Established as the best anti-submarine aircraft of all time, the F-35 almost literally turned into a vulnerable target. In all simulated scenarios of hostilities, where he was opposed by the su-30, the Russian opponent was the winner. The latest American stealth aircraft, worth 191 million USD per unit, has a number of design flaws that, according to military experts, there is a huge probability of damage in any wreck with highly maneuverable machines CB "Dry".
Short and thick wings (which reduces vertical thrust and maneuverability), rounded shape of the fuselage, which worsens the aerodynamic characteristics of fighter aircraft, low speed and very high engine temperature which can lock any more or less decent radar, make a list of the most serious shortcomings that put the F-35 at serious risk in the case of air combat.
In more than 60 Russian su (NATO classification — Flankers), including a model of the su-27 and its modifications such as su-30, su-34, and super-maneuverable multi-purpose fighter su-35, are today in service in many countries of the world, the fate of the fifth generation F-35 seems very vague.
Experts in the field of the aerospace industry all over the world tend to believe that the most expensive American program for the development of fighter aircraft that generated costs in the amount of around half a billion dollars, has generated only a "sitting duck", that is an easy target for Russian combat aircraft.
"It's just a Turkey," said the flight engineer Pierre Sprey in an interview to the television of the Netherlands. Few people in the world possess such high qualifications in these matters, as a Spray. He is one of the developers multipurpose light fighter F-16 Falcon and anti-tank A-10 Warthog, the two most successful combat aircraft of the air forces of the United States. Winslow T. Wheeler, Director of the center for defense information, "Straus Military Reform Project", agrees with him: "the F-35 is too heavy and unwieldy for a successful fighter. If we have to face a real opponent with serious firepower in the air, we will find ourselves in big trouble".
So far the United States was lucky – they never faced a serious opponent. In the sky the war-torn Iraq, tiny Libya and defenseless Afghanistan, the American aircraft operated with impunity. But all the disadvantages can come out. In the event of a collision with military aircraft from Russia, China or India, the result is not so obvious. In particular, the Indian air force won a victory over the American fourth generation fighters, using machine third and fourth generation.
The most serious problem of the F-35 is that the developers rely on stealth technology and the broadband radar, hoping they can compensate for the lack of speed and agility. However, stealth technology is not really as effective as people say; it's not a cloaking device.
In addition, Russia already today has a great radar facilities, which are constantly updated. The expert edition of "Defense Industry Daily" (DID) said: "today, advanced radar devices are installed on the majority of Russian missile systems surface-to-air. Existing devices infrared scanning and tracking (IRST), which are equipped with Russian and European fighters, have increased effectiveness against stealth planes".
In addition, in the military environment there is no way to operated a single radar. "Always have," explains Spray. "It is impossible to be immune to all radar in the area of hostilities. In any case, there is one located directly at the bottom or top of the plane, which will be able to see him."
The lack of firepower
Another problem with American fighter – the General form of the body. "Most of the good planes are beautiful because of their perfect shape, obtained in the quest to achieve minimum drag," said the expert. "However, in the case of fighters, "stealth", the developers had to make them very round and large, as the arms must be inside the fuselage. When the external placement of weapons the aircraft ceases to be invisible to radar. This causes great harm to flight characteristics, making the car bulky and awkward as a bomber".
Low capacity means that the developers of the Lockheed-Martin have signed the F-35 death sentence. The plane can carry only two large bombs and four smaller ones, and no more than four missiles air-to-air with range beyond line of sight (BVR).
The U.S. air force claim that the advanced radar of the F-35 sees the enemy aircraft first, allowing you to hit him with one of the missiles. However, such cases can be called more a dream for the fighter, because they are extremely rare.
Actually, the excessive hope on the radar can be suicidal. During the Vietnam war the U.S. air force were so keen on the idea of the battle outside the visibility that was outfitted its first F-4 with missiles only. However, after Vietnamese air force had shot down several of them in the shortest possible time, Americans had to re-set on F-4 gun.
Russia, possessing the most advanced and diversified missile in the world, equips its fighters at least eight missiles for the simple reason that radar installation spans multiple purposes, providing increased striking ability.
It is simply impossible to understand how it was that the Americans ignored this elementary lesson of air combat. In theory, American pilots have to "play video games", striking the opponent at a distance of 1000 kilometers. However, in practice air combat is more like combat knives. According to "Defense Industry Daily" the F-35 in contrast to the predecessor, F-22, double inferior to modern fighter planes of "su" family in battle within sight. Much more powerful and varied missiles, in combination with the highly advanced-maneuverability makes Russian fighters unsurpassed in the modern air battle.
The low efficiency of use of its warplanes
According to the new philosophy of air combat, promoted by the specialists of the U.S. air force and Lockheed-Martin, the versatile F-35 is supposed to replace other fighters, as well as aviation support for ground troops.
There is a snag. Because F-35 is a very expensive aircraft, the air force will buy less of them. For example, Japan currently has in service one hundred F-15 that you want to replace only seventy F-35. In addition, the flights and the contents of this fighter is also very expensive, so you have to reduce the number of flying hours for pilots (cost reductions already have forced the USAF to reduce the total flight time of more than 44 thousand hours and to cease operations in 17 squadrons of combat aircraft).
"Invisibility" of aircraft is too expensive. On the F-35 most of the maintenance work is reduced to maintain, as appropriate, antiradar coating. "This nonsense only hurts the combat capability," said Spray. "Fifty hours of people sitting on the ground and crawling over the surface of the plane, trying to make it invisible, while it absolutely isn't."
In addition, one hundred percent effective fleet utilization is impossible from the point of view of logistics. The average for the U.S. air force is about 75 percent, which is quite decent, but when it comes to stealth planes, it drops drastically. Top-secret bomber B2A is used with an efficiency of only about 46.7 per cent. And the most expensive fighter jet, F-22, despite the cost of $ 350 million has an efficiency of only 69%. Thus, if we take for example the Australian air force, only 48 of seventy F-35 will be ready for battle at any given moment. Their chances to stand against 400 Chinese su are negligible. American experts believe that Australians "will never get involved in a knife fight without the support of big brother USA".
Winslow Wheeler, who worked on national security issues for more than three decades, negatively responded about plans to equip the air forces of the West by F-35: "the Qualification of pilots will fall because of a reduction in flying practice, and it is much more important than any technical issues. Pilots will be much less and, in the end, we get only a demonstration model of the aircraft, can't do anything. This plane is completely useless, what's more, it will ruin any air force that will take it on Board". Air combat hasn't started yet, but the Russian fighters are already 1-0.
Tags: USA , armed forces , AME