The F-35 strike fighter is supposed to be streets ahead of the competition. It’s stealthy. It’s smart. It networks with everything and everybody around it to give its pilot an unprecedented picture of what’s going on. So why does the US Air Force already want to replace it?
Warfare is changing fast. Russia and China both claim to have already put new hypersonic missiles into operation. These can cover the ground between Adelaide and Melbourne in less than six minutes.
China’s boasting the first ever electromagnetic rail gun to put to sea. It is supposed to be able to fire cheap, guided, shells incredibly fast, incredibly accurately, over incredible distances.
And everyone seems to be testing lasers for their abilities to shoot down drones, missiles and aircraft.
So, the war the F-35 was designed for may already be over. Instead, the future appears to belong to drones, hypersonic speeds, and artificial intelligence.
And these are elements the United States Air Force wants incorporated into a new prototype test fighter.
Given how long it took to get the F-35 operational, it may not be a moment too soon. (end of excerpt)
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