Will the number of F35s that the United States have to order be reduced?

Although numerous rumors report, including in the Pentagon, of a very probable significant reduction in the volume of F35s which will be ordered and deployed by the American Armies in the years to come, no formal announcement in this direction has been made. has so far been made, and no arbitration has been made public. However, in recent days, several related statements from the US Air Force and the US Navy seem to indicate that this reduction would be, so to speak, inevitable, if not already well and truly established.

The first of these statements come from Lt. Gen. David Nahom, Deputy Chief of Staff of the US Air Force, during a hearing before Congress concerning the preparation of a report on the future of this army, and in particular on notions of fiscal sustainability of the current effort. If the report will only be delivered within a few weeks, the No. 2 of the US Air Force nevertheless made it clear that the F35 remained the central part of the air system to come alongside the air superiority fighter from the NGAD, the aircraft acting both as a stealth effector (like for example the F117 in the 90s and 2000s), as well as as a platform for optimizing aerial action in favor of other aircraft. And it is precisely in this list of devices cited that the future of the F35 seems compromised. Indeed, like General Brown, the USAF Chief of Staff, a few weeks ago, General Mahon reiterated the desire to implement in 2030, a fleet of 5 aircraft, namely the F35A, the replacement for the F22 from the NGAD program, the F15EX, the A-10, as well as the F-16 and the aircraft which will replace it, a light and economical fighter in use positioned between the 4th and 5th generation.

F15EX EagleII Defense News | Fighter jets | Army budgets and defense effort
The F15EX, once imposed on the US Air Force by Donald Trump, now appears as an alternative of choice to contain the rise in power of Chinese naval air forces in the Western Pacific.

In other words, and bluntly, the replacement for the F16 will not be the F35A, as was planned until now, but this new aircraft whose first official reference appeared only 3 months ago , and which triggered a vigorous outcry from around a hundred parliamentarians and industrialists Lockheed-Martin and Pratt@Whitney. However, the replacement of the F16s constituted precisely the first objective identified for the Joint Strike Fighter program and the F35, since the USAF today uses nearly 800 F16s of different models. Therefore, the hypothesis of an F35A order reduced to 800 or 850 examples, of which 283 have already been delivered, naturally takes on its full meaning, since this number corresponds to the replacement of the A10s and part of the F15 of the US Air Force, the rest being the responsibility of the F15EX intended to partially replace the F15C.


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