Su-57 retains a considerable advantage over the F-35 in the air, according to Military Watch. But there is a big question: is the comparison legitimate in the absence of real data?
Military Watch says the two fighters are significantly different. Lockheed Martin F-35 is a light aircraft with lower than average maneuverability. It was designed as a lighter and less costly complement to the elite F-22 Raptor air superiority fighter, a platform no longer in production.
The Su-57, by contrast, was designed as a heavy air superiority platform and is more capable in an air-to-air combat role, adds Military Watch. The analysis gives the advantage to the Sukhoi Su-57 in its speed, altitude, sensors, missile carriage, engagement range, and maneuverability.
It also reminds its readers that the US Senate adopted the 2019 draft Pentagon budget that would terminate Turkey’s participation in the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) program. The act would also ban the transfer of rights to F-35. Among the reasons for the move is the threat that Turkey might share the data on F-35 Lightning II following its purchase of the Russian S-400 surface to air missile system. Turkey responded by promising to buy Russian made Sukhoi Su-57 instead of the US fighters.
While the Su-57 and the F-35 are both fifth-generation fighters, the two are hardly comparable in their role or their capabilities. The F-35 designed as a lighter and less costly complement to the elite F-22 Raptor air superiority fighter, a platform no longer in production and banned from export, and itself lacks the specialisation of heavier fighters and retains poor air to air combat capabilities. The Su-57, by contrast, was designed as a heavy twin-engine air superiority platform, much like the F-22, and was intended to contend with American Raptors over Europe and the Pacific. Much like the F-22 Raptor is considerably more capable in an air to air combat role than the F-35, with the latter maintaining only limited defensive air to air combat capabilities, the Su-57 too retains a considerable advantage over the F-35 in the air. This is reflected in its speed, altitude, sensors, missile carriage, engagement range, and maneuverability – all fields in which the heavier Russian fighter is far superiority.
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