Kelly noted that all joint force missions will fail without air superiority and to ensure air superiority in the fight against near-peer competitors like China, the U.S. Air Force’s Next-Generation Air Dominance fighter program must be fully funded, Jim McAleese, founder of McAleese & Associates and a three-time Wash100 winner, reported.
The commander said NGAD is his top requirement and is “designed to operate beyond a single spectral band of the RF [radio frequency] spectrum, to thrive in a multispectral environment.”
Kelly added that he considers NGAD as a multiservice requirement since other military branches are “not remotely designed to operate without” control of the air and that every service is relying on the Air Force to deliver that capability.
Other priorities he discussed at the event are the F-35 conventional take-off and landing aircraft; E-7 as replacement for the Airborne Warning and Control System; Advanced Battle Management System/Joint All-Domain Command and Control; fifth-generation missiles; and airbase defenses.
Kelly also highlighted the need for an Advanced Tactical Trainer to avoid burning up the combat capacity of F-35 and F-22 fighter fleets, according to the McAleese report.