Source : Indian Defence Updates (IDU)
United States wants to increase F-35 operators around China ; US may offer F-35A to IAF under MRFA
The U.S Department of Defence has published a white paper which reports that it should be a priority for the United States to increase the number of F-35 operators around South China Sea and also around China. This comes months after the U.S sent its f-35a at the Aero India 2023 and it seems that the U.S will push its F-35A under the MRFA program to counter the French offer of Rafale F4 standard.
The F-35 program officials have said that the cost per flying hour for the 5th generation F-35 has decreased by 50% in the past seven years and it aims to decrease the operating costs from the existing $35,000 to $25,000 per hour by 2025 while the 4.5th generation French Dassault Rafale has a cost per flying hour of $21,000.
Lockheed Martin also said that performance-based logistics is currently in the works to reduce rational costs further.