"Boeing’s “6th-generation” fighter could feature, in addition to today’s all-aspect stealth:
* Optional manning (in other words, optionally robotic)
* Combined cycle propulsion (subsonic, supersonic and hypersonic speeds, all with the same engine)
* Visual stealth (tough to spot, with the naked eye)
* More composite materials (with fewer parts, for ease of manufacture)
* Advanced electronic-attack capabilities (disabling enemy electronics, using the fighter’s radar)
Меня здесь привлекла мысль, что средства РЭБ - активного подавления вражеских радаров и прочей электроники - в перспективе должны стать частью стандартного вооружения истребителя, а не оборудованием специализированных машин".
А следующее, пожалуй, можно процитировать почти целиком (в тему всё той же критики):
"...When officers, assistant secretaries of defense, industry officials and reporters talk about “air superiority,” they almost always talk about only the particulars — that is, specific models of fighter jet — while ignoring the system. We do this at our peril, for air superiority, more than most military functions, truly is a complex system where no single component works alone.
And that’s mostly lost in the debate over whether to build more than the currently-funded 187 F-22 Raptors, and how many of the follow-on F-35 Lightnings we need. Those airplanes are just parts of the Air Force’s air-superiority system, and arguably not even the most important parts. I would argue that our myopic focus on fighter jets in recent years has allowed the overall system to decay. In planning for the future, we need to re-frame the F-22/F-35 discussion in the context of maintaining the Air Force’s air-superiority system, rather than maintaining particular fighter fleets.
Consider all the aspects of air superiority you rarely hear about in public debate:
* Maintenance of airplanes, weapons, airfields and ground equipment
* Training of pilots, ground staff and air controllers
* Command and control, whether airborne or ground-based
* Weapons, including guns and ammo and air-to-air missiles
* Electronic warfare for passive reconnaissance and jamming enemy systems
* Aerial refueling for extending the range of fighters and support planes
Without all these things, an F-22 is just a $140-million lawn ornament. Allowing any of the above to decay reduces the F-22’s effectiveness. Improving any of the above makes the F-22 better at its job. The best air-superiority systems balance these different factors inside the boundaries of affordability.
For instance, which of these is better:
* An air-superiority system comprising, say, 381 F-22s with 60-percent readiness, two pilots per plane, no electronic jamming and very aged tankers, or
* A system, costing roughly the same, but comprising 187 F-22s plus 200 brand-new F-15E+s, with a combined 75-percent readiness, three pilots per plane, a new jamming plane and the first installments on a robust fleet of new tankers?
I’d take the latter, or even cut the overall 380-strong air-superiority fighter force by a quarter in order to further boost readiness, pilot training and electronic warfare. But the U.S. Air Force seems to prefer the former, pushing to buy as many “fifth-generation” fighters as possible, while abandoning electronic warfare and repeatedly failing to procure new tankers.
The Navy, by contrast, agrees with me. In the late 1990s, the sea service realized that it could not afford large, diverse fleets of stealth fighters without gutting the rest of its air-superiority system. So it opted to buy the evolutionary, as opposed to revolutionary, F/A-18E/F fighter, while investing heavily in sensor upgrades (via electronically scanned radars) and electronic warfare (in the form of EA-18G Growlers). The result is a Navy fighter fleet that is now overall healthier and in many ways more capable than the Air Force’s, and a Navy air-superiority system that is more balanced than the Air Force’s and probably more reliable and effective in wartime".
Ну и комменты там хорошие:
"Yet another reason to eliminate the airforce. Return tactical forces including close air support(a-10) and tactical bombing (F-15/16/18/35/etal) and move those to the army.
Take air superiority (same list) and long range strike (strategic strike) and move those to the navy.
Maybe rename them Tactical Forces and Strategic Forces respectively".
Ыыыы! Так хорошо, что даже сказать нечего!
"The Navy and the Air Force take a “theologically” different view of airpower, which leads them to different decisions on the value of LO airframes amid the universe of required capabilities. The Navy views air superiority as a transient condition, to be gained for the purposes of a relatively quick strike. “Burn a hole in the sky,” as they say. This, I think, has led the Navy to favor the role of jamming much more strongly than the Air Force, and has led to less focus (although no zero focus) on low observability. The Navy has also been concerned about the task of maintaining a “hangar queen” built of exotic materials on a carrier, with limited space and a salt water environment.
For the Air Force, they view air superiority (”air dominance”) as a condition to be seized and maintained on a permanent basis, to enable total freedom of movement for purposes of strike, ISR, and mobility operations".
Идеологический подход. ВМС делают упор на создание "благоприятного оперативного режима", позволяющего выполнить боевую задачу; для ВВС речь идёт об эпической битве в небесах, после которой господство в небе переходит к победителю (который получается возможность заняться добиванием противника).
И воистину неизбежный коммент:
"Lurking behind all these debates are the oncoming tsunami of swarms.
Air superiority by networked autonomous meat-based systems is achieved daily by flocks of geese, swarms of locusts, clouds of bacteria, etc. If a few geese can drop an airliner, how well could a replenished swarm of geesebots bottle up an air wing? The point is to start thinking in “meta-ecological” terms, and looking for biomimetic concepts. A thousand networked drones will kill a piloted fighter assault".
...И это им ещё повезло, что к ним vasilisk_ не ходит!
Извините за весь этот английский, но если что, я готов пересказать смысл каждого куска.