Air Force Secretary Michael Wynne expressed frustration in his speech at AFA’s Air & Space Conference yesterday over the way airpower’s contributions in the war on terror are frequently glossed over. Air supremacy over the battlefield seems to be assumed, he said, but it is not a birthright and today’s fourth-generation fighters become less dominant the more time passes. Also of concern is the lack of recognition of the way air power’s asymmetric advantage shifts battles in our favor. Air supremacy prevents the enemy from massing in Iraq or Afghanistan—large troop concentrations would get wiped out. “It would be an entirely different war” without control of the skies, he said.
Boeing’s receipt of the 10th lot contract award for the KC-46 Pegasus this week leaves just three lots left to complete the Air Force’s buy of the tanker, although a further buy of 75 additional aircraft as a “bridge” to the Next-Generation Aerial-refueling System (NGAS) seems increasingly likely.