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Asia - Other | Britain/U.K. | Europe - Other | Fighters & Attack | Issues - International | Issues - Political | Official Reports | Rumours | USA

Plan B: A V/STOVL Fighter for Taiwan?

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GR9 in Afghanistan w.Sniper, Paveways(click to view full) In late Sept 2011, The Washington Times reported on a unreleased U.S. Defense Department study, which had apparently concluded that Taiwan’s best response to the threat of massive Chinese missile strikes against its airfields involved buying short-takeoff and vertical-landing jets such as the V/STOL(Vertical/ Short Take Off and Landing) AV-8B Harrier II, or the new F-35B Lightning II STOVL(Short Take-Off, Vertical Landing capability) model. The Pentagon is delivering the study, which was Congressionally mandated at the behest of Sen. John Cornyn [R-TX], to Capitol Hill by the end of this week. Militarily, this recommendation actually makes a great deal of sense, and a few countries already have that kind of survivability built into their defense plans and fighter choices… JAS-39D putsthe brakes on(click to view full) The Swiss solution is to just cut its hangars, and parts of its runways, into the sides of mountains. Elsewhere, off-airfield requirements have made Sweden’s JAS-39 Gripen an exceptional case among conventional fighters, as it can fly and land using just 900m of conventional highway. Sweden’s policy was driven by Russia’s vast superiority in combat aircraft, but the core concern of preserving the air force’s ability […]

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