Wednesday, February 18, 2009

An excellent artilce on the F-22, the last US 'Ace' and air supremacy by Mark Bowden

Well worth the read if you have the time.

Quote worth noting, emphasis mine: The Air Force fears that the dominance of U.S. airpower has been so complete for so long that it is taken for granted. The ability of the United States to own the skies over any battlefield has transformed the way we fight. The last American soldier killed on the ground by an enemy air attack died in Korea, on April 15, 1953.
Russia, China, Iran, India, North Korea, Pakistan, and others are now flying fourth-generation fighters with avionics that match or exceed the F‑15’s. Ideally, from the standpoint of the U.S. Air Force, the F‑22 would gradually replace most of the F‑15s in the U.S. fleet over the next 15 years, and two or three more generations of American pilots, soldiers, and marines would fight without worrying about attacks from the sky. But that isn’t going to happen.

OVER VIRGINIA -- Lt. Col. James Hecker flies over Fort Monroe before delivering the first operational F-22A Raptor to its permanent home at Langley Air Force Base, Va., on May 12. This is the first of 26 Raptors to be delivered to the 27th Fighter Squadron. The Raptor program is managed by the F-22A System Program Office at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio. Colonel Hecker is the squadron's commander. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Ben Bloker)

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