Despite having invested heavily in the country’s air forces, and especially in the development of F-35 fighter jets, US forces still fail to cover all scenarios and could reportedly face severe difficulties in long-term missions.
Recent research by the non-profit think tank RAND Corporation suggests that the US Air Force lacks capability to meet current and future demands. Researchers have analyzed how military equipment will perform in four plausible future scenarios — “cold wars with Russia and China,” peace enforcement operations and counterterrorism missions.
None of the aircraft performed perfectly in all four scenarios. Jets came the closest, having failed in just one of the scenarios after attaining only 64% of effectiveness in that particular one. Refueling aircraft also came close, with 90% in three scenarios, while only 32% in peace enforcement operations.
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C3ISR/BM (command, control, communications, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance/battle management) platforms showed the poorest results with 84% in one scenario and from 29 to 63% in others. RAND explains the failure due to a high demand for such equipment, but lower than necessary supplies, creating shortfalls.
The research also points out that the US Air Force’s effectiveness drops significantly in missions that last more than a year. According to the think tank, such missions put high pressure demands…