Fifth generation fighter jets –
Chinese, Russian, Indian and US
If you can believe the press reports surrounding the J-35s https://www.f35.com/ lack of capability to compete with old birds and new birds alike, then you would seriously ask why would you buy one. Strategic defence capabilities in the 21st Century still demand air superiority because of the part that it plays in overall planning. Within the parameters of conventional warfare air strike capability is a very important component to a successful mission. The three largest defence contractors in the world are American corporations, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Gruman & Boeing.
Can anyone trust the Lockhead Martin sales pitch on this aircraft and in light of the fact that this is the world’s biggest fighter project.
The F-35 Lightning II was designed to be an affordable 5th Generation fighter
- F-35A: $98 million
- F-35B: $104 million
- F-35C: $116 million
The claim made by Lockheed Martin – The F-35’s stealth capabilities are unprecedented in tactical fighter aviation. An integrated airframe design, advanced materials and other features make the F-35 virtually undetectable to enemy radar. Extensive analysis and flight test of the survivability of the F-35 with its combination of stealth, advanced sensors, data fusion, sophisticated countermeasures, and electronic attack demonstrate conclusively its superior advantages over legacy aircraft, is still yet to be proven in combat.
There are comparable aircraft that some say will outperform the F-35. China’s second fifth-generation stealth aircraft, the J-31 built by the Shenyang Aircraft Corporation has many similarities in design and in performance. Because there is little technical data available it is still too early to assess how much better it may is compared to other similar multipurpose jets. It will be able to compete with F15, F16 & F18 and will will come close or at least match the F35 according to aviation experts.
Sukhoi T-50 PAK-FA
“The aircraft is equipped – just like the Raptor – with top modern weapons, stealth technology and has supercruise at mach 1.6. Since it has not yet been revealed there is very much speculations about it and there is a lot of propaganda involved. For instance Vladimir Putin claimed that: “This machine will be superior to our main competitor, the F-22, in terms of maneuverability, weaponry and range” which you can choose to interpret in any way you want. But it is by many considered to be the best fighter in the world when it enters service with the Russian air force. The main points that are considered by many to be better with the PAK FA than with the raptor is its IRST, its engines and its 3D Thrust vectoring system (the Raptor does not feature IRST and only has 2D TV). The engine that is currently being developed by Saturn and is said to be the “fifth generation fighter engine” will be delivered in the coming years and just like any other tremendously expensive project there has been a lot of speculations about it. India is also currently developing a fifth generation fighter projected to be introduced in 2022, namely the HAL FGFA, which is an upgraded version of the PAK FA. It is claimed that it is supposed to have 43 improvements compared to the PAK FA, among others stealth, supercruise, advanced sensors, networking and combat avionics.”
The only way to verify the sales pitch by Lockhead Martin will be to test the J-35 in combat…but what an expensive way to confirm the capabilities.