how is a nuclear carrier going to fulfill the short take off aspect of future missions? Have you seen the STOVL plans that the Marine Corp has? Positioning of multiple aircraft in dense areas out in the field with no need for a runway is one of many.
Boosted, judging by your educated responses, you seem to be anything but ignorant...
Anyway, as you probably know, the Navy\Marine Corp team is the tip of the spear. In 98% of cases, where an amphib ship goes, in the geographical area is a big flat-top ready to support my Jarhead cousins with a range well inland.
My point is there are options other than a 140 million dollar jack of all trades\master of none bird so the Marines can replace their limited number of Harriers.
So the Marines are telling us that there is an immediate need for an insanely large amount of money to be spent so we have an ability to put some fast movers in a remote field, usually in the same range that an Air Force or Navy aircraft on station can handle, to field ordinance that usually a Cobra gunship can deliver (with the exception of bombs of course....) I guarantee that we can deliver a cheap UCAV within 10 years to execute this limited mission along with a Harrier Life Extension Program.... Hell, how long have we been flying B-52s?
How many TRUE dog fights do you think have taken place in the last 10 years?
There weren't many between Korea and Vietnam either.... (Where we found out that we actually needed a GUN on the F4....)
Doesn't mean the art is dead, although I'm sure the tactics and players will continue to change...
I agree that the whole point in air combat is NOT to get into a knife fight... but shit happens, and when it does, I want our boys to kick ass, not hope to god that his RCS wasn't screwed up by the ground fire he just flew through....
certain government regulations will/did prevent ANY country from touching the F-22.
I see no reason why we couldn't sell "dumbed down" versions of the Raptor to trusted allies. The Japanese and Australians are clamoring for it. That crap is just politics....
. The F-22 might have been somewhat spread out, but it wasn't even close to the scale that the F-35 is now.
I happen to remember a LOT of teeth grinding from MANY states when the F-22 funding was cut. A badly implemented and processed program should not be rewarded for crap. There is no reason that these contracts couldn't be re-arranged for F-22 or UCAV production parts.