posted on Jun, 14 2013 @ 12:20 AM
Originally posted by redoubt
reply to post by Zaphod58
I am personally more than a little doubtful of the entire F-35 program. Making it worse still is that the F-22 production lines was shut down after
only 180 some-odd examples had been produced.
Here we are in the gap between an unproven Lightening II and our aging fleet of F-15s and F-16s with but a handful of F-22s to cover.
Two notes would be:
The F-22 has proven itself far superior to any advanced fighter in the air.
The F-14 Tomcat that the navy dumped for the F-18 Superhornet, is still superior. In fact, the US was so worried that Iran could maintain its fleet of
F-14s leftover from the 1970s, they advanced the date for their retirement by 8 years to secure parts that Iran might have gotten to maintain their
planes. The never-produced F-14 Allycat never made production because of worry over technology that Iran might have gotten from the retired versions.
The Tomcat ruled the skies for a long time.
It appears Iran has been maintaining the F-14's quite well even to this day. Note that pre-revolution Iran chose the F-14 as a ground-based aircraft,
without any serious ocean-going navy.
The 1980's Iran-Iraq war was the only time there was any reasonably 'equal' test between US and USSR aircraft technology of comparable vintage since
perhaps Korean war (where the USSR's aircraft were remarkably good). The Tomcat obliterated Iraq's MiG and Sukhois and even some contemporary French
Mirage's. Soviet pilots and instructors were even flying on Iraq's side (obviously no US help on Iran's side).
During Gulf War I, Iraq's pilots always ran away from Tomcats even though they tried to engage F-16 and F-15.
I think people may underestimate the effect of the Iran-Iraq war and Gulf War I on the fall of the USSR. 1980's Iraq was a heavy Soviet ally. Iran's
human-wave ground army was medieval and pathetic, but the air war was modern and technological. Iraq, despite explicit help from USSR and France,
including actual Soviet pilots, did not perform well vs an isolated Iran with USA technology. The final blow came with Gulf War I and the total
dominance of the F-117A against an operational and extensive Russian-designed air-defense network. I remember some Russian observers mentioning to
media that they were relieved that they never had a war with NATO because they realized they would have lost very badly without using nuclear weapons.
In 1990-1991, The Soviets realized then that they fully lost the Cold War, as opposed to the 1950's and 1960s when they thought, with some
justification they were at least equal if not ahead in some areas, with good reason----rocketry, and in actual combat air engagements [Korea &
Vietnam] they had good reason to feel that way during that time. Back then, USA pilots in engaging against 3rd world Korea & Vietnamese pilots in
Russian craft and SAM's didn't do so well.
edit on 14-6-2013 by mbkennel because: (no reason given)