- Reaction score
It is definitely murkier now. The USMC just bought MQ-9 Reapers - the Key West Agreement says this from Wiki:
So if the USMC MQ-9s get tasked for overland missions in Iraq, for example, are they violating the terms of the agreement? I'm not sure.
- The Navy would be allowed to retain its own combat air arm "...to conduct air operations as necessary for the accomplishment of objectives in a naval campaign..."
The USMC has adopted a Long Range Fires strategy in support of the USN. It is using its F35Bs as an ISR asset for targeting Tomahawks and SM6s launched from shore stands.
The USN can adopt a Long Range Fires strategy using its F35Cs as ISR assets for targeting Tomahawks, SM6 and novel Hypervelocity missiles launched from subs and surface ships.
The US Army wants to adopt a Long Range Fires strategy but needs the co-operation of the the USAF for targeting. The USAF could task some of its F35As to act as spotters for the Army, together with its existing large-body ISR fleet, but it doesn't think its large-body spotters are survivable and some of the USAF is reluctant to see the Army develop its intermediate range missile force. It also has other plans for its F35As as a centre-piece of its competing Loyal Wingman strategy.
Key West looks like a decision that might have to be revisited. Especially in light of both UAVs and the Space Force.
All that's needed is to overcome politics, Lockmart, Boeing and Raytheon.