America’s much-touted fifth generation F-35 fighter jet is so bad it would be a sitting duck even for Russia’s MiG-21, designed back in the 1950s, famed US aerospace engineer Pierre Sprey told Russian media on Friday.
“The Su-27 and even the MiG-29 have bigger wing space, more powerful engines and carry more air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons… That’s why the F-35 will be totally helpless against both because when you confront a plane, which is more maneuverable, accelerates faster and is better armed then you are in trouble,” he added.
Few people are as qualified to speak about fighter aircraft as Pierre Sprey. He is the co-designer of the F-16 Falcon jet and the A-10 Warthog tank buster, two of the most successful aircraft in the US Air Force.
In a report titled “Thunder Without Lightning: High Cost and Limited Benefit Development Program of F-35” and released by US non-profit organization National Security Network, analyst Bill French wrote that, according to the technical parameters, the F-35 is “losing to the fourth-generation fighter MiG-29 and Su-27, developed by the Russian Air Force and used around the world.”
“The F-35 is significantly inferior to the Russian Su-27 and MiG-29 in regard to wing loading (exception — F35C), acceleration and thrust-weight ratio (the ratio of thrust to weight of the aircraft),” said the analyst.Besides, all of the F-35s have significantly lower maximum speed as compared to the Soviet aircraft.
Mr. French also wrote that in a simulated air combat, the results drew an even “grimmer picture.”
According to him, despite the superiority of the F-35 with regard to stealth technology and avionics, if compared to the Su-27 and MiG-29 the loss ratio is to be expected at 3:1. That is, for each destroyed Su-27 or MiG-29 there would be three F-35 destroyed.
The report said that the F-35 was only slightly better than the veteran F-16 and F-18 jets.