Dec 15, 2022
Big contracts are being let for new aviation systems. From the B21 and FLAA in the US, to FCAS and Tempest in Europe, 6th generation air platforms are all the rage in government investment decisions at the moment. Dr Justin Bronk wonders whether these can make a difference to a much more challenging environment than has been assumed in Western capitals. The airspace over Ukraine is a deadly environment. The air defence capabilities on both sides makes flying a precarious proposition for anyone who enters the realm of mutual denied airspace. This has significant implications for everyone from force designers and military planners, to infantry companies and cartographers. If stealth, penetration, and survivability have become the key facets to air power in high intensity conflict then – according to Justin – we can do more with older platforms provided we start to buy back some of the risk that has accumulated in air forces across Europe since the peace dividend was taken.