Home » Around the Globe » With Collapse of S-300 Sale is F-22 Irrelevant?

With Collapse of S-300 Sale is F-22 Irrelevant?

AFP reported late yesterday the Russians had finally backed down to international pressure and cancelled their planned sale of the S-300 4th gen fighter killing surface to air missile system.

As DT readers well know, the Russians have been playing brinksmanship on this deal for more than a decade and for about twenty years, the Air Force has been using Moscow’s threat Cold-War-style to justify the development of the F-22 Raptor and to argue for a large buy.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had said in June that U.N. sanctions would not affect Russia’s S-300 missile supplies to Iran, saying that the missiles were “defensive weapons” that did not fall under the terms of the sanctions.Russia agreed the missile deal several years ago but has never delivered the weapons amid pressure from the U.S. and Israel, which fear they would dramatically improve Iran’s defensive capabilities​.In June, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin told French President Nicolas Sarkozy that Moscow would not sell the missiles to Iran in line with U.N. sanctions, a French official told reporters on the condition of anonymity at the time.

An aide to President Dmitry Medvedev said in June that the S-300 missile deal would likely be scrapped, but that a formal decision would come in a decree.

But with the cancellation of the sale, is there a near-term threat that justifies the F-22 specifically and stealth techology (read F-35) in general? Sure, the fact that the S-300 exists and is purported to be a killer of anything but the Raptor is clearly a theoretical threat. But the Air Force had been using the Iran sale as a card to play against reactionary Raptor haters. Now that card is gone.

The Army always likes to excuse their lack of progress in fielding a successor to the M16/M4 platform by saying they’re waiting for a “technology leap” or a new generation of firearms (like the XM-25). But with the fizzled S-300 sale, it looks as if it’s not the Raptor that skipped a generation, the generations skipped it.

{ 90 comments… read them below or add one }

Dirtylodown September 23, 2010 at 11:45 am

What didnt something change that said Russia will burn the technology and refuse to ever use it or sell it? Or did they say right now they wont sell it? Or even that the F15 will be around another 30 years? Oh thats right we need the world to catch up to where we are militarily.

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Marcase September 23, 2010 at 12:37 pm

The Chinese are building S-300 copies, so I won't be surprised if some of those might find their way to Iran eventually. Without adequate fighter cover, only the S-300's protective umbrella can provide the strategic important defensive umbrella to Tehran they simply can't do without.

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Enthusiast September 24, 2010 at 6:27 am

HQ-9 (Chinese S-300's clone) is inferior compared to Russian system. Even Chinese admit it.

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STemplar September 23, 2010 at 12:45 pm

This gives us breathing room in dealing with Iran. The sale would have at some point triggered a strike, by us, the Israelis, whoever. Now that headache is off the table in dealing with the gooftards in Terahn.

Do we still need the F-22? Of course we do.. I've never been a fan of the ridiculous numbers, and I see no reality of a massed air duel anywhere, but part of the reason why I see no prospect for that scenario is we have 180 F-22s and for a country to overcome that is too much headache for them. They seek to bypass that option and we counter move to their efforts, and our little global Geo-political chess game goes on…

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MCQknight September 23, 2010 at 1:32 pm

We have 186 F-22's, but of those we use 86 for training and another 20 or so are not fully combat capable. That leaves us with around 80 F-22's do deploy throughout the entire globe. That's simply not enough.

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mike j September 23, 2010 at 2:23 pm

Are we fighting the "entire globe" now? Maybe we ought to scale back our ambitions, rather than spend money we haven't got on stuff we can't do.

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jhm September 23, 2010 at 8:24 pm

The globe, well duh. We have troops in Korea, japan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Uk, Germany, etc. Every aircraft generation, many people are reluctant to buy teh next gen fighters. well wasn't the buying of f15s worth it? I mean people like u would have wanted f4s to fly around as our vanguard in the 90's. the f15s can't even avoid current sams easily, so aganist the s300, its screwed. Russia always withholds the sales of high tech weapons because they can barely equip themselves with them. However, in a decade, these missiles wll be teh everyday missile shot at screwed fighters obsolete for decades.

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mike j September 24, 2010 at 11:30 am

So because we have troops everywhere, anything that happens anywhere is our responsibility… ya, sure, you betcha.

Who's gonna pay for it? My point is pretty simple.

STemplar September 23, 2010 at 3:35 pm

Deploy where? Okinawa? The Japanese are hardly acting as good hosts lately. Guam? Long way to fly to any conflict with China and the Rand study points out the vulnerability to the Chinese denying us re-fueling. Iran? We could show up with a hot air balloon and a sling shot and have air dominance in the Gulf.

Bottom line is it was envisioned for a theater and conflict that went away, it was not suited to our future needs and was too expensive. We very well may need something else in 20 years, but it isn't the F22. For now the numbers we have, coupled with upgraded existing teens and the F35 will be fine.

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crackedlenses September 23, 2010 at 4:30 pm

Just as long as we never have to face hordes of the newer Soviet fighters, like what the Chinese are building up on….

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jhm September 23, 2010 at 8:25 pm

China hardly has hordes, but will eventually. I mean they only have 80 ish j10s, compared to over a thousand f16s. China's army however…

chaos0xomega September 23, 2010 at 12:56 pm

…What is the point of this article? The F-22 production line has already been killed, and its not like we're going to retire the ones we have already…

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jhm September 23, 2010 at 8:26 pm

Remember, every combat aircraft has subsequent models, like the eagel had the a,b,c,d and e models over decades. the Raptor will be no different.

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praetorian September 24, 2010 at 2:06 pm

jhm you dont understand after 2010 the production is shut down. 186 is all we are gonna get, unless they change that. The Eagle production never got stopped and is still in production. With the new F-15SE model the eagle production might last another
5 years. Dont get me wrong they could upgrade F-22's to give it a B or C model though.

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Thud105 September 23, 2010 at 1:02 pm

Just because Iran isn't going to be getting this system doesn't mean the S-300 isn't a threat. It's fielded by several more nations than just Russia and it is heavily marketed for export to pretty much anyone who will listen. Taking Iran out of this equation has zero impact on whether there's a valid need for the F-22A.

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richard September 23, 2010 at 1:09 pm

Since the S-300 exists how is the threat "theoretical?

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Stephen Wagstaff September 23, 2010 at 3:04 pm

That's a good point, Richard. Chinese S-300s are part of the most modern integrated air defense system are likely to face anywhere in the world. They are not a hypothetical what-if deployment. They are real.

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jhm September 23, 2010 at 8:28 pm

they would wipe out a strike force, the US would have to rely heavily on jamming aircraft, which in turn would be vunerable to chinese fighter.

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Charley September 23, 2010 at 1:16 pm

Last time I heard, Iran's fighter aircraft have radar / AAM's that can be defeated/degraded by the F-22A's stealth technologies.

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jhm September 23, 2010 at 8:34 pm

Yah, but Irans pretty far, and with only 187 raptors, only a dozen could be afforded to be sent, not good numbers aganist 240 su30s ordered by Iran!

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Greg September 23, 2010 at 1:29 pm

If i could give you 2 thumbs up I would. Where is the logic in this article is right.

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Jacob September 23, 2010 at 2:51 pm

So wait, does the S-300 and Patriot actually make 4th generation fighter aircraft obsolete?

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jhm September 23, 2010 at 8:29 pm

If the fighter is not upgraded, then its screwed. Mnay nations today( probably 90 percent) fit under this category. Layers of this sam would produce another yom kippur war.

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Mastro September 23, 2010 at 3:39 pm

So this would be the first time in history that a technology was ignored by a military ?(maybe second- the Japanese did give up guns so they could play samurai)

Even if the Russians close down their arms plants, open medical marijuana joints and wear tie-dyes- the technology will still be out there-

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William C. September 23, 2010 at 4:05 pm

But Raptor production was halted already.

Still the fact that the Russians didn't sell upgraded S-300s or S-400s THIS TIME doesn't mean we can go and scrap the USAF 5th generation fighter plans.

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Maxtrue September 23, 2010 at 6:14 pm

Matt, 80 to 90 won't cut it. The small numbers alone would make officials think twice about risking them. Of course other decent air craft in numbers would be an economical and strategic trade during fighting. Don't 4 AF_PAKS run the same price as an F-22?

As you can see here:
http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/defense/inde…

bombers and manned fight have the lion share of present roles. As long as we will continue to rely on people and their flying machines, it doesn't make much sense to assume any kind of stop to air defense. The increased risk of having to hit targets using manned craft against countries capable of fielding S-300 like systems advocate for US air superiority certainty..

In fact, drones and missile also need to penetrate air defense. The US was wrong about the Iranian nuclear program. We will be wrong again. The idea of basing our national security needs on the promises of our adversaries is foolish. About the only thing our enemies understand is the preponderance of force. That begins with air superiority and missile defense. It does not begin with promises by Putin to curtail sales of S-300 and 400.

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Wildcard September 23, 2010 at 7:34 pm

It can take years if not decades to develop and acquire a capability where as politics can change overnight.

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Hunter78 September 23, 2010 at 8:30 pm

That the S-300 sale is canceled tells me it wasn't as good as advertised. Expect follow-up attempts.

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jhm September 23, 2010 at 8:35 pm

Russia probably cancelled it to stockpile it for themselves. they do this with every new high tech weapon

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chockblock September 23, 2010 at 9:02 pm

Expect Iran and other bad apples to acquire the next best things.

Back in 1941, the Dept. of the Navy assumed that Imperial japan could not field effective fighters and train their pilots to US standards. Many young aviators died because of that.

During the Cold war, many "pundits" pointed to Japan and West Germany's militaries as an example for the US to follow. Spend less on defense they said, the economy will grow. Never mind that we were propping up those governments after WWII and kept them safe during the cold war. if we listened to the "pundits" we'd be speaking russian.

The defense "reformers" are fixated on Iraq and A-Stan (wars they do not support) because they can use those to justify not spending a dime on new aircraft. The USAF and USN/USMC are rotting from metal fatigue. The teen series is dead, it's done and need to go to the boneyard.

Just because Russia scrubbed the sale now, does not mean it's dead. Imagine a fascist Russia that would sell this to Iran, NK, and other rogue states, or a cash strapped one. If we listen to the idiots who want to gut the military(and their Colr war-era thinking), we'll repeat the mistakes of the 1940's.

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Finsker September 24, 2010 at 6:44 pm

It's called fiscal reality. Either you have no idea what the current economic outlook for the next decade is like, or you just think we should spend every last damned dime on weapons and soldiers, but either way you are short-sighted. The military squandered trillions over the last few decades and you seem incensed that some of us actually demand accountability. The military is not the only budget priority…can you get your head around that at least?

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WIlliam C. September 25, 2010 at 3:37 pm

Yet it must be one of our highest priorities? There is no excuse or good reasons to cut the defense budget at this time when there is so much clear waste and unneeded spending elsewhere.

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WIlliam C. September 25, 2010 at 3:36 pm

I agree with you to the most part. However there is still life in the F-15Es and the new Block 50/52 F-16s.

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Uncle Bill September 23, 2010 at 9:03 pm

The F22 was designed long ago for a different threat that has diminished. (And it's very development played a role in the collapse of that threat.) But it is by no means irrelevant. It turns out to be the perfect tool for the threat we face with Iran. We won't need them if they don't have the S300, but it leaves them in a position where even the S300 won't help.

We can't deploy a bunch of them everywhere, but we can move them around. I'd hate to be a Chinese pilot attacking Taiwan if a dozen or so Raptors were suddenly ferried in. Dictators everywhere are painfully aware of the fact that they cannot hide from the F22.

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STemplar September 23, 2010 at 9:38 pm

F-22s would not fly into an environment with active S-300s even if we had 5000 of them. We would use stand off munitions and platforms to conduct the SEADs mission of a potential adversary. B2s and potentially the future NGB will launch stand off weapons to take down an air defense network long before the F-22s show up.

Honestly we would do the same thing to an opponents air fields as well. This notion that there is going to be massed air to air duels between air superiority fighters is an Xbox fantasy.

I enjoy the whole debate over the technicalities of some conflict over Taiwan as much as anyone, but that's all it is. There isn't going to be a conflict, when the totality of the impact of such a decision is weighed it is fairly easy for the Chinese to arrive at the obvious conclusion that such a military misadventure would be suicidal for them.

In the same way China is working to impede the potential of our carrier groups, we get to play that game too. We would conduct operations in a manner they aren't prepared to contend with that would make their efforts unsuccessful. That wouldn't be 10000 tactical fighters in some silly dogfight over the Straits of Taiwan though.

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tom September 24, 2010 at 3:36 am

absolutely correct. The F-22 does not have a real stand-off air-to-ground capability. Tomahawk, JASSM, JASSM-ER, JSOW, SLAM-ER are the answer to a threat like a S-300.

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Maxtrue September 24, 2010 at 10:32 am

That's a case actually for modifying Raptors which can deliver more missiles and bombs than an F-35. F-35s can super cruise and their stealth is less than Raptors. And how far must you go into Iran to release those stand offs?

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Maxtrue September 24, 2010 at 10:32 am

can't super cruise…..okay coffee time….later all

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tom September 24, 2010 at 3:29 pm

you forgot the DAS System that the F-35 has. The greatest advantage is that modern surface-to-air systems can just turn off their radars and voila they are invisible to any incoming plane and they are ready to fire within seconds. The great advantage the F-35 has is the capability to detect such threats whether they are on the ground or air, offline or online. THE F-35 IS A PLANE THAT ELIMINATES SA-SYSTEMS GREATEST ADVANTAGE! <- one of the reason why it is a useful plane to have in your inventory…and the US should definitely have it.

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tom September 24, 2010 at 3:42 pm

plus the combination with Stealth the F-35 brings along.

Maxtrue September 24, 2010 at 10:29 am

You are right, but with many targets in conflict we will undoubtedly have Raptors in the mix as human operators are critical. And to get within range of launching stand offs will require more stealth than F-35s. With cheaper enemy air craft purchased in larger number, the stealth and supersonic cruise aspects of Raptors are critical to survival. One on one dog fights with the Russkies might be fantasy, but 4 and 5 on one is not very good for Raptors. You seem to discount the low numbers available as well as stealth being important in NOT GETTING SHOT AT by a multitude of sources.

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Enthusiast September 24, 2010 at 6:37 am

American faith that F-22 is invulnerable wunderwaffe weapon is ridiculous. For sure, it's capable weapon system, but in fact, it's still vulnerable to air defense assets. Yes, it's maybe much less vulnerable than 4 and 4+ generaion fighter jets, but still is.
As, for S-300, it's capable system too, but little bit outdated now.

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scrollus September 24, 2010 at 6:45 pm

Burn the heretic!

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dab September 24, 2010 at 9:39 am

Weapons procurement investments are largely not about the current security environment. They are about the range of options that may exist over the next several decades. Almost every lesson-learned suggests that the anti-access environment will grow increasingly dangerous around the globe as time progresses. Why would we continue to make investments in aircraft that are constrained amidst such dangers today and will be increasingly unsurvivable tomorrow? Is it a wise investment to purchase a legacy aircraft if it cannot reach the target? To use two largely failed states (Iraq and Afghanistan) as a base-line assessment of the global threat environment is foolhardy beyond belief. Strategic air power is pretty simple-range, payload, and survivability. Why would we want to decrease our operational capability in any of these areas, especially considering that the procurement decisions we make today will govern the policy options available to the nation for decades into the future?

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Maxtrue September 24, 2010 at 10:18 am

Which is why in light of no new fighter program, we should keep open the ability to upgrade the best fighter we have. It would be cheaper to modify it as new threats shape up because a new generation air craft would take a very long time to field. With increased targeting of forward air bases, new air defense systems likely to pop up and new roles fighters can play in defense (scrambling fast and delivering air to air missile defense), common sense dictates we maintain the pressure. Perhaps if Republicans win more seats, they can repeal the closing of Raptor lines and leave open the possibility of improved Raptors to counter the increasingly dangerous air environment….

And I'm an Independent.

This also makes for a similar argument regarding the B-1, as stealthy drone bombers packing DEW and hypersonic packages are a long was off……..

Push for Peace
Prepare for War

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crackedlenses September 24, 2010 at 10:46 am

Good thinking, they should scrap the F-35, leastways the Air-Force model, and use the funds the build more F-22s and build the FB-22….

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Decimatus September 24, 2010 at 10:16 am

The premise in the article that the F-22 is not needed simply because Iran did not acquire S-300's is a false one.

First, the F-22 was designed to control the skies, not the ground.

Second, stand off weapons such as HARM, Tomahawks, and JASMs are designed to deal with threats such as ground based air defense.

Third, even if Iran had S-300's, we would never need to field a single F-22 to defeat their capabilities, as they are pathetically weak with or without them.

The F-22 has always been and always will be built as a deterrent to enemies who have, or wish to achieve air superiority over a battlespace that we might occupy. Former Soviet Russia, and future China.

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Maxtrue September 24, 2010 at 10:19 am

long way off…..sorry

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Byron Skinner September 24, 2010 at 10:20 am

Good Morning Folks,

It seems all posters are on the same train of though.

Just a question here, when was the last time a SAM was fired at and downed an US fighter/attack aircraft?

The answer is in Iraq a Patriot downed a US F-18.

Quite simply the United States has very effectively neutralized the SAM threat. Ten years of no fly over Iraq showed the USAF and USN the whole spectrum of air defense systems and provide a live fire training range for american pilots. The Americans got so good that during the last two years of no fly the switched from HE bombs to practice bombs to take out ADM units.

In 2009 Chief of Staff of the AF General Schwartz, had a slip of the tongue and mentioned the success of a "non kinetic weapon" anti-ADM system on the Iranian border with Iraq.

Just incase and the very unlikely event that something new comes along, there is always the AGM-88E fired for unmanned drones.

Until passive sensors can be incorporated in the air defense role the act of just lighting up an active radar even strobing is an act of suicide for the operators. The Russian Federation is saying that perhaps a yet undeveloped system the S-500 may have passive sensors.

In short who cares what old air defense systems the Iranian may have, all they are are "targets". Let the Russian take their money and sell all they like to Iran.

ALLONS,

Byron Skinner

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Wildcard September 24, 2010 at 7:34 pm

I don't think you could compare Iraqi SAMs to the current S300'. Iraqi SAMs typically consisted of SA 6 with an effective range of 15miles. Whilst the AGM-88E has a range of 66miles, this would tip the balance in favour of the US fighters. Iraqi Air Defense with its tight C&C structure, aging equipment and laughable operator training all would have been detrimental to its employment.
S300' have an effective range as high as 121miles, SAMs could be in the air and command, radar, missile systems could be egressing before HARMs can be fired from either manned or unmanned aircraft.
I’m not saying that if they were provided to Iran they would be employed any better than say the Iraqi’s employed their SAM’s. Nor am I saying that these systems cannot be overcome.

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mike j September 24, 2010 at 7:58 pm

He didn't compare any Iraqi system, it was a US Patriot that shot down our own aircraft. IFF is still a problem, apparently.

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Wildcard September 24, 2010 at 8:15 pm

'Quite simply the United States has very effectively neutralized the SAM threat.' in relation to the threat posed over Iraq.

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mike j September 24, 2010 at 10:59 pm

I'm not sure I entirely agree with everything Byron says, but that's a different issue.

You seem to have a reading comprehension problem. Byron is saying we've neutralized the SAM threat everywhere, period.

We lost two aircraft to hostile fire in OIF, a Strike Eagle and a Warthog. US Patriot batteries destroyed a further two friendlies, a Tornado and an F/A-18. An F-16CJ damaged a Patriot radar with a HARM in self defense after it was locked onto.

Mastro September 24, 2010 at 12:12 pm

Good post

Its the equivalent of signing Derek Jeter to a multiyear contract- was a great player- in 3-4 years- playing golf.

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STemplar September 24, 2010 at 12:32 pm

People get terribly shrill over the F22 v. F35 debate here. Kind of funny since both were conceived in a time and for a theater that is over. Neither will really be what we need in the western Pacific. That's the only realistic theater we would be involved in a major conflict, and the likelihood of it is very low. I think one need look no further than what is being discussed for development right now, things like the NGB, PS from VLS, X-45/47, conventional ICBMs, etc. Seems like we are looking for ways to get things done without tactical fighters.

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Maxtrue September 24, 2010 at 5:44 pm

Again, you may be right but ARES makes a good case for manned flight for some time and I suspect that includes fighters. Since the trend IS towards drones and experimental air craft such as the X-37, the case is even more sound for keeping open the possibility to modify our best fighter asset. Even Raytheon has plans for an air to air missile defense missile. FB-22 is the best horse.

As for missing systems in the Raptor, they could be added.

In short, if the US does not plan another manned fighter, why would it make sense to end any future production of the best fighter we have? I see a role for F-35s, but I think there has been a mistake regarding the F-22. The article above seems to make a claim against this logic by suggesting S-300 are no longer a threat and that critical roles don't exist for Raptors. I think there is evidence against this and countries other than Russia and China will eventually field enough decent craft that our numbers will not prove overwhelming force and control of the skies.

We will all read here about new air defense systems that perhaps only Raptors have the best chance against….

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STemplar September 24, 2010 at 6:06 pm

FB22 doesn't have the legs needed. The NGB not coincidentally has a proposed 4000 nmi range, which just happens to be combat radius from Guam to China and back, imagine that. To say nothing of a stealthy bomb hauler doesn't need to be supersonic. The FB22 is just a gold plated excuse to keep an overpriced aircraft looking for a mission in production IMO.

We may decide we need more fighters at some point but I'm not swayed by the F22 fans. I also don't buy the 'F35 is junk' crowd either. I think we are making far more tactical aircraft than we will need taking any Chinese efforts into account. I don't see where we could reliably base them, and use them in a conflict with China except for carrier versions.

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crackedlenses September 28, 2010 at 9:49 am

The plan was to put a large pair of delta wings on the Raptor, increasing fuel capacity and therefore range….

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Altor September 26, 2010 at 5:04 pm

"The only aircraft built by the United States which can survive in airspace contested by the PAK-FA is the F-22 Raptor, and given the time frame of interest, it is the only design which can be adapted to defeat the PAK-FA."
“the F-35 will no longer be a usable combat aircraft for roles other than Counter Insurgency (COIN), though more cost effective and more appropriate solutions already exist for this role.”
"the only viable … strategy [...] is to terminate the Joint Strike Fighter program immediately, redirect freed funding to further develop the F-22 Raptor, and employ variants of the F-22 aircraft as the primary fighter aircraft for all United States and Allied TACAIR needs.
If the US does not fundamentally change its planning [...], the advantage held for decades will be soon lost… " http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-2010-01.html http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-NOTAM-05072010-1.h…

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tom September 24, 2010 at 3:33 pm

please read my comment above! thks

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crackedlenses September 28, 2010 at 9:45 am

Half a sec, I thought the F-35 was downgraded from "stealthy" like the Raptor to "low-observable" due to budget cuts, and that it's A to G capability was mediocre at best….

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Porfiry September 24, 2010 at 6:36 pm

Sweet. Can I use your crystal ball when you're done with it?

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peter September 24, 2010 at 6:52 pm

The F-22 will defiantely be needed. Whats going to happen when more F-15's break up in the sky from aging airframes? I dont think they are going to reopen the F-15 manufacturing plant to replace them or build new F-15 SE's.

Also most SAM systems are a hell of a lot faster then the AGM-88 HARM. The HARM's range and speed are in need of a definate upgrade in order to deal with IAD's. Most Russian SAM's have double to triple the range and speed of the HARM.

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Jacob September 24, 2010 at 8:45 pm

Haven't Russian weapon systems from the Cold War onwards generally been shown to be inferior in quality to American weapons? Every time we've worried about a supposed wonder weapon or Soviet advantage, whether it was the MIG-25, the cruiser gap or missile gap, it always turned out to be a farce. So does the S-300 really break this trend, or is it just the same old hype?

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Enthusiast September 28, 2010 at 3:05 am

>>Haven't Russian weapon systems from the Cold War onwards generally been shown to be inferior in quality to American weapons?

No.
Russian weapon in hands of arabs and serbs were commonly obsolete (generation behind or even two generations behind) when it faced with a latest Western military hardware.
But look at US/NATO Afghanistan campaign. American and NATO troops using Russian made helicopters for their operations. Sometimes i see Soviet PKM/DSHKa in hands of US soldiers.
Actually, Russian weapon was not proven to be inferior in quality.

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crackedlenses September 28, 2010 at 9:50 am

The Russian weapon salesman is back…..

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Byron Skinner September 24, 2010 at 10:10 pm

Good Evening Folks,

Jacob. I personally agree with you. All of the Russian platforms were sold as being superior to what the US was fielding, in reality the opposite was true.

Until an S-300, which has been operational since the 1970′s with upgrades, missile downs an American fighter/attack aircraft it really just another in the long line of these failed weapon systems.

ALLONS,
Byron Skinner

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Altor September 26, 2010 at 5:02 pm

Threats to Air Supremacy : http://shock.military.com/Shock/player.html?vid=3…

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Altor September 26, 2010 at 5:13 pm

Russia’s PAK-FA versus the F-22 and F-35 http://www.ausairpower.net/APA-NOTAM-300309-1.htm…
"As the F-35 also lacks the performance … repeated ‘freebie’ shots from the PAK-FA could inflict high losses. Expect the exchange rate to be of the order of 4:1 in favour of the PAK-FA, possibly much higher"

"…out to 2015, the F-22A may be knocked off its perch by a newcomer, unless the US invests in new sensors, especially, and advanced technology Infra-Red Search and Track, stealth improvements and a new generation of missiles for the F-22 – assuming it even builds more than the token number of F-22s currently planned. The F-35 has already been neutralised and negated by the Su-35-1/35BM and will be substantively overmatched by the PAK-FA. The West needs to think long, hard and fast about the PAK-FA, as the current and retrograde “F-35 centric” future fighter fleet model guarantees certain defeat in future combat."

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@Earlydawn September 26, 2010 at 8:16 pm

Why don't we see if the Russians can afford them before we start to panic?

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STemplar September 27, 2010 at 12:11 am

Don't forget to have them bone up on basic operational tactics as well, since they shot down as many of themselves as the Georgians did.

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Enthusiast September 28, 2010 at 3:07 am

What you are talking about.
Russia lost 4 (four) aircraft in Georgia - 3 CAS aicraft (Su-25) and one Tu-22m bomber. 1 CAS aircraft were lost due friendly fire (MANPAD).

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STemplar September 28, 2010 at 5:34 am

Not according to some analysis I've read. Regardless, quite frankly 5 aircraft in five days of combat against an adversary theoretically no where near a match for them is atrocious performance.

@E_L_P September 27, 2010 at 4:43 am

Yet again, showing a complete lack of understanding of air power issues. How can this article be taken seriously with a title like that?

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Maxtrue September 27, 2010 at 12:53 pm

That struck me as self-evident ELP. You too eh? Maybe we're just lab mice here……
http://www.aviationweek.com/aw/blogs/defense/inde… Raptors for MD

2012 is the latest date for reversing the termination http://www.dailytech.com/F22+Raptor+will+Continue…

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howard September 27, 2010 at 11:43 am

if they asked me, i’d prefer to have a large number of
higher speed standoff munitions and missiles to
deploy FROM the Raptors.
the most valuable thing in them is pilot currency
and who wants to risk them in anything approaching
a fair fight level? the closer you get the more kills
both sides will see in a high tech tussle.
spend move on improving the air to air missiles range and
accuracy.

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roland September 29, 2010 at 2:12 am

I think we still needed the F-22 and F-35 or better for the country’s (USA) defense even though they cancell the sale of S-300.

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Justin H September 29, 2010 at 9:22 pm

What the Russians say and do are usually vastly different from one another.

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Jay October 4, 2010 at 5:26 pm

Another factor people forget is that the F22 is more expensive than the F35 because it is more capable. Payload of 8 AA missiles instead of 4, payload to carry larger ordnance,
longer range, faster, higher ceiling, smaller RCS.

I suspect the F22 is getting chopped because Gates and Obama (and the author of this article) assume we will be doing low intensity conflict against technically inferior enemies forever. Yeah, we don't need stealth to drop LGBs on camels. But what if our needs change?

I hope we don't find ourselves wishing we had stealthier Raptors carrying more AAMs and more munitions instead of a couple more F35s if we ever have to fight a real war against a capable enemy.

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bobbymike January 4, 2011 at 12:13 am

I want overwhelming superiority that makes all our enemies ass pucker just thinking of the ways we can ruin their day. I want them up at night worrying how the US military is so strong and dominant and that they could only dream of such power.

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Jacob September 23, 2010 at 6:52 pm

Oh sure, because that worked out so well against Al-Qaeda. The Taliban probably run their insurgency on less than what it takes to buy a single F-16.

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jhm September 23, 2010 at 8:32 pm

Actually, it costs millions, if not billions.importing black market weapons isnt cheap. and it did work initially well aganist the taliban and al qaeda. In a couple months, the US usurped the taliban, pretty impressive in conventional terms.

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Icysquirrel September 24, 2010 at 2:13 pm

Will that be cash or cheque?

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Textron September 24, 2010 at 6:39 pm

Awesome, I'm sure your kids will enjoy the crushing financial burden you've imposed on them to satisfy your overweening sense of inferiority in world affairs.

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crackedlenses September 28, 2010 at 9:43 am

You can feel good about yourself when your country gets attacked because the bad guys aren't afraid of us anymore…..

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crackedlenses September 24, 2010 at 10:38 am

We won't talk about China's army….

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Wildcard September 25, 2010 at 6:48 pm

No problems comprehending anything… might have been down to Friday night fog of Vodka.
I don't agree with what Byron says, I was trying to articulate that, but the big V got me. Since I can't currently recall exactly what I was trying to articulate I shall fallback.

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mike j September 25, 2010 at 9:18 pm

No problem. Vodka's probably shot down more planes than SAMs ever did. Dern ruskies!

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crackedlenses September 28, 2010 at 9:52 am

The British took some pretty heavy losses in the Falklands War…..

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@Earlydawn October 6, 2010 at 3:03 am

False parallel. The Falklands War was foist upon the Brits. The Russians, on the other hand, had the initiative and the technology advantage.

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