I'm going to have to say he somewhat misses his own point.January 3 2008 at 5:06 PM
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Response to One of Whittle's best ever...
Nothing wrong with how it's written.
Overall he's written an excellent essay lauding past and present, but he fails to address the future and we're in real danger of getting our butts kicked next time around. Several important points need to be addressed or at least acknowledged. The USAF has lost the past two (2) fighter competitions to the Indian Air Force flying top line Soviet gear. A good chunk of our F-15 fleet just got grounded for stress cracks due to age. This includes the earliest builds of the latest variant. We aren't the only folks that have read about John Boyd nor are we the only sophisticated air force that employs and practices the concept of OODA. We need a much larger standing Army, but probably won't get it so we find ourselves relying on technology, but this demands that we not have just air superiority, but air supremacy. To protect our ground forces and to give them the combat power necessary against a technologically advanced enemy (read Chinese) we are going to have to be able to fly when we want and where we want. We are right at that point where we may not be able to do that. We must deploy the F22 in greater numbers and be well into development of whatever replaces it, manned or unmanned.
I might quibble with some of his comments about old generals and the pentagon, but he's trying to write an essay with emotional appeal. Think of the new vehicles, unmanned aircraft, suitcase size recon planes that are available down to company level, cell phone jammers and probably all kinds of stuff we haven't read about. Think of all we have now that we didn't have in 2003; that's pretty fast procurement. Whittle wonders if we learned about bar armor for Strykers the hard way. No, but the Israelis did. They came up with bar armor and reactive armor and our Strykers went over there with the kits. His points about the AF bomber generals was valid and applies up to the F16. It was conceived as a lightweight gunfighter and the Tactical Air Command generals wanted it to drop bombs also so it got heavier. Since all that has been rolled up from a Tactical Air Command and Strategic Air Command into a single Air Combat Command maybe those fights are over.