Network News

Asked to compare the capabilities of the Chinese J-20 and J-31 to American F-22s and F-35s, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said it’s almost an irrelevant comparison, and what is a better discussion is “network versus network.” Speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., Goldfein said fighter combat, one vs. one, doesn’t interest him. “The network is where we need to focus,” he said, explaining that every platform will be most important based on its ability to populate the network with actionable combat information, and will be most lethal based on “either an app [application] or aperture.” The F-35 he described as the “quarterback” of this network war, gathering and distributing information to the whole force. He hopes to “evolve the discussion, over time” from the combat capabilities of any given aircraft to the “family of systems” brought to bear against an enemy, and the more the better. “We want to create dilemmas for the enemy” about what to watch, what to prioritize, what’s real, and what’s unimportant, Goldfein said. The capabilities of an individual platform is really “a 20th century discussion.”