In late October, a LTCOL named Dan Ward published a ridiculous satire article in AOL Defense in which he made false, ridiculous claims about stealthy aircraft.
His “Rule #3” is utter garbage. He claims that
“While highly complex advanced fighter jets and stealth bombers continue to account for a significant percentage of the defense acquisition budget, their relevance in places like Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya has been extremely limited. Unclassified zombie combat simulations, such as Lolipop Chainsaw, clearly imply these jets are equally irrelevant against the undead.”
Actually, the relevance of “stealth bombers” (specifically, B-2 bombers) in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya has been VERY HIGH, as these bombers BEGAN the Afghan war flying all the way from Whiteman AFB to Afghanistan and delivering bombs on the Taleban when tactical non-carrier aircraft couldn’t, continued to bomb the Taleban afterwards, and bombed the hell out of Iraq during the first phase of the Iraqi war, flying into airspace where other aircraft couldn’t. Likewise, in Libya, B-2s played a very important role, bombing many targets.
Moreover, Ward is dead wrong to assume that all or most future wars will be like the Afghan, Iraqi, and Libyan wars. On the contrary, these conflicts, where the only opponents were insurgents and primitive countries unable to contest control of the air seriously, represent the wars of the past.
Future wars will be fought mostly, if not exclusively, against advanced countries armed with advanced, highly capable air defense systems and fighters, produced by Russia and China and available (besides Russia and China, of course) to any buyer with the funds. In this environment, ONLY stealthy bombers and fighters are relevant and useful, because ONLY such aircraft can safely penetrate enemy airspace undetected and deliver ordnance where it needs to be delivered. Nonstealthy aircraft, including B-52s, B-1s, F-15s, F-16s, A-10s, AV-8s, F/A-18s, EA-18s, and EA-6s are unsurvivable and thus totally useless in such environment. The DOD needs to retire all of these obsolete, unsurvivable legacy aircraft ASAP and replace them with stealthy aircraft. These obsolete unsurvivable planes are not a 70% solution. They are a 0% solution.
Ward is dead wrong to derive stealthy aircraft as “overengineered, gold-plated wonder-weapons of questionable value”. They are nothing of the sort. They are highly-capable platforms of very high value, and, in any contested airspace, the ONLY platforms of any real value.