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Building a Fifth Generation Coalition: Advancing Allied F-35 Interoperability

Allied F-35s operating around the world stand as the most recognized symbols of the United States’ effort to strengthen modern coalition airpower. In a world where modern, capable threats are proliferating, these fifth generation fighters are a key tool for U.S. and allied leaders as they work to ensure shared interests are defended. Due to its revolutionary capabilities, the potential for the F-35 is far more expansive than any other combat aircraft built to date. However, to fully harness the attributes of both U.S. and allied F-35s, it is crucial to ensure aircraft interoperability. This paper outlines the challenges, from both a technical and policy vantage, to F-35 integration and provi

The Force We Need: Key Factors for Shaping the Air Force for the Future

Today, the United States Air Force is the smallest it has ever been since its founding as an independent military service in 1947. This dynamic now translates to fewer national security options presented to combatant commanders and decision makers, and the assumption of increased risk at a time when threats are on the rise around the world. Potential U.S. adversaries and competitors understand this vulnerability and have moved to take advantage of this opening. Deptula and Birkey articulate why the Air Force needs a force-sizing method to clearly articulate aircraft requirements, highlight any gaps that may exist or emerge, and help guide modernization decisions. Nor is a force-sizing mode

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