The Air Force must make sure it continues to properly fund legacy aircraft programs even as it builds to the F-35’s initial operational capability, said Air Force Reserve Chief Lt. Gen. James Jackson on Monday during AFA’s 2013 Air and Space Conference. “We still have the sustainment of legacy F-16s and A-10s that are basically still in the fleet. We have to make sure we are doing everything we can to make sure we have the capacity and capability in those pipelines,” he said. He added, “We can’t accept the risk of losing airmen based on the fact that we didn’t give them the equipment that they need.”
Lockheed Martin is pitching its Airbus A330-based LMXT tanker as a “mothership” for the Air Force’s planned fleet of small, stealthy tankers—a rationale company officials hope will overcome the service’s reticence to open its so-called “bridge tanker” buy to competition.