Does the stealthy F-35 need a non-stealthy escort to be effective?

April 11, 2014

That is the argument being made by the Navy, which wants to order more EA-18 Growler electronic warfare aircraft.  Boeing, the Growler manufacturer, is also lobbying for increased production.

“The notion they (F-35s)  can go in alone and unafraid is just plain wrong. The threat is doing two things. Their search radars are at VHF [frequencies] and getting lower, and with computer processing power they are getting much better. They (Chinese and Russian radars) can see them [fifth generation attack aircraft] hundreds of miles away, just like any other aircraft.”

The F-35 is the most expensive weapons program in history, and it has been troubled from the start (to be sure, this is often the case – I recall that many of  the new systems during the 1980s defense buildup were troubled, but they amazed the world when they finally saw combat in the Gulf War).

Probably the most fascinating thing about this article is the passionate debate that is being carried on in the comments section.  Read the whole thing – especially the comments.



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