Panetta hails F-35 jet as key for UK, U.S.

BIV

I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
Apr 22, 2002
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#1
[h=1]Panetta hails F-35 jet as key for UK, U.S.[/h]
(Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Wednesday that Lockheed Martin Corp's F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft represents the "future of tactical aviation" for U.S. and British forces, as Britain prepares to take delivery of its first test aircraft.
The scheduled delivery Thursday at Lockheed's Fort Worth, Texas, production plant is an indication of considerable strides in the program, particularly in the past year, Panetta told a Pentagon press conference alongside Philip Hammond, his British counterpart.
The radar-evading F-35 is the Pentagon's costliest arms purchase, expected to top $396 billion for 2,443 aircraft in three models through the mid-2030s. It is being built for the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps and eight co-development partners -- Britain, Italy, Turkey, Canada, Australia, Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands. Israel and Japan also are buying the F-35 and others have shown interest.
The Defense Department this year postponed production of 179 jets until after 2017, providing more time for development and testing in an effort to curb costly retrofits. The program's latest restructuring, the third such revamp, added 33 months and $7.9 billion to the development plan.
The Pentagon is fully confident that it will be able to meet its "full commitment" to the program, Panetta said, despite a flattening of its overall spending amid U.S. deficit-reduction requirements.
"The F-35 represents, I believe, the future of tactical aviation for both of our armed services," he said. It will make it possible to "effectively control the skies as we confront the enemies of tomorrow."
The continued commitment to the program will also further solidify the U.S.-British alliance, Panetta said, handing Hammond a small-scale model of the new fighter.
Lockheed Martin, the Pentagon's No. 1 supplier by sales, has said that international demand may help offset slower U.S. production rates. The company expects the F-35 to account for about 20 percent of revenue once full production begins at a date to be determined in coming years.
(Reporting By Jim Wolf; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Sofina Mirza-Reid)
http://news.yahoo.com/panetta-hails-f-35-jet-key-uk-u-145929383--finance.html?_esi=1
 

Mags

LDAR, bitch.
Donator
Oct 22, 2004
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#6
Meanwhile some battlefield Generals say it isn't needed but they want to continue the A-10 and AC-130; they do a better ground support role.

There's more money to be made by pushing the F-35.
 

Hate & Discontent

Yo, homie. Is that my briefcase?
Aug 22, 2005
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#7
Meanwhile some battlefield Generals say it isn't needed but they want to continue the A-10 and AC-130; they do a better ground support role.

There's more money to be made by pushing the F-35.
The F-35 is a multi-role platform, not a dedicated CAS platform like the A-10 or AC-130. It's capable of acting in an air superiority role, something the A-10 and gunships can not do. The 35 is being purchased to replace the F-15 A/B/C models, and the F-16.

The AC-130 program IS getting upgraded. The U models are getting newer avionics packages, and the H model is getting replaced with the J model.
 

VMS

Victim of high standards and low personal skills.
Apr 26, 2006
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#9
The F-35 is a multi-role platform, not a dedicated CAS platform like the A-10 or AC-130. It's capable of acting in an air superiority role, something the A-10 and gunships can not do. The 35 is being purchased to replace the F-15 A/B/C models, and the F-16.

The AC-130 program IS getting upgraded. The U models are getting newer avionics packages, and the H model is getting replaced with the J model.
Right. The F-35 isn't replacing the A-10. The A-10 didn't fly off of aircraft carriers. The F-35 is replacing the F-16, partially replacing the early F/A-18s, and the A/V-8 Harrier IIs, as well as partially filling the attack role of F-15s.

Of course the ground-pounder generals want more A-10s. And of course the Air Force generals want more fast-movers. Those are their institutional biases. I am inclined to want the A-10 to be back on front line duty and to have more of them built, but the Air Force will dig its heels in and fight that. It's stupid, but it's reality.