Adding Apps

The F-35 strike fighter is “not just nice to have” and is at the forefront of the ongoing aircraft in war evolution in which the information they can gather and share is as important as the targets they can strike, said Lt. Gen. Dave Deptula, USAF’s point man for intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance matters and a veteran fighter pilot. Speaking Wednesday in Arlington, Va., at an F-35 panel discussion sponsored by AFA’s Mitchell Institute for Airpower Studies, Deptula noted that the F-35 has the critical capability to integrate and fuse data, providing “options our adversaries don’t have.” However, in response to a question, he acknowledged that the joint force command and control architecture has “a long way to go before it can make full use of the sophistication of the F-35.” And, he added that we “haven’t seen all the apps” that will be applied to the F-35 with its production through 2035.