It's no secret that the US Navy is not really convinced by the capabilities of the F35C, the “heavy” version of the Lockheed-Martin fighter designed to operate from its aircraft carriers. If the American Naval Staff recognizes the interest of the aircraft's data fusion capabilities, as well as its stealth, it is much more cautious about its speed, its carrying capacity, its single-engine configuration. and especially its range of action considered too limited, even if the C version has just been heavier to reach 700 miles, 150 more than the land-based version A. While Russian and Chinese anti-ship systems see their performance and precision improved, this restriction risks rendering, in the medium term, the new American fighter unsuitable for use in a high intensity conflict.
This is the reason why in 2016, the US Navy engaged in the F / A-XX program, intended to replace the F / A 18 E / F Super Hornet and the AE 18G Growler which mainly equip the American on-board fighter fleets, and which will have to begin to be withdrawn from service in the mid-2030s. But budgetary constraints, and political procrastination, forced a cautious and even discreet approach, in order to be able to carry out the studies prerequisites necessary to meet the defined deadlines. This project now seems to be gaining momentum, as last week, US Navy chief procurement officer James Geurts announced the creation of a structure dedicated to this program, an office dedicated to the Next Generation Air Dominance program called PMA-230, entrusted to Captain Al Mousseau.
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