When Is the F-35 Not a Dogfighter? When It’s Convenient
Joseph Trevithick
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I think your article is a little disingenuous. The air force has been describing the F-35, pretty consistently, as a strike aircraft first, and air-to-air platform second. The story has been that sensors and long range missiles, plus high off-boresight sidewinders make manuvering unnecessary. I don’t know if that’s true, but that’s been the story all along. Little cover-your-butt statements here and there don’t change the long term stated goals of the program, which is to drop bombs on targets. The problem is not that the strike aircraft is a lousy dogfighter, it always has been; the problem is that we only purchased 187 of the air superiority fighters that were supposed to protect the strike force.

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