The F-35s prowess has been taking a beating, especially on this blog. Rand’s “baby seals” report in September clubbed the F-35 as the “can’t turn, can’t climb and can’t run” fighter. Even the infamous YouTube video of the US Air Force officer describing Red Flag contained an implied insult of the F-22′s kid brother.
Of course, it’s not easy to balance the commentary when Lockheed Martin declines to publicly defend the F-35′s dogfighting skills, presumably out of concern that a good word for the F-35 could undermine the case to save the F-22.
But here’s a new analysis by Heritage Foundation analyst Ariel Cohen, which ranks the F-35 as a clear winner against even the MiG-35 and Su-35.
Stealth is a majordiscriminator between a 5G fighter like the Lockheed Martin F-35Lightning Joint Strike Fighter and “Gen 4 plus plus” competitors likethe Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-35 Fulcrum and the Sukhoi Su-35 Flanker thatare essentially modernizations of their respective progenitors, theMikoyan-Gurevich MiG-29 and the Sukhoi Su-27. No operational Soviet orRussian stealth aircraft has ever been reported to have enteredservice.
A U.S. analyst who requested anonymity said that while the Russianshave some good specific system technologies, their ability toeffectively integrate them often lags behind that of the West, and theLockheed Martin F-35 Lightning Joint Strike Fighter takes integrationof off-board intelligence to a step well beyond proven Russiancapabilities.