|One of the renderings published by the 57th Wing commander on his FB page shows an F-16 in Su-56 livery and an F-35A in China’s J-20 /J-31 paint job. (Image credit: 57th Wing Commander FB page).|
U.S. Air Force To Reactivate 65th Aggressor Squadron At Nellis AFB With 11 F-35A Lightning II – The Aviationist: The unit, inactivated in September 2014 due to budget constraints imposed by sequestration, is going to “resurrect” and fly the 5th generation aircraft.
On May 9, the U.S. Air Force announced the plan to reactivate the 65th Aggressor Squadron (65th AGRS) and movie 11 F-35A Lightning IIs to Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, “as part of a larger initiative to improve training for fifth generation fighter aircraft.”
According to an official public release, “the action came after Gen. Mike Holmes, Air Combat Command commander, recommended improving training for fifth generation fighter tactics development and close-air support by adding F-35s to complement the fourth generation aircraft currently being used. To support this requirement, the Air Force decided to create a fifth generation aggressor squadron at Nellis AFB and move nine non-combat capable F-35A aircraft from Eglin AFB, Florida, to the squadron.”
Indeed, the emergence of a “stealth threat” among the “enemy lines” (i.e. China and Russia) makes the choice quite wise: for the next 10-15 years the majority of the U.S. aircraft will be “legacy” ones (NATO says 70 percent of its fleet), hence it is important for both the 4th and the 5th generation aircraft to learn how to face other stealth aircraft in combat. And early production F-35s, aircraft that would be too expensive to upgrade to a mission capable status, are perfect for the role.......click above link for full article
F-35 Lightning II: Details