In Episode 137 of the Aerospace Advantage, Fighter Modernization Imperative: Defining the Vector, John “Slick Baum” explores the status of the Air Force’s fighter inventory and a path for reset with Maj Gen Charles “Corky” Corcoran, USAF (Ret.); Lt Col Eric Gunzinger, USAF (Ret.); and Douglas Birkey.
The United States faces a fighter aviation modernization crisis that, left unchecked, will undermine every facet of joint force operations. The challenge is particularly acute in the U.S. Air Force. The service simply hasn’t acquired enough aircraft since the Reagan-era defense build-up, and, in light of budget constraints, is way behind the curve resetting the force. Given the threat environment, we’re now in an untenable position. This isn’t just about Air Force fighters—it’s about viable joint power projection, and that demands the scale and scope that Air Force fighters uniquely bring to the table—starting with air superiority. This episode is designed to assess the Air Force fighter capacity challenge and then explore options for resetting the force.
Host: John “Slick” Baum, Senior Fellow, The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies
Producer: Shane Thin
Executive Producer: Douglas Birkey
Guest: Douglas Birkey, Executive Director, The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies
Guest: Maj Gen Charles “Corky” Corcoran, USAF (Ret.), Senior Fellow, The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies
Guest: Lt Col Eric “Gunz” Gunzinger, USAF (Ret.), Former Instructor Weapons Systems Operator