Near-peer confrontation

Column Commander’s Update Briefing

The last few decades of rather one-sided air wars have caused some commentators to question expenditure on highly advanced and normally fairly costly military aircraft projects. Air Power Association President, Air Marshal (ret’d) Greg Bagwell CB CBE looks at the arguments for ‘keeping up with the Joneses’.

One of the more expensive military aircraft projects, the USAF’s ‘silver bullet’ F-22A saw its manufacture trimmed to just 187 operational production aircraft due to budget concerns and perceived lack of highend threat. Here, Lt Gen Jeffrey L Harrigian, commander of US Air Forces Central Command, refuels his Raptor from a KC-10 over the Persian Gulf in 2017. USAF/Staff Sgt Marjorie A Bowlden

”We still see attempts to espouse the value (and relatively low cost) of less-capable platforms, conveniently forgetting that in peer or near-peer scenarios these platforms are obsolete at best”

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