WASHINGTON DC – The US Air Force is “geriastric” and needs more bombers to contain Russia and China, expert says
According to General Timothy Ray, head of the Global Attack Command, the USAF needs 225 bombers to respond to the alleged threat posed by rivals such as Russia and China. The US military emphasized that the number of such aircraft should increase from 156 to over 220.
“The number is North of 225. The B-1s and B-2 are older airplanes,” he added.
Experts note that the bomber fleet problem is aggravated because the aircraft are old: the B-1, B-2 and B-52 in service in the United States were developed decades ago.
While Washington is improving the capacity of its aircraft, which will keep them in operation for many years to come, the USAF needs new platforms, such as the B-21 Raider, which should be available in the 2020s.
“The USAF is a geriatric force—it has bombers, tankers, and trainer aircraft over 50 years old; helicopters over 40; and fighters over 30—it has a 2000+ pilot shortage,” Lieutenant General David Deptula, dean of the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies.
The general’s remarks appear to reflect concerns expressed on several occasions by Pentagon leaders that the USAF will not be able to keep up with its Russian and Chinese rivals by 2025.
The USAF considers it necessary to increase the number of combat squads from 312 to 386. The latest plan includes the creation of 22 new exploration squads, seven fighter and five bombers, the portal said.
Russian Su-27 fighter intercepts US Air Force strategic bomber B-52H as it approaches Russian border towards Black and Baltic Seas, June 17, 2018
The central question is whether the United States will be able to prevent this delay. As always, senior officials stressed the need to increase the military budget.
“Unfortunately, the Air Force has been consistently under-resourced for over 20 years. As a result, the U.S. Air Force is the oldest, smallest, and least ready in the entire history of its existence,” Deptula said. “We are no longer facing near-peers, but peers given the advancements in the Chinese and Russian military,” concluded Deptula.