The F-35 Global Enterprise: Reworking Collective Defense


2017-01-09 A subtle but important contribution of shaping a global F-35 system is the US services and core allies deploy similar high-end warfighting capability at the SAME time.

This means that there is collective learning of higher end warfare shared across the services and the coalition partners built in.

When we highlighted the S Cubed revolution and underscored how the F-35 can help deal with the coming hypersonic cruise missile threat it might be misread by those who do not grasp that “no platform fights alone.”

The F-35 as a deployed global asset with shared Situational Awareness and with software upgradeability built in can evolve the collective defense capability over time at the high end.

This is a key foundational element, but one which will drive other innovations in the defense domain.

It is not the end of history but the opening of the aperture on shared experience and combat learning for high-end warfare and shaping a foundation for crafting ongoing share concepts of operations going forward for the US with its coalition partners.

An example of how this works involves Denmark.

Denmark is going to buy the F-35 in large part because of by doing so they can work on collaborative combat learning with core allies also learning how to cope with 21st century threats.

Because Denmark is part of this collective effort, not only do the Danes learn but they contribute as well to the collective effort.

It is a bit like the Three Musketeers motto, “All for one and one for all.”

In the video below, the role of a Danish airman in the evolution of the F-35 is highlighted.

It is not about what the Danes got from the US; it is about what the Danes contributed to the F-35 global coalition, including the US.

When one asks for allies to do more, the F-35 global coalition is staring one in the face.

For our Special Report on Integrating Innovative Airpower: A Report from the Copenhagen Airpower Symposium, see the following:

Integrating Innovative Airpower: A Report from the Copenhagen Airpower Symposium