Sunday, June 09, 2019

Is this the "down and dirty" analysis of the SU-57 vs F-35 that we've been looking for?

Thanks to Don for the link!

via National Interest.
Analysts estimate the Su-57 to be significantly less stealthy than an F-35, particularly when painted by sensors to its side and rear. However, the twin-engine jet is faster, dramatically more maneuverable, and boasts sensors that would assist in engaging enemy stealth aircraft at shorter ranges. The F-35 is primarily built to penetrate enemy airspace, while the PAK FA is optimized for counter-air and ground support operations on the edge of friendly airspace.

Turkey is also domestically developing its own TF-X stealth fighter. British firm Rolls Royce had been set to furnish engines for the jet, but largely abandoned its bid in March 2019 due to continuing disputes over technology transfers. Rostec has been quick to hawk the AL-41F turbofans developed for the Su-57. Thus, Su-57s and engine technology intended for the TF-X could conceivably be bundled in a package deal.
Story here.

The story talks about the Turks opting to buy the S-400 and abandoning the F-35 (by their actions, not their words).

I found the whole thing interesting.  Should have known but didn't that the latest Patriot Missiles are optimized for anti-ballistic missile work and NOT anti-aircraft missions.

Didn't know that the upcoming S-500 is basically the Russian version of the Patriot but with better range.

Didn't know that the highlighted portion above was how many defense analysis view the F-35 vs SU-57.

I've said before that the myopic focus on "penetrating platforms" and defeating "Anti-Access/Area Denial" battlespace has tilted our defense procurement in an unfortunate direction and this tends to support that view.

SU-57 is designed to operate at the edge of friendly airspace?

That means that they're seeing it operate as part of their air defense network.

An Air Force General says that the F-35 will never be alone.  I think the same can be said of the SU-57.

Remember all those vids showing F-35 finding gaps in enemy air and flying thru them to the target?  What happens if those systems are overlapped to such a degree that the gaps become miniscule and where they still exist you have SU-57's camping out?

The more I read (and I'm far from an expert) the more I'm convinced that the biggest threat to stealth and the thing that has made the F-35 almost obsolete before it even entered service is AESA radar.  Add GaN AESA and increased computing power and the vaunted stealth that the USAF has hung its hat on is looking at bit frayed at the edges.

But back on task.

I imagine for their intended purposes the F-35 and SU-57 will be sufficient.

The problem?

The F-35 is being asked to do things it was never designed for and because of that it will fail.  Things are shaping up to the point that if the F-35 fails so does Western Air Power.

We need to start acting on Plan B.  The F-15EX and Super Hornet Block 3 are good starts.  What do we need now?  Long range anti-air and anti-ground missiles poste haste.

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