Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Dietsch: Air Dominance over Future Battlefields?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Col. (Ret) David Dietsch, writing in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram said the early termination of the F-22 is "fraught with danger for America's future national security."

"If the Senate’s will stands, the United States will have taken its first step since the end of World War II in abdicating its position as the world’s superpower — a position attained through the blood and sacrifice of millions of Americans," Dietsch said. "To whom do we want to relinquish that position?"

The cap of 187 F-22s built (although one of those has crashed) is really roughly 100 ready warplanes, based on the needs of training, maintenance and depot. He notes those 100 must provide the air dominance mission for a two-war scenario.

The threat environment to our pilots is growing rapidly. Not only are Russia and China developing rival fifth generation fighters that will be sold to other nations, but fourth generation aircraft like the F-15 are already threatened by deadly Surface-to-Air Missiles, which are becoming widespread.

He takes on two common misperceptions: "The F-35 Lightning II, while a superior aircraft for its mission, was not developed to attain and maintain air dominance and, indeed, relies on that to be effective at its intended role of ground attack. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, which play a crucial role in intelligence and real-time attack, would be useless in an environment without air dominance."

Col. Dietsch is President of Air Force Association Texas.

Read the entire Star-Telegram article here.

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