The Air Force is looking for a fleet to send to Afghanistan, as the Pentagon’s newest and most powerful aircraft is being upgraded for a new role in the fight against the Taliban.
The Air Force Air Force has been developing its newest F-35A stealth fighter, which was designed to be able to strike at the enemy in the air, with a range of up to 10,000 feet, while maintaining stealth, and is now set to enter service as an aircraft carrier.
It will be the largest air defense platform ever developed by the US military, capable of taking on a variety of targets, including advanced drones, cruise missiles and even a high-tech “bomber-killer” plane.
In February, the Pentagon announced it would start building the F-55 stealth fighter aircraft to replace its aging fleet of F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jets.
The F-20 stealth fighter is already in service, but the F/A-18 Hornet and F/B-1B Super Hornet are not.
The US Air National Guard has about 5,000 F-18s, but those are being replaced with the F35s, the new aircraft being developed by Lockheed Martin.
As part of the Air Force’s new plans to equip its air force with the new stealth fighter jets, the US will be sending F-15E Super Hornets to the UAE and Saudi Arabia, the two countries with the largest fleets of the new F-5 and F-6 aircraft.
The Super Hornets, which have been in service for over 25 years, are designed to fly missions around the Middle East and Europe, and the new planes will be able carry the F5’s Advanced Technology Air Command (AATC) air-to-air missiles, while the F6s will be armed with the upgraded AATC missiles.
“We’re not only going to be upgrading the F15, we’re also upgrading the Super Hornets,” said Air Force Lt.
Gen. Curtis LeMay, head of the US Pacific Command.
“That gives us the ability to have a squadron that can take on the threats, but also be able deploy it.”
The F-7A and F7A-8 Block II fighters are the newest in the F7 family, which has been in the US inventory since 2007.
The Block II F-22s are being upgraded to the newer Block II version, and will be in service with the USAF until 2020.
The F/ A-18 Super Hornets, the F14 Tomcat fighters, and other air-defense systems are being developed to support the USAF’s mission of protecting the country.
A major concern is the development of the next generation of drones, the Joint Strike Fighter, which is slated to enter combat in 2022.
“The drones that we’re developing now are going to play a huge role in protecting the United States and the United Arab Emirates, and all of our allies,” LeMay said.
The Pentagon has also been working on a new aircraft carrier, which would be the Navy’s newest aircraft, to replace the Nimitz-class aircraft carriers.
The Navy’s aircraft carrier project has been underway for more than a decade, with the first construction underway in 2003, and construction has continued at a pace of roughly 40 per cent a year.
The first USS Gerald R. Ford is expected to enter the water in 2021, with another vessel to be built in 2023.
The next ship is slated for commissioning in 2024, but will likely not be operational until 2026.