21 March 2005

Future Forces

Two interesting headlines on Air Force Link this morning. Immediately below an article about an F-16 crash (the pilot ejected safely, btw) was a headline about the AF's plans to expand the Predator fleet to as many as 15 squadrons (the AF currently has 3 operational active duty Predator squadrons).

It seems to me the days of manned fighter aircraft are numbered (and have been for some time now). These two coincident articles offer a brief highlight of some of the reasons - and facts - driving that future change. Many fighter pilots naturally hate this development (and many engineers naturally love it), but the truth is we are going to need fewer and fewer people in cockpits, particularly of the F-16 variety... (F-22 and F-35 notwithstanding...)

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