NATO politics aside, Russia has just turned the entire Eastern Mediterranean into a denied, non-permissive environment. It’s a buzz phrase you may have seen before in literature about the F-35 when everyone said “we don’t need that for fighting insurgents” as they ranted against the F-35’s usefulness. Well, guess what? We do now.
Critics are right in saying the A-10C is superior in CAS in a permissive environment. They can loiter, shoot the awesome The Gun, and strike fear into the hearts of the Daesh fighters all day long; but, when it comes to operating in a double-digit SAM MEZ with a muddy air picture? Good luck.
This is exactly what the Lockheed-Martin F-35 Lightning II was designed for.
Heh heh heh.