F-35 Attacks Burke!
This just in – F-35s were seen attacking a Burke destroyer. Actually, no they weren’t but they should have been.
The Chinese are developing the J-20 and J-31, counterparts to the F-22 and F-35. That means that our naval air defenses will be facing the equivalent of F-22s and F-35s (setting aside the fact that we have no idea what the actual performance of the Chinese aircraft will be). Thus, it would be a good idea if we exercised our naval air defenses against our own F-22s and F-35s as surrogates for the Chinese aircraft.
We should be conducting simulated attacks against our Ticonderogas and Burkes to find out what the detection ranges are and what kind of defensive tactics we need.
I previously stated that we need to conduct multi-carrier doctrinal and tactical training and this ties in with that quite nicely. Let’s turn a squadron of F-35s loose to attack a carrier group using whatever tactics they can come up with – none of those useless, set piece exercises that the Navy is so famous for. Turn a bunch of creative pilots loose and let them expose the weaknesses in our air defense now, before we actually go into combat. This is the kind of thing pilots would go wild for! We can simultaneously develop attack tactics, useful against Chinese surface groups and their eventual carriers, and defensive tactics.
I’ve got to be fair, here. I have no idea whether we’re doing this type of thing or not. Maybe we are. I hope we are. Based on everything I know, including feedback from active duty surface and aviation personnel, I highly doubt we’re doing anything even remotely like this.
Peacetime is a gift bestowed on the warrior to allow him time to prepare for war. Use the gift! Start training realistically.