Skip to comments.The U.S. Air Force's Flight to Weakness (The Chinese are now besting our 4th generation fighters)
Posted on 11/14/2012 11:54:10 AM PST by SeekAndFind
Serious talk of America's defense budget was largely absent from the final weeks of the presidential campaign, once President Barack Obama likened Gov. Mitt Romney's concerns to an anachronistic focus on "horses and bayonets." But when Mr. Romney lamented that (among other things) the U.S. Air Force has the fewest airplanes it has ever had, he was correct. At its founding in 1947, it had more than 12,300 planes. Today: approximately 5,200.
As the Air Force has been retiring large numbers of older aircraft in recent years, its budgetsdrafted by the Pentagon and ultimately enacted by Congresshave prevented it from acquiring enough new aircraft to perform the missions of those retired. From 2008 through 2012, the Air Force retired 700 more aircraft than it bought.
Nevertheless, the Obama administration's budget request for fiscal year 2013 sought to retire an additional 300 airplanes while buying only 54 new onesa proposal that Congress has so far refused to endorse. The last time the U.S. bought so few aircraft was 1915 (for the Aviation Section of the U.S. Army Signal Corps, an Air Force predecessor). The U.S. even bought more aircraft during the Great Depression.
Then there is the matter of how America's offensive and defensive capabilities have weakened over the past 20 years compared with those of its adversaries and potential adversaries. From that perspective, Mr. Romney's critical statements on defense cutbacks didn't begin to portray how perilous is the state of the Air Forceand how soon its weaknesses might begin endangering missions essential to U.S. national security.
(Excerpt) Read more at online.wsj.com ...
Russian and Chinese aircraft, flown by Indian pilots in exercises, have already bested the U.S. Air Force's fourth-generation aircraft, F-15s and F-16s. Both Russia and China have developed fifth-generation fighters similar to the Air Force's F-22 and F-35.
Moscow and Beijing say they intend to produce those aircraft in numbers far greater than does the U.S., and they have announced plans to sell them to other countries. Russia and China are also creating air defenses that will challenge all but the most sophisticated U.S. aircraft, as are Iran, Venezuela and other countries.
Remember Gates said we would not have a serious challenge for some time to come when the F-22 line was closed. He might want to reconsider.
Goerge HW Bush and Dickie Cheney started all of this in 1990(remember the “Peace Dividend”).
The situation was pushed into being by our bipartisan business, academic and political leadership for over three decades. What will be even more interesting, is the numbers of such aircraft manufactured in Asia during the next few years.
I agree that our side hasn’t pushed back any, and has even helped to bring us to this point.
People still think of our nation as unbeatable, but I am having some grave doubts about our immediate future.
These number are shocking. And what’s more, we only have those numbers because we have held over our aging aircraft.
The Navy is way way down. The air force is down. Our actual troop strength is down.
This needs to be turned around immediately. As far as I am concerned, we need to restart that F22 production line and get our Navy back up to speed as well.
We will just end up buying our aircraft from China or Russia. We are already sending our astronauts up with Russian rockets, and buy most other crap from China. Obama doesn’t want a strong America, so unless our other elected officials take a strong stand for a strong America, get ready for that.
Would you fly in a Chinese airplane?
(I didn’t think so)
A theoretical maximum performance isn’t the same as reliability and durability.
RE: Obama doesnt want a strong America, so unless our other elected officials take a strong stand for a strong America, get ready for that.
That was what the Film — “2016: OBAMA’s AMERICA” by Dinesh D’Souza was all about.
Obama does not want an America that is superior to the rest of the world. He wants to equalize everything, or implement fairness on a global scale.
“Russian and Chinese aircraft, flown by Indian pilots in exercises, have already bested the U.S. Air Force’s fourth-generation aircraft, F-15s and F-16s.”
We hold those exercises so we can learn their techniques and tactics.
If we engage them and kick their butts hard and fast, we learn nothing and they stop trying.
So, we stack the deck, restrict our ROE and allow them to merge and allow them to feel like they are doing something.
We learn a lot, they learn nothing.
I’ve flown in these things and know that India is a third-world country and flies like same.
“Both Russia and China have developed fifth-generation fighters similar to the Air Force’s F-22 and F-35.”
Not exactly. They don’t have a critical component that our 5th gens have, beyond an American thinking fighter pilot, but I am not in a position to divulge here.
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