The Future of Allied Tactical Fighter Forces in NATO's Central Region

by Mark A. Lorell

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This report examines the likely evolution of the tactical fighter/attack force structures, mission priorities, and capabilities of the Allied European tactical fighter forces in NATO's Central Region over the next decade. It focuses on the fighter force structure plans and the procurement and operational priorities of these air forces, identifies potential problem areas and likely shortfalls in Allied fighter procurement plans, and projects the probable evolution of future mission priorities and emphases. The author concludes that the NATO Central Region air forces are moving away from their historical emphasis on attack toward a more balanced division of squadron roles between air defense and offensive missions. Multirole mission flexibility is likely to decline. The overall Allied fighter force in the year 2000 will likely be more capable and balanced than the current force, despite reductions in force posture of as much as 40 percent.

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