What does Russia’s fighter debut mean for the U.S.?

What does Russia’s fighter debut mean for the U.S.?

Former Secretary Gates used to get exasperated when defense advocates on the Hill or elsewhere pointed out that Russia and China were developing fifth-generation fighters. Yeah, Gates said, they have two or three of prototypes of questionable capability, but the United States has a fully realized, industrially built production superfighter it’s fielding in large numbers — and another in the works that will be built in the thousands. Blurry videos, shadowy images and rumors were not reasons, for Gates, to change DoD’s high-end jet plans when it had other, bigger priorities.

Fast forward to this week, when Russia’s famous T-50 is making its “debut” (even though it has already flown publicly) at the MAKS air show. Although America’s numerical and qualitative advantage in fifth-generation gets may still exist — in fact, even at this early stage in the program, there are more F-35s than there are T-50s and J-20s combined — the T-50’s coming out takes place at a symbolically inopportune time for the United States. While it’s burning up the skies over Moscow, America’s F-35s and F-22s are grounded, albeit for different reasons, and even if it wanted to, the U.S. military couldn’t respond to Russia’s demonstration with one of its own.

Russia’s latest fighters are at least the equal of America’s, its top commanders boasted this week, and the business wires characterized the T-50 demonstration as “lifting the curtain on a secret project designed to flood the market with cheaper versions of veteran U.S. jets.” India, the fighter’s main development partner, could buy as many as 200 of them, and Russia could buy 150. Soon, all the squadrons upon squadrons of T-50s in service around the world will blot out the sun and usher in a new era of Russian-built air dominance, right?

Well, maybe. Say what you want about the Russians — and there’s no doubt they’ve built some excellent military hardware over the years — but there are some reasons to be skeptical about the prospects for this airplane. The biggest defense firms in the world, spending the biggest defense budget in the world, are having trouble with mature designs and technology in the F-22 and F-35. Are Russia and India willing to spend at the same levels to perfect, build and field these kinds of quantities of T-50s? And beyond India, who are the export clients that will enable Russia to “flood the market” with cheap new stealth jets?

It sounds like a lot of old-fashioned Russian hokum — like the new fleet of aircraft carriers that’s always only a few years away; or the ‘arms race’ that’s going to start over a U.S.-Euro missile defense shield; or the political strategies behind its weapons designs. It brought to mind one of my favorite quotes: As naval expert Norman Friedman wrote in his classic “Modern Warship: Design and Development,” back in the bad old days, the Soviet navy wanted its warships to clearly bristle with guns and missile tubes. The idea was to make their American counterparts seem like welterweights by comparison:

Admiral Sergei Gorshkov has undoubtedly done a superb job of convincing his superiors about the virtues of a navy, and they have responded by buying him a series of what are certainly very expensive warships. It may well be that an important element in their own acceptance of this cost has been the impressive and aggressive appearance of the larger Soviet warships, which Gorshkov can describe as bargains (per unit of apparent firepower) in comparison to the ‘yachts‘ of the West.

How capable were they? How would they fare if the big balloon went up? Valid questions, but observers always also had to contend with the fact that the Soviets’ warships just looked fearsome, which is exactly what their designers wanted.

So — the T-50 may be the baddest thing in the sky since Zeus tossed his first thunderbolt, but no matter what kind of air show demonstration it puts on, and what kind of sales pitch it gets, it’s probably worth reserving final judgment for now. Same goes for the American fighters, too.

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This is the sexy and exciting part of defense and what gets people fired up. The portions that decide any peer nation conflict are boring, things like EW/ECM, cyber ops, orbital capabilities to counter OTH systems of an enemy, etc. Still, fighters are more fun to watch than lectures on a jamming pod.

No worries for the US … China will have more wet dreams than the US about this T50 going to India.
Take a place in the front row and watch India and China race each other :)

T-50 and J-20 appear to bring similar qualities to the fight, major signature reductions while maintaing high speed, very high agility, and while carrying a large A/A weapons loadout. When fielded in quantity they will likely have both a major spacial agility and a firepower advantage over all F-35 variants. F-35 will still likely have a signature and sensor advantage but it was never desiged to replace the F-22 for acheiving air dominance.

If we want air dominance, we will need to replace AMRAAM with a significantly more capable missile, and either make more F-22s or start our Gen6 fighter program.

Alternatively we can back-off our ability to project power, like the UK did, so that we can only dominate 2nd and 3rd tier militaries.

With about a 10 year window before significant quantities of these new fighters are in service we need to be making the right choices now since our JCIDS process takes so long to spit a weapon out after recognizing a need.

see the reality, don’t take propaganda paper for the reality

It only has to have enough front-end L.O. to lower the PK of the AMRAAM to that of a Vietnam-era Sparrow or worse.

This means that when there are 1,000 of these in the world (in the 2020s) that 187 F-22s will be greatly outnumbered. Then add the J-20s too… Will the F-35s be able to compete with these new 5th Gen. fighters from competing countries that could always become our adversaries again? Do you think the 600 Sukhoi T-50s will be sold to only friendly countries of the USA or to countries like Venezuela, Syria, Pakistan, and Iran?

The Problem of the USA remain the irresponsible Budget cuts how made a reaction of this treatment nearly impossible. Them the USA will continue the F35 and buy the planed Number of F35A and C the PAK FA and also the J20 will not be a real treatment. But them the USA cut significantly or kill the entire F35 Program the consequence will mean the loss of the Air Dominance against Russia, China and India beyond 2025. But them the trigger cuts don’t get reality I see hope to counter this new Russian and Chinese Air Fighters and the best Option to do this, is to continue the F35 Program and also to invest in a next generation Air to Air Missiles how use a hybrid Seeker and not just Radar like the AIM120.

And Speed and Dogfight abilities are not so important in a fight against the PAK FA or the J20 but you need definitely a more capable Long Range Air to Air Missiles and better passive Sensors like IRIST and also Net Centric Warfare abilities. The F35 is in the moment the best response to the PAK FA and J20 why he had an IRIST System and Net Centric Warfare abilities but the F22 can also be equated with such Systems. It is to the end all a question of sake and money but this is are the two things what looks like n the USA no longer have.

On the other hand the PAK FA and the J20 show the biggest problem of the USA and the entire Western World and this problem is the loss of efficient and the ability to bring Weapon Program to a god end. The Russian for example has just spent about 2 Billion for the development of their PAK FA and get for this Money in just 6 Years 3 Flying Prototypes and is realistic what the Russian will be enable to flied the first PAK FA so early as 2015 by a price of just 80–100 Million per Unit. The USA has spent more those 30 Billion to develop the F22 and also more those 40 Billion to develop the F35 and both Programs saw massive cost overruns and delays. Whit other Words the Russian look like to be more than 20 times more effectively with their real limited budget them the USA or the Europeans. The question is what made the USA and the Europeans so wrong in compare to the Chinese and Russians? The USA and the European need to Fix there procurement or they will just waste money for nothing.

Thank you for that great summation of the J-20’s AND the PAK-FA’s impact on the future.

I would add that the J-20 prototypes appear to have an EODAS similar in design to the F-35. How effective it is at this point is anyone’s guess.

Somehow the US survived with 1000+ SU 27/30s in the world. My bet is we will be fine.

Hey, remember when we used to develop better weapons for less than any other nation in the world by using our defense industry as a showcase for the advantages of capitalism over communism? Too bad we learned all the wrong lessons from history. Now the communists are teaching us the lesson they taught Germany in WW2, that nothing sucks like fas cism.

Don’t you think we have a missile that can see these L.O targets and they just arn’t telling us about it? We have had stealth for a long time, I guarantee we know how to defeat it.

Yes, it’s called bombing the airport it’s parked at before it takes off with JASSMs and TLAMs.

That was when we had an equal number of F-16s, F-18s, and F-15s to deal with fighters roughly equivalent. It would have been much different if we were still flying F-86s vs Su-27s/30s.

“What does Russia’s fighter debut mean for the U.S.?”

It means than Gates should have listened to most everyone else INSTEAD of Young & continued F-22 procurement. It means that Bush 43 should not have ‘passed the buck’ on the decision whether to continue F-22 procurement to the next (now Obama) administration. It means procurement of any new fighters other than the F-22 & F-35 is a waste of money like procuring new prop-driven fighters in the 1950s would have been. It means people need to stop trying to make it more difficult for the F-35 to reach FRP & IOC.

We’re going to have roughly the same number situation when we have F22s and F35s. Venezuela with any luck is going to be resolved by a bad round of chemotherapy. Syria is about to collapse to Facebook. Iran won’t be offered any in the same way they didn’t get S300s, because we’ll just tell the Russians either the Israelis, or us, or both will bomb them first, and as far as Pakistan is concerned Ill just let the T50s the Indians buy deal with their J20s.

Wrong Phill. If it wanted to, the US could have sent AN ENTIRE COMBAT CAPABLE SQUADRON (planes, pilots, support crew & all) of F-22s to MAKS. But the F-22 was not going to go to MAKS anyway.

There will not be 1000 T50 in the same country .… nor 1000 J20. They will also be costly to maintain.
If those numbers would be available (of cobined T50/J20) the US just needs to sell the F22 to: Canada; Israel; UK; Holland; Denmark; Australia; Spain.…Japan, etc. Besides the fact that can always buy more to replace future F35…in the 2020 horizon.

In no time the marked would be fluded with 5th gen fighters.

Besides, if it makes logic that an upgraded version of the F22 exists, then it must be in the oven ready to roll out in any “minute”. Just wait and see.….

Another political factor, the world, over all, will be turning to the right/far right once again.…. specially in europe where blind socialists did not forsee a failed social integration from Islamic immigrants, combined with a economical –never-going-away– crysis, both the US and Europe cannot spend huge summs of cash in the next 5–7 years (till China gets her 3 carriers).…. we will need to spend huge summs in the 2020’s .… so lets stay fit without going crazy to get out from the economical crysis and then .… lets all buy F22 to counter the 1000 T50/J20.

The Joint Dual-Role Air Dominance Missile (JDRADM) is already under development.

After the dem.s get done cutting the military budget we’ll be luchy if we can make paper planes.
P/S Gates is probably loveing this due to his hatred of our high tec Airforce. His answer to our high tech. Airforce was a crop duster with 50.cal.s. Hopefully someone with a brain at the pentagon wakes up and starts up the F-22 line for one and get some much better air to air missiles like IAF’s python5s and the brits meteor

I know Gates has a lot of fans, especially in defense blogs, but in my opinion, he was a terrible SECDEF who made a number of high-profile, long-term decisions that has put our nation on a very dangerous path without a safety net or even a secure lifeline, and not just in the aerial arena. I’m not saying the U.S. is going to fall or fail or something like that, but when it comes to defense, our past two SECDEFs have done a lot more damage than good. I hope we can recover, despite the focus on budget constraints, before the real measure of their impact is paid with unnecessary U.S. blood spilled due to our forces being outmatched in their equipment.

The F-35 has no funding to carry 6 AAMs internally and will be outclassed by the T-50 and J-20. We also will only see a few hundred built because of the Tea party budget hawks.
Bye bye, USAF.

The only reason the F-22 is still grounded is that it takes them six months to decide how to scratch their collective rear ends, once they do that they might get them flying again.

The J-20 is far too large and underpowered to be considered “agile”.

The F-35 is not going to be the primary adversary for these new fighters either… the F-22 is always going to handle air superiority if we’re in a fight with anyone who can field modern fighter aircraft.

What determines Pak-Fa’s potential will be Russia’s willingness to invest in its systems. If they shortcut the avionics in the rush to get T-50s in the sky they’ll have simply fielded an exotic looking 4th gen fighter.

How is the F-22 going to be the dominant plane in the air when, after the budget cuts, won’t have a capable force to deal with the T-50

And don’t be so quick to blame the Tea Party — Most of us are very STRONG advocates of a large military

The russian build good engines, radars and missles too.

Look at the Su-35.

That’s a difference with the Chinese.

The Korean are looking at the Pak-Fa

I think the export ban for the F22 will be lifted.

Japan, Australia, Korea want them. LM needs the sales.

Build out the Raptors to 300 aircraft, dump the F-35, buy the Silent Eagle (improved with thrust vectoring) in decent numbers (250+) and come up with a good Gen 4.5+ LWF to replace the F-16/F-18 like the International Roadmap F/A-18 and get the new tanker and E-10 going.… there’s an aerospace industry stimulus and Air Power renewal

It isn’t the Tea Party that wants to gut defense. We want the gov. in the defense game. It is the discretionary spending that needs control. And who is it but the Dems and potus that dealt the 50% cuts across the defense budget with the triggers if no deal happens while not touching SS and other social welfare programs.

“What does Russia’s fighter debut mean for the U.S.?” It should mean very little. We do not need to be overreacting and overcommitting 40+ years and hundreds of billions of dollars in resources every time another country manages to slap together some prototype that supposedly has advanced technology. What we should be doing is properly managing our force structures and managing risk to national security within a reasonable budget. We need to learn how to properly develop quality products. Planning on 20 years of development for a disastrous F-35 program is not the way to go. We should terminate F-35 and use the resources ($340B) more wisely. We should resurrect the F-22 production line and export it to our best allies and continue production at minimum sustaining rates to maintain our air dominance hedge. We should be procuring all sorts of the latest available production fighters and testing them against one another and our legacy fighters in realistic operational test scenarios. We should begin development of a next generation strike fighter based on a competetive prototyping / down selecting acquisition strategy. Enough of this “we have to keep paying our sole source provider because we are a bunch of stupid suckers” thinking.

More Russian Propaganda. They love to blow thier own horn. Then again, comrade obama is emasculating the military just like comrade klinton did, hmm.…. Maybe tha USSA needs to elect a Strong, Conservative type to the WhiteHouse this time around and fill the House and Senate with the same types. You know, can all the Carreer politicians and impose TERM LIMITS and eliminate the LIFELONG BENEFITS and EXEMPTIONS that our Public SERVANTS get after just 1 term! That ought to free up plenty of much needed $$$ for the Defense Dept. which also could use a streamlining! Ahh!!!!!! Who am I kidding?

we are throwing way to many billions of dollars into manned tacair obsession as well. there is way too much myopia that is suckering us into a technology development strategy focused on optimizing platform vs platform conflict. meanwhile, the rest of the air force (and other service systems) are rusting out as well. for as much as we are plunking into F-35, we could have better strategic bombing, stand off, electronic, IW, and spec ops attack capabilities that can turn our adversaries tac air capabilities into smoking rubble or useless paperweights. Likewise, we could invest $400B into F-35 and the enemy could develop capabilities to negate our supposed tacair supremacy. That would make the $400B investment look rather stupid don’t you think?


Exactly, despite the feel good BRIC summit many years ago, they all have divergent interests and territory disputes that RT is not reporting. Classic Russia trying to play India off against China. Looking forward to a post Pax Americana so Euros can’t only ***** about the US.

i dont think we need to worry about russia right now. i really dont think they are a threat anymore. i mean we both dont care anymore. and we have so much in common if we could just become allies

Adding thrust vectoring capability isn’t as simple as slapping varable nozzle engines in an aircraft. McDonnell Douglas did a demonstrator F-15 with vectored thrust and it had to have extensive modifications to the flight controls. It’s enough that it wouldn’t exactly be cost effective as a solution for cancelling the F-35. While the F-15SE is a great final version of the jet, it’s still a 40+ year old aircraft. Getting the F-35 program back under control would likely be cheaper and easier than the scorched earth approach you laid out. I do agree that the F-22 should be put back into production and possibly a version made that could be exported to our allies to strengthen ties instead of pushing them to buying T-50’s.

I can see major defense contractors and USAF generals take bits of this article to their Congressmember and say “that’s why we need another 500 billion because the rukies are on our tail!“

I agree they sure make better allies then then the Paks.

Good answer :)

Maybe the next Administration whether it be Romney or Perry will take the best of the F-35 technology and add it to the F-22 and order a few hundred more of the new F-22s.

if you are willing to increase taxes, there will not be any defense cuts. But the GOP rather throws defense spending under the bus in the name of no new taxes.

Agreed, but the F-35 doesn’t stand a chance with a SU-35 in a dogfight. We shouldn’t waste any more money on a plane that will be toast. Build more F-22’s

See Video http://​defensetech​.org/​2​0​1​1​/​0​8​/​1​7​/​v​i​d​e​o​-​a​-​c​h​i​n​ese.…

There already is a great 4.5++ Gen Light Weight Fighter. It’s the Gripen NG

The F-22 production line is closed, don’t expect it to be re-opened any time soon if ever. Besides it is an overpriced piece of LM junk as is the F-35.

Agreed, but the F-35 doesn’t stand a chance with a SU-35 in a dogfight. We shouldn’t waste any more money on a plane that will be toast. Build more F-22’s

here we go again with the admin, when ever you say something negative about the F-35

Poppycock, this country spends more per year on it’s military than the rest of the world combined. No wonder we’re broke.
“THIS MEANS THEY WILL BE HERE AND WE CAN DO NOTHING ABOUT IT” how do you propose they will be getting here? By magic? This countries Air Force is the only one capable of Global power projection, please explain to me how the Russians are going to “BE HERE” without a tanker fleet to support the operation? No forward operating bases? I call BS to your entire statement.

You honestly think the clown Perry has a chance at winning the White House? Besides the F-22 line is closed. Also it has been grounded since May, with no end in site.

Blah Blah Blah, I guess the House controlled by the TeaPublicans had nothing to do with passing the “50% cuts across the defense budget with the triggers”. Take your BS to the Fox News forum.

Wrong, it has been grounded since May.

The B-1 line was closed until President Reagan restarted it. The F-22 line is still making fighters its not really closed, yet. I’m voting for a fiscal conservative who is strong on defense as well. Anyone one better than Romney or Perry thats running already?

They will fix the oxygen system I am confident of it. As to when I would expect within a few more months to 6 months max.

“On 30 June 1977 Carter announced that the B-1A would be canceled in favor of ICBMs,”

“In January 1982 the U.S. Air Force awarded two contracts to Rockwell worth a combined $2.2 billion for the development and production of 100 new B-1 bombers.“

I wouldn’t count the F-22 out yet if a pro-Defense Republican Administration replaces the Obama Admin in 2012.

Dosnt mean anything in capability the US 5th and even 4th generation fighter have more capabilities and performance than the crappy J-20 the T-50 is far less stealth than a F-22 so more advantage for our planes. the only real difference is in export successes the foreign planes are cheaper than ours so more nations one day will buy there planes for budgetary reasons not performance.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

See Video of SU-35, JSF won’t stand a chance against that.

It means NOTHING. Fighters are just like battleships in WWII — pretty targets. I don’t buy into most of this “stealth” nonsense. The future is in UAVs and UCAVs and smarter planes. Should there be a major war in the future, fighter-bombers will be as mostly useless as battleships in WWII. Gates is right. Most manned aircraft development is a waste of precious dollars, and takes away from the things we really need, such as anti-ballistic missile defense.

If you ask me, proliferation of the J-20/T-50 are not bad things. How long before China/Russia sells some to a country that will let us take a close up look, if not take one home for a little while?

One of the biggest advantages of the F-22 is that only we own it, and therefor (theoretically) it should be much more difficult for potential adversaries to ever learn it’s true capabilities.

So Tee, is the your beloved Gripen NG better than the Eurofighter Typhoon? :)

We need to sell it to our Allies, like Japan and Australia and South Korea. If we did the per unit cost would go down for all parties receiving it, and hopefully we will add a few hundred ourselves.

The Meteor is out and has a range similar to our old AIM-54 Phoenix missile the F-14’s used. It’s been test fired from the Euro-fighter and the Gripen NG. So it wouldn’t be hard to adapt to our current fighters.

You don’t defeat stealth, or speed, or range, or payload. To kill an aircraft, you have to better or negate all of its capabilities, including the capabilities of the guy behind the stick. I remember a short AvWk article that the Indian AF used MiG-21s to beat up the most up to date, AESA-equipped F-15s using innovative tactics, well-trained aircrew, and perhaps some complacency from the AAF crews.

Only if you consider ~80nm to be ‘similar’ to ~110nm.

The AIM-120D has a range similar to the Meteor but is smaller (total package) & lighter. And the JDRADM is already in devepoment…

The Gripen NG only exists as a single modified Gripen C demonstrator.

Funny (not) how you ignor/disregard the same PK reducing effect of the F-35’s all-aspect VLO…

There ARE reasons why the JDRADM is to use a multi-spectral seeker & directed fragmentation warhead…

Wrong. Six internal AAMs is STILL officially part of the Block 5 upgrade (not to mention10-12 external AAMs).

YOU don’t know enough about the T-50 OR J-20 (AND probably the F-35) to know how they will match up.

MOST of the Tea Party want to PRESERVE (if not INCREASE) defense spending by cutting much of the crap the US government SHOULD NOT BE SPENDING MONEY ON.

No I am NOT wrong. Try reading more than just headlines. The F-22 fleet is perfectly capable of flying AT ANY MOMENT THE USAF DECIDE IT IS NECESSARY TO DO SO.

The B-1 line was never started until President Reagan ordered the B-1B. President Carter cancelled the B-1A program BEFORE production (beyond the 4 prototypes) began.

Dogfights today are all-but “mutually assured destruction’ due to the capability of the latest generation WVR AAMs. The F-35’s stealth will give it a HUGE advantage of being able to dictate when/where/how an engagement vs the SU-35.

No, the only reason why the F-22 is ‘grounded’ is because the USAF has chosen to do so in order to mitigate risk while the (assumed) OBOGS issue is resolved. The reason why is is taking so long is because the investigation has been focused primarily on the OBOGS which investigators have yet to find any fault with (EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE TRYING TO).

The Gripen NG only exists as a single Gripen C modified demonstator.

Aside from the additional F-22’s (which we SHOULD have been getting), you want to spend MORE money & MORE time on a LESS capable fighter force.

True, but the C-5 line was closed and then re-opened. As long as the tooling exists and there is a little corporate knowledge, you can re-open the line. Even without the tooling, you can still do it, its just a lot more expensive. The real question is the cost, which would be a lot, and the desire to add on all the new bells and whistles and whatnot, which would be even more.

I don’t think an air show would qualify as essential to national security. I think that’s his point, if they weren’t grounded they could go.

What is the fascination with dog fights? We haven’t been in a real one since Vietnam and then mostly because we used crummy tactics and had lousy ROEs. Maybe we should make sure a plane we are designing as a strike fighter should be good at being a strike fighter, since that’s about 99% of what tacair actually does as opposed to what the Xbox crowd fantasizes about.

Does the T-50 have high maneuverability? Yes. But have you seen the J-20? Even if they slap thrust vectoring nozzles on that thing it isn’t designed for turning and burning.

The only way we will get those F-22s or F-35s is if our politicians aren’t stupid, As Libya has shown us, Syria isn’t going to change unless somebody puts boots on the ground, and that isn’t worth our blood or money.

Yet we aren’t going to be dealing with dogfights with cannons and rear-aspect only heat-seekers in the future. F-16/F-18 level agility for the F-35 is enough. The F-22 is what should have that edge if it needs it. We should have produced more of those and the Navy ought to have an aircraft with similar performance across the board.

The United States has every right to run scared. Over the last ten years, our military has done nothing to recapitalize the nations fighter fleet of aging 4th generation aircraft. Instead, we have wasted trillions in defense programs that were terminated for no reason, or we have just failed to look at the big picture…in that even with defense budgets shrinking in the west, Russia and China defense budgets are increasing, and they are fielding more advanced weaponry for their own military , and the world market. What will the world look like in10-15 years with the potential sales of advanced weapon systems to other top tier and third world countries ? Honestly, we will be in a place where instead of keeping the peace, or will we be in a full on war because now our interests are threatened, and our national security is now put at risk?.…you be the judge.

Oh yeah, you’re onto something there. <snort, guffaw> Why in god’s name would an F-22 or F-35 pilot approach a T-50 from a direction it’s MOST likely to be detected? They’ll stab it in the back rather than try to punch it in the face.

One thing’s for sure, we won’t look any different to the world in 10 or 15 years because it takes us at least 25 to 30 years to develop a new aircraft. That’s up from the 2 to 5 years it took us to develop the previous generation of aircraft. Of course, they only cost $30 to $40 million instead of the $130 to $150 million current fighters cost. Now there’s some progress for you. Just remember our motto in the defense industry today: You can buy better, but you just can’t pay more!

We spent millions developing a BIC pen that would write in Zero G (Space) … The Russians used a pencil.

Politicians, including congressmen, do NOT receive lifelong benefits after one term. This falsehood has been circling the web since around 2000. Check SNOPES for the details. Term limits already exist — it’s called the voting booth. Imposed term limits would through the baby out with the bath water — there are good public servants. I personally do not like the liberal media or liberal politicians, and believe we need a strong advanced military — the wolves are at the door, and will only increase in number and strength over time.

A fighter is as good as the pilot and the training program that puts the pilot in the seat. The planes in question are exactly that — a question. The F-22 at least has fought simulated air battles against F-15’s. The pilots then swapped jets, and the F-22 won again, by huge margins. The Russian and Chinese jets are prototypes that haven’t been through a full up flight test program. I’m remembering the Bison bomber that the USSR claimed all sorts of numbers and advantages. The reality was — they had very few and the planes were lacking in capability. Over the years, the Russian engines have been a sore point. They were gas guzzling, low hour powerplants that cost high maintenance hours versus flight hours. I’m not sure anything has changed. Please remember that all prototypes are hand massaged wonders with all sorts of engineers on hand to ensure everything works correctly.

The USA has a weapon that is greater that anything out there and it is called SPIRIT of FREEDOM and it runs on FREE ENTERPRISE/CAPITALISM. We have already rejected (Vietnam LBJ ) creating a desert and calling it PEACE. John VVA

Build in a right to work state as not to gum up the works with stratospheric strike costs.

that’s why Ron Paul said to cut a trillion dollar from defense. Ronald Reagan would be appalled what counts as a Republican these days. The GOP has become unelectable. This already became clear after they jumped on the START II bandwagon. Do you have any source for the block 5 upgrade mentioned above? Have not been able to find anything. Certainly that would make the F-35 more viable in Stealth mode. Hope the upgrade occurs before 2050.

Come on guys! ! This is 2011, not 1951.The USSR is gone. Russia is a poor country dependent on oil exports to the EU and desparate for western investment. Run by crooks and oiligarchs looting the country big time and stashing the loot in the west. Building expensive weapons for no use is value destruction, big time.

China is our biggest trading partner and credititor. Wants to expand this job creating relationship to bring into the modern economy the restive and angry 400 milion at the bottome of the society. And the #1 exporters to the US are .….…US companies led by Walmart and Target!

Taiwan? China is its biggest trading partner and investment destination. $200 billion run by 800,000 resident Taiwanese.

Nations do not war with each other when linked so intimately economical and financially. China has the same reason to have a top notch military as us. Only its’ is more infliuential since the PLA created modern China which has been invaded several times by several western nations +Japan 188o-1947. We need weapons to fight wars of the type we are in.

get it?

If our politicians would get out of the weapons business and let the Warfighters buy and build what THEY need, we’d be in better shape. However, much of the blame for our situation must be assumed by the SPO’s who are in charge of getting these programs built. Normally the program office doesn’t have the expertise to work with a contractor to design and build a system and hold the contractor’s feet to the fire to get it done at the cost, quality and time spelled out in the contract. There is so much waste in the US defense business that it’s unreal. Foreign countries don’t have the luxury of throwing millions of dollars down the drain knowning that another pot of $$ will be here October 1st. Until our government stops wasting money, settles on reasonable designs instead of pie in the sky wishes, and controls the contractors who make these weapons, it’s going to be the same old story.

I see a lot of people commenting on something they really know little about. We have been down this road before and w will go down it again.If the Russians want to show off their latest and greatest, fine. But what is the need for the U.S. to play to the crowd when it does not mean anything. Remember, The opera is not over till the fat lady sings!

How many years did the Raptor fly without life support problems, and all of a sudden the airplane is broken and grounded? What did they change? Give me a break. This sounds like some TCTO got inplemented and it screwed up the system.

Once again we have over managed the cockpit with over sophistication nice to haves while Russia has always been about “Easy-Simple”. The risk exposure is always greatest at startup and we never seem to get past that stage.. Button up the F-22 and J-35 and put it in the air !

It looks like the F-22. I really don’t see the US and Russia having major problems, but it would make me feel a helluva lot better knowing there were no “bugs” in the Raptor, or Lightning. They both will perform as intended, in time. The Chicom stealth fighter that was secretly pictured is the size of an F-111. How maneuverable can it be? Hype. We should sell the Raptor to our closest allies. LM does need the work.

Ron Paul stands about as much chance of being elected as Obama does of being re-elected. We will see if the GOP is unelectable and it isn’t the GOP that has a track record over the last twenty years of either gutting or wanting to gut defense spending.

That may have worked. I like the idea also, but tell me where is the F-15SE built? I read it was in St. Louis, MO. They have been building this version [i read this here] for awhile. True or not?

Isn’t it amazig how fast we have traveled “backwards” into the Carfter and then Clinton Era? Shades of doomsday results all over again.…So now the Russians have a one upmernship on us? How are we to counter that, why sit still, let the time pass, and all will fix itself???? Deplete our military to bare bones, with qualified men, and then inferior equipment, because the price tag is within budget? Suitable relacements for the qualified men of course are the lastest rage.…women.…problem solved? Oh don’t forget all the waste is running rampage throughout Congress with their benefit packages, and salary increases, as well as additonal Welfare costs of excessive wastes! Life goes on though doesn’t it? Until we no longer can say Freedom is all around us???

Our Gov. is wrong in under estimating our enemys. Our Gov. has forgot who was suppyling the Vietnames with guns and mislles, and who were givimg the migs to Korea, I can go on but stop and think what is our Gov. doing to us as a Nation and as a super power sooner or later it’s come back to bite us in the a__.

Everyone is over-reacting to this plane. They spent relatively little money mimicking what the US has done. F-22 is a true 5th generation fighter — theirs is a 4.5 generation — only having some stealth. We have spent decades ahead of the Russians in technology — they are only were we were at with the F-22 over 2 decades ago! Sure they will put more numbers of planes in the sky, maybe! Their cost $100 mill, ours is $140 mill — and our economy is much better off then theirs — putting all that in perspective we could develop more if we wanted to, but with cut backs on our end probably not — they still live by Soviet ideals, buy a bunch of planes they can’t afford and keep their people starving and cities crumbling. Plus we have operational 5th generation fighters, they have a couple of prototypes they showed off and won’t have enough operational planes in the sky until at least 5 years from now. If the US does something about this and fix the problems with the F-22 and get the F-35s going, then we will still be far superior. I bet for every F-22 we could take down 5 or 6 of theirs. Its all huffing and puffing like the Chinese with their fighter. And we are alread talking about a 6th generation fighter. Our biggest problem is letting our weapons research slip out because of spies or bad cyber security — which now our military is finally doing something about.

Russia is not a treath.

There is a very small risk that these fighters show up in Iran, I think that russia is reluctant to sell it to Iran very quickly. They could possibly become a real enemy in another “Libya” scenario, wherever that is. Oil-rich nations like to buy weapons, it’s almost like toys for their leaders, so the new russian “superfighter” would be an attractive purchase. So once, for what ever reason another conflict breaks out, there could be all kinds of things pointing towards the attackers including T-50 and S-400. …Now there are still the B2, tomahawk missile and 4.5 generation fighters in large numbers. No doubt who have the upper hand in such a conflcit, not counting public opinion back home that could affect politics and thus the outcome of conflict.

Build it in WISCONSIN. Michigan or Ohio. Yes some unions are corrupt, but they have overall been good for working people. Its the pols and businessmen who sold us out. We are giving China the $$ to bury us in every way. A group of wealthy people get super rich, and there is no job for Joe Public in USA. Is there somethin wrong wit this picture?? Its not a dem or repub thing, its like they have been bought off. The game is rigged, we the people are suffering.

their track record is good, but they now have joined the left wingers in wanting to gut the DOD in the name of deficit reduction and no new taxes. Let me know if any Republican has recently promoted building new nuclear missiles and warheads in the face of a rising China. They even don’t want to talk about China because it would smash their illusion of no new taxes as they would have to realize that the coming new cold war can only be won if we have more revenue. Freedom is never free. But I guess it is easier to tell people that there is a free lunch wthout sacrifice.

“Could become allies” my a&&. How are we going to trust them? The Russians have years of back stabing, double talk and subterfuge to get past. These guys still play to win, and are willing to do anything to get there. The only thing that keeps them in the box is our stock of deliverable Loudenboomers.

Boy are you messed up. The GOP wants do decontrol everything except a woman’s body, Then fight 2 wars on credit cards issued by China & one completely unecessary war was bushes get even for his daddy. They even had Osama cornered and hired a war lord to get when we had special forces right there on his doorstep. The war lords split the money they were paid with Osama & helped get away The combo broke this country & so far not one of these GOP funded congressmen, wall street wonders, & bankers that had to be bailed out ended in jail even though they damaged our country more than our enemies. Wake up & call a spade a spade. And who is demanding the budget be cut, hello tea party. Also remember the only thing worse right now than the Demos is the Republicans that destroyed the middle class, I am happy you are above the middle class & won’t feel the pain

The Russians are no real threat to the United States anymore.America can out do anything they come up with.Freedom,not tyranny will prevail,because it is the right thing.

Well, it wasn’t like we wasn’t expecting this, at least I hope we was expecting it anyway. When we built ours, and the other side found out about it, it was only a matter time before the other indusrialized nations was going to match it with one their own, so I’am not surprised at all. I’ll bet when these words was uttered, “I am become death, the destroyer of worlds”, nobody understood what that meant, oh they had heard it many times, but only a few knew what that meant.…they do now. When you build something that is potenually dangerous to your enemy, or allies as far as that matter, in order to stay even with you they will want and build it too. No matter how hard you try and hide what you’ve built, eventually they will find out about it.

with the powers that be in charge, fat chance of improving anything. He and his back stabbing followers are not looking to protect us, they are attempting to destroy us. looks like they’re well on their way to succeeding. if real americans with any pride in our country don’t start taking politics seriously, they will tear us apart in a short time, maybe as soon as 2012!! (GOD FORBID!

Which is fine until it breaks and some lead gets sucked into some vital machinery causing a malfunction.

Look, I have to disagree with some of what you wrote, we don’t run scared…from anybody, Worried? yes, scared? not a chance. Our fighters are still fifteen to twenty years ahead of Russia and china, and our pilots are some of the best trained in the world, so we handle anything they through at us, and then some. The gab is closeing, it was bound to happen sooner or later. We had to have known that they would eventually start their own stealth program.…and they won’t be the last either.

Not only that, but we didn’t develope anything, the company did. The last time I checked, they were a private company. The Government may have contracted BIC for the project.

The Russians are a couple of decades behind us on Stealth (materials, radar deflection, etc.) as we have spent since the 60s and 70s in developing Stealth. Same for avionics and radar. All of which the F-22 is well beyond the Russians in actual real world functional technology. Any country can mock up what they like, I am sure someone could mock up an X-Wing fighter from Star Wars and say they have Star Wars technology. And the Russians are well beyond the Chinese — even the Russians said that the Chinese copied their first iteration of a 5th generation fighter earlier 90s prototype (in response to finding out about the F-22) of the Mikoyan 1.44 which the Russians scrapped because of problems — Look at it and it is just like the Chinese J-20. So if the Chinese ripped off the plans from the Russians, then they certainly are well behind the times. Which makes the US far superior. We have almost 200 functional F-22 aircraft (albeit being fixed from grounding currently), versus prototypes on both the Russian and Chinese “5th Generation” Fighter (more like less than 5G if the F-22 is truly a 5G fighter — and considering both countries plan to do full production no earlier than 2015. We just need to tweak and fine tune the F-22, and by then it could be cheaper than its current $140 million fly away cost per unit — bring it down to the Russian $100 mill. So at current prices and far superior technology we have a great fighter, but to replace our aging fleet in large numbers I think our military contractor do need to be allowed to sell to our closest allies as mentioned — that would allow them to make the money off it, and maybe these countries can should some of the development costs for getting these planes making them cheaper to make for our needs too. If we could only get 200–300 we would be set.

Hell, we need jobs! Lets build some new $#!T. Go ahead and raise them taxes. We need to keep America strong! Sorry, I do not trust Russia nor China… Lets build, build, job, jobs! Oh, don’t forget the highways system…

The F22,F35,T50 and whatever other fighters come within these line of fighters designs are all obselete designs.

i have seen the soviet equipment in action and it is like the americam stuff …it only works part time …also the soviet military is not as competent as american service men.….


maybe Obama will win the next election.….….….….…

That pen was developed with no govt funding whatsoever. The maker (can’t remember who,…) offered to NASA for the publicity it would get them.

They sold a ton of ‘em to people who wanted a pen like the one that went to the moon…

I remember the big to do about the MIG 25 a few years ago. Had everyone running around saying we were going to die now.
That is until we finally got one and found out how pitiful it really was

Name a tea party politician who is willing to increase the defense budget. They don’t exist.


We can always hope that Russia follows the DoD model and put mindless drones in charge of these type programs. That way they can keep their art history college educated (and unemployable elsewhere), occupied by creating powerpoints for the other mindless drones at a higher level. The scientists and engineers can become bartenders and waiters.

Few years? ie 40 years ago — in the 70s? The MiG-25 was an excellent aircraft for its day that IIRC still holds some records. It did what it was designed to do, which was different to what the professional threat inflators expected. American engineers who looked at Balenko’s MiG were impressed. They were simple and effective and could work over a nuclear battlefield when our aircraft could not. Go and read how MiG-25s performed even as late as the first Gulf War.

Its better to post when you actually have read facts.

No, his (incorrect) point is that they couldn’t go even IF it “would qualify asessential to national security”. Try reading what I 1st posted & then what his response was.

I never said otherwise. I was simply correcting the misconception that the B-1 line was shut down & then restarted.

The F-35 stands a better chance vs the Su-35 than the Su-35 stands vs the F-35.

No, like the Gripen NG, the F-15SE exists only as a single demonstrator created by modifying a current model airframe (Gripen C & F-15E respectively).

No but they make all previous fighters ‘obsolete’ in comparision.

How it performed in the Gulf War? Well most of them managed to get out of dodge pretty quick. Plus GW2 showed it can be buried in the sand pretty well.

The engineers who examined it had reason to be impressed (it can go Mach 3 after all) but it wasn’t the super-fighter it was made out to be. It was good at intercepting high altitude bombers and one variant made a good photo-reconnaissance platform. Yet it wasn’t until the MiG-31 that the fighter could do more and operate effectively without guidance from surface based radars.

How’s that new home under the sea treating you?

The B1’s cam close to being scapped before 9–11. The B1’s were found to have superior smart weapons capability (24 2000 pound JDAMs or 24 stealthy JASSMs, etc). The JASSMs can remove airfields, radrs installations,command and control and the JDAMs can be let loose with precision on remaining targets. Even if those Chinese and Russian stealth planes were perfect off the production line, they would probably show up on a radar like a B-52 if third world countries like Iran had then for a few weeks due to poor maintenance. It takes a lot of quality control and maintenance to keep a stealth plane stealthy.

You guys have forgotten something! China has stolen our stealth secrets with our computer breach back when Clinton was president. some say disgrunted defense contractors sold it who knows? But f22 f35 computer modules have to be rewritten! That’s why we are grounded till 2015! Hey get your facts straight! The planes fly but can’t fight bottom line! Sux but until we get a handle on cyber security we don’t have squat! Including some drones! Why do you think they are hiring thousands on USA JOBS for computer advanced computer skills?

We would have to throw out the latest nuclear treaty, but I got a feeling that it wouldn’t take long to upgrade to MX, or better, as a lifting body, if need be. I’m pretty sure that no one owns us on warhead technology either. Just because we don’t field it, doesn’t mean we don’t have it ready. Just add the pits and away you go!

Even the private sector is going into space; Space X is just one free enterprise start-up, that comes to mind.

Maybe the Egyptian and Lybian “freedom fighters” could be conscripted to help the Syrian rebels. I got a feeling the Sons of Islam will see fit to light the whole middle east on fire. I can’t believe radical Islam isn’t taking full advantage of the Arab Spring.

Class warfare is a failed option: look what it did for the Russian people, and the French revolution. They all hated rich people, and look what it got them — millions of ordinary folks dead — that is what it got them — wake up!

I think the Russians are just trying to scare us with the thought of another arms race, because they want us to stop with the NATO missile defense. This would be the card they would play to get rid of it. They want to put their own missile shield above Turkey, and we are supposed to be happy with that! NOT.

Maybe it will all work out in the end. We don’t seem to be so belligerent with Russia since W left.

I’m not sure I trust SNOPES on everything either; when you check their background, it looks pretty lefty to me. Term limits are just an expression of exasperated citizens who can’t understand why the same crappy politicians keep getting elected. They don’t understand that you don’t fire your senator that is on all the powerful committees, because then you got NO say in Washington then!

I can’t blame them though. I think it should be easier for ordinary citizen to campaign for office; maybe this would get things stirred up! Of course — many would say that is exactly what the T party is. And they aren’t happy with that! Hopefully Washington gets something done before we end up like London all across the land!

Let alone the fact that we got 45 million private gun owners that are pretty belligerent bunch to being taken over! HA! Their is probably more small arms ammunition in storage for a rainy day, than the US military could muster in a year!

I’d say more that the future is in long range standoff missiles. Until they make UAVs fully robotic so they can make their own decisions, we will still need more conventional manned aircraft. I think the thought of artificial intelligence war machines is a scary scenario comparable to a Judgment Day Arnold Schwarzenegger movie!

Tooling up for the kind of technology they are using on the F22 would take a total shift in the countries entire manufacturing infrastructure. Hell — the Russkies have finally just stopped making their fighters out of mostly steel!!

I’ve been all over the manufacturing sector and belonged to many unions, and all of them are full of young stupid hop heads that think everyone owes them a job, and they don’t even have to show that their efforts will bring value to the negotiating table. I’ve seen them destroy one plant after another, the the stupid shits don’t give a damn!! We need a right to work in the whole country. I got more representation out of my state labor department that any damned union did for me; and all the unions did was take my hard earned money and waste it!

Your statement looks so reasonable, and is in fact true to a certain point, but all you got to do is look at that incident with the basket ball team between the US and China to see how tenuous the relationship is with PRC.

We started our friendly relations with China in a ping-pong contest; where are we going after the basket ball game?!

NO! We have advanced technology based on Nazi research at the end of World War II!! Don’t you watch the History Chanel? (heh, heh)

I’d not overreact to the T-50. However, we should *act* and make better choices for our Air Force. I’d suggest…

Produce the F-35B and F-35C variants for, respectively, the Marines and Navy. Harriers are rapidly aging and the “C” would slot nicely in the role of the retired A-6 bomber.

Cancel the F-35A, period,

Resume prodn of the F-22; procure FB-22 variant.

Make large purchase of up-to-date F-15, F-16, and F-18 SH to restock air fleet. Yes, SH is a Navy jet but it’s also the cheapest thing we can buy. Where needs are addressed by having an able plane (not necessarily the best plane) it would be a wise economic choice. And, with F-22 stealth as the tip of the spear, and able to achieve air dominance, is there really any need for the F-35A (given you’d be purchasing upgraded legacy airframes in my little idea)??

I think we should invest in cutting-edge stealth and accept its costs and maintenance as a necessary evil if we want to stay on top. But we can nip/tuck elsewhere to lessen pressures on budgets.

Chennault’s P40s did pretty well against the superior numbers and abilities of the Mitsubishi. The MG 42 spit lead like a garden hose, the Panzers were works of art, but yet Germany was punished on the Russian Front. The best new toys don’t always win. I fully support R&D but we need to be goal oriented and maitain a professional military.

Back in Dec of 1976, Lt. Vicktor Belenko flew his MiG-25 to Japan and defected. The first intel reports were “Oh my god, its steel with round headed rivets, and all of the electronics are vacuum tubes!” and everyone snickered. THEN someone reminded the snickerers that the fighter was also good to go at M3.2 and would survive the nuclear EMP from its load of nuke-tipped AAMs if ever called to knock down attacking strategic bombers. Steel is a perfectly fine metal when used correctly.

Along the same lines, you might want to consider who was actually able to fabricate titanium sections large enough to build a nuclear attack submarine pressure hull from titanium? http://​www​.military​-today​.com/​n​a​v​y​/​s​i​e​r​r​a​_​1​_​c​l​ass… If they wanted to make aircraft parts from titanium they certainly could have, and Id bet they had a very good reason not do do so.

The Russian engines were indeed low hour powerplants, but… they and the airplanes they were put in were designed for maximum “operational availability” in a wartime environment. Consider the Tumanski R-11 for the MiG-21. Compare the cutaway below to a J-79.
http://​www​.enginehistory​.org/​G​&​a​m​p​;​j​J​B​r​o​s​s​e​t​t​/​USA… J79 cutaway display.JPG

Very simple and robust, a 250 hr MTBO but about a 2 hr engine swap. So if you want 2500 flying hours of engines, you either have a J-79 and a lot of skilled flightline maintainers and a spare, or you have 10 Tumanski’s in cans and a maintenance crew capable of checking the oil and changing engines. By the way, talk to someone knowledgeable about the internal aerodynamics of the Tumanski! Very advanced aero with great stall margin and inlet distortion tolerance, if I remember correctly.… ! :-) If nothing else, count the parts and compressor stages and think of all the things that could go wrong! LOL! So it doesnt get great gas milage.….…. :-)

Fisher Space Pen. Pressurized ink cartridge… Pencil shavings and graphite are bad for ECLS Systems… Anyway, I’m reading here about addidng thrust vectoring to F-15s… NASA did that with the F-18, it’s hanging in a museum in Virginia. The big old kludge on the back weighs the aircraft down and makes it light up like a Griswold Christmas tree on radar.

We’ve approached the era where fighters are small “bomb trucks”. Sure we should maintain fleet defense and air superiority fighters but our advantage is in our C&C and total vision of the battle space. Standoff weapons are much more valuable (and manueverable ) then a big ole aircraft, turning and burning.

I also agree that the future is unmanned. The OBOGS wouldn’t even be an issue if there wasnt a human in the cockpit… Just sayin’…

We are now out of the air superiority race, naval superiority race, and space race, and the race to defund the DOD. BUT, we are still doing well in the going backrupt, illegal immigration, and screw up as much as we can in international affairs races. Thanks a lot obama.

Good point Thinking! You really are living up to your nom de guerre!

“the marginal cost of buying one additional [F-22] aircraft has come down to (just!) $138 million, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies estimated that a larger order of 70 additional aircraft could have brought that number down to $70 million a pop.”

A friend of mine was a sailor on board one of the first US Navel ships allowed into a soviet port. When they started getting close enough to the Soviet ships to see their armorments it scared the crap out of them that they would be facing ships so heavily armed until they got really close and saw that the Soviet ships had everything so heavily painted over that it was impossible for anything to operate or even traverse. These planes are just trojan horses too.

Why wait. We will just do the same thing we always do — buy one new from the factory

I believe the USN put some serious thought into a titanium hulled attack submarine at one point but it was too hideously expensive for us.

Did they really developed nuclear tipped AAMs for the MiG-25? I know they had them for the F-101, F-102 and F-106 for a time.

you know it’s something like the T72 tank, thay said it will be better then what the U.S.A has to offer.. everyone know’s what happen with that one.. M1 A1 Rocks.. same thing will happen with this I hope anyway’s. some contry will have this plane and we will end up fighting it.. this is how thay know who’s is bigger and badest with out fighting each other..

no matter what , the Israelis have air supremacy. Proven fact.

You folks STILL don’t get it, do you. Politicians don’t give a #$&! about anything except lining their own pockets. You really think anybody who was concerned about the citizens of this country would have gotten us in the fix we’re in now?
C’mon, people. Until we get out of this “We can only vote Demo. or GOP” mindset, kick out the lobbiests and put in fresh blood, we’re going to keep paying for those blood suckers.
“The People of the United States are the rightful masters of both Congress and the Courts, not to over throw the Constitution, but to Overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution” Abe Lincoln.
Just because The Supreme Court says something is so doesn’t mean we gotta swallow it. They are to fear us. We are not to fear them.

Hideously expensive (since the titanium, as with the titanium for our F-15s and such, would have had to be purchased from the old Soviet Union!!!!) and also it is hideously expensive and technically very difficult to fabricate titanium into thick sections!

Perhaps we have better info these days. I could not find any info on the weapons of choice (AA-6 Acrid) for the MiG-25 being nuclear tipped. Hmmm. .. . On the other hand the old Genie and Falcon were both nuke capable (and much smaller than the AA-6), and most certainly the intended targets for the MiG-25 might have been kicking out nukes!

Robert Gates was incompetent! I base my statement on the months of research I have done of GAO, IG, Reports, Defense Business Board recommendations, reviews by Congressional Budget Office, Congressional Research Service, Air Power Australia, etc.
I was such and inept financial manager that Congress finally listened to the GAO and mandated (2008) the establishment of the Chief Management Officer (CMO) in the Secretary of Defense Office. There is no guarantee that financial (including weapons system development) management will improve, but at least the recognition that a political appointee does not have the acumen to run DOD was recognized.
At a recent Senate Hearing (27 July 2010) it was established that in the DOD there are 2,258 business systems which includes 335 financial management, 709 human resource management, 645 logistics, 243 real property installation and 281 weapons acquisition management systems.

You are right. Not even Madoff got jail time. Right?


It means the US will sell alot more F-35’s.

Russia vs US is all crap in todays scenario. Showcasing new fighters is only a sales pitch for their dying defence industry. It surely is important for countries like India who are faced with unstable /hostile neighbours. India also needs this to counter Chinas increasing dominance. Indo –Russian defence partnership also has been continously increasing as India needs a potent partner who has techno expereince and russia needs india for funds… US needs not worry as there is no USSR, no cold war..No country has enough blue water capabilities to come close and dare USA. So US should concentrate on education and help develop industries which have been shipped to china…If this keeps on going there would be no money to fund school leave f-35s

just built more F-22A block 35 fighter, 1,000 of them! Disregard the The 35A’s variant go for the B’s variant buy 480 of them & for serious heavy bombing produce the next generation bomber, 500 of them for the air force! For the navy 550 F-35C & for the marine 500 of them! Mothball all legacy fighter , they are too expensive to maintenance. To reduce spending, abolish all bureaucrats in the pentagon, & civilian. Abandon all bases around the world, let them fight their war!

As for the army reduce it to 500,000 but not the TIP OF THE SWORD ( combat troops ) reduce the tails

Marines :
176, 000 men

380,00 MEN

350,000 man
10 carrier
20 cruiser
destroyer ( flight IIa )
35 destroyer ( flight III )
8 amphibious carrier 55,000 ton class

The F-117 was radiated soon after the war over yugoslavia (after the yugoslav tracked it by radar and shot it down). The F-22 is not being sold to foreign countries because if it did, it would be obvious that it is a piece of junk which is totally visible to radar. Half of them cannot even fly because they have huge craks. It is a fairy tale and it is time you people stop believing in fairy tales. Why do you think they built only 183 out of the over 600 that were planned? because it’s a turkey!!! same goes for the B-2.

to make it short buy 1000 F-22 block 35 raptor, cancel the F-35a and build 300 next generation bomber to hell with other nations, let them fight their own goddamn war. for the navy buy 300 C variant and the marines B variant

America is not stupid the guys that handle our airspace are very bright if you think they would be working on the f 35 for 15 yrs and it not be worth anything you need to research a little more this will be a revolution for the auronautical world it will completly change the game remember bigger is not always better.

They need to restart the yf 23 program again that would have been an amazing airplane.

@kraker … They should develop the YF-23 into two variants, a smaller F/A-23 and a larger F/B-23 with mission tanking and electronnic warfare capability, both with tail hooks, and both sharing much in common. But that won’t happen.

Dear STemplar,

This is one of the most insightful comments on the importance of EW and other non-traditional capabilities I have read. I would really like to use this post as a quotation, but I need to properly acknowledge you as the source. Would you please drop me a line?

Warren du Plessis

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