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What is the future of air warfare?

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  • What is the future of air warfare?

    From what I've seen several different countries are taking different routes to fighter development.

    The U.S seems to be exploiting its stealth and digital avionics superiority (F22), the Europeans seem to be aiming on avionics and longer ranged air to air weaponary (Eurofighter/Meteor). And the Russians seem to be focused on aerodynamics and manuverability for WVR dog fighting (Su-37).

    Each seems to have its marits and weaknesses the Russians are apparently even installing a rearward facing radar to detect incoming missiles from the rear, not unreasonable considering the F22 and its ability to sneak up on other aircraft.

    My personal view is the F22 for the moment is untouchable purely because if you can't see whats shooting at your then your kinda screwed, it also seems to have the best radar out of the bunch. But the Su-37 could probably give the Eurofighter a run for its money depending how capable its radar is versus the Eurofighters.

    All that said the F22 looks to be build for pure air dominance and isen't capable for much else. Where as the Su-37 and the Eurofighter are both multirole with the Su-37 very capable in the ground attack area.

    The question really is which route is the better choice, I think the F22 is sort of in a class by itself given its built purely for air to air with everyone else developing multirole aircraft. My personal view is the Russians are still somewhat stuck in the mentality they had during the cold war when developing fighters and don't seem to have come to the realization yet that the days of dog fighting are over. Fancy manuvers are nice but most of the time your going to be engaged way out of visual range these days with everyone trying to develop longer and longer ranged air to air weaponary. The Eurofighter seems to be a good deal for a good multirole fighter. Any thoughts or disagreements?

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    • #3
      The F-22 and F-35 are both in a class of themselves as they're both gen5 aircraft. Russians have also left maneuverability and gone for stealth as they ditched Su37 and are now going for PAK-FA. Gen6-7 aircraft will all be UAVs and this is the last generation of manned fighters.


      • #4
        RE: What is the future of air warfare?

        > hello
        > Russians have also left maneuverability and gone for stealth as they ditched Su37
        It appears from what the Russians say and what is reflected in their designs they still expect a furball and a "guns envirement" in future dogfights. While the trend in dogfighting is to kill the bad guy at the earliest point. If at all avoid the merge!!

        In a test performed by the Isreali Air Force in which there were two opposing forces sixteen aircraft per side. Each aircraft was equipt with a "Slammer Class" missile and a IR missile (9L or P-4 class) with HMDS. The general who spoke said it was real bloody out there. People were dropping like flies and none of the aircraft pull more than 3G's and, only a couple aircraft reached the merge!