F-35 Joint Strike Fighter may be the last manned military aircraft

Wednesday - 5/27/2009, 12:33pm EDT

Congressman Joe Sestak

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By Emily Jarvis
Internet Editor
FederalNewsRadio.com


The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter may be the last manned military aircraft developed in the United States. Congressman Joe Sestak (D-PA) made the comments on FederalNewsRadio's Federal Drive with Tom Temin and Jane Norris.

The new strike fighter that is coming out in thousands will probably be the last manned aircraft that the U.S. military builds. It will take us for the next 30 years. But you see the Army today not relying as much in Afghanistan or in Iraq upon the aircraft. They are relying on unmanned air vehicles, ones that they carry literally almost out of their napsacks.

The three-star retired Navy Admiral says the entire military is now undergoing a massive cultural changeover.

Instead of sending a heavy tank around a building and finding out what is there and blowing it to smithereens, hopefully it's not another tank, you send a small unmanned air sensor around the corner. He links back the picture to someone that has a small bazooka and it launches a missile based on what the unmanned vessel needs.

Sestak went on to say that this doesn't mean that military personnel are not needed to make judgement calls.

We are making a mistake, I believe, by investing in an additional 90,000 troops, that we have done over the last 2 to 3 years. Because manpower is the most expensive element of our military. The only reason we did this was because the stress on our forces in Iraq.

I don't think we are going to occupy another country, so therefore, we may be putting our limited resources into too much manpower and too many cold war-type platforms rather than the new technology on a sufficient number of platforms with a sufficient number of human warriors.

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