Fifth generation pilots need a new generation of red air that is focused more on sensors and a family of capabilities instead of “linear” comparisons, F-22 and F-35 pilots said recently. Operators of the nation’s best fighters want to see new adversaries that are “extremely agile” in their use of sensors employed against Raptors and Lightning IIs to give those pilots the best possible training, USMC Lt. Col. David Berke, force management branch chief, said on a panel of fifth generation fighter pilots at AWS17. “For far too long we have measured our capability against their capability in linear fashions,” such as the speed or agility of the aircraft, Berke said. That is an “ancient way of thinking that is not relevant anymore,” he said. Adversary platforms need to network together and provide an advanced threat to challenge fifth generation aircraft, he said.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.