Friday, July 06, 2018
This Doesn't Make the F-35 Obsolete but It's A Big Shove In That Direction.
Keep in mind that the F-35 is 20 year old technology.That's why it's an over-priced, overdue and under-performing bit of kit.
Lockheed sought a marketing advantage by labeling the F-35 a "fifth generation" fighter, as in a leap ahead of the competition's fourth generation warplanes.
The F-22 Raptor, the F-35, China's J-20 and J-31, Russia's Pak 50 and others such as Japan's new stealth fighter are all in the fifth generation category.
But there's a new kid on the block, a sixth generation fighter, expected to soon come out of Europe. It's a Franco-German venture that skips the fifth generation. One of the biggest differences concerns a little-mentioned blip in previous fighters - vertical tail surfaces. Vertical tails compromise the aircraft's stealth cloaking. They do tend to return radar pulses.
Aircraft like America's stealth drones or its B-2 bomber don't have vertical tails.
This video from Dassault indicates that the new Franco-German stealth fighter will be a twin engine delta wing, i.e. sixth generation.
Canada might do well to avoid following so many other countries that are taking the blind plunge off the F-35 cliff. In the meantime we can get by just fine with something less stealthy but much more affordable that the F-35.