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Blog ID : 207848
The United States Air Force should consider shifting its balance of its strike forces from fighters to long-range bombers.

At the end of the Cold War, the Air Force’s combat aircraft inventory included 411 bombers. Today, it has a total of 158 B-1, B-52, and B-2 bombers, of which only 96 are designated as Primary Mission Aircraft Inventory assigned to operational squadrons to support wartime missions. Early termination of the B-2 program in the late 1990s marked the beginning of a multi-decade break in DoD’s procurement of long-range, penetrating bombers.

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson and Chief of Staff David Goldfein warned last month that: “the Air Force as currently constituted is too small to do what the nation expects of it.” They cited the fact that their fighter force is far smaller than the one prepared to fight Operation Desert Storm in 1991. While size does matter, it is also important to remember that post-Cold War bomber retirements and early termination of the B-2 stealth bomber program has resulted in a force that is now out of balance. The Air Force’s “combat air force,” as it is called, now primarily consists of short-range aircraft and has a limited capability to penetrate advanced enemy defenses

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Date Added : 4-10-2017