Thursday, January 28, 2010

Winning the intergalactic air force trophy?

Naval Open Source Intelligence reports:
"Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn on Thursday underscored the Pentagon's commitment to Lockheed Martin Corp's $300 billion F-35 fighter jet, saying the U.S. government and its allies still planned to buy 3,000 of the new fighters over time."

I'm not sure I have the numbers after so long but: I think that in today's dollars we spent something like $400 billion dollars on modern jets during the height of the Cold War -- replacing flying brick mostly F-4s Phantoms (all services) with super maneuverable, mission designed, fly-by-wire planes ("not a pound for air to ground" -- Opps!).

Bought something like 5,000. Didn't bother to have more than 7 fighter pairs -- more than 14 of them -- on guard on 9/11: why we couldn't defend the second tower and the Pentagon even though we knew they were coming (the White House could have gone down too).

Meanwhile we are no longer facing an adversary across an Iron Curtain (I support the Vietnam War, BTW) with 10,000 fighters (or was it 20,000?) and 180 tank divisions (50,000 tanks they could actually man with reserve call up -- don't forget 10 parachute divisions). Just who are we going to fight with all this muscle? Are we going to fly to another solar system to fight for the intergalactic air force championship?

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