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When I got an email from a friend telling me that a pair of Su-57s was seen landing at the Russian Aerospace Forces base in Kheimim, Syria, I immediately dismissed it as a fake. The list of reasons why this could not be true would run for pages. I knew that, so I simply replied: “that’s a fake” and forgot about it. Over the next couple of days, however, this story was picked up by various websites and bloggers, but it still made no sense. What kept me feeling really puzzled was that the Russian official sources did not dismiss the story, but chose to remain silent. Then another two Su-57s were reported. And then, suddenly, the Russian media was flooded with stories about how the Su-57s were sent to Syria as an act of “revenge” for the killing of Russian PMCs by the US; that the Su-57s had basically flattened eastern Ghouta while killing about “2000 Americans“. This was some truly crazy nonsense so I decided to find out what really happened and, so far, here is what I found out.

First, amazingly enough, the reports of the Su-57 in Syria are true. Some say 2 aircraft, some say 4 (out of a current total of 13). It doesn’t really matter, what matters is that the deployment of a few Su-57s in Syria is a fact and that this represents a dramatic departure from normal Russian (and Soviet) practice.

Introducing the Sukhoi 57 5th generation multi-role fighter

The Su-57 (aka “PAK-FA” aka “T-50″) is the first real 5th generation multi-role aircraft produced by Russia. All the other Russian multi-role and air superiority aircraft previously deployed in Syria (such as the Su-30SM and the Su-35S) are 4++ aircraft, not true 5th generation. One might be forgiven for thinking that 4++ is awfully close to 5, but it really is not. 4++ generation aircraft are really 4th generation aircraft upgraded with a number of systems and capabilities typically associated with a 5th generation, but they all lack several key components of a true 5th generation aircraft such as:

- a low radar cross-section (“stealth”),

- the capability to fly at supersonic speeds without using afterburners,

- the ability to carry weapons inside a special weapons bay (as opposed to outside, under its wings or body)

- an advanced “situational awareness” (network-centric) capability (sensor and external data fusion).

To make a long story short, the difference between 4th and 5th generation aircraft is really huge and requires not one, but several very complex “technological jumps” especially in the integrations of numerous complex systems.

The only country which currently has a deployed real 5th generation fighter is the US with its F-22. In theory, the US also has another 5th generation fighter, the F-35, but the latter is such a terrible design and has such immense problems that for our purposes we can pretty much dismiss it. As for now, the F-22 is the only “real deal”: thoroughly tested and fully deployed in substantial numbers. The Russian Su-57 is still years away from being able to make such a claim as it has not been thoroughly tested or deployed in substantial numbers. That is not to say that the Russians are not catching up really fast, they are, but as of right now, the Su-57 has only completed the first phase of testing. The normal Soviet/Russian procedure should have been at this time to send a few aircraft to the Russian Aerospace Forces (RAF) base in Lipetsk to familiarize the military crews with the aircraft and continue the testing while getting the feedback, not from test pilots but from actual air combat instructors. This second phase of testing could easily last 6 months or more and reveal a very large number of “minor” problems many of which could actually have very severe consequences in an actual combat deployment. In other words, the Su-57 is still very “raw” and probably needs a lot of tuning before it can be deployed in combat. How “raw”? Just one example: as of today, only one of the currently existing Su-57 flies with the new supercruise-capable engines, all the others use a 4th generation type engine. This is no big deal, but it goes to show that a lot of work still needs to be done on this aircraft before it becomes fully operational.

The notion that the Russians sent the Su-57 to Syria to somehow compete with the F-22s or otherwise participate in actual combat is ludicrous. While, on paper, the Su-57 is even more advanced and capable than the F-22, in reality, the Su-57 presents no credible threat to the US forces in Syria (if the Russians really wanted to freak out the Americans, they could have, for example, decided to keep a pair of MiG-31BMs on 24/7 combat air patrol over Syria). The Russian reports about these aircraft flattening Ghouta or killing thousands of Americans are nothing more than cheap and inflammatory propaganda from ignorant Russian nationalists who don’t seem to realize that flattening urban centers is not even the theoretical mission of the Su-57. In fact, as soon as these crazy reports surfaced, Russians analysts immediately dismissed them as nonsense.

ORDER IT NOW

Utter nonsense is hardly the monopoly of Russian nationalists, however. The folks at the National Interest reposted an article (initially posted on the blog The War is Boring) which basically dismissed the Su-57 as a failed and dead project and its deployment in Syria as a “farce” (I should tip my hat off to the commentators at the National Interest who immediately saw through the total ridiculous nature of this article and wondered if Lockheed had paid for it). On the other hand, in the western insanity spectrum, we have the UK’s Daily Express which wrote about Vladimir Putin sending his “fearsome new state-of-the-art Su-57” into the Syrian war zone. Just like with the Kuznetsov, the Ziomedia can’t decide if the Russian hardware is an antiquated, useless pile of scrap metal or a terrifying threat which ought to keep the entire world up at night. Maybe both at the same time? With paranoid narcissists, you can’t tell. Finally, the notion that Putin (personally?) sent these 4 aircraft to Syria to help him in his re-election campaign (peddled by the Russophobes at Ha’aretz) is also devoid of all truth and makes me wonder if those who write that kind of crap are even aware of Putin’s popularity numbers.

So what is really going on?

Well, frankly, that is hard to say, and Russian officials are being tight-lipped about it. Still, various well informed Russian analysts have offered some educated guesses as to what is taking place. The short version is this: the Su-57s were only sent to Syria to test their avionics in a rich combat-like electromagnetic environment. The more detailed version would be something like this:

The Su-57 features an extremely complex and fully integrated avionics suite which will include three X band active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar (one main, two side-looking), another two L band active electronically scanned array radars in the wing’s leading edge extensions, plus an integrated electro-optical system location system (working in infra-red, visible and ultra-violet frequencies). All these sensors are fused (5 radars, 2 bands, plus passive optics) and they are then combined with the data received by the Su-57′s advanced electronic warfare suite and a high-speed encrypted datalink, connecting the aircraft to other airborne, space, as well as ground-based sensors. This is not unlike what the US is trying to achieve with the F-35, but on an even more complex level (even in theory, the F-35 is a comparatively simpler, and much less capable, aircraft). One could see how it would be interesting to test all this gear in a radiation-rich environment like the Syrian skies where the Russians have advanced systems (S-400, A-50U, etc.) and where the US and Israel also provide a lot of very interesting signals (including US and Israeli AWACS, F-22s and F-35s, etc.). To re-create such a radiation-rich environment in Russia would be very hard and maybe even impossible. The question is whether this was worth the risk?

The risks of this deployment in Syria are very real and very serious. As far as I know, there are still no bombproof shelters built (yet) and Russia recently lost a number of aircraft (some not totally, some totally) when the “good terrorists” used mortars against the Khmeimim base. So now we have FOUR Su-57s (out of how many total, maybe 12 or 13?!), each worth 50-100 million dollars under an open sky in a war zone?! What about operational security? What about base security?

There is also a political risk. It is well known that the US has been putting immense political pressure on India to withdraw from the joint development between Russia and India of the Fifth Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA) or Perspective Multi-role Fighter (PMF) program. To make things worse, India currently has too many parallel aircraft programs and there are, reportedly, disagreements between the Russians and the Indians on design features. With the apparently never-ending disaster of the F-35, the very last thing the US needs is a successful Russian 5th generation competitor showing up anywhere on the planet (especially one which has the clear potential to far outclass both the successful F-22 and the disastrous F-35). One can easily imagine what the AngloZionist propaganda machine will do should even a minor problem happen to the Su-57 while in Syria (just read the National Interest article quoted above to see what the mindset is in the West)!

The Su-57 also has formidable competitors inside Russia: the 4++ generation aircraft mentioned above, especially the Su-35S. Here we have a similar dynamic as with the F-22: while on paper the Su-57 is clearly superior to the Su-35S, in the real world the Su-35S is a well tested and deployed system which, unlike the F-22, also happens to be much cheaper than the Su-57 (the F-22 being at least twice as expensive than the Su-57). This issue is especially relevant for the internal, Russian market. So the real question for the RAF is simple: does Russia really need the Su-57 and, if yes, in what numbers?

This is a very complex question, both technically and politically and to even attempt to answer it, a lot of very debatable assumptions have to be made about what kind of threats the RAF will face in the future and what kind of missions it will be given. The biggest problem for the Russians is that they already have an array of extremely successful combat aircraft, especially the Su-35S and the formidable Su-34. Should Russia deploy more of these or should she place huge resources into a new very complex and advanced aircraft? Most Russian analysts would probably agree that Russia needs to be able to deploy some minimal number of real 5th generation combat aircraft, but they would probably disagree on what exactly that minimal number ought to be. The current 4++ generation aircraft are very successful and more than a match for their western counterparts, with the possible exception of the F-22. But how likely is it that Russians and US Americans will really start a shooting war?

Furthermore, the real outcome from a theoretical Su-35S vs F-22 (which so many bloggers love to speculate about) would most likely depend much more on tactics and engagement scenarios than on the actual capabilities of these aircraft. Besides, should the Su-35s and F-22s even be used in anger against each other, a lot would also depend on what else is actually happening around them and where exactly this engagement would take place. Furthermore, to even look at this issue theoretically, we would need to compare not only the actual aircraft but also their weapons. I submit that the outcome of any Su-35S vs F-22 engagement would be impossible to predict (unless you are a flag-waving patriot, in which case you will, of course, be absolutely certain that “your” side will win). If I am correct, then this means that there is no compelling case to be made that Russia needs to deploy Su-57s in large numbers and that the Su-30SM+Su-35S air superiority combo is more than enough to deter the Americans.

[Sidebar: this is a recurrent problem for Russian weapons and weapon systems: being so good that there is little incentive to produce something new. The best example of that is the famous AK-47 Kalashnikov which was modernized a few times, such as the AKM-74, but which has yet to be replaced with a fundamentally new and truly different assault rifle. There are plenty of good candidates out there, but each time one has to wonder if the difference in price is worth the effort. The original Su-27 (introduced in 1985) was such an immense success that it served as a basis for a long series of immensely successful variants including the ones we now see in Syria, the Su-30SM, the Su-35S and even the amazing Su-34 (which still has no equivalent anywhere in the world). Sometimes a weapon, or weapon system, can be even "too successful" and create a problem for future modernization efforts.]

Whatever may be the case, the future of the Su-57 is far from secure and this might also, in part, explain the decision to send a few of them to Syria: not only to test its avionics suite, but also to score a PR success by raising the visibility and, especially, the symbolical role of the aircraft. Russian officials admitted that the deployment to Syria was scheduled to coincide with the celebration of the “Defender of the Fatherland” day. This kind of move breaks with normal Soviet/Russian procedures and I have to admit that I am most uncomfortable with this development and while I would not go as far as to call it a “farce” (like the article in the National Interest did), it does look like a PR stunt to me. And I wonder: if the Russians are taking such a risk, what is it that drives such a sense of urgency? I don’t believe that anybody in Russia seriously thinks that the US will be deterred, or even be impressed by this, frankly, hasty deployment. So I suspect that this development is linked to the uncertainty of the future of the Su-57 procurement program. Hopefully, the risks will pay-off and the Su-57 will get all the avionics testing it requires and all the funding and export contracts it needs.

Addendum:

Just as I was writing these words, the Russians have announced (see here and here) that the Israeli satellite images were fakes, that the the Su-57 stayed only two days in Syria and that they have been flown back to Russia. Two days? Frankly, I don’t buy it. What this looks like to me is that what looks like a PR stunt has now backfired, including in the Russian social media, and that Russia decided to bring these aircraft back home. Now that sounds like a good idea to me.

 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Russia, Russian Military, SU-57, Syria 
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  1. The Su-57′s procurement will be very slow, so this weapon will be on the sidelines for all intents and purposes until about 2030.

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    • Replies: @Ruiner
    Perfect reason for even more military spending, Blessing for a military contractor,
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  2. Randal says:

    But how likely is it that Russians and US Americans will really start a shooting war?

    Well what we can say is that the better prepared and armed the Russians are, the less likely the Americans are to start one.

    What this looks like to me is that what looks like a PR stunt has now backfired, including in the Russian social media, and that Russia decided to bring these aircraft back home.

    Not sure why the Saker is so down on this. There is certainly a place for “PR stunts” in marketing, and in propaganda. Doesn’t seem to me this one did any harm and it probably usefully raised the profile of the aircraft in question.

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  3. Kiza says:

    I would disagree with Saker’s Addendum, it has nothing to do with PR.

    There are two possibilities:
    1) it was a plan to quickly test the deployment of two (not four) Su-57 aircraft, even if it did or did not involve the testing of the advanced avionics suite, a lot could be learned it two days, or
    2) within the chain of command someone powerful realised the risk/benefit ratio was too high and ordered withdrawal (the military do not care about PR as much as civilians do, but they are acutely aware of the military risks).

    As soneone who has spent a number of years in radar technology, for me the whole concept of stealth is pure MIC PR because there is no object which has the same radar cross section from all angles and for all radar frequencies. In other words, put a “stealth” aircraft into an integrated multi-radar environment and stealth is no more. Therefore, it is the advanced avionics of multiple sensors and high speed data links which gives the fifth gen the true advantage – to create an integrated picture of the battle environment from multiple sensors and from the ground and from the air.

    Even the third generation aircraft with fourth gen avionics can now integrate to a significant extent. The story of how two Turkish/CIA F16 shotdown the Russian Su-24 over Syria is an example. The two F16 were cruising with all active electronics off, on the Turkish side of the border, below the mountain range on the border, thus preventing the Russian ground radar in Syria from noticing them. But, a Saudi AWACS was constantly observing the Su-24 position from a distance and feeding data into two F16. When the situation was optimal, F16 jumped up launched A2A missiles and dived down below the mountains and flew back without waiting to see the outcome. Even though this was clearly a US operation using two proxies (a Turkish/CIA Airforce General without Erdogan’s knowledge and a Saudi AWACS probably flown by a US crew), Putin did nothing. One of many, many unanswered US provocations to suck Russia in deeper.

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    • Replies: @utu

    One of many, many unanswered US provocations to suck Russia in deeper.
     
    One possibility is that the event was to send France back in line within NATO as an ally of Turkey now in conflict with Russia instead of France getting cozy with Putin after Bataclan 11 days earlier. There was a great support in France for Putin then and for a common action with him against ISIS.

    Russia was the greatest PR beneficiary of the Bataclan operation. The shooting down of Su-24 by Turks extinguished the Bataclan effect and the French sobered up.
    , @utu

    for me the whole concept of stealth is pure MIC PR
     
    While I do not know all detail of radar techniques somehow I always believed that the stealth technology is mostly hype and can be defeated easily.
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  4. Faker says:

    Increasingly with their backs against the wall, so much so that they have to rely on goofy videos on some supposedly invincible weapons from the future. Sad.
    China with its back against the wall, being slapped with all kinds of tariffs, taxes, etc. Chinese leadership reaction: please master, tell us how much you want us crack down on NK.
    Years of “Empire Slayer” propaganda down the drain. Reality catching up.
    The E.U., a fully-owned institution, pretending to fight back in the trade war by “cracking down” on dying sectors, companies.
    Note they would not touch what would really hurt: Apple, Amazon (why can’t the E.U. have an equivalent with their superior logistics and infrastructure?), Google or Microsoft. Why? It’s because the E.U. is playing its part. Although I suppose Russia would not touch those with a ten-foot pole, either, despite all the posturing.

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    • Troll: utu
    • Replies: @Alden
    China goes from strength to strength. I’m sure it can deal with higher tariffs.

    Since China is the factory of the world it can just pass the cost of the tariff on to the purchasers. Since China makes virtually everything we use, we’ll have no choice but to continue buying their products
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  5. Out of curiosity, with no background whatsoever in radars, would it be possible to design and build simple radar ELINT receivers powered by PCs and carried in backpack sized containers? Could the USA deploy people in Syria with such detection devices to locate the low-probability of intercept radars being used by the new generation SAMs? I noticed an Israeli advertisement for some sort of glide bomb on YT that had it being equipped a radar receiver such that it could be used as an anti-radar unpowered missile. What are the odds of a target being destroyed with that?

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  6. FB says:

    This is a terrible article…here is an example…

    ‘…To make a long story short, the difference between 4th and 5th generation aircraft is really huge and requires not one, but several very complex “technological jumps”…’

    This whole notion about ‘fifth generation’ aircraft is basically meaningless for the professional air combat practitioner…

    It is the technologist perspective…and is driven by PR hype such as found in completely ridiculous amateur publications like National Interest and many others…none of which writers have any business writing about aircraft of any kind…since they don’t have pilot or engineering credentials of any kind…[even radio control model aircraft qualifications...]

    In the Vietnam War…the first generation, subsonic Mig17 was a dangerous adversary for the third generation supersonic US jets like the US McDonnel F4 ‘Phantom’ or the Republic F105 ‘Thunderchief…downing 11 F4s and bagging 8 F105s…as well as 3 supersonic USN Vought F8 ‘Crusader’ second-generation air superiority fighters…plus six other second generation types for a total of 28 acknowledged air to air kills…

    Now there was a really big difference between the subsonic first generation and the supersonic second and third generations…but still the little MiG managed to drive fear into the hearts of USAF and USN pilots…

    ‘…American fighter-bombers had been in theater flying combat sorties since 1961, and the U.S. had many experienced pilots from the Korean War and World War II, such as World War II veteran Robin Olds.

    Untried MiGs and pilots of the North Vietnamese Air Force would be pitted against some of the most combat experienced airmen of the U.S. Air Force (USAF) and U.S. Navy…’

    ‘…On 3 April 1965 six MiGs took off from Noi Bai airbase in two groups of two and four respectively, with the first acting as bait and the second being the shooters.

    Their target were U.S. Navy aircraft supporting an USAF 80-aircraft strike package trying to knock out Ham Rung bridge near Thanh Hoa.

    The MiG-17 leader, Lt. Pham Ngoc Lan, attacked a group of Vought F-8 Crusaders of VF-211 from USS Hancock and damaged an F-8E flown by Lt. Cdr. Spence Thomas, who managed to land the aircraft at Da Nang airbase. A second F-8 was claimed by his wingman Phan Van Tuc but this is not corroborated by USN loss listings…’

    ‘…On 4 April 1965, the USAF made another attempt on the Hàm Rồng/Thanh Hoa bridge with 48 Republic F-105 Thunderchiefs of the 355th Tactical Fighter Wing (TFW) loaded with 384 x 750 lb (340 kg) bombs.

    The Thunderchiefs were escorted by a MIGCAP flight of North American F-100 Super Sabres from the 416th Tactical Fighter Squadron (TFS). Coming from above, four MiG-17s from the 921st Fighter Regiment (FR) bypassed the escorts and dove onto the Thunderchiefs, shooting two of them down…

    …the leader Tran Hanh downed F-105D BuNo. 59-1754 of Major F. E. Benett, and his element leader Le Minh Huan downed F-105D BuNo. 59-1764 of Captain J. A. Magnusson.

    The Super Sabres engaged; one AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missile was fired and missed (or malfunctioned), and another F-100D flown by Captain Donald Kilgus fired 20mm cannons, scoring a probable kill…’

    I highlighted here the missed heatseeker missile shot…and the probable kill by cannon…

    At the time…the US MIC ‘geniuses’ were convinced that the cannon was obsolete…and the F4, the USAFs premier third-generation air superiority fighter was not fitted with a cannon…

    Much to the dismay of many…including WW2 and Vietnam triple Ace Robin Olds…

    ‘…Robin served penance in the Pentagon 1958-1962, waging a notably unsuccessful campaign to keep guns in new fighter aircraft.

    “Missiles were immature technology for years and years after that,” he insisted, not without reason. His pet project was an F-102 with bubble canopy and a gun, which came to naught…’

    Olds was right…in 2005 USAF Lt. Colonel Patrick Higby conducted a historical survey of all air battles from Vietnam through the first Iraq war [Desert Storm]…

    The statistics from Vietnam and the Israeli-Arab wars show that heat seeking missiles made up the majority of air to air kills with 54 percent…guns came second with 27 percent…and radar-guided missiles a distant third…with just 14 percent…about half that of the gun…

    It was not until Desert storm that the radar-guided missile came into its own…

    We also see here that little Israel scored considerably more air to air kills in its two short air wars than the US did in all of Vietnam and Desert Storm combined…338 to 231…

    In fact the US only managed to chalk up a total of 173 aerial victories during the eight years of the Vietnam war…[while losing a total of 10,000 aircraft...]

    When the MiG21 second generation jet entered Vietnam it quickly established itself as a dreaded opponent against US third-gen fighters…prompting Olds to famously remark after ending his service…

    ‘…The best flying job in the world is a MiG-21 pilot at Phuc Yen. Hell, if I was one of them I’d have got 50 of us!..’

    The US confirms the MiG21 killed 37 F4s and 15 F105s…along with 4 other types for a total of 56…

    Four North Vietnamese pilots achieved ace status [five or more confirmed kills]…while US had only 2 confirmed aces during all of Vietnam…

    The MiG21…the world’s most produced supersonic fighter jet is still in service today and doing a good job with the Indian air force…

    The mock air battle with USAF F15s that took place in 2004 is still being discussed today…

    ‘…The two most formidable IAF aircraft proved to be the MiG-21 Bison, an upgraded version of the Russian-made baseline MiG-21, and the Su-30MK Flanker, also made in Russia…’

    That according to Colonel Mike Snodgrass, commander of the USAF 3rd Wing…

    ‘…Low radar visibility, instantaneous turn rate, acceleration and the helmet mounted sight combined with high-off-boresight R-73 air-to-air missiles were among the factors that made the upgraded MiG-21 a deadly adversary for the U.S. F-15s…’

    So here we have the venerable second generation MiG21 still a ‘deadly’ opponent to the mighty fourth generation F15…

    Notice the important points there…the helmet mounted sight…pioneered by the Russians for the MiG29…which allows the pilot to aim the missile ‘off-boresight’...ie you just need to get him in your helmet sight…not on the button of your airplane nose…

    The low radar visibility due to its small size…[and also low visual visibility]…and the ‘instant’ turn rate and acceleration…

    That’s what aerial combat comes down to…it’s really all about physics…and the pilots that are able to master those aerial equations and the resulting geometry and gymnastics…

    One such master was the legendary Col. John Boyd…who, while serving as an instructor at the USAF Weapons School was known as ‘Forty Second Boyd’ because of his standing bet that he could…starting from a position of disadvantage…defeat any opponent in 40 seconds…

    And these were not student airmen…but top-notch officer pilots…

    Boyd’s legacy is creating the energy-maneuverability theory of aerial combat…which has been highly influential in fighter design…as well as the OODA loop which has been applied to many fields…

    Boyd is generally acknowledged as the architect of the US air war in Desert Storm…

    ‘…Boyd is credited for largely developing the strategy for the invasion of Iraq in the Gulf War of 1991. In 1981, Boyd had presented his briefing, Patterns of Conflict, to Dick Cheney, then a member of the United States House of Representatives… Boyd had substantial influence on the ultimate “left hook” design of the plan.

    In a letter to the editor of Inside the Pentagon, former Commandant of the Marine Corps General Charles C. Krulak is quoted as saying “The Iraqi army collapsed morally and intellectually under the onslaught of American and Coalition forces. John Boyd was an architect of that victory as surely as if he’d commanded a fighter wing or a maneuver division in the desert”…’

    So we see from this short overview of aerial combat that ‘technology’ is not everything…in fact it can be argued that, improperly applied, technology can be more of an obstacle than a benefit…

    Pierre Sprey…who worked with Boyd and legendary fighter pilot Col…Everest Riccioni to design the F16…put it this way…[page 101]

    …RULE 1: Weapons are not the most important ingredient in winning wars.

    People come first; ideas are second and hardware is only third…’

    As for the idea of technical wizardry in aerial combat he notes…[page 105]

    ‘…real air-to-air combat is separated by a chasm from the technologist’s dangerously beguiling dream of beyond-visual-range (BVR) combat: push a button, launch a missile at a blip on the scope at 25 miles, then watch the blip disappear without ever having laid eyes on the target.

    That concept of combat, oblivious to the inconvenient details of real air-to-air fights, leads to huge, cumbersome fighters loaded down with tons and tons of heavy stealth skins, massive radars and missiles, and failure-ridden electronics of unmanageable complexity.

    The most recent fighter built in pursuit of the BVR combat delusion, the F-22, has a $355 million sticker price and costs $47,000 per hour to fly, making it impossible to fly the hours necessary to train pilots adequately (people first!) and impossible to buy enough fighters to influence any seriously contested air war…’

    The F22 has many fundamental problems…as Col Riccioni has analyzed in detail and which I will discuss in a subsequent post…

    As we shall see the whole notion of BVR and ‘fifth generation’ is mostly a marketing gimmick used to make money for the MIC…

    We have not seen the F22 in action other than some patrols in Syria…but I would be quite surprised if any Russian Flanker pilots are intimidated in the least…[ie Su27…Su30…Su35…etc…

    My personal opinion is that the Russians see little value in the typical American approach of technological complexity…and the Su57 is fundamentally different from the F22…as I will describe later…

    Those airplanes that saw some brief flight time in Syria were there on a legitimate test in near-combat conditions…certainly they would not be there if those pilots and their machines were not able to defend themselves at this point…

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    • Replies: @El Dato
    Very informative indeed.

    Evidently a "5th gen fighter" is driven by a political effort to throw all the nice disparate tools into a single pot and see whether magic über tech comes out of it. It never works.

    When the US wanted to implement "5th generation computing" (i.e. powerful, autonomous AI particularly in military applications) in the early 90s, no convincing results were quickly obtained (a LISP program does not an AI make). A quick pivot to more practical and more attainable supercomputing hardware & software as well as military info-sharing tools was then implemented to save face, with some success as Gulf War I showed.
    , @Sergey Krieger
    FB, very interesting post. I wonder. Considering addition rates in peer to peer conflit are either Chinese, Russian or American industries capable to produce sufficient numbers of these new sofisticated, expensive and complex planes. I really sense that in case of major conflict it will be back to producing oldet far cheaper and simpler designs and i think it is not limited to planes only but tanks and so forth.
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  7. utu says:
    @Kiza
    I would disagree with Saker’s Addendum, it has nothing to do with PR.

    There are two possibilities:
    1) it was a plan to quickly test the deployment of two (not four) Su-57 aircraft, even if it did or did not involve the testing of the advanced avionics suite, a lot could be learned it two days, or
    2) within the chain of command someone powerful realised the risk/benefit ratio was too high and ordered withdrawal (the military do not care about PR as much as civilians do, but they are acutely aware of the military risks).

    As soneone who has spent a number of years in radar technology, for me the whole concept of stealth is pure MIC PR because there is no object which has the same radar cross section from all angles and for all radar frequencies. In other words, put a “stealth” aircraft into an integrated multi-radar environment and stealth is no more. Therefore, it is the advanced avionics of multiple sensors and high speed data links which gives the fifth gen the true advantage - to create an integrated picture of the battle environment from multiple sensors and from the ground and from the air.

    Even the third generation aircraft with fourth gen avionics can now integrate to a significant extent. The story of how two Turkish/CIA F16 shotdown the Russian Su-24 over Syria is an example. The two F16 were cruising with all active electronics off, on the Turkish side of the border, below the mountain range on the border, thus preventing the Russian ground radar in Syria from noticing them. But, a Saudi AWACS was constantly observing the Su-24 position from a distance and feeding data into two F16. When the situation was optimal, F16 jumped up launched A2A missiles and dived down below the mountains and flew back without waiting to see the outcome. Even though this was clearly a US operation using two proxies (a Turkish/CIA Airforce General without Erdogan’s knowledge and a Saudi AWACS probably flown by a US crew), Putin did nothing. One of many, many unanswered US provocations to suck Russia in deeper.

    One of many, many unanswered US provocations to suck Russia in deeper.

    One possibility is that the event was to send France back in line within NATO as an ally of Turkey now in conflict with Russia instead of France getting cozy with Putin after Bataclan 11 days earlier. There was a great support in France for Putin then and for a common action with him against ISIS.

    Russia was the greatest PR beneficiary of the Bataclan operation. The shooting down of Su-24 by Turks extinguished the Bataclan effect and the French sobered up.

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    • Replies: @jilles dykstra
    When Sarkozy, who made France join NATO again, became president, Israeli newspapers were jubilant 'he was from an ancient Greek jewish dynasty'.
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  8. utu says:
    @Kiza
    I would disagree with Saker’s Addendum, it has nothing to do with PR.

    There are two possibilities:
    1) it was a plan to quickly test the deployment of two (not four) Su-57 aircraft, even if it did or did not involve the testing of the advanced avionics suite, a lot could be learned it two days, or
    2) within the chain of command someone powerful realised the risk/benefit ratio was too high and ordered withdrawal (the military do not care about PR as much as civilians do, but they are acutely aware of the military risks).

    As soneone who has spent a number of years in radar technology, for me the whole concept of stealth is pure MIC PR because there is no object which has the same radar cross section from all angles and for all radar frequencies. In other words, put a “stealth” aircraft into an integrated multi-radar environment and stealth is no more. Therefore, it is the advanced avionics of multiple sensors and high speed data links which gives the fifth gen the true advantage - to create an integrated picture of the battle environment from multiple sensors and from the ground and from the air.

    Even the third generation aircraft with fourth gen avionics can now integrate to a significant extent. The story of how two Turkish/CIA F16 shotdown the Russian Su-24 over Syria is an example. The two F16 were cruising with all active electronics off, on the Turkish side of the border, below the mountain range on the border, thus preventing the Russian ground radar in Syria from noticing them. But, a Saudi AWACS was constantly observing the Su-24 position from a distance and feeding data into two F16. When the situation was optimal, F16 jumped up launched A2A missiles and dived down below the mountains and flew back without waiting to see the outcome. Even though this was clearly a US operation using two proxies (a Turkish/CIA Airforce General without Erdogan’s knowledge and a Saudi AWACS probably flown by a US crew), Putin did nothing. One of many, many unanswered US provocations to suck Russia in deeper.

    for me the whole concept of stealth is pure MIC PR

    While I do not know all detail of radar techniques somehow I always believed that the stealth technology is mostly hype and can be defeated easily.

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    • Agree: Andrei Martyanov
    • Replies: @jilles dykstra
    Certainly not.
    I suspect that the disappearance of MH370 had as cause that two groups of Chinese specialists in making planes invisible to radar were aboard.
    Until recently stealth was designing a plane so that it gave very little radar reflection.
    Present techniques are far more advanced, neutralising radar electro-mechanical waves, no reflection at all.
    This, if it succeeds, makes radar blind.
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  9. El Dato says:
    @FB
    This is a terrible article...here is an example...

    '...To make a long story short, the difference between 4th and 5th generation aircraft is really huge and requires not one, but several very complex “technological jumps”...'
     
    This whole notion about 'fifth generation' aircraft is basically meaningless for the professional air combat practitioner...

    It is the technologist perspective...and is driven by PR hype such as found in completely ridiculous amateur publications like National Interest and many others...none of which writers have any business writing about aircraft of any kind...since they don't have pilot or engineering credentials of any kind...[even radio control model aircraft qualifications...]

    In the Vietnam War...the first generation, subsonic Mig17 was a dangerous adversary for the third generation supersonic US jets like the US McDonnel F4 'Phantom' or the Republic F105 'Thunderchief...downing 11 F4s and bagging 8 F105s...as well as 3 supersonic USN Vought F8 'Crusader' second-generation air superiority fighters...plus six other second generation types for a total of 28 acknowledged air to air kills...

    Now there was a really big difference between the subsonic first generation and the supersonic second and third generations...but still the little MiG managed to drive fear into the hearts of USAF and USN pilots...

    '...American fighter-bombers had been in theater flying combat sorties since 1961, and the U.S. had many experienced pilots from the Korean War and World War II, such as World War II veteran Robin Olds.

    Untried MiGs and pilots of the North Vietnamese Air Force would be pitted against some of the most combat experienced airmen of the U.S. Air Force (USAF) and U.S. Navy...'
     

    '...On 3 April 1965 six MiGs took off from Noi Bai airbase in two groups of two and four respectively, with the first acting as bait and the second being the shooters.

    Their target were U.S. Navy aircraft supporting an USAF 80-aircraft strike package trying to knock out Ham Rung bridge near Thanh Hoa.

    The MiG-17 leader, Lt. Pham Ngoc Lan, attacked a group of Vought F-8 Crusaders of VF-211 from USS Hancock and damaged an F-8E flown by Lt. Cdr. Spence Thomas, who managed to land the aircraft at Da Nang airbase. A second F-8 was claimed by his wingman Phan Van Tuc but this is not corroborated by USN loss listings...'
     

    '...On 4 April 1965, the USAF made another attempt on the Hàm Rồng/Thanh Hoa bridge with 48 Republic F-105 Thunderchiefs of the 355th Tactical Fighter Wing (TFW) loaded with 384 x 750 lb (340 kg) bombs.

    The Thunderchiefs were escorted by a MIGCAP flight of North American F-100 Super Sabres from the 416th Tactical Fighter Squadron (TFS). Coming from above, four MiG-17s from the 921st Fighter Regiment (FR) bypassed the escorts and dove onto the Thunderchiefs, shooting two of them down...

    ...the leader Tran Hanh downed F-105D BuNo. 59-1754 of Major F. E. Benett, and his element leader Le Minh Huan downed F-105D BuNo. 59-1764 of Captain J. A. Magnusson.

    The Super Sabres engaged; one AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missile was fired and missed (or malfunctioned), and another F-100D flown by Captain Donald Kilgus fired 20mm cannons, scoring a probable kill...'
     
    I highlighted here the missed heatseeker missile shot...and the probable kill by cannon...

    At the time...the US MIC 'geniuses' were convinced that the cannon was obsolete...and the F4, the USAFs premier third-generation air superiority fighter was not fitted with a cannon...

    Much to the dismay of many...including WW2 and Vietnam triple Ace Robin Olds...

    '...Robin served penance in the Pentagon 1958-1962, waging a notably unsuccessful campaign to keep guns in new fighter aircraft.

    "Missiles were immature technology for years and years after that," he insisted, not without reason. His pet project was an F-102 with bubble canopy and a gun, which came to naught...'
     
    Olds was right...in 2005 USAF Lt. Colonel Patrick Higby conducted a historical survey of all air battles from Vietnam through the first Iraq war [Desert Storm]...

    The statistics from Vietnam and the Israeli-Arab wars show that heat seeking missiles made up the majority of air to air kills with 54 percent...guns came second with 27 percent...and radar-guided missiles a distant third...with just 14 percent...about half that of the gun...


    https://s20.postimg.org/qefhvjiu5/Air_to_Air_Kills.jpg


    It was not until Desert storm that the radar-guided missile came into its own...


    https://s20.postimg.org/jgbdphae5/Air_to_Air_Kills_2.jpg

    We also see here that little Israel scored considerably more air to air kills in its two short air wars than the US did in all of Vietnam and Desert Storm combined...338 to 231...

    In fact the US only managed to chalk up a total of 173 aerial victories during the eight years of the Vietnam war...[while losing a total of 10,000 aircraft...]

    When the MiG21 second generation jet entered Vietnam it quickly established itself as a dreaded opponent against US third-gen fighters...prompting Olds to famously remark after ending his service...

    '...The best flying job in the world is a MiG-21 pilot at Phuc Yen. Hell, if I was one of them I'd have got 50 of us!..'
     
    The US confirms the MiG21 killed 37 F4s and 15 F105s...along with 4 other types for a total of 56...

    Four North Vietnamese pilots achieved ace status [five or more confirmed kills]...while US had only 2 confirmed aces during all of Vietnam...

    The MiG21...the world's most produced supersonic fighter jet is still in service today and doing a good job with the Indian air force...

    The mock air battle with USAF F15s that took place in 2004 is still being discussed today...

    '...The two most formidable IAF aircraft proved to be the MiG-21 Bison, an upgraded version of the Russian-made baseline MiG-21, and the Su-30MK Flanker, also made in Russia...'
     
    That according to Colonel Mike Snodgrass, commander of the USAF 3rd Wing...

    '...Low radar visibility, instantaneous turn rate, acceleration and the helmet mounted sight combined with high-off-boresight R-73 air-to-air missiles were among the factors that made the upgraded MiG-21 a deadly adversary for the U.S. F-15s...'
     
    So here we have the venerable second generation MiG21 still a 'deadly' opponent to the mighty fourth generation F15...

    Notice the important points there...the helmet mounted sight...pioneered by the Russians for the MiG29...which allows the pilot to aim the missile 'off-boresight'...ie you just need to get him in your helmet sight...not on the button of your airplane nose...

    The low radar visibility due to its small size...[and also low visual visibility]...and the 'instant' turn rate and acceleration...

    That's what aerial combat comes down to...it's really all about physics...and the pilots that are able to master those aerial equations and the resulting geometry and gymnastics...

    One such master was the legendary Col. John Boyd...who, while serving as an instructor at the USAF Weapons School was known as 'Forty Second Boyd' because of his standing bet that he could...starting from a position of disadvantage...defeat any opponent in 40 seconds...

    And these were not student airmen...but top-notch officer pilots...

    Boyd's legacy is creating the energy-maneuverability theory of aerial combat...which has been highly influential in fighter design...as well as the OODA loop which has been applied to many fields...

    Boyd is generally acknowledged as the architect of the US air war in Desert Storm...

    '...Boyd is credited for largely developing the strategy for the invasion of Iraq in the Gulf War of 1991. In 1981, Boyd had presented his briefing, Patterns of Conflict, to Dick Cheney, then a member of the United States House of Representatives... Boyd had substantial influence on the ultimate "left hook" design of the plan.

    In a letter to the editor of Inside the Pentagon, former Commandant of the Marine Corps General Charles C. Krulak is quoted as saying "The Iraqi army collapsed morally and intellectually under the onslaught of American and Coalition forces. John Boyd was an architect of that victory as surely as if he'd commanded a fighter wing or a maneuver division in the desert"...'
     
    So we see from this short overview of aerial combat that 'technology' is not everything...in fact it can be argued that, improperly applied, technology can be more of an obstacle than a benefit...

    Pierre Sprey...who worked with Boyd and legendary fighter pilot Col...Everest Riccioni to design the F16...put it this way...[page 101]

    '...RULE 1: Weapons are not the most important ingredient in winning wars.

    People come first; ideas are second and hardware is only third...'
     
    As for the idea of technical wizardry in aerial combat he notes...[page 105]

    '...real air-to-air combat is separated by a chasm from the technologist’s dangerously beguiling dream of beyond-visual-range (BVR) combat: push a button, launch a missile at a blip on the scope at 25 miles, then watch the blip disappear without ever having laid eyes on the target.

    That concept of combat, oblivious to the inconvenient details of real air-to-air fights, leads to huge, cumbersome fighters loaded down with tons and tons of heavy stealth skins, massive radars and missiles, and failure-ridden electronics of unmanageable complexity.

    The most recent fighter built in pursuit of the BVR combat delusion, the F-22, has a $355 million sticker price and costs $47,000 per hour to fly, making it impossible to fly the hours necessary to train pilots adequately (people first!) and impossible to buy enough fighters to influence any seriously contested air war...'
     
    The F22 has many fundamental problems...as Col Riccioni has analyzed in detail and which I will discuss in a subsequent post...

    As we shall see the whole notion of BVR and 'fifth generation' is mostly a marketing gimmick used to make money for the MIC...

    We have not seen the F22 in action other than some patrols in Syria...but I would be quite surprised if any Russian Flanker pilots are intimidated in the least...[ie Su27...Su30...Su35...etc...

    My personal opinion is that the Russians see little value in the typical American approach of technological complexity...and the Su57 is fundamentally different from the F22...as I will describe later...

    Those airplanes that saw some brief flight time in Syria were there on a legitimate test in near-combat conditions...certainly they would not be there if those pilots and their machines were not able to defend themselves at this point...

    Very informative indeed.

    Evidently a “5th gen fighter” is driven by a political effort to throw all the nice disparate tools into a single pot and see whether magic über tech comes out of it. It never works.

    When the US wanted to implement “5th generation computing” (i.e. powerful, autonomous AI particularly in military applications) in the early 90s, no convincing results were quickly obtained (a LISP program does not an AI make). A quick pivot to more practical and more attainable supercomputing hardware & software as well as military info-sharing tools was then implemented to save face, with some success as Gulf War I showed.

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  10. TT says:

    In one report make last year, China was able to surprise the US F22 probing its border defense ability, where it had several 3rd gen fighter planes awaiting it. These probably achieved through powerful ground radars detecting approaching F22 & feed info to its fighter planes.

    And J20 was designed for long range, with long range missiles aimed to take out all large size Awacs, Refueling planes that short range F22 & F35 required for effective operation. Its canard was intended to give more agility with less stealth, for a more balance performance. J20 is a fighter design specifically to deny USAF air superiority.

    With limited hidden missiles that F22 are carrying to remain stealth, its calculated that in actual combate, the 3rd gen bigger warplanes with more A2A missiles are able to exchange with 5th gen F22 in 2 for 1 to deplete its few AA missiles, which make it still worthwhile consider number game.

    So appearancely F22 is not designed for airspace controlling or dogfighting, but for penetrating enemy’s heavily guarded airspace to strike at strategic ground target with longer range missiles. Its stealth design also restricted its dog fighting ability, so its hit & run.

    Su35 is certainly more superior in dogfighting & air superiority as its design for, which China deployed to SCS recently, while still fine tuning its J20 & working on J31 for future deployment.

    Su57 is probably an answer for China 5th gen J20, some PR & market dominating, not so much for air superior over US, consider how US MIC had swindled its $T budget with junk 5th gen plugged with problems.

    The crucial winning factors likely rely more on Pilot quality, Missiles design, & ground/air radar support which both Russia & China emphasized much. These stealth may have little advantage under powerful ground radars observation & S400/HQ9.

    It was said HQ9 got a 9/9 hit rate in Turkey tender exercise, while S300 only 7/9, Patriots 6/9. Anyone know anything why HQ9 based on S300 design could do even better?

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  11. Sounds like they ran a few tests and brought back the planes.

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  12. Sparkon says:

    My brief comments on the Su-57s and the ongoing dangerous situation in Syria here:

    http://www.unz.com/tsaker/escalation-in-syria-how-far-can-the-russians-be-pushed/#comment-2225700

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  13. Saker does not seem to understand that Putin has no intention of abandoning Syria to the west.
    If Syria falls, Iran will be the next victim, then Russia.
    If Putin plays the game wisely, difficult to judge.
    Until now he has success.

    Trump is executing his promises of protection of USA industries.
    Brussel considers retaliation.
    The self nominated international coalition is breaking up.
    Do not suppose that either the European countries or the USA will continue the Middle East wars on their own.
    NATO exerts pressure for more money for ‘defence’, Brussel want a EU army.

    Alas the populations of the EU member states have very little inclination to pay more for ‘defence’, on top of that, the signs of the EU falling apart increase.
    By now the vote of SPD members for or against a coalition with Merkel’s CDU should be known.
    I just consulted German tv teletext, no result yet published.
    I suppose this means that the vote hangs in the balance.

    Strife within EU member states increases daily, in essence about the EU.

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    • Replies: @Alden
    Independent UK just announced that Merkle is now chancellor again for her fifth term
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  14. @utu

    for me the whole concept of stealth is pure MIC PR
     
    While I do not know all detail of radar techniques somehow I always believed that the stealth technology is mostly hype and can be defeated easily.

    Certainly not.
    I suspect that the disappearance of MH370 had as cause that two groups of Chinese specialists in making planes invisible to radar were aboard.
    Until recently stealth was designing a plane so that it gave very little radar reflection.
    Present techniques are far more advanced, neutralising radar electro-mechanical waves, no reflection at all.
    This, if it succeeds, makes radar blind.

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    • Replies: @Reactionary Utopian

    ... radar electro-mechanical waves ...
     
    Very LOL-able.
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  15. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Russia has more ethnic cohesion than the current US military and this divide will only grow larger as we grow more “diverse”. How big a role will this play in Russian effectiveness compared to the USA?

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    • Replies: @Beefcake the Mighty
    Ironically, I suspect the US military will eventually explicitly incorporate political commissars like the old Red Army, to weed out “right wing extremists”, etc.
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  16. Ruiner says:
    @Lemurmaniac
    The Su-57's procurement will be very slow, so this weapon will be on the sidelines for all intents and purposes until about 2030.

    Perfect reason for even more military spending, Blessing for a military contractor,

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  17. 66 % of the SPD members voted for the coalition with Merkel’s CDU, so the disaster Merkel continues, probably, for another four years.
    But the fact that one third voted against certainly will influence politics.

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    • Replies: @Beefcake the Mighty
    It sounds like something you will eventually see in the US: an explicit (as opposed to the current implicit) alliance between Dems and Repubs.
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  18. @utu

    One of many, many unanswered US provocations to suck Russia in deeper.
     
    One possibility is that the event was to send France back in line within NATO as an ally of Turkey now in conflict with Russia instead of France getting cozy with Putin after Bataclan 11 days earlier. There was a great support in France for Putin then and for a common action with him against ISIS.

    Russia was the greatest PR beneficiary of the Bataclan operation. The shooting down of Su-24 by Turks extinguished the Bataclan effect and the French sobered up.

    When Sarkozy, who made France join NATO again, became president, Israeli newspapers were jubilant ‘he was from an ancient Greek jewish dynasty’.

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  19. wayfarer says:

    I love these machines, although it’s too bad they’re built for search-and-destroy.

    Live across the street from MCAS Yuma, and every week its sierra hotel drivers unleash some full-tilt air-combat performance just overhead.

    source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marine_Corps_Air_Station_Yuma

    …..

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  20. wayfarer says:

    I’d bet that U.S. Navy aviator crews, are the most skilled aviator crews in the world today.

    Imagine night operations, foul weather, fog, freezing temperatures, heavy winds, rough seas, a rolling pitching ship, and then pulling off the “controlled crash” on a salty slippery flight deck.

    source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Naval_Aviator

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    • Replies: @Beefcake the Mighty
    They can do dog-and-pony tricks, sure. But can they fight an opponent on more-or-less equal terms? They haven’t since Korea, when the Chinese (with a WW1 level peasant army) fought them to a standstill. (Their performance during the Ardennes offensive by a beaten Wehrmacht doesn’t inspire much confidence either.)
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  21. The author is trying to have it both ways! On the one hand, the Su57 is a super-dooper fighter but, of course, not a threat even to an earlier generation of US fighters! Nor is there any intention of fighting the US or even killing Americans! And, in fact, the fighters stayed only two days in Syria! That’s Putin’s conundrum. If he claims, as he has done, that Russia is superior in weapons to the US, all that will do is incite the US to develop even better weapons, setting off an arms race that Russia doesn’t have the wealth to win, or even to keep up. If he claims that Russian weapons are inferior to the US, he undermines his own credibility! Bogged down in Ukraine, bogged down in Syria and now, bogged down in an arms race! It looks like Putin has lurched into yet another blunder, his seventh by my count: anti-EU alliance with the US neocons, Ukraine, the war on terror, the Syrian civil war, the US election, the Italian election. Vladimir Flatfoot, Tsar of all the Eurasias!

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    • Troll: bluedog
    • Replies: @jilles dykstra
    Weird how one can see things differently.
    Syria still not lost to the USA, Crimea held, cooperation with China and Iran, weapons more advanced than USA weapons.
    Turkey more and more on the Russian side.
    PNAC's objectives far from realised.
    Arms race, not a question of wealth, as I see it, but of brains.
    What you mean by USA and Italian elections, no idea, but, as the German ones, favorable to Russia, without, as far as I can see, Russian interference.
    And, of course, NATO and EU until now unable to provoke Russia, to have an excuse for war.
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  22. Thank God for Russia and Syria and Putin and Assad for defending Christians and standing against the Zionist NWO.

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  23. @Anonymous
    Russia has more ethnic cohesion than the current US military and this divide will only grow larger as we grow more "diverse". How big a role will this play in Russian effectiveness compared to the USA?

    Ironically, I suspect the US military will eventually explicitly incorporate political commissars like the old Red Army, to weed out “right wing extremists”, etc.

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    • Replies: @DESERT FOX
    The U.S. military already has political commissars which are the CIA , NSA , DIA, etc., etc., and at the head of all of these so called intelligence organs are Zionists and their mission is to see that the military is under Israeli control via the dual citizens who control every one of 17 deep state agencies.

    If anyone doubts what I have said , just remember that Israel and the deep state did 911 and got away with it and tried to sink the USS LIBERTY and got away with it, that is control in spades.
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  24. @wayfarer
    I'd bet that U.S. Navy aviator crews, are the most skilled aviator crews in the world today.

    Imagine night operations, foul weather, fog, freezing temperatures, heavy winds, rough seas, a rolling pitching ship, and then pulling off the “controlled crash” on a salty slippery flight deck.

    source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Naval_Aviator

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-bV4AQPVeU

    They can do dog-and-pony tricks, sure. But can they fight an opponent on more-or-less equal terms? They haven’t since Korea, when the Chinese (with a WW1 level peasant army) fought them to a standstill. (Their performance during the Ardennes offensive by a beaten Wehrmacht doesn’t inspire much confidence either.)

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    • Replies: @Dave Bowman
    The Ardennes ? Do you mean... 1944... 74 years ago, two exhausted armies in the pre-jet age ? An offensive which was overwhelmingly a land-based battle, over territory which was notoriously densely-wooded, difficult to negotiate and impossible to defend... which was the last actual German success of the war - a brilliant idea, well-executed and bravely-fought, but with... umm... Tanks..?

    And that has ... what, exactly... to do with 21st-century supersonic air war ?
    , @Cyrano
    Beefaroni, what's going on, man? You are forcing me to agree with you.
    , @Hippopotamusdrome
    Korean war? The one where Sabre's fought Russian Mig 15s with Russian WWII veteran pilots and achieved a 10-1 kill/loss ratio?
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  25. @jilles dykstra
    66 % of the SPD members voted for the coalition with Merkel's CDU, so the disaster Merkel continues, probably, for another four years.
    But the fact that one third voted against certainly will influence politics.

    It sounds like something you will eventually see in the US: an explicit (as opposed to the current implicit) alliance between Dems and Repubs.

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    • Replies: @jilles dykstra
    Alliance, already in 1946 it was clear that there was no alliance whatsoever.
    Democrats: FDR did not deliberately provoke Pearl Harbour, Republicans, he did.
    That both parties are run by money is clear, but that is not an alliance.
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  26. @Beefcake the Mighty
    Ironically, I suspect the US military will eventually explicitly incorporate political commissars like the old Red Army, to weed out “right wing extremists”, etc.

    The U.S. military already has political commissars which are the CIA , NSA , DIA, etc., etc., and at the head of all of these so called intelligence organs are Zionists and their mission is to see that the military is under Israeli control via the dual citizens who control every one of 17 deep state agencies.

    If anyone doubts what I have said , just remember that Israel and the deep state did 911 and got away with it and tried to sink the USS LIBERTY and got away with it, that is control in spades.

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  27. Joe Hide says:

    To Saker.
    Great article.
    Very clear arguments and conclusions.
    The best conclusion you gave was that we all are still puzzled by this odd event. Instead of looking at this as a one on event, maybe we should consider it as a pawn move in a on-going, extremely complex, geopolitical chess game.

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  28. @Michael Kenny
    The author is trying to have it both ways! On the one hand, the Su57 is a super-dooper fighter but, of course, not a threat even to an earlier generation of US fighters! Nor is there any intention of fighting the US or even killing Americans! And, in fact, the fighters stayed only two days in Syria! That’s Putin’s conundrum. If he claims, as he has done, that Russia is superior in weapons to the US, all that will do is incite the US to develop even better weapons, setting off an arms race that Russia doesn’t have the wealth to win, or even to keep up. If he claims that Russian weapons are inferior to the US, he undermines his own credibility! Bogged down in Ukraine, bogged down in Syria and now, bogged down in an arms race! It looks like Putin has lurched into yet another blunder, his seventh by my count: anti-EU alliance with the US neocons, Ukraine, the war on terror, the Syrian civil war, the US election, the Italian election. Vladimir Flatfoot, Tsar of all the Eurasias!

    Weird how one can see things differently.
    Syria still not lost to the USA, Crimea held, cooperation with China and Iran, weapons more advanced than USA weapons.
    Turkey more and more on the Russian side.
    PNAC’s objectives far from realised.
    Arms race, not a question of wealth, as I see it, but of brains.
    What you mean by USA and Italian elections, no idea, but, as the German ones, favorable to Russia, without, as far as I can see, Russian interference.
    And, of course, NATO and EU until now unable to provoke Russia, to have an excuse for war.

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  29. @Beefcake the Mighty
    It sounds like something you will eventually see in the US: an explicit (as opposed to the current implicit) alliance between Dems and Repubs.

    Alliance, already in 1946 it was clear that there was no alliance whatsoever.
    Democrats: FDR did not deliberately provoke Pearl Harbour, Republicans, he did.
    That both parties are run by money is clear, but that is not an alliance.

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    • Replies: @Beefcake the Mighty
    Sure, there’re always competing factions and fights over whose particular interests win out in any given situation. And true, in the 40’s there was still something like legitimate right-wing opposition to interventionism within the Republican Party. But the overall objective is always to serve the interests of the ruling class/oligarchy as a whole, and even under FDR there were examples of rebellious movements on both the left and right being put down by their ostensible allies in the official parties:

    http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/karp_toc.htm
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  30. @jilles dykstra
    Alliance, already in 1946 it was clear that there was no alliance whatsoever.
    Democrats: FDR did not deliberately provoke Pearl Harbour, Republicans, he did.
    That both parties are run by money is clear, but that is not an alliance.

    Sure, there’re always competing factions and fights over whose particular interests win out in any given situation. And true, in the 40’s there was still something like legitimate right-wing opposition to interventionism within the Republican Party. But the overall objective is always to serve the interests of the ruling class/oligarchy as a whole, and even under FDR there were examples of rebellious movements on both the left and right being put down by their ostensible allies in the official parties:

    http://www.thornwalker.com/ditch/karp_toc.htm

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  31. Miro23 says:

    So what is really going on?

    Well, frankly, that is hard to say, and Russian officials are being tight-lipped about it.

    All you can say is that the US media are working themselves into a frenzy about Russia (in an unusually orchestrated way, the same way as they did with Iraq prior to the Iraq war).

    The Israeli cabinet is plotting how to drag the US into a Syria/ Iran war (involving Russia?).

    And the Russians are sending advanced aircraft where they shouldn’t go, and Putin is warning the US in the most public way possible that Russia will respond to the maximum with modern nuclear weapons to any US attack on itself or its allies.

    And Trump got elected calling for better relations with Russia??

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  32. @Beefcake the Mighty
    They can do dog-and-pony tricks, sure. But can they fight an opponent on more-or-less equal terms? They haven’t since Korea, when the Chinese (with a WW1 level peasant army) fought them to a standstill. (Their performance during the Ardennes offensive by a beaten Wehrmacht doesn’t inspire much confidence either.)

    The Ardennes ? Do you mean… 1944… 74 years ago, two exhausted armies in the pre-jet age ? An offensive which was overwhelmingly a land-based battle, over territory which was notoriously densely-wooded, difficult to negotiate and impossible to defend… which was the last actual German success of the war – a brilliant idea, well-executed and bravely-fought, but with… umm… Tanks..?

    And that has … what, exactly… to do with 21st-century supersonic air war ?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Beefcake the Mighty
    It goes to the point that on relatively equal terms, American military history is not too kind. It seems a peculiarly American delusion that air power alone can win wars. For example, what kind of conditions do you think a war on the Korean Peninsula will be fought under? It will more resemble the Ardennes than Desert Storm, I can tell you that. And say what you want about them, but American men of the 40’s were a good deal more resilient than their high-tech counterparts today. But yeah, enjoy the light show.
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  33. Russians named their* planes with the prefix “suk” since the 30s.

    *Industrial espionage based copies.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Avery
    {*Industrial espionage based copies.}

    Since Soviets/Russians were the first to launch an artificial Earth satellite, all subsequent launches by US were industrial espionage based: ideas and designs stolen from Soviets.

    Since Soviets/Russians were the first to launch a man into outer space, all subsequent launches of humans by US were industrial espionage based: ideas and designs stolen from Soviets.

    Since Soviets/Russians were the first to pioneer the robotic exploration of space (Lunokhod), all subsequent robotic space exploration by US were industrial espionage based: ideas and designs stolen from Soviets. Even after stealing everything about robotic exploration from Soviets, it took US another 25 years after Lunokhod landed on the moon to land a rover on Mars.
    .......................................
    US/Pentagon today relies on good old Soviet/Russian engineering to launch space vehicles into orbit using the Russian RD-180 engine. I guess US was unable to copy the basic 20 year old design of the engine.

    btw: both US and USSR 'stole' the idea and designs of the jet engine from Nazi German engineers. Same with space exploration: both owe being first in space to having acquired everything about rockets from defeated Nazi Germany. In fact Nazi engineer/scientist von Brown was the chief architect of the heavy-lift Saturn V which took US men to the moon.

    You were saying something about industrial espionage, copies, and such?

    Bonus question: who did the Soviets/Russians copy the S-300/S-400/S-500 systems from, since the West has nothing like it even today?

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  34. Cyrano says:
    @Beefcake the Mighty
    They can do dog-and-pony tricks, sure. But can they fight an opponent on more-or-less equal terms? They haven’t since Korea, when the Chinese (with a WW1 level peasant army) fought them to a standstill. (Their performance during the Ardennes offensive by a beaten Wehrmacht doesn’t inspire much confidence either.)

    Beefaroni, what’s going on, man? You are forcing me to agree with you.

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    • Replies: @Beefcake the Mighty
    Stranger things have happened.
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  35. @Cyrano
    Beefaroni, what's going on, man? You are forcing me to agree with you.

    Stranger things have happened.

    Read More
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  36. @Dave Bowman
    The Ardennes ? Do you mean... 1944... 74 years ago, two exhausted armies in the pre-jet age ? An offensive which was overwhelmingly a land-based battle, over territory which was notoriously densely-wooded, difficult to negotiate and impossible to defend... which was the last actual German success of the war - a brilliant idea, well-executed and bravely-fought, but with... umm... Tanks..?

    And that has ... what, exactly... to do with 21st-century supersonic air war ?

    It goes to the point that on relatively equal terms, American military history is not too kind. It seems a peculiarly American delusion that air power alone can win wars. For example, what kind of conditions do you think a war on the Korean Peninsula will be fought under? It will more resemble the Ardennes than Desert Storm, I can tell you that. And say what you want about them, but American men of the 40’s were a good deal more resilient than their high-tech counterparts today. But yeah, enjoy the light show.

    Read More
    • Agree: FB
    • Replies: @Cyrano

    It seems a peculiarly American delusion that air power alone can win wars.
     
    You want a conspiracy theory on that? Tesla in his later years talked about “death” rays – invention that could bring down a fleet of attacking airplanes or stop an invasion by an army. After the death of Tesla, government agents raided his hotel room and confiscated all his notes and papers of the projects that he was working on. As a scientist – he saw only one side of it. He thought that his “death” ray, or peace ray will stop any wars in the future, because no one will be crazy to invade another country knowing that their armies could be annihilated by the “death” ray.

    https://teslaresearch.jimdo.com/death-ray/
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  37. It’s hard to imagine or buy
    sending advanced aircraft into a hot zone purely as PR.

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    • Agree: Intelligent Dasein
    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein
    I am inclined to agree here. There is no way this was a mere PR stunt. My guess would be that the SU-57 was the sole deployable platform of some sort of advanced electronic signal processor or decryption software, and the Russians had a very limited window with which to get their hands on some crucial bit of intel that they desperately wanted.
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  38. @Beefcake the Mighty
    They can do dog-and-pony tricks, sure. But can they fight an opponent on more-or-less equal terms? They haven’t since Korea, when the Chinese (with a WW1 level peasant army) fought them to a standstill. (Their performance during the Ardennes offensive by a beaten Wehrmacht doesn’t inspire much confidence either.)

    Korean war? The one where Sabre’s fought Russian Mig 15s with Russian WWII veteran pilots and achieved a 10-1 kill/loss ratio?

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    • Replies: @Beefcake the Mighty
    Yes, that one. And the Sabre’s impressive track record had what impact on the war, exactly?
    , @Sparkon
    Not really.

    What were those scores? Perhaps the most incendiary statistic of the Korean War is the aircraft kill ratios. For years, a 10:1 kill ratio in favor of the Sabre was held to be true. That figure now appears extremely suspect (American pilots overclaimed victories just like everyone else). Dildy and Thompson calculate 224 Sabres lost, of which about a hundred were the result of aerial combat. They estimate that 566 MiG-15s were destroyed by Sabres, which would put the U.S. kill ratio at about 5.6 to 1. However, against those top Soviet WWII pilots, the ratio plunged to 1.4 to 1.
     
    http://nationalinterest.org/feature/cold-war-battle-the-sky-f-86-saber-vs-mig-15-12909

    Pilots are some of the biggest bullshitters around, and their wildly overinflated claims of kills always must be taken with a grain mountain of salt.
    , @FB

    '...Korean war? The one where Sabre’s fought Russian Mig 15s with Russian WWII veteran pilots and achieved a 10-1 kill/loss ratio?..'
     
    That's a fairy tale for children...no basis in fact whatsoever...

    Even among credible Western historians of the Korean air war...it is acknowledged that Russian pilots outscored US pilots...the top aces of the war are Russian...not US...

    Among US pilots in Korea the Russian MiG pilots were known as 'Honchos'...since the US pilots could hear them on the radios and knew they weren't Koreans or Chinese...

    Every Sabre pilot freely acknowledged that the MiG could outclimb them and reach a higher altitude...MiGs would often bounce the Sabres from up high... coming from the sun to make themselves hard to spot...

    '...The MiG 15 had an enormous impact when it appeared in the skies over Korea...

    First it was a psychological blow to the Americans...who were shocked, quite frankly, at being technically outclassed...by these new war machines...'
     
    ---Richard Holmes...military historian...as quoted in the US produced documentary...for the Military Channel...

    Battle Stations: MiG 15 Russian Stealth

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ryz5Mu5gZA
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  39. Cyrano says:
    @Beefcake the Mighty
    It goes to the point that on relatively equal terms, American military history is not too kind. It seems a peculiarly American delusion that air power alone can win wars. For example, what kind of conditions do you think a war on the Korean Peninsula will be fought under? It will more resemble the Ardennes than Desert Storm, I can tell you that. And say what you want about them, but American men of the 40’s were a good deal more resilient than their high-tech counterparts today. But yeah, enjoy the light show.

    It seems a peculiarly American delusion that air power alone can win wars.

    You want a conspiracy theory on that? Tesla in his later years talked about “death” rays – invention that could bring down a fleet of attacking airplanes or stop an invasion by an army. After the death of Tesla, government agents raided his hotel room and confiscated all his notes and papers of the projects that he was working on. As a scientist – he saw only one side of it. He thought that his “death” ray, or peace ray will stop any wars in the future, because no one will be crazy to invade another country knowing that their armies could be annihilated by the “death” ray.

    https://teslaresearch.jimdo.com/death-ray/

    Read More
    • Replies: @Beefcake the Mighty
    Nothing would surprise me at this stage.
    , @SteveRogers42
    Don't forget the Trump family connection to the Tesla conspiracy. Spicy!
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  40. @EliteCommInc.
    It's hard to imagine or buy
    sending advanced aircraft into a hot zone purely as PR.

    I am inclined to agree here. There is no way this was a mere PR stunt. My guess would be that the SU-57 was the sole deployable platform of some sort of advanced electronic signal processor or decryption software, and the Russians had a very limited window with which to get their hands on some crucial bit of intel that they desperately wanted.

    Read More
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  41. @FB
    This is a terrible article...here is an example...

    '...To make a long story short, the difference between 4th and 5th generation aircraft is really huge and requires not one, but several very complex “technological jumps”...'
     
    This whole notion about 'fifth generation' aircraft is basically meaningless for the professional air combat practitioner...

    It is the technologist perspective...and is driven by PR hype such as found in completely ridiculous amateur publications like National Interest and many others...none of which writers have any business writing about aircraft of any kind...since they don't have pilot or engineering credentials of any kind...[even radio control model aircraft qualifications...]

    In the Vietnam War...the first generation, subsonic Mig17 was a dangerous adversary for the third generation supersonic US jets like the US McDonnel F4 'Phantom' or the Republic F105 'Thunderchief...downing 11 F4s and bagging 8 F105s...as well as 3 supersonic USN Vought F8 'Crusader' second-generation air superiority fighters...plus six other second generation types for a total of 28 acknowledged air to air kills...

    Now there was a really big difference between the subsonic first generation and the supersonic second and third generations...but still the little MiG managed to drive fear into the hearts of USAF and USN pilots...

    '...American fighter-bombers had been in theater flying combat sorties since 1961, and the U.S. had many experienced pilots from the Korean War and World War II, such as World War II veteran Robin Olds.

    Untried MiGs and pilots of the North Vietnamese Air Force would be pitted against some of the most combat experienced airmen of the U.S. Air Force (USAF) and U.S. Navy...'
     

    '...On 3 April 1965 six MiGs took off from Noi Bai airbase in two groups of two and four respectively, with the first acting as bait and the second being the shooters.

    Their target were U.S. Navy aircraft supporting an USAF 80-aircraft strike package trying to knock out Ham Rung bridge near Thanh Hoa.

    The MiG-17 leader, Lt. Pham Ngoc Lan, attacked a group of Vought F-8 Crusaders of VF-211 from USS Hancock and damaged an F-8E flown by Lt. Cdr. Spence Thomas, who managed to land the aircraft at Da Nang airbase. A second F-8 was claimed by his wingman Phan Van Tuc but this is not corroborated by USN loss listings...'
     

    '...On 4 April 1965, the USAF made another attempt on the Hàm Rồng/Thanh Hoa bridge with 48 Republic F-105 Thunderchiefs of the 355th Tactical Fighter Wing (TFW) loaded with 384 x 750 lb (340 kg) bombs.

    The Thunderchiefs were escorted by a MIGCAP flight of North American F-100 Super Sabres from the 416th Tactical Fighter Squadron (TFS). Coming from above, four MiG-17s from the 921st Fighter Regiment (FR) bypassed the escorts and dove onto the Thunderchiefs, shooting two of them down...

    ...the leader Tran Hanh downed F-105D BuNo. 59-1754 of Major F. E. Benett, and his element leader Le Minh Huan downed F-105D BuNo. 59-1764 of Captain J. A. Magnusson.

    The Super Sabres engaged; one AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missile was fired and missed (or malfunctioned), and another F-100D flown by Captain Donald Kilgus fired 20mm cannons, scoring a probable kill...'
     
    I highlighted here the missed heatseeker missile shot...and the probable kill by cannon...

    At the time...the US MIC 'geniuses' were convinced that the cannon was obsolete...and the F4, the USAFs premier third-generation air superiority fighter was not fitted with a cannon...

    Much to the dismay of many...including WW2 and Vietnam triple Ace Robin Olds...

    '...Robin served penance in the Pentagon 1958-1962, waging a notably unsuccessful campaign to keep guns in new fighter aircraft.

    "Missiles were immature technology for years and years after that," he insisted, not without reason. His pet project was an F-102 with bubble canopy and a gun, which came to naught...'
     
    Olds was right...in 2005 USAF Lt. Colonel Patrick Higby conducted a historical survey of all air battles from Vietnam through the first Iraq war [Desert Storm]...

    The statistics from Vietnam and the Israeli-Arab wars show that heat seeking missiles made up the majority of air to air kills with 54 percent...guns came second with 27 percent...and radar-guided missiles a distant third...with just 14 percent...about half that of the gun...


    https://s20.postimg.org/qefhvjiu5/Air_to_Air_Kills.jpg


    It was not until Desert storm that the radar-guided missile came into its own...


    https://s20.postimg.org/jgbdphae5/Air_to_Air_Kills_2.jpg

    We also see here that little Israel scored considerably more air to air kills in its two short air wars than the US did in all of Vietnam and Desert Storm combined...338 to 231...

    In fact the US only managed to chalk up a total of 173 aerial victories during the eight years of the Vietnam war...[while losing a total of 10,000 aircraft...]

    When the MiG21 second generation jet entered Vietnam it quickly established itself as a dreaded opponent against US third-gen fighters...prompting Olds to famously remark after ending his service...

    '...The best flying job in the world is a MiG-21 pilot at Phuc Yen. Hell, if I was one of them I'd have got 50 of us!..'
     
    The US confirms the MiG21 killed 37 F4s and 15 F105s...along with 4 other types for a total of 56...

    Four North Vietnamese pilots achieved ace status [five or more confirmed kills]...while US had only 2 confirmed aces during all of Vietnam...

    The MiG21...the world's most produced supersonic fighter jet is still in service today and doing a good job with the Indian air force...

    The mock air battle with USAF F15s that took place in 2004 is still being discussed today...

    '...The two most formidable IAF aircraft proved to be the MiG-21 Bison, an upgraded version of the Russian-made baseline MiG-21, and the Su-30MK Flanker, also made in Russia...'
     
    That according to Colonel Mike Snodgrass, commander of the USAF 3rd Wing...

    '...Low radar visibility, instantaneous turn rate, acceleration and the helmet mounted sight combined with high-off-boresight R-73 air-to-air missiles were among the factors that made the upgraded MiG-21 a deadly adversary for the U.S. F-15s...'
     
    So here we have the venerable second generation MiG21 still a 'deadly' opponent to the mighty fourth generation F15...

    Notice the important points there...the helmet mounted sight...pioneered by the Russians for the MiG29...which allows the pilot to aim the missile 'off-boresight'...ie you just need to get him in your helmet sight...not on the button of your airplane nose...

    The low radar visibility due to its small size...[and also low visual visibility]...and the 'instant' turn rate and acceleration...

    That's what aerial combat comes down to...it's really all about physics...and the pilots that are able to master those aerial equations and the resulting geometry and gymnastics...

    One such master was the legendary Col. John Boyd...who, while serving as an instructor at the USAF Weapons School was known as 'Forty Second Boyd' because of his standing bet that he could...starting from a position of disadvantage...defeat any opponent in 40 seconds...

    And these were not student airmen...but top-notch officer pilots...

    Boyd's legacy is creating the energy-maneuverability theory of aerial combat...which has been highly influential in fighter design...as well as the OODA loop which has been applied to many fields...

    Boyd is generally acknowledged as the architect of the US air war in Desert Storm...

    '...Boyd is credited for largely developing the strategy for the invasion of Iraq in the Gulf War of 1991. In 1981, Boyd had presented his briefing, Patterns of Conflict, to Dick Cheney, then a member of the United States House of Representatives... Boyd had substantial influence on the ultimate "left hook" design of the plan.

    In a letter to the editor of Inside the Pentagon, former Commandant of the Marine Corps General Charles C. Krulak is quoted as saying "The Iraqi army collapsed morally and intellectually under the onslaught of American and Coalition forces. John Boyd was an architect of that victory as surely as if he'd commanded a fighter wing or a maneuver division in the desert"...'
     
    So we see from this short overview of aerial combat that 'technology' is not everything...in fact it can be argued that, improperly applied, technology can be more of an obstacle than a benefit...

    Pierre Sprey...who worked with Boyd and legendary fighter pilot Col...Everest Riccioni to design the F16...put it this way...[page 101]

    '...RULE 1: Weapons are not the most important ingredient in winning wars.

    People come first; ideas are second and hardware is only third...'
     
    As for the idea of technical wizardry in aerial combat he notes...[page 105]

    '...real air-to-air combat is separated by a chasm from the technologist’s dangerously beguiling dream of beyond-visual-range (BVR) combat: push a button, launch a missile at a blip on the scope at 25 miles, then watch the blip disappear without ever having laid eyes on the target.

    That concept of combat, oblivious to the inconvenient details of real air-to-air fights, leads to huge, cumbersome fighters loaded down with tons and tons of heavy stealth skins, massive radars and missiles, and failure-ridden electronics of unmanageable complexity.

    The most recent fighter built in pursuit of the BVR combat delusion, the F-22, has a $355 million sticker price and costs $47,000 per hour to fly, making it impossible to fly the hours necessary to train pilots adequately (people first!) and impossible to buy enough fighters to influence any seriously contested air war...'
     
    The F22 has many fundamental problems...as Col Riccioni has analyzed in detail and which I will discuss in a subsequent post...

    As we shall see the whole notion of BVR and 'fifth generation' is mostly a marketing gimmick used to make money for the MIC...

    We have not seen the F22 in action other than some patrols in Syria...but I would be quite surprised if any Russian Flanker pilots are intimidated in the least...[ie Su27...Su30...Su35...etc...

    My personal opinion is that the Russians see little value in the typical American approach of technological complexity...and the Su57 is fundamentally different from the F22...as I will describe later...

    Those airplanes that saw some brief flight time in Syria were there on a legitimate test in near-combat conditions...certainly they would not be there if those pilots and their machines were not able to defend themselves at this point...

    FB, very interesting post. I wonder. Considering addition rates in peer to peer conflit are either Chinese, Russian or American industries capable to produce sufficient numbers of these new sofisticated, expensive and complex planes. I really sense that in case of major conflict it will be back to producing oldet far cheaper and simpler designs and i think it is not limited to planes only but tanks and so forth.

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    • Replies: @FB
    Thanks for your comment...

    I am planning to write up a detailed comparison of what is known about the F22 and Su57...where I will get into some technical matters regarding what is really important in air combat...

    Yes...'quantity is a quality all its own'...as many combat experts have said through the years...

    Numbers do count...

    Technical capability is of course important...but it is crucial to know what it is you are trying to accomplish...and then to actually be able to carry that out...ie the weapons must work...

    We will see that these simple rules are not followed in US military procurement...which more and more it is quite obvious is only a giant scam for the for-profit industry and the thousands of parasites that infest it...
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  42. @Hippopotamusdrome
    Korean war? The one where Sabre's fought Russian Mig 15s with Russian WWII veteran pilots and achieved a 10-1 kill/loss ratio?

    Yes, that one. And the Sabre’s impressive track record had what impact on the war, exactly?

    Read More
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  43. Sparkon says:
    @Hippopotamusdrome
    Korean war? The one where Sabre's fought Russian Mig 15s with Russian WWII veteran pilots and achieved a 10-1 kill/loss ratio?

    Not really.

    What were those scores? Perhaps the most incendiary statistic of the Korean War is the aircraft kill ratios. For years, a 10:1 kill ratio in favor of the Sabre was held to be true. That figure now appears extremely suspect (American pilots overclaimed victories just like everyone else). Dildy and Thompson calculate 224 Sabres lost, of which about a hundred were the result of aerial combat. They estimate that 566 MiG-15s were destroyed by Sabres, which would put the U.S. kill ratio at about 5.6 to 1. However, against those top Soviet WWII pilots, the ratio plunged to 1.4 to 1.

    http://nationalinterest.org/feature/cold-war-battle-the-sky-f-86-saber-vs-mig-15-12909

    Pilots are some of the biggest bullshitters around, and their wildly overinflated claims of kills always must be taken with a grain mountain of salt.

    Read More
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  44. Avery says:
    @Hippopotamusdrome
    Russians named their* planes with the prefix "suk" since the 30s.

    *Industrial espionage based copies.

    {*Industrial espionage based copies.}

    Since Soviets/Russians were the first to launch an artificial Earth satellite, all subsequent launches by US were industrial espionage based: ideas and designs stolen from Soviets.

    Since Soviets/Russians were the first to launch a man into outer space, all subsequent launches of humans by US were industrial espionage based: ideas and designs stolen from Soviets.

    Since Soviets/Russians were the first to pioneer the robotic exploration of space (Lunokhod), all subsequent robotic space exploration by US were industrial espionage based: ideas and designs stolen from Soviets. Even after stealing everything about robotic exploration from Soviets, it took US another 25 years after Lunokhod landed on the moon to land a rover on Mars.
    …………………………………
    US/Pentagon today relies on good old Soviet/Russian engineering to launch space vehicles into orbit using the Russian RD-180 engine. I guess US was unable to copy the basic 20 year old design of the engine.

    btw: both US and USSR ‘stole’ the idea and designs of the jet engine from Nazi German engineers. Same with space exploration: both owe being first in space to having acquired everything about rockets from defeated Nazi Germany. In fact Nazi engineer/scientist von Brown was the chief architect of the heavy-lift Saturn V which took US men to the moon.

    You were saying something about industrial espionage, copies, and such?

    Bonus question: who did the Soviets/Russians copy the S-300/S-400/S-500 systems from, since the West has nothing like it even today?

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  45. Art says:

    The F-35 is a disaster – it does not work – it cannot be maintained – it is years late in the making – and its cost is astronomical.

    All the USAF generals who brought us, this endless fraud – need to be fired – PERIOD!

    It is time for some butt kicking in the Pentagon – all these arrogant generals are failures – they advocate for war, never delivering peace. They promise they can kill their way peace – it is not happening. Every year they proclaim things are worse then the year before. The field of war gets bigger every year – soon if this continues, there will be an actual world war.

    Think Peace — Art

    p.s. Mr. Trump — do not listen to the generals and Jews – trust your instincts. Make peace with Russia. Russia is a Western brother.

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    • Agree: RadicalCenter
    • Replies: @Mulegino1
    "The F-35 is a disaster – it does not work – it cannot be maintained – it is years late in the making – and its cost is astronomical."

    From the tactical or strategic aviation perspective, you are completely correct, of course. But from the MIC profit perspective, the F-35 is perfect! As an inoperable and defective warplane, it will have to be scrapped - once all the checks have been cashed by the manufacturers and lobbyists, of course. Then the contractors can go back to their billion dollar drawing board and design the next failure at an even more exorbitant price.
    , @RadicalCenter
    Not a Western brother, exactly -- nor would they want to be -- but part of our extended family nonetheless :)
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  46. @jilles dykstra
    Certainly not.
    I suspect that the disappearance of MH370 had as cause that two groups of Chinese specialists in making planes invisible to radar were aboard.
    Until recently stealth was designing a plane so that it gave very little radar reflection.
    Present techniques are far more advanced, neutralising radar electro-mechanical waves, no reflection at all.
    This, if it succeeds, makes radar blind.

    … radar electro-mechanical waves …

    Very LOL-able.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Joe Stalin
    Rockwell-Collins used to manufacture "electro-mechanical bandpass" filters where the RF energy of a received communications signal was converted to an actual mechanical vibration, filtered, and then reconverted back to RF for demodulation in a receiver.
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  47. Good post.

    Just a quick note that RAF = Royal Air Force; afaik, the English language convention is to abbreviate the Russian Air Force as RuAF.

    Read More
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  48. FB says:
    @Hippopotamusdrome
    Korean war? The one where Sabre's fought Russian Mig 15s with Russian WWII veteran pilots and achieved a 10-1 kill/loss ratio?

    ‘…Korean war? The one where Sabre’s fought Russian Mig 15s with Russian WWII veteran pilots and achieved a 10-1 kill/loss ratio?..’

    That’s a fairy tale for children…no basis in fact whatsoever…

    Even among credible Western historians of the Korean air war…it is acknowledged that Russian pilots outscored US pilots…the top aces of the war are Russian…not US…

    Among US pilots in Korea the Russian MiG pilots were known as ‘Honchos’…since the US pilots could hear them on the radios and knew they weren’t Koreans or Chinese…

    Every Sabre pilot freely acknowledged that the MiG could outclimb them and reach a higher altitude…MiGs would often bounce the Sabres from up high… coming from the sun to make themselves hard to spot…

    ‘…The MiG 15 had an enormous impact when it appeared in the skies over Korea…

    First it was a psychological blow to the Americans…who were shocked, quite frankly, at being technically outclassed…by these new war machines…’

    —Richard Holmes…military historian…as quoted in the US produced documentary…for the Military Channel…

    Battle Stations: MiG 15 Russian Stealth

    Read More
    • Replies: @FB
    And here is what actual Korean war Sabre pilot Ralph Parr...interviewed for the above US documentary have to say about the MiG...

    '...The MiG had a better than 2500 foot rate of climb advantage...

    It could turn tighter...it could out-accelerate...it could out-deaccelerate...and were roughly the same speed...'
     
    Parr is referring above to climb rate which is measured in feet per minute...

    The truth is that the pilot skill is the main factor as I have pointed out many times before...and as Sprey notes in his essay...which I linked to in my original comment...

    In that regard...the US and Russian pilots were realistically quite evenly matched...although both sides claimed the advantage...

    After the Russian pilots left...[they were in Korea in secret...this was not publicly acknowledged until the 1990s]...the US pilots would have likely had an advantage over the Koreans...

    But saying US pilots dominated Russian pilots in Korea...well...I've never heard of a single Sabre pilot ever saying that...they had great respect for the 'honchos'...
    , @Hippopotamusdrome

    Every Sabre pilot freely acknowledged that the MiG could outclimb them .

     

    Well they did have good engines.

    MiG-15

    The Soviet aviation minister... that the USSR buy the conservative but fully developed Nene engines from Rolls-Royce ... Stalin is said to have replied, "What fool will sell us his secrets?"

    However, he gave his consent ... and Mikoyan... travelled to the United Kingdom to request the engines. To Stalin's amazement, the British Labour government ... were perfectly willing to provide technical information and a license to manufacture the Rolls-Royce Nene. Sample engines were purchased and delivered with blueprints.

     

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  49. @Cyrano

    It seems a peculiarly American delusion that air power alone can win wars.
     
    You want a conspiracy theory on that? Tesla in his later years talked about “death” rays – invention that could bring down a fleet of attacking airplanes or stop an invasion by an army. After the death of Tesla, government agents raided his hotel room and confiscated all his notes and papers of the projects that he was working on. As a scientist – he saw only one side of it. He thought that his “death” ray, or peace ray will stop any wars in the future, because no one will be crazy to invade another country knowing that their armies could be annihilated by the “death” ray.

    https://teslaresearch.jimdo.com/death-ray/

    Nothing would surprise me at this stage.

    Read More
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  50. @Reactionary Utopian

    ... radar electro-mechanical waves ...
     
    Very LOL-able.

    Rockwell-Collins used to manufacture “electro-mechanical bandpass” filters where the RF energy of a received communications signal was converted to an actual mechanical vibration, filtered, and then reconverted back to RF for demodulation in a receiver.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Karl
    50 Joe Stalin > Rockwell-Collins used to manufacture “electro-mechanical bandpass” filters


    i'm going to argue that classical analogue Hellschrieber teletype, is a form of electro-mechanical filtering

    It is till admired in Europe, guys build them by starting with vintage dot-matrix printers.
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  51. FB says:

    Just to add a bit more…

    ‘…The MiG Alley battles produced many fighter aces.

    The top aces were Russian. Nikolay Sutyagin claimed 21 kills, including nine F-86s, one F-84 and one Gloster Meteor in less than seven months…’

    ‘…Other famous Soviet aces include Yevgeni G. Pepelyayev, who was credited with 19 kills, and Lev Kirilovich Shchukin, who was credited with 17 kills, despite being shot down twice himself.

    The top UN ace of the war, Capt. Joseph C. McConnell, claimed 16 MiGs, including three on one day…’

    Read More
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  52. FB says:
    @FB

    '...Korean war? The one where Sabre’s fought Russian Mig 15s with Russian WWII veteran pilots and achieved a 10-1 kill/loss ratio?..'
     
    That's a fairy tale for children...no basis in fact whatsoever...

    Even among credible Western historians of the Korean air war...it is acknowledged that Russian pilots outscored US pilots...the top aces of the war are Russian...not US...

    Among US pilots in Korea the Russian MiG pilots were known as 'Honchos'...since the US pilots could hear them on the radios and knew they weren't Koreans or Chinese...

    Every Sabre pilot freely acknowledged that the MiG could outclimb them and reach a higher altitude...MiGs would often bounce the Sabres from up high... coming from the sun to make themselves hard to spot...

    '...The MiG 15 had an enormous impact when it appeared in the skies over Korea...

    First it was a psychological blow to the Americans...who were shocked, quite frankly, at being technically outclassed...by these new war machines...'
     
    ---Richard Holmes...military historian...as quoted in the US produced documentary...for the Military Channel...

    Battle Stations: MiG 15 Russian Stealth

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ryz5Mu5gZA

    And here is what actual Korean war Sabre pilot Ralph Parr…interviewed for the above US documentary have to say about the MiG…

    ‘…The MiG had a better than 2500 foot rate of climb advantage…

    It could turn tighter…it could out-accelerate…it could out-deaccelerate…and were roughly the same speed…’

    Parr is referring above to climb rate which is measured in feet per minute…

    The truth is that the pilot skill is the main factor as I have pointed out many times before…and as Sprey notes in his essay…which I linked to in my original comment…

    In that regard…the US and Russian pilots were realistically quite evenly matched…although both sides claimed the advantage…

    After the Russian pilots left…[they were in Korea in secret...this was not publicly acknowledged until the 1990s]…the US pilots would have likely had an advantage over the Koreans…

    But saying US pilots dominated Russian pilots in Korea…well…I’ve never heard of a single Sabre pilot ever saying that…they had great respect for the ‘honchos’…

    Read More
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  53. FB says:
    @Sergey Krieger
    FB, very interesting post. I wonder. Considering addition rates in peer to peer conflit are either Chinese, Russian or American industries capable to produce sufficient numbers of these new sofisticated, expensive and complex planes. I really sense that in case of major conflict it will be back to producing oldet far cheaper and simpler designs and i think it is not limited to planes only but tanks and so forth.

    Thanks for your comment…

    I am planning to write up a detailed comparison of what is known about the F22 and Su57…where I will get into some technical matters regarding what is really important in air combat…

    Yes…‘quantity is a quality all its own’…as many combat experts have said through the years…

    Numbers do count…

    Technical capability is of course important…but it is crucial to know what it is you are trying to accomplish…and then to actually be able to carry that out…ie the weapons must work…

    We will see that these simple rules are not followed in US military procurement…which more and more it is quite obvious is only a giant scam for the for-profit industry and the thousands of parasites that infest it…

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  54. @FB

    '...Korean war? The one where Sabre’s fought Russian Mig 15s with Russian WWII veteran pilots and achieved a 10-1 kill/loss ratio?..'
     
    That's a fairy tale for children...no basis in fact whatsoever...

    Even among credible Western historians of the Korean air war...it is acknowledged that Russian pilots outscored US pilots...the top aces of the war are Russian...not US...

    Among US pilots in Korea the Russian MiG pilots were known as 'Honchos'...since the US pilots could hear them on the radios and knew they weren't Koreans or Chinese...

    Every Sabre pilot freely acknowledged that the MiG could outclimb them and reach a higher altitude...MiGs would often bounce the Sabres from up high... coming from the sun to make themselves hard to spot...

    '...The MiG 15 had an enormous impact when it appeared in the skies over Korea...

    First it was a psychological blow to the Americans...who were shocked, quite frankly, at being technically outclassed...by these new war machines...'
     
    ---Richard Holmes...military historian...as quoted in the US produced documentary...for the Military Channel...

    Battle Stations: MiG 15 Russian Stealth

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ryz5Mu5gZA

    Every Sabre pilot freely acknowledged that the MiG could outclimb them .

    Well they did have good engines.

    MiG-15

    The Soviet aviation minister… that the USSR buy the conservative but fully developed Nene engines from Rolls-Royce … Stalin is said to have replied, “What fool will sell us his secrets?”

    However, he gave his consent … and Mikoyan… travelled to the United Kingdom to request the engines. To Stalin’s amazement, the British Labour government … were perfectly willing to provide technical information and a license to manufacture the Rolls-Royce Nene. Sample engines were purchased and delivered with blueprints.

    Read More
    • Replies: @FB
    Look I have no interest in talking to a schoolchild...

    I first had to debunk your complete fairy tale about Russian pilots in Korea...pointing to actual interviews with Sabre pilots...then y0u come back with another red herring...

    You know absolutely nothing about aircraft and have no experience as either a pilot or engineer...so stop putting your nose where it doesn't belong...

    The Russian Klimov engine in the MiG15 was not the RR Nene...it had 20 percent more thrust for one thing...6,000 lb vs 5,000 lb...

    Specs for the respective engines are easily available...

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klimov_VK-1#Specifications_(VK-1)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rolls-Royce_Nene#Specifications_(Nene)

    The RR Nene was a very good engine for the time...it was based on a design pioneered by legendary jet engine innovator Frank Whittle...

    But that doesn't mean the Russians did not have their own home grown engines or equally great engine designers...they certainly did...although this would not be known to amateurs like yourself...

    By 1949...one year before the start of the Korean war...the Lyulka TR3 was already in production...putting out over 10,000 lb of thrust...

    Legendary Russian engine designer Arkhip Lyulka patented the world's first turbofan engine in 1941...

    ...which are the type of engine predominant to this day...

    '...In 1939-1941 Arkhip Lyul'ka elaborated the design for the World's first turbofan engine, and acquired a patent for this new invention on April 22, 1941...'
     
    The Lyulka design bureau was later renamed 'Saturn'...only recently in fact...and the great Saturn engines in modern Flankers such as the AL31 and AL41 in the Su57...still carry the designation 'AL' for Arkhip Lyulka...

    '...Lyul'ka was responsible for designing the first Soviet gas turbine engines. Preferring to steer away from copying captured German equipment, it succeeded in producing home grown engines...'
     
    The reason I post this is not for indoctrinated and quite ignorant fools like yourself...but for the others reading this...who have been exposed to nothing but US propaganda about Soviet technology...

    ...which to someone who has worked at Nasa...and also spent time in Russian technical circles...I can tell you is laughably silly and way off the mark...the Russian aerospace technology achievements rank at the very top...and any aerospace professional who is lucky to see this first hand is quite awed...both by the caliber of the people and what they have built...
    , @Avery
    {Well they did have good engines.}
    {...fully developed Nene engines from Rolls-Royce …}

    So if the RR Nene engines were so good, which I assume they were, and Soviets supposedly copied them, how is it that England - US ally and mother country and all that - did not give it to US to put in the Sabre?

    Why was the MiG still able to outclimb the Sabre, which surely had access to anything British had in their inventory and design bureaus?
    Maybe those "backwards" Soviets managed to design a superior jet fighter all on their own that outclassed the Sabre, the best US had to offer at that time?

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  55. George says:

    If the Su-57 has a practical purpose it might be as an aerial radar. Israel has the F-35 and the best electronic warfare gear. So maybe Russia will be able to calibrate their electronic warfare with the Israeli EW. If Russia were to communicate with Syria, that could be a problem for the Israeli airforce.

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  56. Another point re. Korea: the US literally bombed every standing structure in the north, sometimes even rubble as they ran out of targets, leading to horrific civilian losses. Did the Soviets do anything similar to the south? (It’s a rhetorical question.)

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  57. FB says:
    @Hippopotamusdrome

    Every Sabre pilot freely acknowledged that the MiG could outclimb them .

     

    Well they did have good engines.

    MiG-15

    The Soviet aviation minister... that the USSR buy the conservative but fully developed Nene engines from Rolls-Royce ... Stalin is said to have replied, "What fool will sell us his secrets?"

    However, he gave his consent ... and Mikoyan... travelled to the United Kingdom to request the engines. To Stalin's amazement, the British Labour government ... were perfectly willing to provide technical information and a license to manufacture the Rolls-Royce Nene. Sample engines were purchased and delivered with blueprints.

     

    Look I have no interest in talking to a schoolchild…

    I first had to debunk your complete fairy tale about Russian pilots in Korea…pointing to actual interviews with Sabre pilots…then y0u come back with another red herring…

    You know absolutely nothing about aircraft and have no experience as either a pilot or engineer…so stop putting your nose where it doesn’t belong…

    The Russian Klimov engine in the MiG15 was not the RR Nene…it had 20 percent more thrust for one thing…6,000 lb vs 5,000 lb…

    Specs for the respective engines are easily available…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klimov_VK-1#Specifications_(VK-1)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rolls-Royce_Nene#Specifications_(Nene)

    The RR Nene was a very good engine for the time…it was based on a design pioneered by legendary jet engine innovator Frank Whittle…

    But that doesn’t mean the Russians did not have their own home grown engines or equally great engine designers…they certainly did…although this would not be known to amateurs like yourself…

    By 1949…one year before the start of the Korean war…the Lyulka TR3 was already in production…putting out over 10,000 lb of thrust…

    Legendary Russian engine designer Arkhip Lyulka patented the world’s first turbofan engine in 1941…

    …which are the type of engine predominant to this day…

    ‘…In 1939-1941 Arkhip Lyul’ka elaborated the design for the World’s first turbofan engine, and acquired a patent for this new invention on April 22, 1941…’

    The Lyulka design bureau was later renamed ‘Saturn’…only recently in fact…and the great Saturn engines in modern Flankers such as the AL31 and AL41 in the Su57…still carry the designation ‘AL’ for Arkhip Lyulka…

    ‘…Lyul’ka was responsible for designing the first Soviet gas turbine engines. Preferring to steer away from copying captured German equipment, it succeeded in producing home grown engines…’

    The reason I post this is not for indoctrinated and quite ignorant fools like yourself…but for the others reading this…who have been exposed to nothing but US propaganda about Soviet technology…

    …which to someone who has worked at Nasa…and also spent time in Russian technical circles…I can tell you is laughably silly and way off the mark…the Russian aerospace technology achievements rank at the very top…and any aerospace professional who is lucky to see this first hand is quite awed…both by the caliber of the people and what they have built…

    Read More
    • Replies: @FB
    posted the same Lyulka link twice by mistake...here is the info on Lyulka's turbofan patent in 1941...

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyulka
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  58. Mulegino1 says:
    @Art
    The F-35 is a disaster – it does not work – it cannot be maintained – it is years late in the making – and its cost is astronomical.

    All the USAF generals who brought us, this endless fraud – need to be fired – PERIOD!

    It is time for some butt kicking in the Pentagon – all these arrogant generals are failures – they advocate for war, never delivering peace. They promise they can kill their way peace – it is not happening. Every year they proclaim things are worse then the year before. The field of war gets bigger every year – soon if this continues, there will be an actual world war.

    Think Peace --- Art

    p.s. Mr. Trump --- do not listen to the generals and Jews – trust your instincts. Make peace with Russia. Russia is a Western brother.

    “The F-35 is a disaster – it does not work – it cannot be maintained – it is years late in the making – and its cost is astronomical.”

    From the tactical or strategic aviation perspective, you are completely correct, of course. But from the MIC profit perspective, the F-35 is perfect! As an inoperable and defective warplane, it will have to be scrapped – once all the checks have been cashed by the manufacturers and lobbyists, of course. Then the contractors can go back to their billion dollar drawing board and design the next failure at an even more exorbitant price.

    Read More
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  59. FB says:
    @FB
    Look I have no interest in talking to a schoolchild...

    I first had to debunk your complete fairy tale about Russian pilots in Korea...pointing to actual interviews with Sabre pilots...then y0u come back with another red herring...

    You know absolutely nothing about aircraft and have no experience as either a pilot or engineer...so stop putting your nose where it doesn't belong...

    The Russian Klimov engine in the MiG15 was not the RR Nene...it had 20 percent more thrust for one thing...6,000 lb vs 5,000 lb...

    Specs for the respective engines are easily available...

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klimov_VK-1#Specifications_(VK-1)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rolls-Royce_Nene#Specifications_(Nene)

    The RR Nene was a very good engine for the time...it was based on a design pioneered by legendary jet engine innovator Frank Whittle...

    But that doesn't mean the Russians did not have their own home grown engines or equally great engine designers...they certainly did...although this would not be known to amateurs like yourself...

    By 1949...one year before the start of the Korean war...the Lyulka TR3 was already in production...putting out over 10,000 lb of thrust...

    Legendary Russian engine designer Arkhip Lyulka patented the world's first turbofan engine in 1941...

    ...which are the type of engine predominant to this day...

    '...In 1939-1941 Arkhip Lyul'ka elaborated the design for the World's first turbofan engine, and acquired a patent for this new invention on April 22, 1941...'
     
    The Lyulka design bureau was later renamed 'Saturn'...only recently in fact...and the great Saturn engines in modern Flankers such as the AL31 and AL41 in the Su57...still carry the designation 'AL' for Arkhip Lyulka...

    '...Lyul'ka was responsible for designing the first Soviet gas turbine engines. Preferring to steer away from copying captured German equipment, it succeeded in producing home grown engines...'
     
    The reason I post this is not for indoctrinated and quite ignorant fools like yourself...but for the others reading this...who have been exposed to nothing but US propaganda about Soviet technology...

    ...which to someone who has worked at Nasa...and also spent time in Russian technical circles...I can tell you is laughably silly and way off the mark...the Russian aerospace technology achievements rank at the very top...and any aerospace professional who is lucky to see this first hand is quite awed...both by the caliber of the people and what they have built...

    posted the same Lyulka link twice by mistake…here is the info on Lyulka’s turbofan patent in 1941…

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyulka

    Read More
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  60. Avery says:
    @Hippopotamusdrome

    Every Sabre pilot freely acknowledged that the MiG could outclimb them .

     

    Well they did have good engines.

    MiG-15

    The Soviet aviation minister... that the USSR buy the conservative but fully developed Nene engines from Rolls-Royce ... Stalin is said to have replied, "What fool will sell us his secrets?"

    However, he gave his consent ... and Mikoyan... travelled to the United Kingdom to request the engines. To Stalin's amazement, the British Labour government ... were perfectly willing to provide technical information and a license to manufacture the Rolls-Royce Nene. Sample engines were purchased and delivered with blueprints.

     

    {Well they did have good engines.}
    {…fully developed Nene engines from Rolls-Royce …}

    So if the RR Nene engines were so good, which I assume they were, and Soviets supposedly copied them, how is it that England – US ally and mother country and all that – did not give it to US to put in the Sabre?

    Why was the MiG still able to outclimb the Sabre, which surely had access to anything British had in their inventory and design bureaus?
    Maybe those “backwards” Soviets managed to design a superior jet fighter all on their own that outclassed the Sabre, the best US had to offer at that time?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Karl
    60 Avery > [blah blah russian masters of the universe]

    so, are you wearing a Russian-made timepiece on your wrist?
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  61. Karl says:
    @Joe Stalin
    Rockwell-Collins used to manufacture "electro-mechanical bandpass" filters where the RF energy of a received communications signal was converted to an actual mechanical vibration, filtered, and then reconverted back to RF for demodulation in a receiver.

    50 Joe Stalin > Rockwell-Collins used to manufacture “electro-mechanical bandpass” filters

    i’m going to argue that classical analogue Hellschrieber teletype, is a form of electro-mechanical filtering

    It is till admired in Europe, guys build them by starting with vintage dot-matrix printers.

    Read More
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  62. Karl says:
    @Avery
    {Well they did have good engines.}
    {...fully developed Nene engines from Rolls-Royce …}

    So if the RR Nene engines were so good, which I assume they were, and Soviets supposedly copied them, how is it that England - US ally and mother country and all that - did not give it to US to put in the Sabre?

    Why was the MiG still able to outclimb the Sabre, which surely had access to anything British had in their inventory and design bureaus?
    Maybe those "backwards" Soviets managed to design a superior jet fighter all on their own that outclassed the Sabre, the best US had to offer at that time?

    60 Avery > [blah blah russian masters of the universe]

    so, are you wearing a Russian-made timepiece on your wrist?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Avery
    {so, are you wearing a Russian-made timepiece on your wrist?}

    ..........blah blah blah blah blah blah

    No: I am wearing a genuine Made-in-China timepiece on my wrist, which was designed in Japan. Works great.
    And I am driving an excellent Hyundai, designed and manufactured in South Korea.
    My magnificent wiiiiiide screen HD LED TV - also designed and manufactured in South Korea.
    The list is goes on.

    Anything else you'd like to know?

    What about you? You using or wearing _anything_ designed and manufactured in these good old United (are they still?) States of America?
    Can you buy _anything_ that is not manufactured in China at your local Home Depot or Lowes?
    Any electronics _not_ manufactured in China or SK?
    Any clothing not manufactured in Bangladesh?
    Anything?

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  63. Alden says:
    @Faker
    Increasingly with their backs against the wall, so much so that they have to rely on goofy videos on some supposedly invincible weapons from the future. Sad.
    China with its back against the wall, being slapped with all kinds of tariffs, taxes, etc. Chinese leadership reaction: please master, tell us how much you want us crack down on NK.
    Years of "Empire Slayer" propaganda down the drain. Reality catching up.
    The E.U., a fully-owned institution, pretending to fight back in the trade war by "cracking down" on dying sectors, companies.
    Note they would not touch what would really hurt: Apple, Amazon (why can't the E.U. have an equivalent with their superior logistics and infrastructure?), Google or Microsoft. Why? It's because the E.U. is playing its part. Although I suppose Russia would not touch those with a ten-foot pole, either, despite all the posturing.

    China goes from strength to strength. I’m sure it can deal with higher tariffs.

    Since China is the factory of the world it can just pass the cost of the tariff on to the purchasers. Since China makes virtually everything we use, we’ll have no choice but to continue buying their products

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  64. Alden says:
    @jilles dykstra
    Saker does not seem to understand that Putin has no intention of abandoning Syria to the west.
    If Syria falls, Iran will be the next victim, then Russia.
    If Putin plays the game wisely, difficult to judge.
    Until now he has success.

    Trump is executing his promises of protection of USA industries.
    Brussel considers retaliation.
    The self nominated international coalition is breaking up.
    Do not suppose that either the European countries or the USA will continue the Middle East wars on their own.
    NATO exerts pressure for more money for 'defence', Brussel want a EU army.

    Alas the populations of the EU member states have very little inclination to pay more for 'defence', on top of that, the signs of the EU falling apart increase.
    By now the vote of SPD members for or against a coalition with Merkel's CDU should be known.
    I just consulted German tv teletext, no result yet published.
    I suppose this means that the vote hangs in the balance.

    Strife within EU member states increases daily, in essence about the EU.

    Independent UK just announced that Merkle is now chancellor again for her fifth term

    Read More
    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    First Muslim Chancellor of Germany.
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  65. Avery says:
    @Karl
    60 Avery > [blah blah russian masters of the universe]

    so, are you wearing a Russian-made timepiece on your wrist?

    {so, are you wearing a Russian-made timepiece on your wrist?}

    ……….blah blah blah blah blah blah

    No: I am wearing a genuine Made-in-China timepiece on my wrist, which was designed in Japan. Works great.
    And I am driving an excellent Hyundai, designed and manufactured in South Korea.
    My magnificent wiiiiiide screen HD LED TV – also designed and manufactured in South Korea.
    The list is goes on.

    Anything else you’d like to know?

    What about you? You using or wearing _anything_ designed and manufactured in these good old United (are they still?) States of America?
    Can you buy _anything_ that is not manufactured in China at your local Home Depot or Lowes?
    Any electronics _not_ manufactured in China or SK?
    Any clothing not manufactured in Bangladesh?
    Anything?

    Read More
    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    Most of my clothes and shoes are made in the USA. But it takes effort and costs more. In some other major fields, such as TVs and watches and smartphones, it's impossible to find anything made here, so your point is basically well taken, I'm sorry to say.
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  66. Remembering how the USA brought the USSR to its knees, might not be one possible sought for effect be exactly what we’re seeing and could have predicted? The US MIC pulling out all stops to soak up even more of the hard pressed budget $$$.

    Forcing the USA to further bankrupt itself trying to catch up and on a pretty tight budget at that.

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  67. Russian, Chinese and North Korean MiG pilots discovered the Sabre was razor-sharp. It couldn’t fly as high, climb as fast or maneuver as agilely as its Soviet-made opponent. But it could dive faster, was more aerodynamically stable, and had a radar gunsight that came in handy during high-speed jet dogfights.

    (Recommended: 5 Most Deadly Attack Planes of All Time)

    Yet while the jets captured the public’s imagination, it was the pilots that were most fascinating. World War II was a young airman’s war where teenagers were strapped into powerful airplanes that too often killed them. But the Soviets sent many of their top aces from World War II, men such as Ivan Kozhedub (62 victories on the Eastern Front) who had survived the Luftwaffe’s best and thus had no terror of the Americans. For their part, the Americans sent top guns such as “Gabby” Gabreski (28 victories).

    Both sides appeared fairly evenly matched in terms of pilot and aircraft quality, and the Americans had the disadvantage of political restrictions that prohibited hot pursuit of Communist MiGs to their bases across the Yalu in China. Fortunately, the Soviets replaced their aces with rookie pilots who soon demonstrated their inferior training and tactics versus their Western counterparts. They were supplemented by hordes of Chinese and North Korean pilots fresh from the farm plow. It was then the Sabre started racking up those big scores.

    What were those scores? Perhaps the most incendiary statistic of the Korean War is the aircraft kill ratios. For years, a 10:1 kill ratio in favor of the Sabre was held to be true. That figure now appears extremely suspect (American pilots overclaimed victories just like everyone else). Dildy and Thompson calculate 224 Sabres lost, of which about a hundred were the result of aerial combat. They estimate that 566 MiG-15s were destroyed by Sabres, which would put the U.S. kill ratio at about 5.6 to 1. However, against those top Soviet WWII pilots, the ratio plunged to 1.4 to 1.

    http://nationalinterest.org/feature/cold-war-battle-the-sky-f-86-saber-vs-mig-15-12909

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  68. Korean War Jet Fighters – MiG-15 vs. Sabre F-86

    MIG vs. Sabre – MiG unstable at speed, by Max

    [MORE]

    The conventional wisdom on the subject says the MiG 15 had superior armament, i.e. firepower. At the expense of defensive armour around the cockpit, It was lighter weight, and could therefore achieve higher altitudes, which translated in the circumstances of the Korean war theater to a limited tactical advantage. It was marginally more maneuverable, under certain circumstances, and particularly, again, at high altitudes.
    Overall the MiGs handling at high speeds was unstable, it would shimmy, and shake, and if pushed too hard, would readily depart controlled flight, under certain conditions this wholly negated the advantages of the higher caliber munitions it carried. The MiG15 and original Sabres were very well matched, the main difference being attributed to superior pilots flying the US/UN aircraft.

    It would have been interesting if the Australian version “Commonweath Sabre” with the larger Canberra engine, and ensuing substantially superior performance, had made it to Korea, if the war had lasted, however it’s likely by then, that the commies would have had MiG-17s.

    MiG vs. Sabre – MiG performane, by max_g_cunningham

    The MiG 15 & 17 were superior in some aspects of their performance characteristics. Mainly lighter in weight, particularly coming at the expense or cockpit armour.
    The Soviets did not have a mystical inherent overall advantage in that era of early jet fighters, they had advantages in some categories, but only at the expense of protection, or and attributes, in other areas. In their recounting of the MiGs’ superior performance, some US pilots used that to underscore (no pun) their own abilities in overcoming the advantages of the MiGS. On the other hand, few pilots would likely care to be in a MiG 15 cockpit, without steel re-enforcement while being fired upon, not withstanding marginal acceleration and altitude advantages.

    Among other disadvantages of the MiG, and perhaps being somehow overlooked in the current context … The internal heating, and window defrosting on the MiGs was deficient, and ineffective, particularly at high altitude, where the machine enjoyed it’s principle performance advantage. There are accounts of MiGS having to descend to engage the Sabres, but with badly frosted canopies.
    Moreover, here are 2 important aspects of the “stability” issue,

    Those early Migs had the high mounted rear stabilizers, in essence they were a variation of T Tails. As I described in sufficient detail elsewhere in this forum, there’s a serious and inherent handling, and stability compromise associated with high AOA maneuvers, with any T tailed aircraft, the early MiGs were no exception. Furthermore, the MiG 15 suffered from wing flex, it would vibrate, shimmy and shake, under high G loads, and despite superior fire power, was a far less then ideal gun platform under high stress combat maneuvering.

    MiG vs. Sabre – key factors, by max_g_cunningham

    “Was the MiG really better than the Sabre as a fighter?”

    John Boyd, (Mr. Energy Maneuverability, 40 second Boyd, & the Fighter Pilot Who Changed The Art Of War) did a complex analysis of the MiG vs. Sabre issue. Initially he too was puzzled at the Sabre’s marked superiority in relation to it’s Korean Combat record, being as the 2 aircraft on paper, seem so evenly matched. He took into consideration all the factors and conventional wisdom, (narrow advantage Sabre) and it still didn’t quite all add up to a 10-1 kill ratio. After further research, interviews, and deep analysis, he concluded that the Sabre possessed a quicker instantaneous rate of turn, that is to say it could transition faster, from one maneuver to another. This is what gave the Sabre pilots a decisive advantage. Put another way, instantaneous rate of turn, (analogy “knife fight in a telephone booth”) was more important than sustained turn rate, in the Korean theatre. This was among several clues that served as a departure point for Boyd’s later revolutionary advanced theories.
    Key points for comparison of the two Korean War jet fighters:
    The experience level of the American vs. N. Korean, and Soviet pilots, along with tactics, Popular, and superficial analysis attributes most of the empirical advantage demonstrated by the Sabres, to this single factor.
    MiG pilots advantage of higher altitude capability, also including (Sabre pilots, on the offensive, having to fly much farther, and into hostile territory) (Sabres used drop tanks to extend their range, MiGs had an inherent advantage being in much closer proximity to base) along with all the various advantages, and disadvantages that the MiG airframe had VS the various incarnations of the F86.
    The use of G suits, the hydraulically boosted control surfaces, (fatigue experienced by the MiG pilots, without hydraulics and G suits), (Adv. Sabre).

    Sustained VS instantaneous turn rates, also related to the hydraulically boosted control surfaces, (advantage Sabre). John Boyd, (Mr. Energy Maneuverability, 40 second Boyd, & the Fighter Pilot Who Changed The Art Of War) did a complex analysis of the MiG vs. Sabre issue. Initially he too was puzzled at the Sabre’s marked superiority in relation to it’s Korean Combat record, being as the 2 aircraft on paper, seem so evenly matched. He took into consideration all the factors and conventional wisdom, (narrow advantage Sabre) and it still didn’t quite all add up to a 10-1 kill ratio. After further research, interviews, and deep analysis, he concluded that the Sabre possessed a quicker instantaneous rate of turn, that is to say it could transition faster, from one maneuver to another. This is what gave the Sabre pilots a decisive advantage. Put another way, instantaneous rate of turn, (analogy “knife fight in a telephone booth”) was more important than sustained turn rate, in the Korean theatre. This was among several clues that served as a departure point for Boyd’s later revolutionary advanced theories.

    Top speed, (Adv. Sabre) climb, and altitude capability, (Adv MiG) and limitations of the MiGS T tail configuration, vis-a-vie AOA limitations and tendency to depart. (A significant factor) (Adv. Sabre)

    Airframe and firing platform stability, (Adv. Sabre) IE; Flexing in the MiG wing structure and through the fuselage, VS the Sabre’s wing structure, Firepower of the combinations of 20mm vs. only 50 cal. (Adv. Mig, circumstantial) (one can argue that under conditions of very high stress, and to various degrees, (Pun) the lack of stability in the MiG airframe, somewhat negated their superior firepower, and range of those weapons.)
    Visibility, windscreen fogging in the MiGs transitioning from high altitudes, and poor environmental regulation, (fatigue issue). (Adv. Sabre)
    Build quality, pilot protection, ability to absorb damage, (Adv. Sabre circumstantial)
    Maintenance, ground support & facilities, availability of weapons and ammunition, etc, etc, etc.
    All were factors, plus a few I’ve missed, and it’s all pretty much part of historical record, and what I’d consider as the historically, and popularly recognized account, of this interesting topic.

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  69. MORE Part 1: MIG vs. Sabre – MiG unstable at speed, by Max

    The conventional wisdom on the subject says the MiG 15 had superior armament, i.e. firepower. At the expense of defensive armour around the cockpit, It was lighter weight, and could therefore achieve higher altitudes, which translated in the circumstances of the Korean war theater to a limited tactical advantage. It was marginally more maneuverable, under certain circumstances, and particularly, again, at high altitudes.

    Overall the MiGs handling at high speeds was unstable, it would shimmy, and shake, and if pushed too hard, would readily depart controlled flight, under certain conditions this wholly negated the advantages of the higher caliber munitions it carried. The MiG15 and original Sabres were very well matched, the main difference being attributed to superior pilots flying the US/UN aircraft.

    It would have been interesting if the Australian version “Commonweath Sabre” with the larger Canberra engine, and ensuing substantially superior performance, had made it to Korea, if the war had lasted, however it’s likely by then, that the commies would have had MiG-17s.

    MiG vs. Sabre – MiG performane, by max_g_cunningham

    The MiG 15 & 17 were superior in some aspects of their performance characteristics. Mainly lighter in weight, particularly coming at the expense or cockpit armour.

    The Soviets did not have a mystical inherent overall advantage in that era of early jet fighters, they had advantages in some categories, but only at the expense of protection, or and attributes, in other areas. In their recounting of the MiGs’ superior performance, some US pilots used that to underscore (no pun) their own abilities in overcoming the advantages of the MiGS. On the other hand, few pilots would likely care to be in a MiG 15 cockpit, without steel re-enforcement while being fired upon, not withstanding marginal acceleration and altitude advantages.

    Among other disadvantages of the MiG, and perhaps being somehow overlooked in the current context … The internal heating, and window defrosting on the MiGs was deficient, and ineffective, particularly at high altitude, where the machine enjoyed it’s principle performance advantage. There are accounts of MiGS having to descend to engage the Sabres, but with badly frosted canopies.
    Moreover, here are 2 important aspects of the “stability” issue,

    Those early Migs had the high mounted rear stabilizers, in essence they were a variation of T Tails. As I described in sufficient detail elsewhere in this forum, there’s a serious and inherent handling, and stability compromise associated with high AOA maneuvers, with any T tailed aircraft, the early MiGs were no exception. Furthermore, the MiG 15 suffered from wing flex, it would vibrate, shimmy and shake, under high G loads, and despite superior fire power, was a far less then ideal gun platform under high stress combat maneuvering.

    Read More
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  70. MORE Part2: MiG vs. Sabre – key factors, by max_g_cunningham

    “Was the MiG really better than the Sabre as a fighter?”

    [MORE]

    John Boyd, (Mr. Energy Maneuverability, 40 second Boyd, & the Fighter Pilot Who Changed The Art Of War) did a complex analysis of the MiG vs. Sabre issue. Initially he too was puzzled at the Sabre’s marked superiority in relation to it’s Korean Combat record, being as the 2 aircraft on paper, seem so evenly matched. He took into consideration all the factors and conventional wisdom, (narrow advantage Sabre) and it still didn’t quite all add up to a 10-1 kill ratio. After further research, interviews, and deep analysis, he concluded that the Sabre possessed a quicker instantaneous rate of turn, that is to say it could transition faster, from one maneuver to another. This is what gave the Sabre pilots a decisive advantage. Put another way, instantaneous rate of turn, (analogy “knife fight in a telephone booth”) was more important than sustained turn rate, in the Korean theatre. This was among several clues that served as a departure point for Boyd’s later revolutionary advanced theories.

    Key points for comparison of the two Korean War jet fighters:

    The experience level of the American vs. N. Korean, and Soviet pilots, along with tactics, Popular, and superficial analysis attributes most of the empirical advantage demonstrated by the Sabres, to this single factor.

    MiG pilots advantage of higher altitude capability, also including (Sabre pilots, on the offensive, having to fly much farther, and into hostile territory) (Sabres used drop tanks to extend their range, MiGs had an inherent advantage being in much closer proximity to base) along with all the various advantages, and disadvantages that the MiG airframe had VS the various incarnations of the F86.
    The use of G suits, the hydraulically boosted control surfaces, (fatigue experienced by the MiG pilots, without hydraulics and G suits), (Adv. Sabre).

    Sustained VS instantaneous turn rates, also related to the hydraulically boosted control surfaces, (advantage Sabre). John Boyd, (Mr. Energy Maneuverability, 40 second Boyd, & the Fighter Pilot Who Changed The Art Of War) did a complex analysis of the MiG vs. Sabre issue. Initially he too was puzzled at the Sabre’s marked superiority in relation to it’s Korean Combat record, being as the 2 aircraft on paper, seem so evenly matched. He took into consideration all the factors and conventional wisdom, (narrow advantage Sabre) and it still didn’t quite all add up to a 10-1 kill ratio. After further research, interviews, and deep analysis, he concluded that the Sabre possessed a quicker instantaneous rate of turn, that is to say it could transition faster, from one maneuver to another. This is what gave the Sabre pilots a decisive advantage. Put another way, instantaneous rate of turn, (analogy “knife fight in a telephone booth”) was more important than sustained turn rate, in the Korean theatre. This was among several clues that served as a departure point for Boyd’s later revolutionary advanced theories.

    Top speed, (Adv. Sabre) climb, and altitude capability, (Adv MiG) and limitations of the MiGS T tail configuration, vis-a-vie AOA limitations and tendency to depart. (A significant factor) (Adv. Sabre)

    Airframe and firing platform stability, (Adv. Sabre) IE; Flexing in the MiG wing structure and through the fuselage, VS the Sabre’s wing structure, Firepower of the combinations of 20mm vs. only 50 cal. (Adv. Mig, circumstantial) (one can argue that under conditions of very high stress, and to various degrees, (Pun) the lack of stability in the MiG airframe, somewhat negated their superior firepower, and range of those weapons.)

    Visibility, windscreen fogging in the MiGs transitioning from high altitudes, and poor environmental regulation, (fatigue issue). (Adv. Sabre) ( “Environmental regulation” here meaning MiG cockpit air pressure and oxygen supply. — DD )

    Build quality, pilot protection, ability to absorb damage, (Adv. Sabre circumstantial)
    Maintenance, ground support & facilities, availability of weapons and ammunition, etc, etc, etc.
    All were factors, plus a few I’ve missed, and it’s all pretty much part of historical record, and what I’d consider as the historically, and popularly recognized account, of this interesting topic.

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  71. @Cyrano

    It seems a peculiarly American delusion that air power alone can win wars.
     
    You want a conspiracy theory on that? Tesla in his later years talked about “death” rays – invention that could bring down a fleet of attacking airplanes or stop an invasion by an army. After the death of Tesla, government agents raided his hotel room and confiscated all his notes and papers of the projects that he was working on. As a scientist – he saw only one side of it. He thought that his “death” ray, or peace ray will stop any wars in the future, because no one will be crazy to invade another country knowing that their armies could be annihilated by the “death” ray.

    https://teslaresearch.jimdo.com/death-ray/

    Don’t forget the Trump family connection to the Tesla conspiracy. Spicy!

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  72. @Art
    The F-35 is a disaster – it does not work – it cannot be maintained – it is years late in the making – and its cost is astronomical.

    All the USAF generals who brought us, this endless fraud – need to be fired – PERIOD!

    It is time for some butt kicking in the Pentagon – all these arrogant generals are failures – they advocate for war, never delivering peace. They promise they can kill their way peace – it is not happening. Every year they proclaim things are worse then the year before. The field of war gets bigger every year – soon if this continues, there will be an actual world war.

    Think Peace --- Art

    p.s. Mr. Trump --- do not listen to the generals and Jews – trust your instincts. Make peace with Russia. Russia is a Western brother.

    Not a Western brother, exactly — nor would they want to be — but part of our extended family nonetheless :)

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  73. @Alden
    Independent UK just announced that Merkle is now chancellor again for her fifth term

    First Muslim Chancellor of Germany.

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  74. @Avery
    {so, are you wearing a Russian-made timepiece on your wrist?}

    ..........blah blah blah blah blah blah

    No: I am wearing a genuine Made-in-China timepiece on my wrist, which was designed in Japan. Works great.
    And I am driving an excellent Hyundai, designed and manufactured in South Korea.
    My magnificent wiiiiiide screen HD LED TV - also designed and manufactured in South Korea.
    The list is goes on.

    Anything else you'd like to know?

    What about you? You using or wearing _anything_ designed and manufactured in these good old United (are they still?) States of America?
    Can you buy _anything_ that is not manufactured in China at your local Home Depot or Lowes?
    Any electronics _not_ manufactured in China or SK?
    Any clothing not manufactured in Bangladesh?
    Anything?

    Most of my clothes and shoes are made in the USA. But it takes effort and costs more. In some other major fields, such as TVs and watches and smartphones, it’s impossible to find anything made here, so your point is basically well taken, I’m sorry to say.

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  75. Sparkon says:

    A Russian An-26 transport is reported to have crashed while landing at Russian Khmeimim air base in Syria on 3/6/2018, killing all aboard including a Russian Major-general.

    Latest from TASS reports plane crashed about 500 meters short of the runway which is consistent with the types of crashes that occur during landing due to weather or mechanical problems. The pilot was said to have made numerous previous landings at the air base.

    If rebels had been able previously to mount a mortar attack on this base, then I assume security around the base may not be 100%. If that is true, then it is conceivable this plane could have been shot down, either by a guided missile, rocket, or even small-arms fire.

    The An-26 is a twin turboprop high-wing transport aircraft derived from the An-24, which is somewhat similar to the old Fairchild F-27s that replaced DC-3s and DC-4s on many regional routes dating from the late 60s if memory serves, but the An-26 has a rear cargo door with ramp.


    Tu-214PU
    Anna Zvereva

    During a recent visit by Putin to the base, there were news reports that his presidential plane Tu-214PU had been accompanied and flanked by 2 Su-30SM Flanker-C fighters during its approach and landing at the airfield, ostensibly to draw off any heat-seeking missile that might have been fired at Putin’s plane while it was landing. Whether or not that was a PR stunt, it does lend credibility to the idea that the immediate area around Khmeimim airbase may not be 100% secure.

    Meanwhile, I haven’t seen any further news about the Su-57s apparently short visit to Khmeimim. I can only assume that there must have been some purpose for the visit, and a likely candidate would be some kind of mission involving electronic initialization, calibration, and/or collection.

    There is no Su-57 available yet for Microsoft’s venerable but excellent Flight Simulator X, but I have been flying around in the airspace over Syria in an (add on) F-22, and also the default trike ultralight to get a feel for the terrain and topography, buzz Shayrat, and engage in some general hot dogging in the simulator.

    FSX is the modern descendant of the original FS1 Simulator for the Apple II from Bruce Artwick and subLOGIC Design out of Champaign, IL.

    It’s interesting to speculate if interested parties could build a good digital 3D model of any new aircraft like the Su-57 or F-35 to test its aerodynamic characteristics and flight envelope in a simulated digital environment, or even use 3D printing technology to construct a physical model for wind tunnel tests.

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  76. warpony says:

    Surprised that no one has mentioned that all these bad boy aircraft are irrelevant, in any major stragic modern fight, until all of the many, many air defense systems are down…avionics and electronics measures command aircraft, naval systems, main ground systems and unknown manpad hardware…when 20 different colors of paint are being splashed upon the heavens, you dont want to be flying anything but a drone…these new systems are extremely dangerous…even the old systems…like the ” 30 year old flying telephone pole” ( a friends description) took down the Israeli f16…no air superiority until all AA is down and all enemy planes down….good luck with that

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