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The UK has simply thrown up its hands with the F-35B, there has to be limits in all this. The Pentagon and the Government are both now recognizing that deep defense cuts can be made and still strengthen the US military's ability to wage modern war. The problem has always been getting the generals and Admirals to recognize that the needs of the country change with the world situation and their bean counts that preserve first their own service size that begets the numbers of flag billets is not the way a smart country assesses its defense needs. Big cuts, smart choices, reduce drastically the more then 1500 mostly useless flag officers and associated personal staffs and bring up the combat hardened youngsters who can form a new approach to what we face - based on bottom up needs and not this many times redundant load off the top of the pyramid. The F-35B can be dropped, the program extended to meet flight test assurances, the legacy jets can be effectively surged to meet force structure needs - and the F-22 is now a legacy platform - the associated LHA(R) and DD(X) can go with the F-35B, billions will be saved and the Navy, Marines and UK can work out their expeditionary aviation issues with F/A-18's, selected drones, and MV-22's while getting serious about a real manned COIN aircraft that would properly serve the troops strung out in the places like Afghanistan with all the features like tailored ordnance, direct attachment to the small units, and full service close air support at low altitude and close quaters, all missing since Vietnam.
Toggle Commented Oct 22, 2010 on F-35 flight testing update at Sky Talk
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Oct 21, 2010