Future Kill Chain

The next step in air dominance is not as easy as simply starting a new airplane program because “warfare today is such a complicated endeavor,” involving aspects that weren’t anticipated even a short while ago, Air Force acquisition chief William LaPlante told Air Force Magazine. In a recent interview, LaPlante said, “the platform gets all the attention because that’s the hard part; it’s what people see, and it’s where the money is,” but “it’s the kill chain that matters.” Beyond simply out?maneuvering an opponent, air dominance “now involves things like space and cyber and really involves EW,” or electronic warfare. He rejects the arguments of those who think the new paradigm signals the end of stealth, however. “You take all the stealth you can get … Stealth helps you, and … if you can drive stealth further, you’ll do it, and you don’t give that up.” Increasingly, though, the “intersection of cyber and EW is … very important to look at.” Those considerations must also be viewed in the context of “what Red is putting together. Because Red’s not stupid, Red’s thinking the same way.”