18 June 2010

Russia unveils new PAK-FA, US Air Force sends everyone into a panic

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, at a recent aerial demonstration featuring the prototype PAK-FA, was said to have remarked that the PAK-FA was more than a match for the American F-22 Raptor.

Color me skeptical.  The F-22 Raptor eats F-16s for breakfast.  

That's no exaggeration, either; in exercises off the Atlantic coast, F-22s routinely defeat F-16s, even when outnumbered more than 3:1.  Yet, that didn't stop Air Force Association President Michael Dunn from alarmist rhetoric, going so far as to quip, "Do you think the Russians will stop at building 187?"

No, sir.  They won't even get close to 187.

How many times have we seen terrifying Russian wunderwaffen displayed at air shows, only to see them later fade into obscurity?  Remember the Kamov-50 helicopter, seen as the rival to the AH-64 Apache?  Russia built just 26.  A single attack battalion, of which the US has almost a dozen, has about as many Apache helicopters.  

What about the Su-35 or Su-47 Berkut?  Where are they?

If the Air Force is going to use scare tactics to get a few more F-22s or F-35s, they're going to have to do a better job of it. 


Unknown said...

That's the problem of fighting real wars: dealing with real threats gives the proper perspective for dealing with "bogey-man" threats.

則惠 said...


Anonymous said...

RETARDED & uninformed article

Russia is buying 200 Pak Fa + 50 FGFA(2seat) minimum (agreed with India)

SU-35 bought 34 building 2011-2015

Ka-52 bought about 30 building till 2012

SU-34 also about 30

Russia will buy about 1500 aircraft's till 2020!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Starbuck said...

The same Russia that only cranked out roughly 64 Gen 4.5 fighters in the last decade will produce and purchase nearly 200 5th Gen fighters this decade? Even despite the trend to spend more and more on fewer and fewer aircraft? This I doubt.

Starbuck said...

By the way, only a dozen Su-35s are in service in Russia right now, despite being a half a generation behind the F-22 and a development cycle which stretches back to about the mid-1990s.