F-18 & F-35 (YouTube)
James Mugg, National Interest: Battle for the Sky: F-35 Stealth Fighter vs. Block III Super Hornet
A debate over the future of US naval fighter jets has been on a slow burn for months, but it’s starting to heat up. There are reports that Boeing is surreptitiously marketing the F/A-18XT or ‘Block III Super Hornet’ to decision-makers in Washington via a one-page ‘white paper’. The chain of events stretches back to at least December, when Donald Trump announced to the Twitterverse that he’d ‘asked Boeing to price-out a comparable F-18 Super Hornet’ as an alternative to the F-35. (Though Boeing has had plans for a further evolution of the Super Hornet for several years.)
The notion of a Super Hornet alternative to the F-35 Alpha or Bravo models for the Air Force and marines respectively was promptly (and rightly) squashed, but Defense Secretary Mattis ordered a review of current plans for acquiring the F-35C carrier variant. The Pentagon’s thinking about how much they’re willing to pay for the extra capabilities afforded by the F-35C, and how many aircraft they need for the kinds of missions only an F-35 can do.
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WNU Editor: Competition is always good.