Add this item to the lengthening list of reasons the US is losing credibility:
America’s Air Force is quickly shrinking before the nation’s eyes. Optimistic aircraft-purchase quantities are unlikely to materialize in the near-term, and the service’s upcoming “bow wave” of aircraft buys will come at the worst possible time, in the early 2020’s, when all other federal spending will squeeze defense budgets further and faster.
All this in a period when the Air Force is the smallest and oldest since its inception in 1947. Of its roughly 5,000 aircraft, the average age is twenty-five years old.
Today’s Air Force is already struggling, and tomorrow’s is entirely at risk.
Drones can pick up a lot of slack, but as with the SSGN vs CVN debate, drones lack presence.