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South Korea Snubs America’s Fifth Gen Aircraft

Written by on Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

South Korea and the United States are strong allies, and as long as North Korea continues to maintain its rather antagonistic policies and strict government rule, our allegiance with South Korea will remain strong. South Korea and the United States have a shared and vested interesting in safeguarding the free world against the influence of North Korea’s oppressive government, especially in the wake of North Korean missile testing.

While South Korea and the United States may agree politically, these two nations do not have similar ideas regarding a safe and effective Air Force. South Korean officials have recently announced that the F-35, the prize fighter of the USAF and many of its allies, will not be up to the South Korean Air Force’s specifications.

That statement may sound a bit shocking, but these arguments stem more from differences in opinion regarding what constitutes an effective aircraft rather than a statement on the power of the F-35.

What makes the multi-purpose F-35 so attractive is that it has advanced stealth capabilities, enabling it to penetrate deep into enemy territory without being discovered. The F-35 carries weapons internally to envelope its missiles in the aircraft’s stealth technology. South Korea is complaining that the F-35 will not be able to carry weapons externally.

In actuality, the F-35 can carry up to 6 missiles on its external pylons, but this enhanced offensive array comes at the cost of an increased valium no prescription radar signature. While the F-35 is certainly capable of carrying external missiles, it is not exactly its intended purpose. Advocates of Lockheed Martin are arguing that South Korea is being unrealistic in its demands, and that they are missing the most crucial point of having F-35s.

South Korea points to another flaw of the F-35, its max speed of Mach 1.6, as another reason why the F-35 can’t make the cut. That cruising speed just barely meets South Korea’s minimum speed requirements. Clearly, South Korea expected something with a more impressive G-Force patrolling their skies.

South Korea’s complaints with the F-35 are added to the growing list of doubts, concerns, and criticisms about the F-35. While Lockheed Martin’s adored aircraft does have a whole range of advantages, many prospective buyers just aren’t sure if its relatively low speed and lackluster air-to-air credentials will make it a trustworthy aircraft.

Regardless of all the speculation, one thing is certain: only time will tell if the F-35 will be able to keep up with the China’s Chengdu J-20 and Russia’s PAK FA, or if it will be left in the dust. With more and more nations joining the JSF program, it is clear that we need the F-35 to succeed, because America and her allies have invested too much into the F-35 for it to fail.

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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