So, the still-new F-35 isn't already a good air-to-air fighter?
Advanced derivatives of the tri-service Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter could replace the Air Force’s F-22 Raptor, Boeing F-15C Eagle and F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, multiple sources told the National Interest. However, they added that the idea of replacing the high flying and fast Raptor with the slower and less agile F-35 was not well received by many within the Air Force.
“No doubt that the F-35 will be doing air dominance missions in the future,” one industry official said. “Especially with more internal air-to-air, and maybe a new engine.”
The reservations of Air Force people about relying on a future derivative of the F-35 optimized for the air superiority mission does nothing to lesson my worries about the existing F-35.