Boeing Loses South Korean Fighter Contest

Boeing Loses South Korean Fighter Contest

Boeing Co., the world’s largest aerospace company, was “deeply disappointed” to learn it lost a potential $7.7 billion deal to supply South Korea with 60 fighter jets, a spokeswoman said.

The Chicago-based company was widely expected to win the competition with an offer for its newly upgraded F-15SE after the country rejected bids for European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co.‘s Eurofighter Typhoon and Lockheed Martin Corp.‘s F-35.

But in a stunning reversal, South Korea opted against Boeing’s offer — the cheapest of the three — because of the need for stealth aircraft amid recent provocations by North Korea, according to an article today by the Yonhap News Agency, the country’s largest news organization.

“Boeing is deeply disappointed by the Republic of Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Executive Committee decision,” Amy Horton, a spokeswoman for the company, said in an e-mailed statement.

“Boeing has rigorously followed the Defense Acquisition Program Administration’s instructions throughout the entire process,” she said. “We await details from DAPA on its basis for the delay while evaluating our next options.”

The company had pitched an upgraded version of the F-15 known as the Silent Eagle, with such improvements as stealth coatings and treatments for lower radar visibility, as well as redesigned fuel tanks for internal weapons carriage.

The panel’s decision was apparently influenced by the recent actions of North Korea under the regime of Kim Jong Un, which earlier this year tested a nuclear bomb, pledged to restart a nuclear reactor and threatened to attack U.S. allies in the region. After the underground detonation in February, the U.S. military flew stealth aircraft, including F-22 fighter jets and nuclear-capable B-2 bombers, over the South in a show of force against the North.

“A majority of the committee members agreed to reject (F-15 SE) and restart the project, taking into consideration the recent security situation including North Korea’s third nuclear test and latest aerospace technology development,” defense ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said, according to the article. “They agreed that South Korean Air Force needs fifth-generation combat jets to keep pace with the latest trend and to deter provocations by North Korea.”

The reference to fifth-generation will certainly be welcomed by Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed, whose F-35A was initially knocked out of the competition because of its higher cost. The F-35 Lightning II and the F-22 Raptor are the two fifth-generation fighters in the U.S. arsenal.

Lockheed “will continue to support the U.S. government in its offer of the F-35A to Korea,” Eric Schnaible, a company spokesman, said in an e-mailed statement.

EADS, meanwhile, plans to restart discussions with South Korea and improve its bid, according to Bloomberg News.

South Korea now plans to restart the program, complete with an updated budget, quantity of planes and technical requirements. The selection process may take another year. The country’s air force already flies American-made aircraft, including F-15K Slam Eagles made by Boeing and F-16 Fighting Falcons made by Lockheed. It also operates aging fleets of F-4s and F-5s.

Boeing investors weren’t as fazed by the news. Shares of the company rose 1.3 percent to close at $119 in New York.

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Ok, I get it. S Korea NEEDS a 5th gen stealth aircraft to deal with the N Korean air force which consists of about 40 modern gen 3+ MIG-29s and everything else they have is older than dirt. Their pilots get very few hrs and they they follow Chinese/Russian doctrine. The S Korean air force could easily sweep them from the skies with their current inventory

So they are trading a known, highly capable and affordable F-15SE for the none-affordable and vapor-ware F-35? WTF? as we used to say

WTF is S.korea thinking. if they need a MRF now, then a F-15SE is what they need, not a F-35

North Korea, a Russian puppet state…WTF? NK is close to China, not Russia, but even then there are tensions. The Soviets sent a small group of pilots to provide some air force because they didnt have anything and China and NK asked. They didnt even fly the entire war. NK doesnt have the money to pay for large acquisitions of modern equipment.

This deal falling through is about US pressure on Korea to either buy the F-35 to help reduce a ballooing overall cost or, as a very secondary option, to partner with the US in developing their own, which would probbaly involve lucrative contracts for the needed US tech. This is all repayment for the US flying the flag (with US stealth no less) over the South when the North was throwing its most recent tantrum, as the article stated.

Big-Dean the MiG-29 is most definately a 4th gen aircraft, and China and Russia have different aerial doctrines. That aside, your point is valid. Heck id be very surprised if the NK MiG-29s had the tech to avoid getting shot down by modern Western SAMs.

Amusing how you completely skipped how the last time the North Koreans came across the DMZ they were using Russian and not North Korean pilots and that the last time the North Koreans didn’t have an air force but suddenly came up with what was then state of the art MiG-15s. Yes I do believe that Russia would do that again and so would China since North Korea is their puppet state.

Indeed, the F-35 is a maximum (5th generation) price airframe with a watered-down (3rd generation) mission profile that’s been knocked back several times because it’s been unable to meet even reduced performance goals.

Victory: Lockheed
Loser: US Taxpayers

The Koreans do not want the Japanese to have something they don’t. National pride ya know.

What you are doing is thinking here and now and not the 5 to 10 years down the road. since these planes are not going to be able to be delivered till say 2017 with the Chinese being supporters of North Korea and now having a Stealth aircraft it is highly possible to see these things popping up in North Korea and the F-15 would not fair as well against another stealth aircraft. Just look at the tests done against the F-22 where a group of 12 Strike Eagles were downed by 2 F-22s.

The last time North Korea invaded the South Korea the South Korean government had a US equipment that was of fairly new production, WWII, but for a small army. North Korea negated that by using massive waves which simply overran the South. This is the same thing we feared would happen with the Russian tanks pouring through the Fulda Gap and why we created the overly advanced Abrams tank.

Don’t be too worried about the J-20. Just because it *looks* like a stealth aircraft doesn’t make it one. They’re cheek mounting external missiles ffs. Big fat engines, canards, and simple intakes don’t help either.

@Big-Dean you know the truth itself, so let’s be serious why the F15SE has lose against the F35 and this is the fact what the F15SE cannot fight against the Chinese J31 and the J20 Stealth Fighter/Bomber of the PLA and the F15SE can also not be an effective enemy to the PAK FA of the Russian’s and even the F35 of Japan was considered by the Koreans as a hypnotically treat (japan and South Korea are also not the best neighbors).

And everyone in the World else also knows what South Korea didn’t seek a 5 Generation Fighter because of the Nord Korean communist but due to their Communist Friends called the “People Republic of China“ or shorter Red China. And everyone in the Pacific theater how is not a brutal dictator and ally of Red China or at last an ally of the Russians build up there Armed Forces to face the rising Chinese threat. But it is politically easier/ not controversial to say what you build-up because of the Crazy North Korean Aliens.

But the reality is what the only real full-aspect Stealth Fighter the F22 is because of Obama and his incompetent Communist-Friends death and as consequence the last remaining real stealth jet in the Western World is the F35, like it or not but this is the fact and all other is daydreaming. The F15 or the F18 based one a 35 Year old designs how cane and will never become real stealth fighter because why them it were be so easy to build stealth fighter based one legacy design’s all nation around the world had today they own small stealth fighter Programs. And as consequence we would see today everywhere “stealth” Mig-21, “stealth” Mig-29 and “stealth” Su-27 like “stealth” F16, F15 and F18. But the reality behind the “stealth” of the F15SE or the F18 Block 3 is at first promotion and not more. But then you didn’t have an enemy neighbor with a real stealth fighter you can chose the “stealthy” F15SE or the F18 Block 3 and sleep well but them your neighbor is Red China or the Neo-imperial Russia and a Conflict is more them just a nightmare you have to think about your defense.

The F15SE is likely good enough them you plan to fight old legacy fighters like the Mig29, Su27 or even never like the J10B, J11B, Su30MKI or Mig35 but them the enemy has something like the Su35BM or a PAK FA you should start to search for something better them an improved legacy 35 years old fighter design and the newest treats in for of the Chinese J20 and J31 look to become real stealth Jets so the only responsible option for Korea like for Japan and next for Singapore is the F35. And it is also a fact what the South Korean, the Japanese and the Singapore Military know the performance limits of their F15 Fleets damn good, because why they fly them since years (South Korea, Singapore) to decades (Japan) and them they say what the F15SE is not enough, so they know about what they speak. Especially since South Korea had benefited from the F15SE economical much more them from the F35 but it looks what the Performance was in foreground for them. South Korea has already is F15K and an own Supply-Line with thousands of employer’s and some experience with the F15K so them the difference among the F15Se and the F35 would have been small they have never rejected the F15SE but they done is and this should be for all amateur like us a sign what improved Legacy fighter are not an alternative for the coming future.

Apparently the ROKAF voted for the Silent Eagle , but the civilian committee went for the LM publicity machine. The Airforce argued for hours behind closed doors, BUT couldn’t get the decision reversed. Expect a Boeing war on LM over some of their submissions to the committee !!!!

“Don’t be too worried about the J-20.”

No, be worry about the J20 more them abaut the PAK-FA.because why it looks like what the J20 is not a fighter like the F22 but a more a stealth Su34. With other Words the J20 is Red Chinas bigger and stealthy F15E or better said more a medium-bomber them a fighter. The bigger Problem is the smaller J31 how looks like a stealthy F35 or a smaller duplicate of the F22 how will likely mass-produced and don’t forget the other more them 1000 legacy fighters of all Types what China has already (Su27, Su30, J11B, J10A, J10B and J15) this is a force build to defeat the USAF and US Navy In there theater and as a small country like South Korea with a totally insane Chinese Proxy one the Boarder, it is time for panic and for a own nuclear program.

And them you look one the J20 and the J31 in compare to the PAK FA you rapidly see what the J20 and the J31 are alredy better processed/manufactured and also better designed them the PAK FA/ Su-T50 .It is true what canards are not ideal for a stealth fighter and a big and hot engine also but the same Problem has also the F35 with is Single-Engine. And I see also a lot room for improvements by the J20 and J31 because why both are just prototypes so just remember how the YF-22 or the X-35 looked in compare to the actual F22 and F35.

Then it’ll go again with the same result, ROKAF still gets to pick the winners of testing rounds. Hopefully a second go will cause the civilian committee see sense. I get the suspicion that LM lobbied extra hard here.

The power of Lockheed Martin’s lobbying never ceases to amaze me. Boeing won this competition fair and square. Dassault called it. They knew this competition was a rigged sham and didn’t even bother to bring the Rafale to the table. EADS and Boeing wasted large sums of money fighting for the Eurofighter and the Silent Eagle.

In a world where Russian T-50 and Chinese J-21 5th GEN stealth fighter jets will be roaming the skies, you either fly Lockheed Martin’s F-35 or not have an air force and it’s that simple; when the Pentagon picked the F-35 for the JSF program, Boeing could have continued development of their YF-32 in hopes of a chance to sell to international buyers like Northrop’s YF-17 which became the F-18 Hornet while EADS and Dassault should have began clean sheet designs of their own instead of modifying existing airframes like Boeing’s F-15 Silent Eagle which are essentially lipstick on a 40-year old pig.

Absolutly true !
Dassault Rafale jet won the first contest against all other competitors.
Politics in Seoul maide another choice.
On the time beeing Seoul is in the corner.
Dassault will never play again as a rabit in front of politician decision process.
If Seoul have in mind to get the best fighter combat proven, just knock the door.

Funny, the 40-year old pig now with lipstick is only a bit less stealthy, has close-enough-as-makes-no-difference quality electronics and sensors, is faster, more maneuverable, has longer range, more payload, less maintenance and is much cheaper. Calling the new –SE variant 40 years old is simply wrong. The fact that the performance of both the Super Hornet and Silent Eagle is superior to both the F-35 and X-32 shows that it was the right idea to simply improve the older planes.

Too bad you can’t just bolt a box to the airplane and say it’s “stealth”. Boeing would be all over that.

Why should anyone bother, when the outcome is already set?

Conspiracy Theory: ROKAF is about to anounce F-15SE as their choice. At the 11th hour they announce they must have Gen 5 and a new competition. I smell a rat.

This is purely conjecture but I would not put it past the USAF and our State Dept to have coerced South Korea to get back in line with their mantra (and their desperate need to sell FMS jets) that only 5th Gen. (F-35) is viable. What carrot or stick was used if this actually happened? Promise of military aide to make up the price difference, a reduce level of military cooperation if they didn’t recant…?

Of course the other time honored tradition in foreign fighter competitions is bribery which I doubt happened but still it wouldn’t shock me if that occurred either.

Lockheed tried bribing people before to get business (see the F-104). I would hope they aren’t at it again.

South Korea needs F-22’s. As would Japan.

What’s interesting about the Korean War is how everyone has a different view of it.

The ROKA had “new” equipment, but that counts for nothing if you don’t have anti-tank guns or tanks to counter T-34’s. They had the /wrong/ equipment, and paid dearly for it.

The KPA hit the ROKA with a Soviet-trained mechanized force, and started the war while China was melting down in a civil war (and thus the communists and the PLA were unable to help the KPA).

If Its Air to Air they seek, then why in the hell would you go for an f-35 and not a raptor? Raptors are the best Air to Air jet in the sky right now… F-35s were developed mainly for ground support…

It never ceases to amaze me how the “experts” on this forum are able to assess the performance of developmental prototype Russian and Chinese aircraft based soley on pictures and propoganda…


Because they are not available to other nations. Besides, that production line is shut down.

What, me worry? I do not rely on what interet bloggers tell me about fighter jets, and it looks good to me when I run the numbers. The J-20 is certainly a fighter and its intended purpose is to negate the the F-22 threat. If the Chinese have the political will to develop all the bits, the J-20 configuration is formidable. Sure, it is big. It has at least 25,000 lbs of internal fuel, internal space for at least 6 missiles, and a big nose radome aperture. Even with lower power, fall-back engines, it is still has superior performance to the F-35. I like their chances.

The DPRK AF has more MiG-21s and MiG-17s in its inventory than MiG-29s. Think this more politics than need for the ROKAF.

Think this was more anti American politics, F-15SE has some Stealth capabilities and is faster and more maneuverable than the JSF. Think since that it want the military but a Civilian panel who did this cancellation its more of left parties in the ROK giving US the raspberry. Any way the USAF should be buying F-15SE anyway.

Araya — you should really repost what you said as a standalone post. The F35 haters (not that the plane doesn’t have blemishes) are giving you negatives because you’re destroying their argument. S. Korea lives under an existential threat. It’s not just N. Korea they have to defend against and S. Korea needs to own their own defense because they might not be able to rely on the US in a time of need. Isolationism is becoming strong here.

Everyone might have a different view but there are some unalterable facts.

The Chinese Civil War was largely over in Dec ’49. It ended officially almost two months before Korea started which was more a Soviet enterprise than a Chinese one.

The Chinese got involved when it looked like N. Korea would fall. Russia urged Chinese involvement and China felt threatened.

“The Airforce argued for hours behind closed doors, BUT couldn’t get the decision reversed.”


In re “North Korea negated that by using massive waves which simply overran the South.” it’s pretty undisputed that the KPA simply had the better army and proper supplies.

As an addendum, I don’t recall when the Soviets gave back Manchuria/Manchuko to China. Was it after the People’s Republic, or did it go to the Republic of China?

That said, I was thinking that the Korean War kicked off in ’49, but it kicked off in ’50. The communists traditionally had the north and west as their strongholds, and those areas would’ve been uncontested even from the beginning.

If you say Lockheed in Asia most people think of the Lockheed bribery scandal that brought down a Japanese government.

The South Koreans are better off licensing the PAK-FA.

The real threat is not North Korea its China and nothing the US has or plans is competitive with the next generation of Chinese fighters.

If they were really smart they would buy Chinese and cement their largest trading partnership, go a long way to solving the NK problem and it would probably give the Japanese a heart attack.

I have never been a fanboy of the Eagle but you cannot deny it is an extremely capable airplane given its record. Now its not only proven but its cheaper than the other options. Add the numerous improvements in stealth, latest EW defense systems seen on the Super Hornet, glass cockpit and JMHCS, AESA Radar and IRST, it will perform well into the future against anything China has currently and certainly anything the NK will have in the next few years.

I am not a hater of the F35 but I would bet good money that in an Air to Air scenario, the F15SE will be more than a decent for the F35. The F15SE’s stealth is mainly for Air to Air rather than all around use and we know it would smoke the F35 in visual range dog fighting. Outside of that, the radars and other systems are similar so why not buy which one is much cheaper?

Amazing how inept leadership at the top will unwisely commit billions of dollars and years of development for fantasy systems for fantasy scenarios, while so many urgent, valid, immediate readiness requirements go unaddressed. Is there some rational reason why South Korea cannot simultaneously pursue both the Silent Eagle and alternate 5th gen fighter concepts?

It’s an illusion to assume the USA has nothing to compete with the next generation of Chinese fighters. Just because you don’t read about them in Aviation Week doesn’t mean they haven’t been designed and prototypes don’t exist. Annual black world expenditures are enormous and seldom reported.

The Norks greatly outnumbered S. Korea on 25 June 1950. A little over 2 to 1 in troops, almost 300 tanks to 0 and over 200 combat aircraft vs 22 (half liaison half trainer aircraft).

A month later S. Korea had 22k troops and was pulling people off the street and putting a rifle in their hands.

The T-34/85 was substantially better than the US Chafee’s that initially opposed them. N. Korea was at initially better trained.

Wiki cities Appleman’s “South to the Naktong, North to the Yalu”. Didn’t realize CMH did Korean War as well…I first ran into them when my internet digging stumbled about Vietnam Studies.–2-1/to

“The North Korea People’s Army in June 1950 constituted a ground force of eight infantry divisions at full strength, two more infantry divisions activated at an estimated half strength, a separate infantry regiment, a motorcycle reconnaissance regiment, and an armored brigade. Five of the infantry divisions and the armored brigade had well-trained combat personnel. Many of these soldiers were hardened veterans who had fought with the Chinese”

“The North Korean ground forces-the NKPA and the Border Constabulary-in June 1950 numbered about 135,000 men. This estimated total included 77,838 men in seven assault infantry divisions, 6,000 in the tank brigade, 3,000 in an independent infantry regiment, 2,000 in a motorcycle regiment, 23,000 in three reserve divisions, 18,600 in the Border Constabulary, and 5,000 in Army and I and II Corps Headquarters. [15]”

“In January 1946 a Korean constabulary was authorized and established. This organization took form so slowly that a year later it numbered only 5,000 men. By April 1947, however, it had doubled in strength and by July of that year it had reached 15,000. The constabulary became the Republic of Korea (ROK) Army in August 1948 and grew so rapidly in the next few months that by January 1949 it numbered more than 60,000 men. [23] In March 1949 the Republic of Korea had an Army of 65,000, a Coast Guard of 4,000, and a police force of 45,000-a total security force of about 114,000 men. The United States had equipped about 50,000 men in the Army with standard infantry-type weapons and materiel, including the M1 rifle and 60-mm. and 81-mm. mortars.

The South Korean divisions along the Parallel were equipped mostly with the United States M1 rifle, .30-caliber carbine, 60-mm. and 81-mm. mortars, 2.36-in. rocket launchers, 37-mm. antitank guns, and 105-mm. howitzers M3. The howitzers had been used in the U.S. infantry cannon companies in World War II. They had a shorter barrel than the regular 105-mm. howitzer M2, possessed no armor shield, and had an effective range of only 7,250 yards (8,200 yards maximum range) as compared to 12,500 yards for the 105-mm. howitzer M2. There were five battalions of these howitzers organized into the usual headquarters and service companies and three firing batteries of five howitzers each. The 1st, 2d, 6th, 7th, and 8th Divisions each had a battalion of the howitzers. A sixth battalion was being formed when the war started. [29] Of 91 howitzers on hand 15 June 1950, 89 were serviceable. The South Korean armed forces had no tanks, no medium artillery, no 4.2-in. mortars, no recoilless rifles, and no fighter aircraft or bombers. The divisions engaged in fighting guerrillas in the eastern and southern mountains had a miscellany of small arms, including many Japanese Model 99 World War II rifles.

In October of 1949 the ROK Minister of Defense had requested 189 M26 tanks but the acting chief of KMAG told him the KMAG staff held the view that the Korean terrain and the condition of roads and bridges would not lend themselves to efficient tank operations. About the same time a KMAG officer pointed out to Ambassador Muccio that the equipment provided the ROK’s was not adequate to maintain the border, and he cited the fact that North Korean artillery out-ranged by several thousand yards the ROK 105-mm. howitzer M3 and shelled ROK positions at will while being out of range of retaliatory fire.

The ROK Army in June 1950 had among its heavier weapons 27 armored cars; something more than 700 artillery pieces and mortars, including 105-mm. howitzers and 81-mm. and 60-mm. mortars; about 140 antitank guns; and approximately 1,900 2.36-in. bazookas. In June 1950 it had about 2,100 serviceable U.S. Army motor vehicles for transportation, divided between about 830 2 1/2-ton trucks and 1,300 1/4-ton trucks (jeeps). Motor maintenance was of a low order. ”

Which actually casts the disparity between the KPA and the ROKA under a harsh, quantitative light vs the usual “they had to run up to T-34’s with satchels of dynamite”, which doesn’t quite show how badly equipped the ROKA was.

The ROK should realize that if they buy into the JSF there’s no guarantee that they will get all the jets they want at the price they like.

Might be the time to push an indigenous stealth fighter program?

Rusia shares ~12 miles of border with North Korea from the Pacific coast inward. One bridge crosses the river forming that border and goes from NK to Russia. NK has had many dealings with the Russians, including some arms sales. They even trade goods across that bridge.

The F-15 SE is a remarkable aircraft! But, it can’t fight the stealth inventory of the Russians and the Chinese because that’s who’s coming across the borders, me thinks.…

Looks to me like S Korea was the one to drop out. If they want and are willing to pay for something different then either Boeing is going to have to match there requirements or lose out.

How are they going to be funded with the budget being what it is?

It isn’t SOLELY based on pictures and propaganda!
It also is congruent with their own opinions and preconceptions, which is a totally different situation!


Been there JohnnyRanger, been there a long time, Chengdu and Shenyang, watched and listened and watched some more. I don’t claim to be an expert…but I will comment on the recent Chinese and Russian efforts with their stealth aircraft as serious and noteworthy accomplishments. How it stacks up to the West, I have no opinion.

“only a bit less stealthy“

i’l be amazed if they can afford or justify the cost of f-35’s however good potential boost to the f35 team non the less.

The SE is truly only a bit less stealthy. The F-35’s stealth, especially at non-frontal angles, is mediocre at best. If you’ve seen the modifications made in the SE program, it would be hard for it to be substantially inferior in stealth. And, the stealth is optional for the most part. You can remove the conformal bays to free up extra hardpoints and have all of the performance of the late model E variants, the SA and SG when the stealth isn’t needed.

They don’t need to worry about upcoming chinese or russian stealth planes, as those will be priority assets in both countries’ air forces for the foreseeable future. Even if NK got support from either of those, they wouldn’t receive the high-importance wings unless it got really out of hand, and in that scale of conflict, SK isn’t going to be the major player on this side. By the time the J-20s and J-31s from china and the T-50s from russia arrive in bulk, the KFX program will have delivered it’s results.

There is some F-117 stealth fighters in the Boneyard maybe sell them to the South Koreans

Export ban.

SK must be looking beyond the enemy on their border, China perhaps. China is robbing the US blind of its stealth technology, and other technology as well, and claims to have an aircraft comparable to the F35


An F-117, despite the name, is a bomber not a fighter.

I don’t think it really *destroy* anti-f35 arguments. I share most of his analysis about the situation, but it suppose that the decisions are solely made on a technical basis, it remain to be seen. I still believe it will prove me right.

Any stealth that the f-35 could bring to the table is not free; I believe that investing the difference specifically in area like electronic warfare itself rather than a finished products. I also highly doubt that the korean f-35 would go in a dogfight, they could be victims of a vicious drone attack while they are on the ground.

I believe that the f-35 vs. the j-31 will be analogous to the 5.56x45mm vs 5.8x42mm. That is, we are at a point where the chinese come with a more elegant decision but fortunately –for now– their implementation is not as beautiful; they might not be the ultimate engineering decision but they got a greater potential, which could be used at any time in the future. Coupled with their generously funded educational system, it makes a lot of warning flags of what could happen next. When, I don’t know; but it seems sooner than the intel hinted.

Remember how the two first A-bomb were more of a prototype than a fninshed products? The chinese could do the same with anti-f35 technology. Naturally the f-35 could not be blamed for failing to survive those brand new, unexpected threat.

MIke — Drone attack? You do realize S. Korea has a pretty robust air defense capability and the Nork’s drones are just a little better than rubber band driven toy planes (1970’s tech)? Maybe artillery? Maybe missiles? Most likely threat is commando action but not “vicious” rubber band driven drones.

About Chinese education, they spend $100 mil a year. We spend a trillion. Don’t disagree they are kicking our butts but it’s not because of what they spend on it which is far from generous considering our standard.

Anti F-35 tech? Maybe, if they steal it from us. The Chinese aren’t known for innovation.

Comrade Oblatt1 don’t believe your beloved Putin’s propaganda about the T-50 ‚it is not the Raptor killer you have been told it is. The T-50 has very little rear quarter stealth qualities which is why they have a “small” rearward facing radar , which would not detect an F-22 until it is far too late .Do not let American Press convince you the Cow dung that they had spread about the F-22 . Most of the news agencies sought out known F-22 critics when they tried to smear the F-22s realities of performance. Yes it did have a problem with the oxygen system along with the fact that the F-22 can out perform the healthy parameters of humans. The truth is , that the west’s avionics are way better than Russia’s is and that is going to mean that the ejection system on the T-50 will be getting a lot of use if these two jets should meet as combatants in the air.

I wonder where you’re getting your RCS data from.

Why don’t we get Boeing to make all our F-16’s into drones and send 10 drones and one armed F-XXX and let the enemy waste all their anti-aircraft fire on drones we were going to shoot down anyway. Then we can sneak in from behind them and really kick some serious red stars.
Ask your self how big a radar return is acceptable? An F-22 one square inch, an F-35 2 square inches, or the F15SE 4 square inches. Difference in price about 5 years of foreign aid.

Source for the RCS values? I’d be amazed if they could bring the F-15SE down to such low RCS relative to purpose-built stealth fighters.

One thing you are neglecting to acknowledge is that stealth fighters aren’t only used to fight other aircraft. They are also used to evade ground radar and ground missile defense, something I am sure the north has plenty of. Their missile defense may not be as good as the south’s but I am sure they are more than capable of shooting down non-stealth aircraft.

Ah yes the secret wonder weapons the fuehrer has in store to win the war LOL

I do the best I can using the same methods preliminary design teams use for trade studies. It is a much more educated guess than most bloggers. Yes, I use pictures, three view drawings, propaganda and my own bias. I also use a library of books and journals I have acquired over 40 years to keep me aligned with reality. There are a lot of BS artists on the net pushing their own agenda. I have a pantload of calculations to defend my BS. I do it because I am sick and tired of being manipulated by press releases and politics. A few hundred people inside design teams and military organizations do it just the way I do. They also know the truth about the intimidating capability of the Russian and Chinese jets that have been in flight test for many years now.

The F-22 has realized 95% of the capability that the ATF program envisioned. It is not a disappointment, even in the cost department. However, the new Sukhoi was conceived to defeat the F-22. The details you criticize are the result of tradeoffs. They do things their own way. There is more than one way to get the job done. It is ironic that you mention ejection seats because in the late 1990s the F-22 engineering dept was directed to perform an integration study to install the K-36 (?) seat in the F-22. Of course, nothing is as it seems, and the effort could have had other motivations. However, the K-36 does have a larger ejection envelope than the ACES-II. Bottom line…I think the Russians know what they are doing.

The comparison is more like this, Robert. F-22: .0001 sq meter, F-35: .001 sq meter, F15SE: 0.1 sq meter. (optimistic). What is the result of your thought experiment now?

Has anyone remembered the F-22 Raptor is not for sale? Or that its assembly line has been disassembled? Only Australia really needs the Raptor anyway, to defend it from the Chinese hoards. I mean ten of thousands of cash carrying Chinese tourists.

I’m not sure why everyone (Not here. Just in general) still getting wet about stealth.

In a few years (if it hasn’t already happened) and unless the aircraft is made of 100% RAM, either a simple software upgrade and/or through using a cluster of radars, will make them obsolete.

I’m sure a grad student in India is almost there.

Any country would need the f-22, in very low quantity. I wonder how much it would have cost to keep the production line at its lowest level, for the time the improvement comes, before ordering another batch.

To be quite honest, I don’t know that much about their capability and even less about SK air defence capability, except perhaps to have seen word like patriot in the newspaper. Mentioning a drone attack was probably a little inadequate. I should have said a vicious attack, perhaps even a drone strike.

I was alluding at China’s capability giving them to NK, as a friendly gift, or to test some of their technology and see how it turn. I was thinking at some situation where it could be a little tricky to determine whether it’s a drone or a missile; for now it’s more a sci-fi candidate than a game-changer. I should stick with the big picture and simply not using the word “drone”.

I believe drones could do it, but I concede it’s probably the most effective way. While it’s mathematically feasible it doesn’t mean that it’s going to be a military success. Let’s say very high velocity missile (i.e. mach10+) and commando action (from spec ops up to paid and trained militant). Won’t be easy, but I don’t think the f-35 would change much here. Either side attacking (and as lockheed promo video hint) will be more about missile than a specific platform. I would personally look for some X-47 or equivalent for the task. Since computing power radically increased since the introduction of the first tomahawk, drone and missile could determine their position accurately without relying on gps, if it become unavailable –NK can definitely jam gps. Again, nothing that the f-35 can that alternatives could not do.

>About Chinese education, they spend $100 mil a year. We spend a trillion.
Then the number I heard almost a year ago were probably of some very specific area, not necessarily relevant. Nevertheless they are getting a lot of engineer out of their school, and out of our world class school. But yes they are not known for their innovation, yet. They got the world most powerful supercomputer (Tianhe-2) and last time that I checked they couldn’t use it at more than 10%. That won’t be eternal. In term of processor design (godson mips), they claim to be 10 years behind silicon valley. I’d say they are conservative as they are not the most powerful, but in term of power efficiency they are doing just fine.

If I can do an analogy, 20 years ago Hyundai was doing some piece of s*it as laughable as a Lada. Then in the early 2000s their most basic model (accent) was outperforming its “sport” turbo driven predecessor, and it was faster (yet we are still speaking of low hp car). Mechanically their were average, but had horrible ergonomics. Then their R&D paid off. They formed a consortium with mitsubishi and dodge, shared their patents for their engine. By now they are very competitive.

I think the same will happen with China. One day or another, they will create. That won’t necessarily mean the beginning of the end for us as they might just stretch their muscle, then sit and watch their opponent auto-destroying themselves. Or the opposite. But by having a look at our occidental inability to stay out of deficit, the former seems to be the most probable outcome.

typo on paragraph 3: but I concede it’s probably NOT the most effective way

Estimate to be sure, and the –SE is noting like a F-22 in terms of RCS, but the F-35 has pretty poor performance RCS wise outside of Frontal aspect. I can’t give exacting data because it’s not released, definitely classified in the F-35’s case, and probably classified in the –SE. SE has equivalent RAM, internal bays, and realigned tiles. Boeing said in ’09 that the SE was close to the F-35’s RCS, and the RCS of the F-35 has gotten a bit worse since then. I’d say “bit less” is a quite accurate overall statement. ROKAF also apparently felt the F-35s RCS wasn’t good enough to warrant purchase either.

And it won’t be difficult or costly to have three or more radar sets in place of one or two for ever SAM battery? Nor will they be more vulnerable with all of this extra equipment? Nor will ECM be more effective at protecting stealth aircraft?

I am not an expert but I think it’s not an obligation. You can implement them the way you want as long as you got many radar at the task; sure having to analyze the data for a cluster add a layer of complexity on the design part but in either case you definitely want some redundancy, either by having more sam that the minimum to tolerate failure or by having as many antenna on each single of them as required.

Either approach require a lot more computing power, we are in 2013 no in 1983 thus it’s merely a software challenge. I don’t say it’s going to be an impenetrable wall either, but a stealth aircraft won’t be enough; you will need intel about their SAM to find a potential weakness yet it will remain a risky business –the enemy could pull out a rabbit at any time just like in Serbia … and perhaps on a larger scale.

>Nor will ECM be more effective at protecting stealth aircraft?

I think the right answer will be it depend. Is that big f-135 engine going to be invisible to infrared detector?


The MiG-29 might be 4th Gen but that doesnt mean anything if the pilots cant fly it and the plane isn’t maintained. The soviet/russian designs are usually first rate but they build garbage. We field 1 spare engine per 10 engine beds and the russians field 2 PER ENGINE BED! The can’t keep the aircraft in the air for sustained operations for very long because the engines crap out. The aircraft also require a massive amount of maintenance even when they arent flying. I’d wager the South Koreans are by-passing the most capible aircraft so They can get their hands on the F-35 technology


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