And inflate the costs of later batches? Brilliant.
They would have been better off with a M16A4 upgrade. Could have given those a new stock, a trigger group with full auto replacing the three round burst, maybe even an upgraded rail adapter system. Marines stuck in the back of LAVs and other tight places could have been given M4s.
Will they at least be getting new carbines or will the Army dump their old M4s on them (now that the Army is moving to improved M4A1s)?
Are you trying to seem clueless? The B-1 has racked up a whole lot of flight time over Afghanistan and have been every bit as much of a workhorse as the B-52 has been. Considering only 21 B-2s were built of course the USAF has to be careful with them.
The aircraft's size has no correlation to its stealth capabilities. The B-2's radar cross section was significantly smaller than that of the F-117.
We don't have hundreds of B-52s in service anymore like we did during the height of the Cold War. Last I read we only had about 80 operational B-52s and those won't last forever. We need a new bomber sooner rather than later.
What do you think launches your cruise missiles? Bombers.
So are they going to be able to make new Harriers materialize from nowhere?
"Washington never does anything wrong, the political class is always right. Vote for the same people again and this time they'll get around to fixing the problem for sure."
Corporations are going to behave like corporations, it's up to our elected officials to keep them in line, and if they fail to do that you're going to blame the corporations? Are you going to dismantle them and have the government take over? Will the government run them just as efficiently as the government runs everything else? What could possibly go wrong here?
Any other wisdom Oblatski?
Over the long term it really isn't that unlikely. Depends on how much trouble the Russians stir up and Chinese behavior in the Pacific/East Asia regions.
You're talking about a production schedule that is going to last decades, if you can accurate predict events in 2025 or whenever I'd be surprised.
Those Harrier operators you mentioned are either going to either have to buy new aircraft eventually or give up the capabilities provided by a STOVL fighter. Sooner or later they'll run out of spares and airframes to cannibalize.
Do enlighten us as to how the F-35 is a "poor performance bomber". The term fighter-bomber has fallen out of use but it fits the bill pretty well, being heavily focused towards strike and interdiction missions.
As for our allies needing a lightweight fighter could you tell me when we went back in time to the 1970s when hordes of MiG-21s and MiG-23s were a threat? On paper Canada would probably want an interceptor but they also want multi-role capabilities and dedicated interceptors don't do multi-role very well at all.
This isn't an alternative to JLTV, this is supposed to be light and compact enough to fit in a CH-47 without a lot of trouble, that necessitates a degree of compromise.
Each RPG rocket weighs a lot more and takes up more space however, meaning far less carried.
Apples and oranges, or rather rocket launchers and grenade launchers.