Air force fighter jet

05.10.2017  · FAIRBANKS — After years of hearing about the new F-35 fighter plane that’s coming to Eielson Air Force Base, Interior residents may get to see one.

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25.09.2017  · The US military gave North Korean leader Kim Jong Un a rare sneak peek at its fighter jet of the future this week when four F-35 Joint Strike Fighters ...

For the Air Force, the daily use of a laser as a weapon itself is coming. The youngest of the U.S. military services, founded more than a decade before the laser’s invention, is looking to incorporate the high-energy systems into its warfighting arsenal.

The Air Force’s priority is to develop these technologies as well, according to the directed energy flight plan signed by Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson shortly after her confirmation in May. Given size, weight and power considerations, however, laser weapons in airborne applications are more complex than other types.

Another huge benefit of laser weapons: cost per shot. “It is very cheap compared to what we are doing today,” emphasizes Obering, who aided in deploying elements of the first U.S. missile defense system. “It’s expensive for us to fire multiple million-dollar interceptor missiles and shorter- and intermediate-range missiles. But with a laser, you have very low cost per shot, and you are able to take out missiles in a matter of seconds. And with rechargeable lasers and redundant lasers, you can basically have an unlimited magazine. It is really imperative that we get these directed energy weapons out into the hands of the warfighters.”

The U.S. Air Force is running out of fighter jets. And that’s its own damned fault. Even as its squadrons dwindle, the flying branch remains committed to exclusively buying overly-complex, enormously expensive F-35 stealth fighters that it simply cannot afford in the quantities it needs in order to maintain its numerical strength.

That’s because the Air Force wants all of its fighters to be radar-evading stealth fighters, regardless of the cost or impact of this goal on the service’s ability to do its job defending America’s interests in the sky.

The Air Force is, in that sense, a victim of its own technological ambition. And the self-inflicted warplane-shortage couldn’t come at a worse time. While the American air arm slowly withers away, the air forces of China and Russia only grow stronger.

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