Today, Tom Donnelly and I published Mass and Supremacy, which makes the comprehensive case for the F-35. In the paper, we present a series of arguments for increased and sustained funding for the F-35 “Lightning II” Joint Strike Fighter. We also argue that the program is the key index of weapons modernization for US forces for the coming decade, and that, because of this, the program will also be a reliable indicator of American commitment to maintain global military preeminence.
Both mass and supremacy—two concepts at the core of the F-35 program—are necessary to ensuring the superiority of American air power in the future. We argue that continued funding for the F-35 program is essential to ensuring American military preeminence for four central reasons:
- The international nature of the effort to develop, construct, and maintain the F-35 builds the capacity of America’s allies to assist the United States in addressing future threats or countering them independently;
- The F-35 is the only currently available aircraft that will allow the United States to counter the anti-access and area-denial technology of potential enemies;
- The F-35 is a foundational element of future concepts of operation for the US Marine Corps;
- The program is a bellwether of the US commitment to needed military modernization.
Read the full report here.