“Any advancement in some kind of capabilities we may have to fight is obviously worrisome,” Field said. But the 1,763 figure has not been changed by the development of new top-line fighters from China and Russia, Field said. He argued those developments show the need for America to have the advanced F-35 systems.
Doubtful. Two Western reference threats, the F-22 and Typhoon which mirror growing Pacific Rim threats, the PAK-FA and SU-30/SU-35 (PDF), easily outperform the F-35.
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Then too, there are ground threats.