The Imperative of Reach

Asked where he’d like to see his next investment dollar go, Lt. Gen. David Deptula, the Air Staff’s intelligence-surveillance-reconnaissance lead, said Wednesday he’d put it towards a long-range, multi-role strike platform. “We cannot move into a future without a platform that allows the United States of America to project power over long distances and to meet advanced threat systems in a fashion that gives us an advantage that no other nation has,” Deptula said following an Air Force Association-sponsored breakfast speech in Arlington, Va. He added, “We can’t walk away from that.” He emphasized that this future “bomber,” like modern F-22s and F-35s, will not be a single-role platform, even if it has a “B” designation, but rather a “flying sensor platform” that also has the capability to deliver ordnance. “No longer are we going to build or should we build single-capability platforms,” he said.