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Russia’s Fifth Generation Fighter Agile, But Easy to Spot

Written by on Thursday, March 1st, 2012

The 5th generation multi-purpose F-35 is already being sent to air bases across the US and is going through flight testing. Meanwhile, China is working to develop its own stealth fighter. While the US and China are both getting behind their star aerial performers, these two countries aren’t the only big boys on the block.

Russia is striving to maintain its position as a military powerhouse by working on the Sukhoi PAK FA. The PAK FA is viewed as the third and final contender in this three-way competition for aerial supremacy between the F-35, the J-20, and the PAK FA.

The PAK FA is equipped with a range of capabilities that have made it a reliable fighter, with supersonic cruising speeds, all-weather capability, and the ability to strike both air and ground targets simultaneously. Its twin engines and wide wing design should give it remarkable speed and maneuverability.

Indeed, the PAK FA will truly have to rely on its maneuverability if it Russians expect the PAK FA to trump its American and Chinese generic cialis canadian pharmacy counterparts. The design of the PAK FA sacrifices stealth in favor of agility. So, while the F-35 and the J-20 will likely be much more difficult to detect, the PAK FA may very well be able to out maneuver either of the other 2 jets in critical scenarios.

This is a somewhat odd direction to take considering the current popularity of stealth aircraft. Stealthy aircraft are harder to hit, have an offensive advantage, and are masters at the all-important role of surveillance.  Is it better to fly in under the radar and strike without an enemy being able to spot you in time, or is it better to operate a faster, more agile aircraft?

That is a difficult question to answer, and one that foreign markets will actually need to consider. With Russia offering to sell the aircraft to nations such as South Korea, the US will have formidable competitors in the global market.

If you want advice about the world of military aviation, there’s no better people to turn to than men and women who have sat in the cockpit and flown some of the world’s most advanced aircraft. With over 50 current and ex-warfighters on call, Strike Fighter Consulting Inc. can give you access to up-to-date, first-hand technical and tactical expertise.

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