Instead of trying to improve the F-35 or replace it with a faster, nimbler new jet, the Pentagon should rethink its obsession with speed and maneuverability, Stillion insisted. “The goal of aerial combat,” he reminded readers, “is still to achieve a victory, then get or remain outside the effective reach of a potential counterattack.”Read the whole thing here.
And that goal, Stillion continued, doesn’t necessarily require speed and agility. Especially considering the tradeoffs that speed and agility demand.
“Supersonic aircraft are larger, more complex and less fuel-efficient compared to subsonic aircraft with the same range-payload capabilities,” Stillion wrote. For its part, high maneuverability is expensive and adds weight to a combat aircraft, Stillion added.
Having analyzed 1,400 air-to-air engagements between 1965 and 2002, Stillion concluded that sensors and missiles are more important than speed and maneuverability.
What has me spinning is that the F-35 Program Office, the USAF, USMC and other supporters are hanging their hats on the work of this man that they once said was a fool (metaphorically).
The saving grace of the airplane today (according to its boosters) is its sensors.
They've taken Stillon's work, bastardized it, used it for their own selfish needs and at the end of the day they've lied once again.
Already the F-35's AESA is no more advanced than the competition. Its EO/DAS isn't as good as the latest pods on the market today and into the future.
In short, its sensors will barely keep up (if that).
When is enough, enough with this airplane?