March 20, 2016 22:34:51
There's an article over on Flight Global about the F16 production line drawing to a close:
It strikes me that losing the capability to manufacture such a useful aircraft in large numbers isn't exactly a good idea. I know that there's ‘replacements’ like F35 slowly coming along, but they're never going to be affordable in quantity like F16s are.
Sometimes you just need a lot of something that get jobs done. F16 fits in this category, so does B52, A10, Harrier?, Hercules, etc.
For example, I noticed that when the USA started getting involved in counter-ISIS airstrikes they sent along one of everything (F22 dropping bomblets on ISIS? Why's that platform necessary for that job?!). But from what I hear it's the large number of F16s that were doing the vast volume of the work, and probably a bunch of F18s too.
Thoughts, ladies and gentlemen?