Burrito of Peace wrote on Sep 11, 2022, 01:01:
The argument of "We'll never need guns, we'll do standoff missile engagements from miles apart" has been floated before and, yeah, the F4-B came out in really short order because of that argument. Then we said "Hey, now we have the AIM-54 Phoenix. We can engage BVR at hundreds of miles apart." Of the three that were actually fired in anger, all of them failed at destroying their targets. Two of them experienced motor failure and one completely missed and cratered itself. SFTI exists for a reason and it isn't to teach pilots how to volley fire missiles.
Also, the F-35 is a fifth generation fighter, not a sixth, and the Chinese already have the J-20 which itself is a fifth generation fighter. They seem to be really ramping up production along with the PL-15 missile.
So I, personally, won't be considering the F-35 the ubermensch of jet aircraft for decades to come. We have a potent adversary in China and they certainly aren't going to be sitting on their asses watching F-35s fly around what they consider sovereign airspace (whether that is legally true or not is irrelevant) without challenge.
I apologize if my post made it seem like F-35 is sixth generation, you are right, it's fifth. Reading up on the J-20, I didn't realize China already had 150 or more in service(or claims to), that's impressive. By comparison, the USA and its allies are buying 1700+ F-35s. I wouldn't consider the F-35 the end all of fighters either, I'm sure the USA and China will continue to spend tons of money, time, and resources to get their sixth generation aircraft up. I remember the F4 'no-gun' argument as well, I'm just saying it has come up again with the F-35. Also, yes, Navy, not Army, my bad.
As far as espionage, I thought it was well known now that China has quite a bit of info on a lot of US military and corporate programs... probably helped out their aircraft design quite a bit, honestly. As far as China currently having a better AWACS, they most likely do at the moment, but the US already publicly has plans to replace E3s with the E7s, so I'm sure that balance will go back and forth relatively soon.
I'm getting way off the original topic, which was that the F35 isn't as bad as older reports made it out to be.