Best Defense

Will future fighters engage at 160 miles?

An interesting new study from CSBA predicts just that. It says fighters might operate more like bombers, with a “picket line” of drones out front of them.

1024px-F-22F119

Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 12.37.41 PM An interesting new study from CSBA predicts just that. It says fighters might operate more like bombers, with a “picket line” of drones out front of them.

Interesting side fact: The new F-22 weighs 20 percent more than World War II’s B-17G, a “heavy bomber.” It also has a combat radius that is a fraction of the P-47 fighter. Meaning: “the distance between locations safe for aerial refueling operations and enemy territory may significantly exceed the combat radius of modern U.S. fighters.” Air Force, please meet drawing board.

CSBA

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. @tomricks1

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