripen, if it actually happens, is no more stealthy than is latent in a small airframe; no internal weapons carriage. It’s not likely to be any longer-ranged than the F-35C.

    The idea of a naval F-23, with a smart skin, is intriguing, but would the loaded weight of such an aircraft come with the launch envelope of EMALS? If it does, it won’t be by much.

  • John carr

    I wonder if they would give me one of the old ones

  • Brian B. Mulholland

    If Congress can refrain from banning export of the F/A-XX, as it did with the F-22, perhaps we and the Japanese can co-develop it? To spread the cost? And perhaps make Korea a second-tier partner, since they’re looking for a stealth fighter too?

  • Big-Dean

    Ok Navy, let’s get this one right (hint, keep the air farce away)

    This F/A-XX needs the following
    -It needs to be very fast (think intercepts)
    -It needs to have very long range (for long range attack and defense)
    -It needs to be able to dogfight if necessary (that’s a no duh)
    -It needs to have two engines (that’s a no duh)
    -It needs to have long loiter/cruise time (think CAP duties)
    -It needs to have two crew, hopefully with identical cockpits (you can drive from the back if need be, this is what you call insurance)
    -It needs to have a very powerful radar, think AESA on AWG-9 steroids
    -But it also need passive detection abilities
    -It needs to carry a lot if internal stores and have great come back home weight (if you take off with six missiles you should be able to land with six)
    -We need to bring back the Phoenix, modernized that is, or develop something with equal 100 mile range and speed Mach 5+
    -Stealth is important but DO NOT sacrifice any of the above requirements for stealth, DO NOT even think about it!

    This sound’s a lot like a modernized F-14 ;-D

  • Marine64

    And just what is the F-35 supposed to replace in Naval aviation? Something stinks in the Navy kitchen.

    • tiger

      Sorry, we burnt the Navy beans & ham.

      • Dfens

        The JSF is supposed to be primarily an attack airplane. What the Navy is looking for now is an air superiority fighter. The distinctions are getting pretty thin, but it’s hard to tell which programs will get funded and which will not.

  • Stan

    The Air Force better have use for this plane, otherwise the Navy can kiss my tax paying tail. The times of service-exclusive fighter planes are done.

    • Christopher

      Because that totally worked out with with the F-111 and the F-35. Also don’t forget to tell the Russia to cancel the MiG-29K and China to scrap the Shenyang J-15, because “service exclusive fighter planes are done”.
      The only tri-sevice plane that was any good was the Phantom.

  • 10th

    The Navy should have jumped on the F-22 band wagon….it was a bargain, compared to the current price of the F-35….:(

    • Kostas

      I guess math is not your strong point…

    • tiger

      No bargain. Not a sea going design.

  • oblatt22

    The rolling disaster that is the F-35 means that everyone is making other plans. Everywhere you see that the backbone will be upgraded 4th generation aircraft until something that isn’t the F35 can be developed.

    The navy has already relied on eh air-force for air superiority for the last 30 years and that is set to continue.

    • Dfens

      Clearly this program is going to be better, right?

  • Tony

    The US Navy retired the F-14D to save money for the F-35C, which was not the air dominance replacement. The F-18E/F were stopgap measures due to lack of funding to acquire a new air dominance fighter. The F-35C is still for all practical purposes a bomber that can shoot air to air missiles. Now the US Navy will rely on missiles for fleet defense from the escorts. The F-18E is a fighter that will be outclassed by an SU-33 or MIG-35, so shoot them down before they can get close. This all came about because of the US Navy need for land attack to be relevant in Iraq and Afghanistan. There will be real threats to deal with in Taiwan.

  • AAK

    What’s incredible is that the US doesn’t already have an advanced IRST system fielded. Stealth was all until someone (the Navy at least) realised it isn’t. Unlike the USAF the navy have at least kept their EW assets strong.

  • Brian B. Mulholland

    One of the problems raised by the F-35’s cost increases and a decade’s delay in use is that we may not have the money we need to develop the weapons needed to exploit whatever advances in sensor fusion and non-radar detection of hostile aircraft are ultimately brought to the table by the F-35 when it arrives in service. My understanding is that unless the aircraft sacrifices stealth by mounting AA missiles on wingtips, it is limited to just two internally carried AAMs. We need weapons with much, much longer ranges than AIM-9X or 120D to permit F-35s to engage the other guy at ranges commensurate with the F-35’s sensor reach, but where the money is going to come from, God only knows.

  • UAVGeek

    Can we get an alien spaceship to crash on Earth? Otherwise we’ll never be able to afford the development of the target technologies.

  • Semimurphy

    A couple points.

    The Navy should look closely at who is most likely to an adversary. Looking at the ship traffic today (containers) on SF Bay I would say a war with China is unlikely. Both sides would lose too much. However, the Chinese do need to dissuaded from pressing their claims in the South China Sea. I am not convinced that a new manned fighter is what the Navy needs most right now to further control of the sea in that area.

    China’s bigger problem is not the male to female ratio, it is what the one child rule has done to their demographics. I found this blog very interesting: http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2012/0…

  • Zspoiler

    Do you notice that most of the successful multi-service aircraft were originally navy designs .Like the F-4,A-7`s

  • William S McGhee

    great information. Thanks

  • John L Sullivan

    Go b ack in time when the A6 was the plane that did the job it carried the bomb load and could operate in any condition. It was drpped but the missiom was never forfilled by any any other plane. Maybe an advanced F14 could have but it was too expensive and not as opedrationally ready because of maintenance problems. We still need a bomber capable of carriying the load of an A6 with the speed and radar elusive at the F35. Whose company has the answer Sully

  • gdadl

    I thought that was what the F35 was supposed to do ?????

  • akear

    If the US puts all it eggs in one basket with the F-35, and it fails, for the first time since WW1 the US will be without a frontline fighter plane. The F-35 in my opinion is a big threat to national security. Why the airforce couldn’t keep the vastly superior F-22 in production, and use the F-35 in the close support role is a mystery. The F-35 was never designed to be an air superiority fighter. Israel is already showing concern about the F-35’s lack of combat agility as evidence by their reduced orders of the aircraft. For this and other reasons, I think the F-35 will be produced at greatly reduced numbers. This is in fact already happening.

    I cannot understand why the superior F-22 was cancelled for a fighter (F-35) which for all intended purposes is not much better aerodynamically than a F4E phantom. This belief that stealth trumps speed, climb, and maneuverability is an example of one dimensional thinking within our armed forces. It seems many in the military are drinking the stealth cool-aid.

    As for the F-35 having a “bum” engine I think that analyst is incorrect. Because the airframe is so heavy the engine is under terrific strain, which also explains the planes excessive noise. Stealth has also compromised the F-35 aerodynamically, which also forces the engine to work even harder to attain maximum performance. This explains why the F-35, despite having the most powerful engine ever put in a fighter jet, can’t even reach mach 2.

    In closing the F-35 has too many comprises in order to achieve its stealth capabilities.

  • Javier

    The “Super” Hornet was a terrible mistake The F-14D was what the fleet really wanted. Now ,over 20 years later, we find ourselves with a chance to make Naval Aviation a force to be reckoned with again. Let’s not screw it up. Please!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • D Adams

    Overall, several things must happen. 1. Ensure US position in pacific theatre is not degraded; 2. Ensure US European theatre position is not degraded; 3. Ensure US has supersonic delivery platforms that exceed those reported by China.