Home » Air » Russia’s Newest Fighter Lands at Test Base

Russia’s Newest Fighter Lands at Test Base

by Brendan McGarry on November 20, 2013


Russia’s latest version of the Sukhoi T-50 fighter jet recently arrived at a test base outside Moscow.

The fifth and latest prototype for Russia’s fifth-generation stealth fighter program — one of only a few in development around the world — landed Nov. 11 at the Gromov Flight Research Institute in Zhukovsky, about 25 miles southeast of Moscow. A video of the arrival was posted today on YouTube.

Moscow-based Sukhoi Co. is building the single-seat, twin-engine T-50 for the Russian air force as part of the PAK FA program. The aircraft is designed to succeed both the MiG-29 and the Su-27 in the Russian fleet, with top speeds of more than Mach 2, or about 1,327 miles per hour.

That’s faster than the F-35 Lighting II made by Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed Martin Corp. for the Joint Strike Fighter program, but not as speedy as the F-22 Raptor, also made by Lockheed — the world’s largest defense contractor.

The Russian warplane may be used in limited numbers to attack enemy radar, support aircraft and other targets with long-range missiles. The country only plans to buy about 70 of the aircraft, including 10 prototypes.

While the T-50 first flew in 2010, the latest version of the plane, known as T-50–5, has been upgraded with a new paint design, antennas fitted into the leading-edge root extension and a partially integrated distributed aperture system, a source wrote in an e-mail to Military​.com. The latter is Russia’s attempt to answer the F-35’s DAS technology.

Made by Northrop Grumman Corp., the AN/AAQ-37 is the “only 360-degree, spherical situational awareness system,” designed to warn pilots of incoming aircraft and missile threats, and to provide them with day– and night-vision, fire-control and precision-tracking of friendly aircraft, according to the Falls Church, Va.-based company.

It wasn’t immediately clear what kind of testing the latest version of the jet will undergo. Russia has reportedly delayed the start of operational flights of the T-50 by a year to 2016.

Russia didn’t bring any of the new fighters to the Paris Air Show in June, opting instead to show off the aircraft at its own event in Zhukovsky in August. (Though the country still stole headlines in Paris with aerial demonstrations of its Su-35 fighter and the Ka-52 attack helicopter, among other aircraft.)


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{ 142 comments… read them below or add one }

majr0d November 20, 2013 at 5:06 pm

Awesome. Congrats Russia!

The F22 first flew in '97. 13 years before the T-50.


Mr.T November 20, 2013 at 6:24 pm

And is still more dangerous to its pilots than the enemy.


majr0d November 20, 2013 at 6:45 pm

Sounds like wishful thinking and remains to be seen.

More F15 pilots have been killed by F15s than by enemy aircraft. 104 – 0 record as of '08 and the F22 is a much better plane….


DamonS November 21, 2013 at 4:18 pm

The F-15 record doesn't really matter. The rest of the world, besides the US allies, have NEVER had anything to could even compete with the F-15 until the past decade or so. Even Top Gun pilots will tell you that other countries have better pilots than the US does, even if they have inferior fighter planes.


majr0d November 21, 2013 at 4:50 pm

"The F-15 record doesn't really matter. The rest of the world, besides the US allies, have NEVER had anything to could even compete with the F-15 until the past decade or so." Uh, not surprising you don't see the similarities to the F22?

"Even Top Gun pilots will tell you that other countries have better pilots than the US does," Really? Evidence?

Stratege November 21, 2013 at 4:52 pm

I don't want to dismiss deserved combat glory of the F-15.
But the statistics of kills includes a lot of fighter jets from the second and third generations(stripped down variants). Also, there is number of dedicated
ground-attack aircraft killed by F-15.


majr0d November 21, 2013 at 5:22 pm

Seems silly to measure the success of outstanding aircraft in unique ways unless one has an agenda.

Are we going to limit aircraft to shooting down equivalent aircraft? Is the T-50 not going to fire at an A10?

You say you don't want to detract from the F15's record. What's your point then?

Rest Pal November 21, 2013 at 6:58 pm

That's because the US never dared to use the F-15 against a comparable fighter flown by the Soviets / Russians. Just like wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the USAF only bullies small, poor third world countries who couldn't afford latest jets and air defense systems.

The F-22 is a failure. It might not be as screwed-up as the F-35, but a failure nonetheless. People who check their news regularly (real news, not propaganda) would have known over 5 years ago.


majr0d November 24, 2013 at 11:53 am

Well if Russia would sell their less capable aircraft to more dictators we might have more of an opportunity to shoot them down.

This line has been repeated since Korea where the Sabre had a 1:8 kill ratio against the Mig-15's. Keep believing what you will about the F22. History has a way of proving you wrong.

BTW, six Mig 29s were shot down by US made aircraft in Bosnia with no loss of US aircraft…

zbigniewmazurak November 24, 2013 at 1:59 pm

The F-22 is not a failure at all. It is the world's best fighter and the ONLY Western (not just American – WESTERN) aircraft which can defeat the PAKFA, the J-20, and the J-31. Terminating its production was one of the most cretinous decisions ever made by any administration, and the US will, one day, pay the price for it.

Rest Pal November 21, 2013 at 6:50 pm

Well said Mr. T. And it also poses lethal dangers to the maintenance and support crew due to the high toxicity of the coating and other chemicals regularly used.


majr0d November 24, 2013 at 11:56 am

But not as dangerous as being ground crew next to a Russian built plane in a wartime environment. Ask the Bosnians and whatever Iraqis are left…

The safest crews were those that buried their Russian made planes in the desert…



Stratege November 24, 2013 at 2:30 pm

Iraqis and others had never obtained a fourth generation Soviet/Russia fighter jets in meaningful numbers and with a proper armament and maintenance.
A little number of a stripped down MiG-29s (facing numerically superior air force equipped with a 4th gen a/c) didn't make sense.

octopusmagnificens November 20, 2013 at 6:30 pm

YF-22 in 1990, almost in the Reagan era.


Lance November 21, 2013 at 5:02 pm

No it flew in 1990.


majr0d November 21, 2013 at 5:14 pm

Lance, Lance Lance…

The YF-22 flew in '90. The F-22 flew in '97. There is a difference.

I didn't feel a need to rub anyone's nose in how far ahead the US is.


zbigniewmazurak November 24, 2013 at 4:24 am

The US is not ahead of Russia or China in anything.


majr0d November 24, 2013 at 11:15 am

Crap, I must have missed those flag raisings on the moon

Rest Pal November 21, 2013 at 7:00 pm

And 13 years later, the F-22 is still not done with all crucial tests yet! Manufactured, but not fully tested.

You take pride in that? LOL. Only in America.


majr0d November 24, 2013 at 11:19 am

Not done with tests? Which would those be?

No blog to tell lies on in your country?


ike November 27, 2013 at 6:49 pm

The F-22 is not through with all tests. It's not that difficult to find out what tests are still pending for the F-22. Stop posting crap and use the time to do some research.


majr0d November 27, 2013 at 8:37 pm

You have to be from another country. You want me to do your research for you. Easy to find? You post the links.

The plane is in operational squadrons. The final production F22 was delivered in 2011 TWO YEARS AGO. The production line is CLOSED. Still testing? Get real…

Charles James Haas November 30, 2013 at 8:48 pm

All active planes continue their test programs to continue to improve them. The B-52 continues to fly test flights. Are you going to say the B-52 can't fly in combat because it is still testing?

zbigniewmazurak November 24, 2013 at 4:23 am

But only 187 F-22s have ever been built, and production was prematurely killed over 2 years ago, while the T-50 will be produced in the hundreds, both for Russia and for export customers.


majr0d November 24, 2013 at 11:18 am

z- Hundreds? Read the article.

I'm understanding your score better and batter.


zbigniewmazurak November 24, 2013 at 11:48 am

The idea that Russia and China will repeat America's idiotic mistake by spending billions of dollars on developing world-class stealthy fighters, only to then kill their production prematurely for purely political reasons at a mere 100-180 aircraft is idiotic.

My score is the result of a hate campaign conducted against me after I exposed the B-52 as what it is: an utterly obsolete aircraft incapable of surviving even the most modest enemy IADS.


majr0d November 24, 2013 at 1:30 pm

Yep, a hate campaign.

Keep talking I bet you can "achieve" a much lower score…

Nick November 20, 2013 at 5:21 pm

Glad someone built the F-23


mpower6428 November 20, 2013 at 7:11 pm

my thoughts exactly.


William_C1 November 20, 2013 at 8:44 pm

Except they are extremely different. The T-50 like the YF-23 happens to be larger than the F-22 but the details are all different.


XYZ November 21, 2013 at 2:02 pm

Exactly. COMPLETELY different design, very little in common aerodynamically and elsewhere as well.


Rest Pal November 21, 2013 at 7:04 pm

the difference: the T-50 is a properly tested fighter jet, and is superior to the F-22 in aerodynamic design.

Wake me up when the USAF musters enough courage to fly a combat exercise against the Su-35 using the F-22.


William_C1 November 24, 2013 at 6:03 am

Ah our clueless Palestinian friend chimes in with false information. Do explain how the jet still in testing, of which only five prototypes exist, is "properly tested" compared to the F-22 which has been in service for several years now.

@shaunheath November 20, 2013 at 10:21 pm

Ditto, I thought it looked a lot like it too.


andy November 20, 2013 at 6:20 pm

Old body in the new clothe


Mr.T November 20, 2013 at 6:26 pm

only old thing is the engines and they are just a gap fill til new ones are ready.


andy November 20, 2013 at 6:22 pm

The Pilot look like he is over weight ? no?


Buck November 20, 2013 at 6:22 pm

How much of that technology was stolen from the U.S.?


larry November 20, 2013 at 8:37 pm

Israel steals almost as much tech secrets from the US as Russia and China but we're not allowed to talk about that.


LPF November 21, 2013 at 6:43 am

For gods sake, wtheirs always someone , wanting to blame Jews! when Isreal gets into a war with the USA , then your comments might make a little bit of sense!


ike November 22, 2013 at 4:53 pm

It's not blame. It's facts. Hard to get out facts because of a media dominated by Jews.

People in Israel have more freedom of speech than Americans.


Mr.T November 21, 2013 at 7:15 am

Israel stole more tech than russians , also the have no problem seling it to on to China ,remember Lavi fighter and Awacs radar and the list goes on.


Kim Scholer November 21, 2013 at 9:57 am

We're going off topic here. The question wasn't about what (or wether, as far as I', concerned) Russia stole info for this plane, not what other nations did and do.


LPF November 21, 2013 at 12:33 pm

Just looked at the Lavi fighter on wiki, says nothing about isreal selling the tech to china, it never went into production for a start. You didn't get that from the "Jews are secretly running the world" website did you ?


DamonS November 21, 2013 at 4:15 pm

And you base your opinion on Wikipedia??? Don't you know ANYBODY can post fake articles and statistics on Wikipedia anytime they want to? Idiot…

Rest Pal November 21, 2013 at 7:23 pm

We know this for sure: (1) the pro-Israel / Jewish lobby dictates US foreign policies; (2) Israel has access to whatever military technology the US has to offer.

If China and Russia have "stolen" any US technology, they must have been very disappointed in the ROI but pleased with their own progress. Many consider China's J20 a copy of the F-22, and J-10 a copy of the Lavi or the F-16. These people are unschooled amateurs or propagandists. If they are indeed fighter designers or engineers (hardware or software), then the sorry state of America's talent pool is far worse than I had expected.

Given the extensive US spying effort through the NSA over the past 2 decades, the US would have easily discovered this and cried foul a long time ago. It didn't. Moreover, the T-50, the J-20, and the J-10 are all superior to their US counterparts on known parameters, sans the engine (an unknown for the T-50 and the J-20).


freeamerica November 22, 2013 at 3:48 pm

Israel has access to whatever military technology? They really want the Raptor but yet they don't have it. Point shot down. What we do know for sure is that no country has come even close to US's airpower in more than 50 years. But what I find funny is you say the airplane is superior except for the thing that makes it move, the engine. Please tell me that you understand how ridiculous that is. The F-16 is one of the greatest aircraft ever built and none of the planes are even remotely close to the F-22….or its engines…

Joe November 22, 2013 at 6:24 am

The Phalcon system was entirely Israeli developed and produced, but Israel still ended up not selling it. The Lavi fighter was again never sent to China, the J-10 is based off the previous J-9.

So please show a clear example of "stolen" tech.


hank November 20, 2013 at 6:38 pm

Nice design but Russian jet engines are the worst. Would have thought they would have stole, I mean copied the F100/110 engines by now.


Stratege November 21, 2013 at 2:12 am

It is claimed to be fitted with the NPO Saturn "117" engine (an extremely heavily modified variant of the Al-41's engine) giving it a longer service life, thrust vectoring, digitally controlled system (FADEC), supercruise capability. It produces a total thrust of 15000kg (147kN) with afterburner and 11000kg (107.8kN) w/o afterburner.
But it's only an intermediate engine.
Future engine is called Type-30 and it should be the engine meant for PAK-FA. giving it more stealthy look and >176 Kn of max thrust .


zbigniewmazurak November 24, 2013 at 4:25 am

Actually, the AL-31F117S and AL-41F engines will give the PAKFA (T-50) BETTER sub- and supersonic performance (speed, agility) than the F-22.


RRGED November 20, 2013 at 8:24 pm

Glad to see Russia's latest achievement, this will keep us in check to always be steps ahead in technological achievements. ( DARPA give us a peek of your new toy)


dubweiser101 November 20, 2013 at 11:58 pm

It'll be interesting to see how the specs of the T-50 compare to the F-22 when they're finally declassified and published. I expect nothing less than a real adversary for the Raptor from the Sukhoi design bureau. These are exiting times in military aviation regardless of how you feel towards Russia or the USA. A good plane is a good plane, and I think this will be a damn good plane.


Citanon November 21, 2013 at 7:57 pm

The T-50 is not done yet, and it takes a lot more than a design bureau to build a capable 5th gen airplane. I think the jury is still out on this one.


Stratege November 21, 2013 at 12:12 am

- Seems that side-looking AESA-radars still not installed
- DAS-like system isn't fitted yet completely(there are plate-covered niches w/o sensors)
- Predesigned L-band antennas still not embedded in the leading edge of the wing flap.
- Emitters in the LERX looks intriguing but with no known purpose.

"The aircraft is designed to succeed both the MiG-29 and the Su-27 in the Russian fleet, with top speeds of more than Mach 2, or about 1,327 miles per hour."

The official top speed number of the T-50/PAK-FA is isn't yet published. Wiki's data and other pubic data is based on questionable media reports, the sources which are not credible.

"That’s faster than the F-35 Lighting II made by Bethesda, Md.-based Lockheed Martin Corp. for the Joint Strike Fighter program, but not as speedy as the F-22 Raptor, "

This is still debatable.


LPF November 21, 2013 at 6:52 am

The top speed is going to be in the Mach 2 -2.3 range, simply because any faster will give you thermal problems.

Its designed to be better than the Su-27 and the Mig-29 but to replace them I doubt it seeing as they reckon they will be only 70 produced, which will in no way replace the Su-27 which is 355 alone.


Stratege November 21, 2013 at 8:29 am

The question about the top speed is still opened.
What is for sure is that PAK-FA's airframe is optimized for supersonic speeds. And the engine is provided with supersonic variable geometry intakes for same reason.


ike November 22, 2013 at 5:04 pm

The T-50 is a lot faster than the F-35. Not debatable.


zbigniewmazurak November 24, 2013 at 4:26 am

THe F-35 can fly no faster than Mach 1.61, and even that only at fuel-gulping afterburners. Russian engines, notably the AL-31F and the AL-41F, have already demonstrated efficient supercrusie capaiblity.


William_C1 November 24, 2013 at 6:05 am

It has flown at Mach 1.67 and I'd be surprised if it can't do more than that. Still there is a reason the USAF wanted the Mach 2+ F-22 in addition to the F-35.


Guest April 30, 2014 at 11:47 pm

A P-51 is almost faster than the F-35! And since the F-35 is 35% slower than planned, it's range will be 35% less than planned and fuel burn is 35% higher than planned. It's load out will be 35% less than required! Where is Boyd when you need him?


Mr.T November 21, 2013 at 7:22 am

F-35 is as slow as they get so nothing is 'jet to be seen' unless competiion starts with turboprops. One thing every one overlooks is that the PAK-FA is so far practicaly a private venture with much of the funds coming form India and Sukhoi itself(+ equipment supplyers) ,when was the last time you have seen a private venture in US . You had altilery pieces(Crusader) cost more taxpayer funds than PAK-FA
Seriusly doubt they are aiming for just 70 units for Russian AF.


LPF November 21, 2013 at 7:48 am

I was going on the article with the video, saying that the russians planned 70 of them as specialist anti air. I mean the US could only afford 187 of the F22, which is why there are so many F-15 still being used.

If the Russians can produce this new fighter for the same cost as the the SU-27 or near to it, then things will get interesting.

As for the F-35 at 100 Mill a pop, I can'y see 2000 plus of them being built, the US economy just cannot absorb that politically or finacially


Stratege November 21, 2013 at 12:24 pm

"If the Russians can produce this new fighter for the same cost as the the SU-27 or near to it, then things will get interesting."

That's very unlikely. The price of serial production aircraft will likely rise drastically.

70 of planned aircraft is a purely speculative number.
They have planned to purchase "at least 50 aircraft for the first programs phase".


Curt November 24, 2013 at 11:25 pm

The Indians are already complaining because the estimated price doubled already. So figure somewhere north of 150 million on the low side, probably closer to 200 million.


oblatt2 November 21, 2013 at 7:24 am

>integrated distributed aperture system, … The latter is Russia’s attempt to answer the F-35’s DAS technology.

You just have to laugh at the stupidity of Lockheeds marketing department trying to draw comparisons.


jon November 21, 2013 at 9:20 am

if it is fast, it is because the engine air inlets are not stealthy enough.


Hector Q November 21, 2013 at 10:36 am

Given their desire to obtain cash from arms sales, it’s likely that Russia won’t keep the T-50 as closehold as the U.S. keeps its F-22. Anyone know who might be buying the T-50? If we’re ever engaged in action against the T-50, it’s far more likely that it will be against a Russian client state operating the T-50, as opposed to against Russia itself.


BlackOwl18E November 21, 2013 at 5:57 pm

India is buying them.

Russia is trying to introduce them into the South Korean competition and are leveraging the joint development of a ballistic missile defense system that South Korea really wants to do it. However, the US Department of State and Lockheed Martin already seem to have a hold in Korea and this will set up the T-50 to go head to head with the F-35.

Other than that, I don't know of any others.


Praetorian November 22, 2013 at 1:50 pm
Stratege November 23, 2013 at 1:32 pm

Not surprised at all. Politic dictates arms purchasing.


zbigniewmazurak November 24, 2013 at 4:27 am

Well, if that is true, the F-35 does not stand a chance against the PAKFA. South Korea will likely choose the F-35 – but solely for political, not military, reasons.


Dfens November 21, 2013 at 1:27 pm

The T-50 is a good stealthy version of the Su-27. The 27 will just about out fly anything the US has now. With the addition of stealth it will be a very formidable aircraft. But don't you worry, with the US cranking out new fighters at a rate of one every 30 years, there's no possible way another country could catch up with our lead in aircraft.


Hector Q November 21, 2013 at 1:50 pm

All that computer code in our aircraft is a major reason as to why it now seems to take us 30 years to fully develop an advanced fighter. Which makes me wonder how the Russians deal with coding for the T-50 and their other advanced aircraft. How do they not get majorily delayed like us? Is it that they use a lot less code in their aircraft, or is it that the Russians (the guys who brought us Tetris) are just somehow better at it? ;-)


Dfens November 21, 2013 at 2:04 pm

The computer code might be the long pole in the tent, but that doesn't mean there isn't a huge pile of crap under that tent that you don't see poking up. Hell, when I was working on the F-22, I redesigned the same parts over and over again. There was nothing substantial about the redesigns, just another way to spend your tax dollars so the defense contractor I worked for could skim their 10% off the top. As long as the US taxpayer is stupid enough to continue to pay defense contractors a profit on design and development work, that work will continue to drag out as long as possible. Why build an airplane when you can make a profit off designing one? It takes a lot less capital investment and engenders a lot less risk to design one than it does to actually build it. It's a f'ed up way to build a railroad, that's for sure.


blight_ November 21, 2013 at 2:51 pm

Aerospace, Infinite Upgrade Program.


William_C1 November 24, 2013 at 6:12 am

Do go over these parts you redesigned "over and over again". I am aware of what had to be redesigned on the airframe but "over and over again" as part of your "blame contractors for everything" concept is a new one to me.


Dfens November 25, 2013 at 3:57 pm

So are you saying I didn't design parts over and over again? Now you're an expert in what I've done? You truly are a write only device.

blight_ November 22, 2013 at 9:37 am

Depends on the programmers. Programmers who write tight code or programmers who write meh code. And also, you want to keep the guy who wrote your code the first time around on the payroll to do the upgrades and debugging, and not transfer him to another project and have some hapless entry-level worker re-read your source just to get his feet wet…not even at the debugging, new features or performance improvement side of things.


Dfens November 22, 2013 at 1:18 pm

Believe me, when you can charge 8 man hours per line of code (let's see, 1 man hour runs about $320/hour for most defense contractors these days) and you make 10% profit on top of that, then you have damn little incentive to write tight code. After all, we have processes, we have procedures, we don't need no stinkin' results.


Stratege November 21, 2013 at 2:34 pm

The T-50 shares nothing with the Su-27 with exception of similar aerodynamic configuration (concept).


Lance November 21, 2013 at 5:06 pm

The Flanker does not out preform the F-15 or F-22 or even F-16. I t has good time to clime and weapons load but it can ealiy be outturned by its Russian rival the M-G-29 and it joint exercises the F-15 can easily shoot down a Flanker, so can the F-22.


Lance November 21, 2013 at 5:07 pm

MiG-29 is just as good sorry for the misspell.


Stratege November 22, 2013 at 7:21 am

Where are your conclusions about an "easily outturned" Su-27 coming from?
I read the diametrically opposite opinion of the Flanker pilots. Including the one story about how Flankers outmaneuvered MiG-29 (RuAF exercise) and F-15 (joint USAF/RuAF exercises back in early 1990s.

Mike November 21, 2013 at 4:08 pm

Not truly stealth. May have a lower radar cross section than legacy Russian fighters but those engine thrust outlets are as hot and bright as they come. It's like a big sign saying "Here I am, come shoot me down"!


Lance November 21, 2013 at 5:05 pm

Think Russia too broke now to buy new planes this is just to keep the door open for war time production should the US or China attack Russia. I agree this shows the F-35 is inferior to the F-15 F-22 and the T-50. I do think the eagles record speaks for itself. It shows F-15 and F-22 production should no have been halted for this worthless JSF.


Praetorian November 22, 2013 at 1:59 pm
brian vanveghel November 21, 2013 at 6:19 pm

wish we had more F-22 stupid to only buy 187 really need 300 plus to defend are country lack of forsight thinking we would have the only stealth fighter stupid morons in charge of are country.


andy November 21, 2013 at 7:03 pm

I'm glad some one agree with me.


Smith28 November 22, 2013 at 2:34 pm

Despit the issues we've been having with the F35 and F22 and fielding enough of these aircraft; I still strongly believe by the time either Russia or China can fully and effectively field a wing of 5th Generation Stealth Fighters, the US will be flying 'Optical Camoufalge aircrafts' mostly like drones. lol.

Hell it seemed we took most the (Public) world by surprise when they found out we had a 'operational' stealth helicopter capable of inserting 'Special Operation Forces' into enemy territories.

The US has been testing and fielding Stealth capable aircraft since what the 1900s.


zbigniewmazurak November 24, 2013 at 4:39 am

"The Russian warplane may be used in limited numbers to attack enemy radar, support aircraft and other targets with long-range missiles. The country only plans to buy about 70 of the aircraft, including 10 prototypes."

This is utterly wrong. Russia alone plans to procure over 170 of these fighters, India plans to procure further hundreds, and if the Flanker family's sales record is any indication, Russia will have no problems selling further dozens of such aircraft – at very affordable prices – to export customers. Especially considering that the PAKFA will be cheap and coming without any lectures about "democracy" or "human rights."


Stratege November 24, 2013 at 5:33 am

"This is utterly wrong. Russia alone plans to procure over 170 of these fighters, India plans to procure further hundreds, and if the Flanker family's sales record is any indication"

Your estimate numbers are way too optimistic.


blight_ November 25, 2013 at 10:27 am

Until the procurement is actually done, nobody has any idea how many of this aircraft will roll out. Bird in hand worth two in bush. The other possibility is they'll can this as a demonstrator and leap ahead, and objectively would applaud that move if it'll lead to a better product (though this might be against American interests).


Steven Jeffreys November 24, 2013 at 9:53 am

An 80 year old test pilot with oral herpes and ill-fitting clothes. Wow.


Alva Maynor November 25, 2013 at 7:37 am

What in the heck is american technology, "the AN/AAQ-37 is the “only 360-degree, spherical situational awareness system,” designed to warn pilots of incoming aircraft and missile threats, and to provide them with day– and night-vision, fire-control and precision-tracking of friendly aircraft, according to the Falls Church, Va.-based company." doing in a Russian fighter? Does anyone else see the folly in this?


Stratege November 25, 2013 at 9:30 am

"Your philosophy that "we beat 1960s era Soviet IADS and fighters, so surely we can beat 21st century Rus/PRC IADS and fighters" is dead wrong. No, majr0d, it doesn't follow at all. There is no merit to your argument."

Russians designed their own situational awareness system within the PAK-FA program which is similar to the AN/AAQ-37/DAS.


Stratege November 25, 2013 at 9:31 am

Sorry, wrong quote.


blight_ November 25, 2013 at 10:08 am

You've read it wrong.

"The latter is Russia’s attempt to answer the F-35’s DAS technology."

Then to explain what DAS is for the uninitiated…


Dfens November 27, 2013 at 10:07 am

I wonder what "360 degree spherical" looks like? It's kinda like drawing a 7" line and calling it a wall. And as bone headed as that is, last I checked "situational awareness" doesn't have any physical dimensions. It's like having a computer with 2 by 4 memory. What the f is that?


Stratege November 25, 2013 at 9:35 am

Pretty interesting picture: http://ic.pics.livejournal.com/r136a/29642568/241

Shows the placement of a emission sources on the T-50's airframe


@RioFalcon November 26, 2013 at 1:03 pm

The T-50… Bwha! Hell, I have a RC jet model that will out fly that piece of junk…


tiger November 28, 2013 at 12:21 pm
gt350 December 28, 2013 at 3:15 am

Why is it that a lot of us think a F15 still rocks, and a f22 that seems to be what other countries want and were not going to make anymore — I guess some more F15 but am confused great machines that were misunderstood for there time.


Dfens November 22, 2013 at 8:37 am

The Su-27 turns very efficiently due to its much lower wing loading than an aircraft like the F-22 or F-18, plus the Su is very fast due to lessons they learned from the F-14 that we did not learn or have cast aside.


blight_ November 22, 2013 at 9:37 am

Wikipedia has /sources/, for people who actually employ "trust but verify"


zbigniewmazurak November 24, 2013 at 4:37 am

The F-35 is VASTLY inferior to the F-22. It's nothing more than a Ponzi scheme designed to make Lockheed Martin money.

The F-22 could not be more different from the F-35.

The former was designed as a high-performance, all-aspect and wide-band stealthy aircraft designed to 1) defeat any a/c Russia might put up in the air; 2) penetrate and eliminate advanced Russian IADS. Contrary to your claims, the F-22 is a BETTER player as it can launch a WIDER range of air-to-air, A2G, and air-to-sea weapons than the F-35, in larger quantities, and communicate seamlessly with other US assets in the vicinity, so an F-22 can relay whatever it sees to other a/c, ground stations, and ships.

By contrast, the F-35 was designed to be a low-end complement to the F-22, a battlefield interdictor tasked with attacking massed enemy ground armies once enemy air defenses and aircraft squadrons had already been defeated by the much more advanced F-22. But massed enemy ground armies have disappeared. Ground troops have shifted to dispersal and concealment and are in any case well-protected by advanced point-area ADS such as the Tor-M1 and Pantsir-S1 (which Russia exports the world over), both of which can easily shoot down the F-35 with a single round to its engine.

The F-35 was NEVER intended to confront such systems – nor advanced IADS like the S-300, S-400, S-500 HQ-9, or HQ-16, nor advanced enemy fighters like the PAKFA, J-20, and the J-31. The JORD of the F-35 program STILL speaks of the F-35 operating in a world where none of these systems exist – in other words, a world that no longer exists.

So the F-35 is a) vastly inferior to the F-22; b) completely mission obsolete; c) disastrously technologically obsolete.


Jack November 24, 2013 at 3:23 pm

It is refreshing to hear intelligent and insightful comments, from time to time, in these responses. We spend an awful lot of our wealth in the defense of our ideals and country. We spend even more beating our personal drums, ignorant or predisposed to the facts and factors required to create- something. This is not a game.


blight_ November 25, 2013 at 10:10 am

Kelly Johnson, Ben Rich and the old guard who built those things are dead. Their rival in Northrop-land who got the B-2 in retired and works as a consultant. I imagine perhaps a handful of slide-rule-era engineers are still in the business…barring the youngest of them, who are in their sunset years as working engineers.


William_C1 November 24, 2013 at 5:59 am

Wow you're clueless. Of course the F-35 was intended to survive in the face of the latest generation of Russian SAMs! Being a strike aircraft that was a major requirement!

The F-22 CANNOT use a wider range of weapons than the F-35. The only weapons it can use to hit ground targets are the 500 or 1000lb JDAM and 250lb SDB I. For a variety of reasons the F-22 CANNOT communicate seamlessly with other assets as any number of articles have pointed out. The F-35 will set a new standard in relaying information to other assets. Ideally the F-22 would be upgraded with some of these capabilities but I have no faith in the way Washington DC and the Pentagon is funding such developments these days.


William_C1 November 24, 2013 at 6:10 am

Much lower wing loading? You mean the wing loading that on modern variants is higher than the F-22? Of course if wing-loading was all that mattered the F-4 Phantom II would perform better than an F-16, but it isn't.

Very fast? You mean a top speed quite similar to the F-22 and less than the Mach 2.5 of the F-15?


zbigniewmazurak November 24, 2013 at 11:40 am

You're the utterly clueless one here. The F-35 was NEVER designed nor intended to face advanced Russian air defense systems nor fighters – it was never designed that way from the outset. Those roles were from the outset assigned to the F-22 Raptor.

The word "strike" in "Joint Strike Fighter" does not mean it's a deep strike a/c – it isn't and never was. It was designed and intended, and is being built to be, a BATTLEFIELD strike aircraft designed to "strike" against enemy ground armies… once enemy air defenses were stripped away by the much-more advanced F-22 Raptor, of course. For that reason (among others), the F-35's capabilities were, from the outset, greatly constrained to make sure it would not overlap with the F-22 Raptor, and it is NOT truly stealthy (it's low observable only in the X and K/Ku band, and only from the front – it's easily visible on radar from the belly, the sides, and especially the back), while the F-22 is an all-aspect, wide-band stealthy fighter.

The F-35 would not stand a chance against even an upgraded legacy Soviet system like the SA-11/17 or the Tunguska, let alone modern Russian and Chinese systems like the Tor-M1 and Pantsir-S1 in the point area AD class and the S-300, S-400, S-500, and HQ-9 in the strategic long-range AD class, nor against modern Russian and Chinese fighters – nor was it ever designed or intended to survive against them. The F-35 program's JORD STILL, to this day, speaks of a world in which these systems simply do not exist – the F-35 dev team, the DOD, and LM are simply IGNORING these systems and pretending they don't exist. In other world, the F-35 is being designed for a world which does not exist.

Now let's look shortly at how the F-35 would do against modern Russian and Chinese fighters, shall we?

Its top speed is Mach 1.67; its service ceiling is nominally 60K ft (60 angels), but it has been tested only to 43 angels. But let's accept LM's claim that it's 60 angels.

All members of the Flanker family (Russia's and China's frontline fighters) can do much better, with speeds of Mach 2 and above and ceilings well above 60 angels. Ditto the J-10 Sinocanard. Moreover, some Flankers have supersonic cruise capable engines, which the PAKFA will also have as well.

So the F-35 is no player in the BVR game.

The F-35 is also no player in the WVR game, bc with a pathetic T/W ratio of 1.07 at best in the A model (and even worse in the B/C models) and a wing loading of over 450 kg/sq m clean (and over 500 kg/sq m with a full combat load), it is WAY, WAY too heavy, sluggish, and unmaneuverable to be a serious player in the WVR regime in which most air combat occurs. In that respect, it is decisively inferior not only to the F-22, PAKFA, J-20, J-31, J-10, and the Flanker family, but also to Generation 4+ and older Western fighters such as the F-15, F-16, F/A-18, Rafale, Typhoon, Gripen, F-5 Freedom Fighter, and even the old, obsolete MiG-21 (still widely in service today).

Aggravating the problem is the fact that in stealthy mode, the F-35 can carry only 4 air to air missiles (and that means carrying no bombs internally), while the F-22 can carry 8. So an Su-35 or a Rafale B/C gets TEN freebie shots at the F-35; a Rafale M or a Typhoon gets nine.

The F-35 is nothing but a POS and a Ponzi scheme designed to make LM money. This program has survived ONLY due to LM propaganda and political protection from successive SECDEFs. Terminating it is long overdue.


zbigniewmazurak November 24, 2013 at 11:47 am

Crappy analyst, you have clearly missed the fact that the world's biggest supercomputer is in China, that virtually everything you use (incl. advanced hi-tech equipment) is nowadays made in China, that the US no longer has manned spaceflight capability (while Russia and China both do) and will not regain it for long (if ever), that China holds over $1 trillion in US debt, that it exports far more than the US does, that its defense bureaucracy and industry are far more efficient in terms of "bang for the buck" than their American counterparts, that China is WAY, WAY ahead of the US in PISA (school) rankings in all categories (math, science, reading), and that their military equipment now matches (or in some cases, even exceeds) its US counterparts in capability (vide e.g. fighters, air defense systems, cruise and ballistic missiles, ultraquiet diesel-electric subs).

Where are American road- or rail-mobile ICBMs? Where are advanced American IADS comparable to the S-300, S-400, S-500, or HQ-9? Where are counter-PGM American ADS comparable to the Pantsir-S1? Where are American diesel-electric subs? They don't exist. What is the most advanced US ASCM? (I'll tell you: the subsonic, woefully obsolete Harpoon.)


Rest Pal November 25, 2013 at 5:39 pm

You must have missed this: (especially the fun at 1:55) LOL.



Rest Pal November 25, 2013 at 5:45 pm


here's a more condensed version (for those with really short attention spans) LOL. It's fun.



majr0d November 24, 2013 at 1:26 pm

z – it's pretty bad when according to you the Chinese are doing better tech wise than the Russians.

Manned space flight? We'll be doing it again the American way with private capitalistic venture.

You can always get more "bang for the buck" if you use slave labor.

You really want to claim buses transporting nukes as a technological feat? We put ours under water in nuclear submarines you've never been able to track.

Air defense? Have you heard of Patriot and its numerous iterations? BTW, why do you need S300, 400, 500's and copies like the HQ9?

Crappy analyst? Dude, check out your score and how it's dropping…


blight_ November 25, 2013 at 10:22 am

Tianhe-2's beating heart is Intel chips. Xeons and Xeon Phi co-processors. Its second place rival is CPU/GPU, Intel and…Nvidia.

Of interest is the use of a local interconnect (instead of infiniband), which is neat. What is also cool is that they set it up themselves, instead of farming it out to a contractor. However, they're still importing Intel hardware to make it work.

It's almost as embarrassing as our attempts to make Moto X in the US…with parts assembled from overseas. This doesn't take away from the achievement of Tianhe-2…so long as they are building it to use, and not just to show up on linpack top500.


zbigniewmazurak November 24, 2013 at 1:44 pm

Actually, you'd actually see a lot more US pilots getting shot down and becoming POWs. You got your asses nicely kicked during your dirty (and utterly unconstitutional) Nam war by the North Viets until, in 1972, your Navy changed training and tactics and saw its kill ratio increase greatly. Keep living in your fantasy world where Russian aircraft are always inferior to US aircraft…


zbigniewmazurak November 24, 2013 at 1:52 pm

Firstly, Im neither Russian nor Chinese, Im British, so don't say "you" to me when you speak of the Russkies or the Chinese.

Manned space flight? Saying that you'll do something and actually doing it are two different things. Your "capitalists" are, at present, showing no interest whatsoever in manned spaceflight – they are far more interest in outsourcing jobs to China (where, by your own admission, they can employ slave labor and pocket the difference in labor costs – that's how America lost over 55,000 factories and millions of good-paying manufacturing jobs, and the GOP lost the Reagan Democrats).

The Patriot was good for its time – and its time was 1981. Today it is woefully obsolete. It cannot look 360 degrees around, and its range (roughly 150 kms), while acceptable in the 1980s, is woefully inadequate today and no match to that of the S-300 and HQ-9 (200 kms), let alone that of the S-400 (400 kms) or the upcoming S-500.

By the way, get your facts straight. The HQ-9 is not a mere copy of the S-300; it is a significantly upgraded variant with, among other things, much greater computing power.

As for submarines, the Russians have been able to track your crappy, obsolete SSBNs for decades. To give but one example, in 1985, just one Soviet sub was able to track and sneak upon SEVERAL American SSBNs on SEVERAL separate occassions – and Soviet subs have achieved that feat frequently:

Your ICBMs all sit in static siloes, while many Russian and Chinese ICBMs are road-mobile and Moscow (as well as Beijing) is also developing a rail-mobile ICBM (a type of weapon it had until 2005).

You Americans need to get over the fact that you are no longer the world's top dog, and will never again be. Your civilisation is relatively young, but old enough to be in decline – and in decline it is. Terminal decline, to be precise. Don't count on Obama, Clinton, or Rand (who will never be elected President anyway) to rescue your country.


zbigniewmazurak November 24, 2013 at 1:57 pm

The F-15 achieved its famed "kill ratio" exclusively by shooting down woefully obsolete second- and third-generation Soviet and French aircraft (not all of which were fighters, BTW). It has never taken on a true equal. Just like the US has never faced a true equal in war since at least its fight against China in the Korean War.

Kill ratios are useless as indicators of weapon system performance for a simple reason – they indicate the performance of the target as much as that of the weapon being evaluated.

It really amazes me to laughter to read the posts of ignorant, arrogant Americans like you who claim "ah, all those Russian fighters and IADS are crappy, we can defeat them easily since we defeated their Soviet-era ancestors without much difficulty." In fact, today's Russian (and Chinese) systems are several orders of magnitude better than their counterparts from the CW era, and no Western military (including the formidable IDF) has, so far, encountered them in combat.

Your philosophy that "we beat 1960s era Soviet IADS and fighters, so surely we can beat 21st century Rus/PRC IADS and fighters" is dead wrong. No, majr0d, it doesn't follow at all. There is no merit to your argument.


majr0d November 24, 2013 at 2:07 pm

According to you my argument might have no merit but the world's battlefields are littered with Russian equipment.

You try and undermine US weapon performance by saying the US hasn't fought a peer since WWII. Neither has Russia and yet the battlefield litter remains….


Stratege November 24, 2013 at 2:53 pm

"Your philosophy that "we beat 1960s era Soviet IADS and fighters, so surely we can beat 21st century Rus/PRC IADS and fighters" is dead wrong. No, majr0d, it doesn't follow at all. There is no merit to your argument."

Many Americans are blinded with their exaggerated patriotism and their imaginary superiority in every field of the military technology,
For an example, many of them still believe that USSR never had capabilities to shot down the "invulnerable" SR-71 "Blackbird" which was supposedly "immune" to any SAM of that time period…


majr0d November 24, 2013 at 2:19 pm

Ah, now I see why you're so full of poison. I'd be also after losing an empire. Don't be in such a rush to wish for the US' downfall. There will be no one to protect you then…

Let's talk about great modern brit fighters, aircraft carriers or technology. It should be a short conversation.


William_C1 November 25, 2013 at 12:02 am

It WAS designed to face the latest Russian air defense systems! Hence all-aspect stealth, the focus on electronic warfare and sensors, and the priority given to operating directly alongside other battlefield assets! It is indeed not a long range interdiction aircraft like the F-111, a role which the F-15E currently sort-of fills. For the USAF it is destined to do much of what the F-16 does now, serving as a general-purpose multi-role fighter.

It is "truly stealthy", though not quite as good as the F-22. Where do you get this nonsense about it only being stealthy in the X and K bands? Most radars are not even X-band anyway. No stealth aircraft has the same RCS from all angles. Yet the F-35 is still considered an "all-aspect" stealth design. Admittedly the 3D LOAN-type nozzle isn't as stealthy as the 2D engine nozzles of the F-22, but look at the engine nozzles on the T-50 and J-20. Engine configuration is a compromise between stealth and other factors.

The F-35 is far more survivable vs those Soviet/Russian systems than a F-15 or F-16. The F-35 will know a SAM battery is out there and have a good idea of its location long before it is itself detected. Also "strategic level" SAMs like the S-500 aren't going to be wasted on fighters they have a poor chance of hitting.

I am still not certain of what exactly limits the F-35 to this Mach 1.67 top speed. Design wise I don't see what should be the limiting factor until you get to the Mach 1.8+ range where more complicated (usually variable) intake design is necessary. Regardless how often does a F-16 or F/A-18 fly faster than Mach 1.5?

The F-35 can defend itself but against the next generation of Chinese and Russian fighters you're right to an extent. We need an air-superiority fighter with Mach 2+ capability, supercruise, and all of that. The odds are too even when the F-35 goes up against such aircraft alone. Yet we foolishly stopped production and further development of the F-22. Blame the idiots running everything for that. This would be as if we abandoned the F-15 for an all F-16 force.

You do realize that the wing loading of the F/A-18 is roughly the same? And wing loading doesn't take into account lift from fuselage design. By all accounts it will be comparable to the F/A-18 when "in the phone-booth". Not the best we can do but more than enough for a MiG-21 or F-5 despite what you claim.

The capability to carry 6 air-to-air missiles internally is planned for Block 5. A Su-35, Rafale, or Typhoon getting all of these "free shots" at the F-35 requires they detect the F-35. We need to get a new AAM into service (giving us the improvements programs like NGM, and DARPA's T3 promise), but once we do a F-35 carrying six of those will not be something to underestimate.

You want to terminate the F-35 and replace it with what? The F-35 was designed to replace the F-16, classic F/A-18, and AV-8. When compared to those aircraft it is a huge improvement. LM is the same company which designed the F-22 which is the fighter you say we need. So you say their F-35 is a Ponzi scheme but then want to buy more of their other aircraft?


zbigniewmazurak November 25, 2013 at 3:16 am

Actually, prices are not dropping and remain over $100/bbl, fracking is banned in most European countries (Russia's primary oil export market), and RUssia is not a one industry economy – it also exports large quantities of gas, other minerals, and… weapons, which are of high quality, are much cheaper than their American counterparts, and come without lectures on democracy or human rights.

The construction of the South Stream pipeline, to complement Nord Stream, will only strengthen Russia's iron grip on the EUropean NG market.


blight_ November 25, 2013 at 10:15 am

Russia has oil. Natgas prices have plummeted considerably, but the energy density of fuel will beat natgas every time.

Maybe Russia will get into the nuclear power business, and export "green energy" to Europe. How's that for having capitalists at the nuts? Germany is getting out and getting their energy from more polluting neighbors to supplement wind and solar. Unfortunately putting the central grid on wind and solar instead of a more stable base-load system means giant power plants for coal, natgas or fuel oil aren't running often enough to be profitable, but you need them for days the wind stops blowing and the average available sunlight drops off.

Perhaps to wean all of Europe off the spectre of Russian energy monopolies, northern and southern Europe need a unified energy grid. The Mediterranean can put sun and wind, northern Europe can put in sun and wind and Europe would probably meet its energy needs reliably.

Not sure if solar power can be moved across the Med reliably…perhaps a power connect from Spain to northern Africa?


zbigniewmazurak November 25, 2013 at 3:51 am

Wow, you're even more ignorant than I previously thought.

FYI, and get it through your thick skull: the F-35 was NEVER intended nor designed to confront the modern Russian or Chinese fighters and air defense systems that I mentioned. NEVER. That is why its capabilities have, from the outset, been constrained to prevent it from overlapping with the ATF (what became the F-22 Raptor), and consequently, why its capabilities are so mediocre.

1) Both aircraft programs began in the last years of the Cold War, but with totally different threats (though the same war scenario) in mind. It was assumed that the next war fought by the US would be against the Russians in Germany or, later, against Saddam's massed tank armies in the Gulf or an invading KPA on the Korean Peninsula. The ATF (which later became the F-22) was to come in first and establish air superiority by defeating any fighters and IADS the enemy might deploy, and to conduct theater strikes against well-defended targets in the early hours of the conflict while some enemy IADS still existed. In that role, it was intended to replace the F-117 and the F–15C/D/E. Once the airspace had been completely sanitized by the F-22, the JSF would then come in and pound on the enemy's massed ground army AKA Desert Storm. In that role, it was to replace the F-16, F/A-18, A-10, and AV-8. It was NEVER designed nor intended to take on advanced enemy fighters or air defense systems – only legacy singular short-range point-area defense systems like the Crotale, the Roland, the SA-8, SA-9, SA-3, and SA-6.

2) No, the F-35 is NOT "truly stealthy" nor "all-aspect stealthy". Anyone who claims it is is either an ignorant dolt or a deceitful, lying bastard. An all-aspect stealthy aircraft is one which is, as the term says, stealthy from ALL aspects – from ALL sides and points of view. The F-35 is stealthy ONLY from the frontal (nose) aspect, and only in the S, X, and K/Ku bands, as this APA research paper clearly and unequivocally demonstrates: http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-2009-01.html

The F-35's deeply sculpted belly and doughnut-shaped engine exhaust nozzle are not stealthy at all, and make for perfect radar wave returns. From these aspects, the F-35 would be as visible on radar as the F-15, and even more so than the smaller F-16.

No aircraft is equally stealthy from all aspects, but there ARE some aircraft which ARE very low observable from all aspects, such as the B-2, F-22, and the now-retired F-117. The F-35 is not and will never be one of them.

A/c stealthiness is determined in 95% by shaping and in the last 5% by materials. If shaping is done poorly, the belly and the rear of the F-35 being cardinal examples, no amount of RAMs will compensate.

3) The F-35 has ZERO chance of surviving against advanced air defense systems like the S-300/400/500, HQ-9, HQ-16, or even upgraded legacy ADS like the SA-2 onwards, esp. if these are used in a "hide, shoot, and scoot" manner. Nor was it ever designed or intended to survive against these modern IADS – it was designed, at most, to defeat single batteries battlefield point-area ADS like the SA-8, SA-9, SA-3, SA-6, Crotale, and Roland. Even its nose section isn't stealthy enough, because the radars of modern IADS can operate across a wide spectrum of bands, and the F-35's nose is stealthy only in the S, X, and K/Ku-bands. If these radars switch to any other frequency, the F-35 is dead. Also, in modern IADS, MULTIPLE detection radars are used, the detection radars are NOT collocated with engagement radars or missile launchers, and IADS batteries are situated close to each other to provide overlapping IADS coverage. Meaning that if one IADS radar fails to detect the F-35, another one – from the same or a different battery – will, by seeing the F-35's deeply sculpted belly or its rear. And as soon as that happens, the F-35 is dead.

Contrast this with the F-22 and the B-2, which are stealthy from all aspects and can thus survive the most modern Russian/PRC air defense systems.


zbigniewmazurak November 25, 2013 at 4:09 am


4) The F-35 likewise stands no chance against modern (or even legacy) Russian/PRC/European fighters. In the BVR regime, the dominant parameters are stealthiness, radar and missile range and seeker diversity, speed, and altitude – and the F-35 is found wanting on all these criteria. Its top speed is a mediocre 1.67, way slower than all Flankers, the J-10, the J-20/31, the PAKFA, and the Eurocanards. Its stated service ceiling, 60 angels, is likewise inferior to all except the Eurocanards and the J-10. So Flankers, J-20/31s, and PAKFAs can, by flying faster and higher, send their missiles much farther than the F-35 can.

The F-35's radar is inferior to the F-22's APG-77 and the Super Bug's APG-79, let alone the Russian NIIP and Irbis-E (PAKFA and Su-35, respectively), or the French RBE2 (Rafale). And the F-35 is hotter than these aircraft (and the Eurocanards plus the J-10), so it can also be easily detected with IRST systems, which all competitors carry (OLS-35 on the Flanker and probably the PAKFA, OSF on the Rafale, PIRATE on the Typhoon). Also note that Russian (and French) fighters carry long-range A2A missiles with diverse seekers (radar-guided, IR, passive anti-radar homing) which means if one method of killing the F-35 doesn't succeed, the other one will. The F-35, OTOH, can rely only on the radar-guided AMRAAM, and will either have to turn off its radar (to stop emitting so much heat) and rely on the DAS, or turn on its radar and become the hottest object in the vicinity. It's a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation. And that is optimistically assuming that enemy fighters only try to confront/attack the F-35 from the front, and no enemy a/c try to attack it from below or the rear.

The F-35 carrying 6 missiles internally? I'll believe it when I see it. Even if it happens, the Rafale B/C and the Su-35 will STILL get EIGHT (the Typhoon and the Rafale M, seven) freebie shots at the F-35 – and they WILL detect the F-35 before long (see above).

5) Comparing the F-35 to legacy aircraft like the F-16, the Bug, or the AV-8 is useless. The F-35 will not be fighting these aircraft; it will have to confront Flankers, the J-10, the J-20/31, and the PAKFA. And against these fighters, it won't stand a chance.

6) What should replace the F-35? Depends on what mission you're talking about. Air strikes against insurgents and primitive states (Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya) that cannot contest control of the air can be done by any number of any cheap legacy aircraft, from B-52 and B-1 bombers to AV-8, the Bug/Super Bug, the F-15E, and the F-16, as well as drones like the Predator and the Reaper.

Close air support for troops on the ground requires a specialised, slow a/c with a hefty gun – namely, the A-10, which was designed specifically for that purpose. (I don't like Pierre Sprey, but kudos to him and his colleagues for designing that masterpiece!)

As for air superiority and SEAD, this can be done ONLY by an ALL-ASPECT stealthy, wideband stealthy, nimble aircraft designede SPECIFICALLY for these missions, namely, the F-22. The only Western (not just American – WESTERN) fighter that can defeat the Su-35, PAKFA, J-20, and J-31, and modern Russian/PRC IADS like the S-300, S-400, S-500, HQ-9, and HQ-16 is the F-22 Raptor, or to be more precise, evolved and enhanced variants of the existing configuration of this aircraft.


William_C1 November 25, 2013 at 5:56 am

You write way too much when all you're doing is REPEATING YOURSELF from your last rant. I know all about the ATF program and the ATF was never intended to be doing SEAD work. It does not have the proper sensors to do anything more than drop GPS guided munitions on stationary targets. It cannot carry the required air-to-ground munitions!

The F-35 WAS designed to go up against advanced Soviet/Russian/Chinese SAMs! Hence all of those capabilities I have mentioned. It is required to be much more survivable than 4th generation fighters in a high-threat environment.

Are you copying and pasting this nonsense from somewhere? You make these claims about the JSF's level of stealth without any real supporting evidence. The F-35's belly isn't smooth enough? Look at the T-50!

You're just downright lying now too. The AN/APG-81 has the same array size array the AN/APG-79 on the Super Hornet and you say it is inferior based on what? Blind JSF-hate? The Eurofighter and Rafale have a similar array size as well!

You say a F-35 won't survive against these enemies but think the A-10 will? Is its armor going to save it from incoming SA-15s and the like? I wouldn't count on it. The A-10 is legendary for its ability to withstand damage but it can still be shot down as we all know.


William_C1 November 25, 2013 at 6:03 am

I really don't have the time to respond to every point you keep repeating over and over again. Repetition doesn't make your claims true. Also Pierre Sprey didn't design the A-10, he helped to forge the requirements and convince the USAF to go ahead with it before he went crazy. Republic Aviation, the same company that built the damned tough P-47 and F-105 designed it.


freeamerica November 25, 2013 at 3:25 pm

Will it? How are you so sure? Russian engines are inferior and always have been. Your blind faith is laughable. As for the Patriot, it is a medium range missile and the only similarities it has to its 1981 version is the name Patriot. All electronics and motor has been upgraded many, many times. As for never being able to send man missions into space maybe you should read about the SLS.


freeamerica November 25, 2013 at 3:33 pm

Z, you are truly lost. The F-35 was designed from the outset to do the things that you say it was never designed to do. Your rants are just that, rants. Who do you think is going to read your repetitive nonsense? The F-22 was designed for air superiority, period. The F-35 is designed for ground attack and SEADS. It was not designed as a air superiority fighter so it does not require it to turn or dogfight like the F-22. They were made to complement each other. You couldn't be more wrong more often. The F-35 has 5 million details that you will never know anything about even though you will rant about how you do.


Rest Pal November 25, 2013 at 6:36 pm

Good post Z. Very informative.


Dfens November 25, 2013 at 4:03 pm

Yeah, Willie, I'm sure you know all about it. Probably read it on the internet. I'd say it would do 2.5 for short bursts, but could sustain speeds around M2 for a lot longer than you'd think an airplane in afterburner could. Did you notice the flap in front of the engine intake? That seemed very F-15ish.


freeamerica November 25, 2013 at 5:26 pm

How can you make such a remark and be taken seriously? There are two prototypes of the J-20 and the J-31. There are 5 PAKFA's. All are in preliminary testing and are not even close to being fielded. How can you say these airplanes can do anything at all except for the compressor stall the PAKFA had on the runway that was almost a disaster. The J series planes are turning out to be dogs. Might want to read up on those before commenting again.


Rest Pal November 25, 2013 at 6:20 pm

My suggestion: Don't waste your time on majrOD and Williams_C1. Their only job is flag-waving. They are after news that's pleasing to the ears. If the facts are unfavorable to the US, they will fabricate

I have been reading this board for a while now. I know as a matter of fact that the two are not educated in any technical discipline, nor are interested in facts / truth.


zbigniewmazurak November 26, 2013 at 2:45 am

You and William are the ones here who only keep posting and re-posting the same rants. And your repetitive rants never amount to antyhing more than "the JSF can take on the latest RUssian/PRC a/c and IADS because we say it can!" or "the JSF was designed to do so, because… we say it was!" You have not posted ANY evidence that could undermine any of the facts I've stated – just your repetitive, childish, ignorant claims stand stand in contrast to publicly-available evidence and common sense.

I, OTOH, have posted nothing but facts – and as the discussion continued, I added additional interesting facts which, I believe, shed light on the F-35 and the F-22.

The F-35 was NEVER designed to confront advanced air defense systems – it was, from the outset, assumed that the F-22 and the F-117 would eliminate these and thus sanitize the airspace. The evidence of this utter lack of capability in the F-35 can be found in a) its characteristiss (lack of maneuverability, lack of all-aspect VLO, etc.); b) the JSF program's JORD; c) APA analysis; d) the US military's own plans about what aircraft should the F-22 and the F-35, respectively, replace.

The F-22 replaced the stealthy F-117 deep strike a/c and older F-15 air superiority fighters (and was initially intended to replace all F-15A thru D models). The F-35, OTOH, is intended to replace the F-16CJ, A-10, F/A-18, AV-8, and the already-retired A-6 – aircraft procured and intended to pound on massed enemy ground armies in Germany during the Cold War.

The F-35 is designed for SEAD? How is it going to accomplish that mission when a ) it is not stealthy from any spect except the nose, and b) being sluggish and unmaneuverable, it cannot turn and thus cannot duck SAMs? No, the F-35 was never designed for SEAD or even for flying into any well defended airspace; that was a mission intended for the F-22.

Oh, and it's SEAD, not SEADS. You can't get even that right.


zbigniewmazurak November 26, 2013 at 2:54 am

Ah, the same old American "Russian stuff is inferior and has always been" propaganda…

Well, I've got news for you: the AL-31F117S and AL-41F engines provide more thrust (dry and on afterburner) than the engines used by any US fighter except the F-15 and the F-22. Both of them also provide efficient, sustained supercruise capability

The Su-27 has a top speed of Mach 2.35 – faster than any of your fighters, or indeed any fighter in history, except the venerable F-15. The Su-35 is somewhat slower at Mach 2.25, but it has supercruise capability, which the F-15 does not. All other Flanker variants also have a max speed of at least Mach 2. The PAKFA will, as well.

Now tell me, genius, how is the F-35 going to either a) flee from a Flanker if need be (e.g. if it runs out of ammo or begins running out of fuel), or b) chase the Flanker in the unlikely even the Flanker needs to egress before killing the F-35? How, when the F-35 is much slower, not being able to do more than Mach 1.67 and even that only with a fuel-gulping afterburner?

The Patriot has been upgraded indeed, but as I said, its missile range is still only 154 kms – decisively inferior to that of the S-300/HQ-9 (200 kms), let alone the S-400 (400 kms) and the S-500. In fact it is even worse than the SA-5's (300 kms).

I didn't say America has never been able to send man into space, I said the US CURRENLTY has no ability to do that – which is a fact. The US currently relies on the Russians to do that. So not only are you a totally ignorant dolt, you can't even read.


zbigniewmazurak November 26, 2013 at 2:59 am

You and FA are the ones doing nothing but repeating your false claims over and over again without providing any evidence to back them up. See my response to FA below. Y9ou better start educating yourself, not from LM propaganda but here:

The T-50's belly leaves a lot to be desired, but the F-35's shaping is even worse – in the belly as well as the rear. It's a simple fact that these parts of the F-35 make for perfect radar wave reflections, and consequently, the F-35 stands zero chance of surviving against modern (or even upgraded Soviet era) air defense systems.

The A-10 can be shot down – any aircraft can – but being the A-10, with its armor, it is MUCH harder to shoot down than the F-35. The gold old warthog can take on a lot of damage and still return to be. It's a rugged aircraft that can take on a lot of punishment.


Stratege November 26, 2013 at 10:39 pm

"Well, I've got news for you: the AL-31F117S and AL-41F engines provide more thrust (dry and on afterburner) than the engines used by any US fighter except the F-15 and the F-22. "

The AL-41F1S (Su-35's engine) has a thrust 14500kgs (142 kN) on afterburner (and 86.3 kN dry).
F100-PW-229 (the engine of late F-15 models) has a 129.7 kN of thrust on afterburner (79 kN / dry).


majr0d November 27, 2013 at 9:35 pm

Still waiting on those current F22 testing videos…


Charles James Haas November 30, 2013 at 8:44 pm

LOL, well Rest Pal will never see a rocket from Palestine going to the moon any time soon. Heck, nothing flies over Gaza unless the Israelis let it. Nice try but you are pitiful.


Rest Pal November 27, 2013 at 9:35 pm

You've posted not a single link to support your claim. Why are you asking others to meet a higher standard than the one you set for yourself?


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