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Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Benefits of Stealth and Situational Awareness

Image 1: F-22 canopy

Robin Olds, an American triple ace who served in both World War II and Vietnam said, "The guy you don't see will kill you". One of the many conclusions made by the Red Baron project, an evaluation of the of the US air-to-air performance failures in Vietnam, reported the majority of American airmen who were shot down did not see their adversary until it was too late (Laslie, 2013). The principle that the enemy fighter pilot you do not see is often the most dangerous predates stealth technology, but stealth enables pilots of both the F-22 and F-35 to take advantage of this principle on a consistent basis.

While the F-22 is widely regarded as the most formidable fighter aircraft in service worldwide and Raptor pilots can clearly substantiate their claims with a 30:1 kill ratio in combat exercises, claims made by Lockheed Martin regarding the F-35's air-to-air capabilities often deemed to be illegitimate by critics (Trimble, 2012). A common technique among analysts in evaluating the effectiveness of a new proposed policy or system is to look to past historical examples that are in some way relevant or similar to the currently evaluated policy or system. In the case of the F-35, the F-22 is the most similar analogue in service. However, a number significant  issues arise when comparing the F-22 and F-35. Both aircraft were designed with very different objectives in mind, the F-22 was created first and foremost as an air-superiority fighter while the F-35 is a multi-mission capable strike fighter (Gertler, 2013). Many of the design features that distinguish the F-22 and F-35 from one another are attributable to either their different roles or the technology gap between the periods in which the aircraft were developed. Caveats aside, the comparison should still provide some insight as to the potential effectiveness of the F-35 as long as instances where the Raptor's superior maneuverability served as the deciding factor in engagements are acknowledged and accounted for. Two of the most important characteristics to the F-35's future success in the air-to-air role are shared with the Raptor, heightened situational awareness and stealth. Many accounts by pilots who have flown either against Raptors or in Raptors indicates the relevance of stealth and situational awareness in modern air-to-air combat (maneuverability will be subsequently be addressed).

In testimony before the Australian Parliament, RAAF Air Marshal Geoff Brown responded to maneuverability concerns raised by MP Dennis Jensen. Brown explained why the combination of stealth and heightened situational awareness were more relevant to future air to air engagements based upon his experience at Red Air against F-22's:

"In any practice engagement I have had in the last 20 years where I have turned with another aeroplane in a bigger picture environment – rather than the static one by ones, two by twos or four by fours – every time I have tried to do that I have ended up being shot by somebody else who actually is not in the fight. As soon as you enter a turning fight, your situational awareness actually shrinks down because the only thing you can be operating with is the aeroplane you are turning with. The person who has the advantage is the person who can stand off, watch the engagement and just pick you off at the time…the ability to actually have that data fusion that the aeroplane has makes an incredible difference to how you perform in combat. I saw it first hand on a Red Flag mission in an F-15D against a series of fifth-generation F-22s. We were actually in the red air. In five engagements we never knew who had hit us and we never even saw the other aeroplane…

After that particular mission I went back and had a look at the tapes on the F-22, and the difference in the situational awareness in our two cockpits was just so fundamentally different. That is the key to fifth-generation. That is where I have trouble with the APA analysis….To me that is key: it is not only stealth; it is the combination of the EOS and the radar to be able to build a comprehensive picture. In that engagement I talked about at Nellis, in Red Flag, the ability to be in a cockpit with a God’s-eye view of what is going on in the world was such an advantage over a fourth-generation fighter – and arguably one of the best fourth-generation fighters in existence, the F-15. But even with a DRFM jamming pipe, we still had no chance in those particular engagements. And at no time did any of the performance characteristics that you are talking about have any relevance to those five engagements.”

Image 2: F-22 and F-15 in vertical climb (Image Credit: USAF).

An earlier account from an Australian pilot flying with the 65th Aggressor Squadron:

"'I can’t see the [expletive deleted] thing,' said RAAF Squadron Leader Stephen Chappell, exchange F-15 pilot in the 65th Aggressor Squadron. 'It won’t let me put a weapons system on it, even when I can see it visually through the canopy. [Flying against the F-22] annoys the hell out of me.'” - Defense Industry Daily, 2007

For those who question the F-22's applicability outside of training exercises, a recent incident near Iran between an F-22 and an Iranian F-4 highlights many of the same points raised by Air Marshall Brown:

"Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh on Tuesday sketched out a dramatic tale of a lone F-22 Raptor chasing off Iranian fighter jets over the Arabian Gulf...In March, an Iranian F-4 flew within 16 miles of an MQ-1 Predator flying off the coast of Iran until a previously undisclosed aircraft escorted the Predator to safety. It turns out that aircraft was an F-22, the Air Force's fifth generation fighter...'This is the guy that warned them off,' he said. He flew under their aircraft to check out their weapons load without them knowing that he was there, and then pulled up on their left wing and then called them and said ‘you really ought to go home.''"

Image 3: The United States deploys 6 F-22's to Al Dhafra airbase in the UAE on a rotational basis (five of which are pictured above, the plane on the far left in an F-15). Raptors from both the 49th Fighter Wing and the 3rd Fighter Wing have been deployed to Al Dhafra (Cenciotti, 2012). At mach 2, Raptors from Al Dhafra would reach Iranian airspace within six minutes.


Image 4: F-22A rear

It can be difficult to clearly differentiate accounts where maneuverability as opposed to stealth and situational awareness served as the deciding factor(s) in the engagement. The rules of engagement, which dictate the terms of the dogfight, are not always released to the public as well as stealth is maintained to some degree even at visual range where maneuverability becomes more important. In combat exercises against French Rafles in 2009,  the variable of stealth is attempted to be controlled for. Radar reflected panels were fitted to the Raptor to degrade its stealth performance in addition to mounting external fuel tanks.

"For these training missions, the F-22As flew only within visual range 1 vs 1 BFM (Basic Fighter Maneuvering) sorties, and did so carrying under-wing fuel tanks, and with radar reflectors fitted, preventing opponents from seeing how ‘stealthy’ the F-22 is in operational configuration, or from experiencing the F-22’s AN/APG-77 radar and highly advanced AN/ALR-94 passive receiver system."

If these claims are true, the results of the exercises with the French give the closest result of the effectiveness of supermanuverability and situational awareness without the stealth variable. However, its worth noting that some have disputed the authenticity of these claims. The only publicly available footage from the exercises that I have managed to come across, from the perspective of one French Rafale, does not show any fuel tanks being fitted on the Raptor although the radar reflectors might have still been attached (also this is only one of the reportedly six engagements conducted against the Raptor by Rafales). It is entirely plausible that the USAF would be cautious of showing the true capabilities of the Raptor to the French. I mean no disrespect to my French colleagues, but instances of French industrial espionage in the field of aerospace are well documented.

Engagement starts at 2:15

As the footage seen in the footage, the French pilot manages to gain positioning for a IR missile shot. Some aspects of the engagements are disputed. Of the six 1 vs 1 engagements, four to five were deemed inconclusive/ a draw as a result of a lack of fuel, or the altitude limits for the terms of engagements was exceeded. The disputed claim is either one or two of the engagements resulted in the Raptor pilot(s) achieving a gun kill on the Rafale. However, both but both Flight Global and Arabian Aerospace report no Raptors were shot down in the exercise and USAF pilots claim the Raptor was "undefeated" throughout the exercise. Thus, it can be determined that the simulated IR missile shot in the video above did not result in a kill given the overall results of the exercise.  Even though the Rafale did not achieve any kills against the Raptor, the fact that a French pilot managed to position himself for an IR missile shot shows the Raptor is not invulnerable in a close in maneuvering fight. The few instances in which F-15 and F-16 pilots have manged to down Raptors in close maneuvering fights substantiates testimony given by Air Marshall Brown. General Herbert “Hawk” Carlisle explains how F-16 and F-15 pilots have managed to score a few kills against the Raptor in combat exercises:

"They [the F-22s] always start defensive as you might imagine because anything else is kind of a waste of gas. So the F-22 always start defensive. On rare occasions the F-22 guy — first of all, the [F-15] Eagle guy, you have to fly a perfect lag fight (flight?). You have to have AIM-9X and JHMCS [joint helmet mounted cueing system] to get an off-boresight IR [infrared] capability. And the F-22 guy has to put up his power a nanosecond too early and not use his countermeasures and you may get a fleeting, one nanosecond AIM-9X shot, and that’s about it.”

In summary, the results of training exercises indicate the Raptor is highly capable in close range maneuvering fights but it is clearly not invincible. The results of close in maneuvering fights indicates supermaneuverability alone is not responsible for the Raptor's success, stealth and heightened situational awareness have contributed immensely to the Raptor's overall combat effectiveness exercises. All instances of Raptors being shot down, with the possible exception of a case where an AIM-120 missile kill was achieved by a EA-18G, occurred at visual range in close in maneuvering fights. The F-35 shares stealth and heightened situational awareness with the Raptor and, given all the information that has been publicly released, there is no credible reason to conclude the F-35 is incapable of preforming similar "stand-off kills" utilizing stealth and situational awareness as described by Brown. If I may be frank for a moment, while the F-35 is certainly not as maneuverable as the F-22, it still preforms favorably relative to its peers in some maneuverability performance based metrics (e.g. good subsonic acceleration, decent thrust-to weight ratio, and commendable angle of attack performance). Oftentimes the descriptions of the F-35's maneuverability characteristics made by staunch critics are more applicable to an An-225 strategic airlift cargo aircraft than the F-35.

As an enviable consequence of engineering and funding, trade-offs are made between key aircraft characteristics in the design process. Air-to-air missions are only one aspect of the F-35's mission and as a result, it should not be assumed the F-35 would be as capable in this respect as the F-22. However, claims that suggest that the F-35 is completely incapable in the air-to-air role should be met with suspicion given the F-35's stealth and situational awareness. With regards to the F-35's maneuverability, every aircraft has strengths and weakness and it is the job of pilots to exploit those strengths while minimizing their aircraft's weaknesses.

"Know and use all the capabilities in your airplane. If you don't, sooner or later, some guy who does use them all will kick your ass." - Lieutenant Dave "Preacher" Pace, USN

Image 5: F-35 flown by the 422nd TES

The initial process of exploiting the F-35's strongest maneuverability characteristics in conjunction with its other strengths has likely already begun. F-35 aircraft have been delivered to the 422nd test and evaluation squadron. The 422nd preforms the critical function of developing new tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP) for new weapons and systems, including the F-35 (Stewart, 2013). The 422nd TES will also seek to improve interoperability and mixed force tactics between F-35's, F-22's, F-15's and F-16's.

"...the 422nd TES is also responsible for the development and testing of new tactics for the USAF, Kensick said. The squadron develops new tactics to employ weapons systems in combat as part of its operational testing role. Additionally, the unit also works on developing new tactics to counter emerging threat weapons systems as intelligence becomes available. When developing new tactics, the 422nd TES works 'side by side with the Weapons School. We talk to representatives from the Weapons School and we get their input', Kensick said. However, ultimately, the 422nd TES is responsible for the development and testing of all new tactics for every CAF fighter Mission Design Series (MDS), Kensick emphasized." - Dave Majumdar, 2009

F-35 pilots will eventually be able to apply these tactics in a host of realistic combat exercises such as Red Flag against well trained aggressor pilots. Aggressor squadrons fly specially modified F-15, F-16, F-5, T-38, and F/A-18 aircraft to replicate the tactics and flight qualities of Russian, Chinese, Iranian, and North Korean aircraft (Hoffman, 2009). Aggressor pilots are often chosen for their prowess in the air and are thoroughly briefed on enemy tactics and doctrines by the CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, and the NSA (Bender, 2013). The combination of stealth, situational awareness, tactics developed by the 422nd (along with other test and evaluation squadrons) and the real world experience given to pilots by the Red Flag exercises ensures that even at visual range, future F-35 pilots will be more than prepared for the fight.


  1. Air Force F-22 Fighter Program, Jeremiah Gertler, 2013.
  2. Welsh: F-22 Flew to Drone's Rescue off Iran Coast, Matthew Cox, 2013.
  3. Photographer captures six F-22 Raptor fighter jets trailing three tankers over the Mediterranean Sea, David Cenciotti, 2013.                                     
  4. Raptor Rules The Desert Roost, Arabian Aerospace, 2010.
  5. UAE missile demands and more Rafale v. Raptor rumors, Stephen Trimble, 2010.
  6. Rare video shows F-22 Raptor shot down by the French Rafale in mock air-to-air combat, David Cenciotti, 2013.                                                                       
  7. Top USAF general explains EXACTLY how to kill an F-22, Stephen Trimble, 2012.
  9. The USAF Weapons School in the age of sequestration, Dave Majumdar, 2013.
  10. Air Force reopens Raptor Weapons School, Dave Majumdar, 2012.
  11. The makings of a warrior: Training pilots to fly America's next generation fighters. Part 1, Dave Majumdar, 2009.                                                                     
  12. The makings of a warrior: The F-22 Weapons School. Part 3, Dave Majumdar, 2009.
  13. The 422nd Test and Evaluation Squadron: The cutting edge of airpower, Dave Majumdar, 2009.
  14. Nellis Plans for F-35’s Opportunities, Challenges, Donna Miles, 2009.
  15. Weapons School Rising, Adam J. Hebert, 2008.
  16. How does the F-16 perform against its adversaries in dogfight, David Centoti, 2012.
  18. Beyond Blue Four  The Past and Future Transformation of Red Flag, Maj Alexander Berger, 2005.
  19. The F-22 Raptor: Program & Events, Defense Industry Daily, 2013.
  20. Plymouth native emulates enemy in Air Force war games, Bryan Bender, 2013.
  21. Aggressor pilots: Paid to play the villain, Michael Hoffman, 2009.
  22. 422ND JOINT TACTICS SQUADRON, U.S. Air Force Expeditionary Center, 2013.
  23. F-35 Enters Operational Testing at Edwards and Nellis Air Force Bases, Defense Update, 2013.
  24. First F-35A sporting 31st Test and Evaluation Squadron lettering and "OT" tail code, spotted at NAS Forth Worth JRB, David Centoti, 2012.
  25. Red Flag, Walter J. Boyne, 2000.
  26. The F-35′s Air-to-Air Capability Controversy, Defense Industry Daily, 2013.
  27. F-22s Parked Less Than Six-Minute Flight from Iran, Marcus Weisgerber, 2013.
  28. Fighter Combat Tactics and Manuvering, Shaw, 1985.
  29. F-35 Integrated Sensor Suite: Lethal Combination, Avionics Today, 2005.
  30. U.S. Deploys F-22 Fighter Jets to UAE: Officials, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, 2012.


  1. Another excellent article. Cue the righteous indignation from F-35 critics....

    1. Thanks. Your article on TALOS was pretty great. It would be awesome if Chinese military intelligence really believed we had this technology :)

  2. Situational awareness depends upon the helmet, which doesn't work.

    1. Then why, if the helmet does not work as you claim, has the alternate helmet been dropped? The Gen 2 helmet had it's problems, but that is a far cry from not working. From LRIP 7 moving forward, the Gen 3 helmet will be introduced.

    2. DOT&E report, Jan 2013:
      A major problem was the poor reliability of the complicated, badly performing helmet. The helmet-mounted display and the F-35 system does not present an enhanced, clearer view of the outside world, targets and threats to the pilot; instead, they present a distorted and/or obstructed view. This is one of the most serious backward steps that the entire F-35 system takes,

      Dr. Gilmore, DOT&E, testimony, Jun 2013:
      The program has also dedicated 42 flights to investigating deficiencies in the helmet mounted display system. Seven aircraft from all three variants flew test missions from October 2012 through May 2013 to investigate jitter in the helmet mounted display system, night vision camera acuity, latency in the Distributed Aperture System projection, and light leakage onto the helmet display under low-light conditions. Although some progress has been achieved, results of these tests have been mixed according to comments from the test pilots. Testing could not be completed within the full operational flight envelope evaluating mission-related tasks, as the full combat flight envelope has not been released. Filters for reducing the effects of jitter have been helpful, but have introduced instability, or “swimming,” of the projected symbology. Night vision acuity was assessed as not acceptable with the current night vision camera, but may be improved with the ISIE-11 camera under consideration by the program. Latency with the Distributed Aperture System projection has improved from earlier versions of software, but has not yet been tested in operationally representative scenarios. Light leakage onto the helmet display may be addressed with fine-tuning adjustments of the symbology brightnessa process pilots will have to accomplish as ambient and background levels of light change. Although not an objective of the dedicated testing, alignment and “double vision” problems have also been identified by pilots and were noted in my report earlier this year on the F-35A Ready for Training Operational Utility Evaluation (OUE). Whether the progress achieved in resolving the problems discussed immediately above has been adequate will likely not be known with confidence until the Block 2B operational evaluation is conducted in 2015.

    3. Why are you so fixated on a helmet that IS STILL IN PRODUCTION.

      Save your criticisms for when it is fielded in 2015.

    4. Don's fixation on the helmet is due to his stated goal to 'end the JSF program'.

      Moving on to something a bit more recent, try this.

    5. It is worth noting that situational awareness is achieved through the combination of the AN/APG-81, DAS, EOTS in addition to the HMD (it is not solely dependent upon the HMD). If you have the time, I'd recommend you read F-35 Integrated Sensor Suite: Lethal Combination by Avionics Today for more info:

    6. Of course the pilot isn't solely dependent on the HMD for situational awareness. He has to be in the plane with all the sensors working properly. But the JSF pilot IS dependent on the helmet, which doesn't work because of latency, jitter and resolution problems which is why they're changing it.

      "The new Gen 3 version will incorporate a new night-vision camera, the ISIE-11, to improve night acuity and incorporates new liquid-crystal displays. A software fix also will address jitter problems." That's what they've told us. There's probably more.

      Whatever they do, it must be tested and evaluated. "Info" doesn't cut it. Anybody can put words on paper.

    7. Dear God, you are clueless.

      SA does not "depend" on the helmet, it is enhanced by it.

      The F-22 maintains great SA, and it has no HMD at all.

      The only thing the helmet does it provide HUD functionality in the pilots view (this has always worked fine, btw). The only serious issue that the HMDS has had was with video display of DAS imagery and some jitter. Both of these issues have been resolved to be within spec with the latest HMDS v3 helmet.

      The computer still tracks all the info provided by the sensors, both off-board and on. The pilot does not need the helmet to know where the enemies are, what direction they are headed, if he is targeted, or to even launch a weapon.

    8. Well, I'm not God (yet), but I'll answer.

      Tens of millions of dollars spent developing a $500,000 helmet that only "enhances" SA? --ha-- some miscellaneous quotes--

      The helmet is key to the F-35’s advanced suite of technologies. It provides a 360-degree digital view of what is going on around the plane, in essence letting a pilot “look” through the cockpit floor and walls. In addition, data is projected directly onto the visor of the pilot, providing enhanced situational awareness.

      The Helmet Mounted Display System is supposed to provide fighter pilots with 360-degree situational awareness in any kind of weather, day or night. The jet’s distributed aperture system is designed to stream real-time imagery from cameras mounted around the aircraft to the helmet, allowing pilot’s to “see through” the air frame.

      “The helmet is pivotal to the F-35,” Johnston explained. “This thing was built with the helmet in mind. It gives you 360-degree battle-space awareness. It gives you your flight parameters: Where am I in space? Where am I pointing? How fast am I going?”

    9. Yes, it only “enhances” SA, just as EODAS, EOTS, ESM, radar, datalinks, etc contribute to the SA picture of the battlespace. No one item plays a key role. Well, maybe the mission computer that puts it all together, but certainly not the HMDS.

      The primary purpose of the HMDS is to act as a HUD that is always in front of the pilot’s face, regardless of his POV. The major issues that the helmet has been having do not affect this ability. The HMDS will be spending 99.9% of the time without EVER displaying EODAS data imagery.

      The pilot will most certainly NOT be flying most of the time with EODAS imagery streaming in front of his face, save for night missions. However, this is primarily as a navigation aid, not a SA enhancement.

      Did you understand your quote of Johnson? He is talking about the HMDS’ HUD functionality, not it’s EODAS features. “Where am I in space? Where am I pointing? How fast am I going?” = NOTHING to do with EODAS.

  3. So, these are intances of F-22 WVR ACM that somehow support F-35 being a great dog fighter? They don't seem to add up to that. Also, wasn't the Link-16 supposed to give a big picture view of the battlespace. Is the assumption that it is jammed and that only onboard sensors can give you that greater SA?

    Assuming that F-35 is configured to take advatage of its stealth (otherwise why have it), it will have at best 4 internal AMRAAMs and the gun (A model only). It can't carry AIIM-9X internally. So the primary dogfight weapon isn't even available to it. So helmet or not, it may only be able to shoot with a guns solution which won't be easy against HOBS/HMD equiped 4+ gen fighters. Also it will likely not be able to run away either once engaged. The great acceleration and maneuverability of the F-22 won't be there to turn the tables on the opposing fighters if it does get into a WVR fight. W/O a HOBs missile it will be dead meat and be praying to diengage.

    So it will have to stay away and shoot BVR which is really all it is really designed to do. Problem is that it only carries 4 internal missiles and they will likely be outnumbered by 4 to 1 or greater. Just as in the Rand study (with F-22) the F-35 will shoot it's 4 shots (F-22 had 6) and then get shot down. The jamming effect on the missiles, the low internal carriage capability, plus the lack of speed and lesser steath will mean that the scenario is an even bigger loss.

  4. You are partially correct in that the IOC F-35 will have a max of 4 AMRAAMs. However, those AMRAAMs are completely capable of WVR combat, especially the latest D version. Later Blocks will bring it up to 6 internal. Later missile development will bring it up past that.

    Before you say that the AMRAAM cannot do HOBS due to not having a TVC motor, neither does that ASRAAM and it has no problem with HOBS. The last 3 versions of the AMRAAM have had specific improvements to make its HOBS performance better.

    Also keep in mind that AMRAAMs can be continually be guided to the target, irrespective of jamming, in a complete 360 around the F-35. No other fighter has this capability.

    The internal carriage of the 9x is also in the plan (with the datalink).

    Recent Parliamentary sworn testimony has revealed that when using manned simulators (not simplistic computer models), the F-35’s kill ratio was greater than 6:1 in a 4:8 scenario vs “Advanced Red Air” fighters. Yes, they were outnumbered 2:1.

    Btw, It is not a “likely” scenario where the F-35 would be outnumbered 4:1 “or greater” until you can honestly answer these questions:
    1. How many planes does the enemy have in the air at any one time in the area of the F-35s?
    2. How were they vectored to the F-35s?
    3. How did they avoid the decoys?
    4. How did they avoid the EW?

    Situational Awareness is about understanding the battlespace and your role in it. The more you know, the better you can prepare and be effective. If the Stealth and SA of the F-35 let a flight of four shoot down 12+ enemy fighters before it gets detected, do you really think the remaining bogeys will stick around? Do you really think that the F-35 would need to go guns or would it just let follow-on F-35s get the job done (likely)?

    1. Spudman, if you don't mind, I'd like to see the Parliamentary testimony with the kill ratios. It sounds pretty interesting.

    2. Testimony links

      The two docs with the info are the March 16th and 20th ones

      The specific 6:1 quote is on page 9 (printed as page 5 on the doc) . Here is the direct quote "Mr Liberson: Our current assessment that we speak of is: greater than six to one relative loss exchange ratio against in four versus eight engagement scenarios—four blue at 35s versus eight advanced red threats in the 2015 to 2020 time frame. "

      Read the F-35 sections of both docs as it is very informative.

      Keep in mind these were public hearings so there are many times where the Chair was trying to get classified info and had to be reminded of the public nature of the testimony.

    3. Much appreciated, thanks. I'll give it a more thorough examination later when I have the time but it looks very promising. Do you know what aircraft they used to simulate "advanced red threats"? It sounded reasonable to me for them to withhold direct analysis of both the J-20 and Pak Fa but I'm sure it would be interesting to see how those engagements would pan out.

    4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    5. That was the very next question that the Chair asked:

      -----------QUOTE START--------------
      ACTING CHAIR: What are those advanced threats?

      Mr Liberson: I cannot get into the specifics of those advanced threats. They are classified.

      ACTING CHAIR: This says Su27 {The “THIS” he is referring to is an AWST article} . My concern with that is that Su27 is an old aeroplane. You could be analysing it against camels. How are we supposed to take this when you are saying, 'We're not going to tell you what threats we're analysing'?

      Air Cdre Bentley: Doctor, I think I have already answered that. We have provided that analysis to all the participating nations and to all their officials. They have all of the details of those threats and all of the details of those analyses. Each of those nations, each of those experts in those nations, have taken that analysis and have done analysis of their own and have come up with an agreed position, that the F35 is the best aeroplane for them.

      ACTING CHAIR: The point that I am making is that here you have obviously reported, as has the United States Air Force, when you were wanting to sell a story. You have said what the threats were; you have said it is Su27 and MiG29. We are not asking for details of the exact geometry of the analysis, what assumptions were made about ECM or anything else. All we are asking is, for instance: was the MIG29 analysed; was the PAC FA analysed; was the J20 analysed? We do not want to know the specifics.

      Air Cdre Bentley: Dr Jensen, if you were to receive a classified briefing, you would be able to understand what those threats were and how that analysis was done.

      ACTING CHAIR: I am just asking for an aircraft type.

      Mr Liberson: That is classified. I apologise.

      Air Cdre Bentley: We are bound by the security regulations of both this country and the United States. Unless you have received—

      ACTING CHAIR: That is really silly, isn't it?

      Air Cdre Bentley: No, Sir, it is not really silly. We have a lot of international agreements with a lot of countries that enable this defence force to operate effectively. If we were to provide secrets openly—

      ACTING CHAIR: That is saying: 'We have evaluated this sort of aircraft against ours.' Surely—

      Air Cdre Bentley: then we provide the enemy with an understanding of what our capabilities are. Nobody does that, Doctor.

      ACTING CHAIR: How is you saying 'We analysed this threat' secret?

      Mr Burbage: To turn it around, do you think that all the first-tier air forces in the world would look at that analysis against an inferior threat? I do not think so. That is not why they are buying the airplane.
      -----------QUOTE END--------------

      Since the timeline is specifically stated as 215-2020, I would say it included up to and including the SU-35 & MIG-35 series but not J-20 or Pak Fa as they are still in development.

  5. Another Great Article Matt.

    I always laugh when i read this comment.
    "you really ought to go home.''

    I see you are also growing your Fan Base. Nice to see, from where you start a long long time ago.

    Nice :-)

    1. Thanks :) I put a lot of hard work into this blog and I"m glad to see its going places. If only the rest of life were so straightforward lol. When did you first find out about my blog btw?

    2. It was June/July last year i think 2012, an article about china, can't recall which one..I think i made my first comment on your blog this year.

      Life is never straightforward it's a roller coaster ride with up and down's.

      "No matter how dark or lost you are there is always light at the end of the tunnel, and if you can't see the light some days, then reach into your pocket and pull out your iphone and turn the flash light to ON, to find your way"

      Quote form stone30

      Other note.
      SU35s/T50/J20/J31 and other aircraft, have to see the F22 to shoot it down, fact is the F22 can will not be in visual range, before shooting it's first AA missile.

      The days are gone of Air to Air combat like in the vid, good to watch but, not useful in real combat.

      Times have changed, and planes radar capability are not able to detect stealth aircraft at long range. By they time they do it's over IMO.

    3. well here is where i found this blog

    4. I've been to timawa forums a couple times, blogger told me I got some hits there on my Silent eagle series and the Pivot article I wrote.

  6. Hi Matt, I can't help but notice this sentence on the article

    "The results of close in maneuvering fights indicates supermaneuverability alone is responsible for the Raptor's success, stealth and heightened situational awareness have contributed immensely to the Raptor's overall combat effectiveness exercises"

    is it supose to be like that or

    "supermaneuverability alone is NOT responsible for the Raptor's success"

    just a bit confusing

    but great article Matt

    1. LOL! Thank you! I try and proof read as best as I can and I use Microsoft Anna to read back to me my text to catch additional errors but as you can see I do miss some of them.