Will the number of F35s that the United States have to order be reduced?

Although there are many rumors, including at the Pentagon, of a very likely significant decrease in the volume of F35s that will be ordered and deployed by the US military in the years to come, no formal announcement to this effect has been made. has so far been made, and no arbitration has been made public. However, in recent days, several related statements from both the US Air Force and the US Navy seem to indicate that this decrease would be, so to speak, inevitable, not to say already beautiful and well acted.

The first of these statements come from Lt. Gen. David Nahom, Deputy Chief of Staff of the US Air Force, during a hearing before Congress concerning the preparation of a report on the future of this army, and in particular on notions of fiscal sustainability of the current effort. If the report will only be delivered within a few weeks, the N ° 2 of the US Air Force however insisted that the F35 remained the central part of the air system to come alongside the air superiority fighter from the NGAD, the device acting both as a stealth effector (like the F117 in the 90s and 2000s, for example), and as a platform for optimizing aerial action in favor of other devices. And it is precisely in this list of devices cited that the future of the F35 seems compromised. Indeed, like General Brown, the Chief of Staff of the USAF, a few weeks ago, General Mahon reiterated the will to implement in 2030, a fleet of 5 aircraft, namely the F35A, the replacement for the F22 from the NGAD program, the F15EX, the A-10, as well as the F-16 and the aircraft that will replace it, a light and economical fighter in use positioned between the 4th and 5th generation.

The F15EX, a time imposed on the US Air Force by Donald Trump, now appears as an alternative of choice to contain the rise of Chinese naval air forces in the Western Pacific

In other words, and bluntly, the replacement for the F16 will not be the F35A, as was expected until now, but this new device whose first official reference appeared only 3 months ago. , and which triggered a vigorous outcry from a hundred parliamentarians and industrialists Lockheed-Martin and Pratt @ Whitney. However, the replacement of the F16 was precisely the first objective identified for the Joint Strike Fighter program and the F35, since 'the USAF is now implementing nearly 800 F16s of different models. Therefore, the hypothesis of an order for F35A reduced to 800 or 850 copies, of which 283 have already been delivered, naturally makes sense, since this number corresponds to the replacement of the A10s and part of the US Air Force F15, the rest being the responsibility of the F15EX intended to partially replace the F15C.


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