October 23, 2015 Dan Grazier - War is Boring
Officials downplay planned fly-off between warplanes
Several weeks ago, the Project on Government Oversight announced its cautious optimism upon learning the Director of Operational Test and Evaluation planned to conduct a close air support fly-off between the proven A-10 and the yet-to-be proved F-35.
The cautious aspect of that optimism has been proven to be warranted. Under questioning by Rep. Martha McSally, an Arizona Republican and former A-10 pilot, F-35 program executive officer Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan dismissed the idea of a comparative test as irrelevant. The exchange occurred during a House Armed Services subcommittee hearing on updates to the Joint Strike Fighter program.
Bogdan’s remarks echo earlier comments by Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh, who described the proposed test as a “silly exercise.”
Michael Gilmore, Director of Operational Test and Evaluation, said in late August, “The comparison tests on the close-air support mission will reveal how well the F-35 performs and whether there are gaps, or improvements in capability, compared to the A-10.”