February 12, 2020

HARD TO KILL: U.S. Air Force Stealth F-22s and F-35s Battled F-16s in Mock Combat.

This part deserves breaking out:

The F-35 and F-22 could face an even more advanced threat in future war games, if the Air Force can convince Congress to let it proceed with plans to convert early-model F-35s into aggressor planes.

The Air Force in May 2019 announced it would re-establish a defunct F-15 aggressor squadron to operate the roleplaying F-35s. The service in 2014 shuttered the 65th Aggressor Squadron as a cost-saving measure.

The 65th Aggressor Squadron in its new form would operate nine early-model F-35A stealth fighters that the Air Force considers unsuitable for combat. The “red air” F-35s would help the Air Force to copy the tactics of Russian and Chinese squadrons respectively flying Su-57 and J-20 stealth fighters.

Smart. Except Congress has explicitly forbidden the Air Force from transferring any F-35s to the aggressor role (for a least this year), which seems like a dumb place to all parsimonious all of a sudden.

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