On Tuesday in Estonia at the airbase ämari airbase to participate in joint training flights with other aircraft the US and NATO come the latest multipurpose American fighter-bombers F-35 Lightning II. A week earlier, also for joint NATO exercises, the F-35 arrived in the UK. While the Pentagon did not hide what, said us General Herbert Carlisle, what such maneuvers — it “message to potential opponents, such as Russia.”
So what are the latest American F-35, which apparently need to be scared?
Official Western press in full PR these aircraft is not the first year, giving them almost alien spacecraft. However, military experts, and both European and American, say about this machine is much quieter, giving it a much more modest characteristics.
The F-35 aircraft classification refers to a family of multifunctional combat aircraft of the 5th generation, created by technology “stealth” (stealth) as part of the most ambitious programs in the history of the United States air force – Joint Strike Fighter (single strike aircraft). The main developer of the F-35 has become one of the leading U.S. aerospace firms Lockheed Martin.
The first prototype F-35 flew in October 2000, operate started in 2012, but a full-fledged mass production of aircraft deployed have not been. By mid-2016 was released a total of 194 units of the F-35 as the plane was too expensive even for the huge US military budget.
Its development cost of $55 billion, and the price of each fighter (depending on modifications) – $83 – $118 million In average one hour flight of F-35 costs about $30.7 thousand In result for the stream the production of the F-35 supply fails. Now the Pentagon claim that its mass production is scheduled to deploy in 2019. The F-35 will supposedly replace a number of legacy vehicles: A-10 attack aircraft, F-16, F/A-18 and AV-8B and the British air force will purchase the F-35 to use instead of his famous aircraft of the vertical take-off and landing Sea Harrier.
The Americans argue that the F-35, in addition to English, I would love to have other allies: Japan, the Netherlands, Australia, Italy, Israel… But not all experts trust such claims. As noted by Western experts, has long been no secret that this aircraft is “mired in problems.” And chief among them is that the Pentagon is still “can not accurately determine the true capacity of the aircraft and the feasibility of its application.”
The fact that the us military ordered the plane for several tasks. He was supposed to be a unified plane for three branches of the armed forces of the United States air force, Navy and marine corps.
Russian scientist, doctor of technical Sciences, specialist in the field of process control to aviation technology, academician of RAS, scientific Director of FGUP “GosNIIAS” Yevgeny Fedosov believes that the Americans “made a strategic mistake”. He said the following:
– To work with the deck, the aircraft must have short takeoff, vertical landing. It needs to be grouped as basic design. By the way, when the US was building the 4th generation, they, too, are we going, but I failed. And so there was a line F-18, line F-15, and line F-16. That is three different aircraft. F-16 was built for NATO, for bulk sale to its allies. The F-15 mostly for herself. F/A-18 is carrier-based aircraft. And suddenly on the 5th generation they again decided to create a universal machine.
According to Fedosov, “they tried to reconcile the irreconcilable. In the end I lost the amount of weapons bays and fuel, and due to this — range and combat load. The single-engine plane came, unlike our twin — engined. For carrier takeoff and landing you need higher power, additional lateral nozzle for stabilization. The engine took almost the entire volume of the aircraft — turned cuttlefish. Worse than the aircraft of the 4th generation. 11 years, if not more, worked on it, and still the weight restrictions. And this despite the fact that total project costs exceeded one trillion dollars.”
In addition, according to the academician Fedosov, stealth technology used in the F-35 – “it’s not that far-fetched, but an overrated quality. Because when two aircraft in a duel situation, flying towards each other, then really, this is stealth plays a role. The one who is late is detected, receives a tactical advantage. It may take a more advantageous position to prepare the attack, etc But such cases are very few in actual combat. Because modern air combat, as a rule, all group. Alone, no one flies. Maybe within the battle group and can see these dueling situation at close range. But there have already beginning to work agility. And they have it not.”
The scientist believes that the Americans are making a major bet on the stealth F-35 lost. “We relied on maneuverability,” he says, “and won”.
– Stealth you get in a very narrow range. Just above your aircraft and its radar has already “shoot” the enemy with a large reflective surface, just below – again the same “damn”. Only with the nose, in the narrow cone of +/-30 degrees, you can reduce the obscurity, as they say, up to reflective surfaces “tennis ball”. Think “tennis ball” may not work, but the effective area of scattering less than a square meter you can really get. When we are building your aircraft of the 5th generation T-50, of course, we also try to solve this problem of invisibility, but maintaining maneuverability. We believe that the flight properties we surpass the F-22 and F-35.
This is the understanding and the representatives of the United States air force. However, the money spent on the creation of the F-35 is necessary as-that to justify. For this aircraft, there was even a consortium, which includes the major NATO countries and Israel. But later some began to abandon the purchase — the product was not so good as promised, and also can not afford. Went even talk that perhaps this program will be discontinued.
However, the F-35 the Americans cross is not yet set, and because whenever you send it somewhere for just such joint exercises, as it is now in Estonia, use it for advertising F-35 hard at his allies.
Well, maybe someone will be tempted by such a purchase in favor of the owner. However, a number of experts argues that in the US the F-35 is not optimistic prospects. Serious criticism of the us military who claim that this “super-plane” does not meet the philosophy of modern air combat, could force the USAF to consider a return of production an old, if not such expensive, but reliable F-15 and F-16.
…And this “signal to potential opponents in Russia” for a long time heard.