By Kerry Givens
Since the end of the Cold War, the Russian and Chinese defense industries have lagged far behind in the race for the acquisitions of advanced technology in the global markets. With the acquisition of sophisticated 5th generation radar defense systems, coupled with hypersonic surface to air missile technology and 5th generation fighter aircraft technology the Russian Federation and Chinese Defense Ministries have propelled its global reach into the 21st Century. The Russian Federation and Chinese defense contractors have produced air defense systems which are completely impenetrable to all US combat aircraft other that the F22A Raptor, F35 Lighting and B-2A Spirit. The New Russian-Indo Sukhoi PA-FA ( joint fighter program between India and Russian Federation) and Chinese J20 are just the latest and poor attempt to counter the superior abilities of the F22A Raptor.
According to American Air force officials “The F-22 is better than any other aircraft in the world at air-to-ground except for the F-35, and the F-35 is better than any other aircraft in the world at air-to-air except for the F-22”.
The American Air Force with the integration of fifth generation aircraft is gaining new tactical advantages that transcend beyond just stealth into areas such as enhanced maneuverability, multi-role capabilities and fused sensor and avionics systems that can communicate with other weapons systems.
That level of interoperability is a large part of what makes the fifth generation Aircraft so vital to the Air Force and U.S. military in general, he added. Aircraft must not only be stealth, but also be highly maneuverable, be able to conduct multiple roles, and these aircraft must also be able to handle sensor and avionics information in a network integrated way not only for the pilot, but for the entire joint force. It is this ability that will counter Russian and Chinese influence in the Pacific and maintain the safety of US allies and interest for decades to come. The US must find the budget to ensure air superiority remains a hallmark of the United States of America
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