In episode 77 of the Aerospace Advantage, Closing the Weapons Gap: New Missile Technology Imperatives, host John “Slick” Baum talks to Lt Gen Gus Guastella, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, and Maj Gen Jon Norman, USAF (ret) of Raytheon Technologies about where threats are driving next generation air-to-air missile requirements. Ask any defense leader or combat airmen and they will bemoan the problem of artificially restricting the combat potential of highly advanced aircraft like the F-22 and F-35 given the limitation of current air-to-air weapons in an era where adversary challenges are growing. Conversationally, this problem is often referenced as “5th generation aircraft carrying 3rd generation munitions.” This challenge has long been recognized, but the imperative for action has grown given the scale of peer threats. Adversaries have had years to study our air-to-air systems and they have applied this knowledge. It is time to address this problem by implementing modernization pathways that can rapidly enhance our weapons advantage in the near-term, while also looking at longer term solutions. Not only will this help regain an immediate competitive edge, but it will also serve as a bridging strategy to buy the time required to field the next generation of air-to-air munitions.
Host: Lt Col (Ret.) John “Slick” Baum, Senior Fellow, The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies
Producer: Daniel C. Rice
Executive Producer: Douglas Birkey
Guest: Lt Gen Joseph Guastella Jr., Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, USAF
Guest: Maj Gen (Ret.) Jon Norman, VP USAF Air Power Requirements & Capability, Raytheon Missiles & Defense