Join Today

By John A. Tirpak

The Air Force’s “4+1” fighter plan for the 2020s, unveiled in recent months, will leave the service with a fleet that’s too small and improperly configured to deal with peer threats. What’s needed is a plan that emphasizes stealth aircraft; rapidly retires non-stealthy and expensive-to-maintain “legacy” airplanes; and doesn’t create gaps in USAF’s ability to control the air in a conflict, according to new analysis from AFA’s Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies. Mitchell released a paper Oct. 25 offering an alternate fighter roadmap, saying the Air Force’s plan is budget-driven rather than strategy-driven.