And the US has the capability to produce better trained pilots than any other country on Earth. (Maybe Israel can do better, but they aren't talking). The world comes here to learn how to fly fighters.
So with that in mind, what are we doing? Building fewer fighters. More complex and apparently more delicate fighters. Go figure.
We would do well to remember Stalin's axiom "Quantity has a quality all its own".
Not quite the same thing. The cheaper, ligher, smaller plane can't carry the fuel or weapons to prevail in a real fight. They can only prevail in the instructor/student scenarios set up by Red Flag and Top Gun.
We would do well to remember Stalin’s axiom “Quantity has a quality all its own”.
The Russians did this with cheap, effective, and cleverly-designed weapons that could be churned out and used by semi-skilled people in WWII. And, except at the end of the war, any honest person would agree that our equipment was markedly inferior to virtually all of the German and a lot of the British equipment. But we made a hell of a lot of it and we had a lot of people trained and eager to use it.
Arthur C. Clarke wrote a science fiction story early in his career that chronicled the failure of a technologically superior, but overly complex military in a future war between planetary systems.
IMO, much of our high-tech military equipment is in danger of being overwhelmed by mass numbers of cheap or decoy weapons. The Iranians are counting on this, because it is their only chance. Same with Hamas, with their ten dollar upscaled bottle rockets requiring a $20K anti-missile missile to counter them.
“A cheaper, lighter, smaller plane flown by a really top notch pilot can beat a bigger, more complex plane almost every time. Look at the Red Flag/Top Gun instructors in F-5s who beat the bigger costlier birds time and time again.”
You don’t have the slightest idea of what you are talking about. Where do some of you people come up with this nonsense?