It reminds me of a long departed uncle who was fond of saying, "Don't eat that, Charlie. That's horseshit."
You see you can't consider the F-35's merits in isolation because it can't operate independently, certainly not in stealth mode, in a real war scenario.
The F-35 can't use its own radar to see what's around it in enemy territory. The radar emissions would give it away. So it depends on another much bigger aircraft, AWACS, a 70s vintage Boeing 707, to keep an eye on the battlefield and feed it information.
The F-35 also can't go very far in stealth mode relying on its limited internal fuel capacity. It can't haul drop tanks for extra range because they would show up on radar and defeat the stealth advantage. That leaves the F-35 totally dependent on aerial tanker aircraft and they have to be deployed well forward to give it juice on the way out.
So the Russians have done the math and they're very good at this sort of thing. They know that one (and it's only one) way to skin the F-35 cat is to go for the low hanging fruit - the tankers and AWACS control aircraft. They're bit and slow and ungainly and that makes them really easy meat. And those pesky Russians have built long-range missiles specifically for that job. Even if you can only take out the tankers, the F-35 is reduced to a one-mission air war. You don't have to shoot it down, it'll crash all on its own when it runs out of fuel. That makes the F-35 a mega-costly cruise missile. Hmm, why didn't I think of that?
And then there's this:
That's an obviously Russian depiction of what the new SU-35S stealth killer will be packing inside its wing leading edges. It's an L-band radar, real old school stuff. The F-35 is designed to defeat a more modern radar, the X-band system used in most fighter aircraft. But what you can't see on X-band you can see on L-band radar and it's apparently effective enough to neutralize the F-35s stealth technology in operational settings. And there goes a hundred million dollars an airplane worth of technology straight out the window.
Who could have imagined that someone would find a way to neutralize a potential adversary's technological breakthrough? Oh I know, every human since man first figured out how to tie a rock to a stick. Hmm, I should've thought of that too.
Now the Ruskies have developed all this new technology to equip their new SU-35S, stealth killer.
|SU-35S Stealth Killer|
At first glance it looks a lot like the old SU-27 that the Russians have been flying since 1984 but while it shares the same proven shape the SU-35S is a new airplane. AirPowerAustralia says the 35S will easily defeat any rival flying today except the F-22 Raptor and the Americans shut down the production line for that long ago.
But who is this AirPowerAustralia anyway? Well here's how America's top aviation publication, Aviation Week, describes APA:
"One reason that JSF (F-35) fans react to Carlo Kopp and his merry band at Air Power Australia the way liberals react to Sarah Palin is that their open-source work on Russian systems is second to none."
Yeah, and APA is also top notch when it comes to producing a hard-nosed examination of the F-35 light bomber, something you won't be getting from DND or the Harper government.
So if the SU-35S is so formidable and the F-35 light bomber is so vulnerable why do our political and military leaders seem so intent on us having it? There's a simple answer to that. The F-35 is our admission ticket to America's aerial Foreign Legion. It's how we stay in the Pentagon's club.
You see, remember the explanation about how the F-35 depends on protection from the F-22 Raptor and guidance from AWACS command aircraft and lots and lots of tanker aircraft? Well, we don't have those airplanes. Sure we've got a few tankers but not what's needed for combat missions and we have zero, nada, zip of those F-22s and AWACS. So if Canadian F-35s ever do get to work their stealth magic in combat it will be under the command of the Americans.
21st century America is hyper-militarized, a true warfare state. In the United States today, military force has displaced diplomacy as the principle instrument of foreign policy. When you buy the F-35, you're signing on to that same militarism. That may sound peachy to the big boys at DND or within the Harper cabinet but it's a hell of a thing to do to Canada.
If the past ten years have taught us anything about the American military and political leadership (and our own) it's their breathtaking levels of incompetence, their astonishing willingness to get into wars they're not prepared to fight and their fierce dependence on weapons that cannot deliver victories. If there's a weapon that ties us into that, and that weapon is the F-35, we should be running for the hills.
Canada doesn't need a light bomber. We do need a multi-role fighter that can do everything well even if it doesn't have the illusion of stealth. We need something that's reliable (twin engine), fast, long range, agile and capable of bringing a wide array and quantity of ordinance along for the ride which is everything the F-35 isn't.