Feeds

Aussie air zealot savages prêt-à-porter stealth fighter

Pulse-bomb prophet fears Russian tech dominance

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

Comment A colourful Australian IT engineer and airpower zealot has published a stinging attack on the F-35 stealth jet fighter, which is to be purchased by military forces worldwide including those of the US and UK.

Dr Carlo Kopp - to quiet applause from many in the aerospace world - says the F-35 "is demonstrably not a true stealth aircraft", and contends that it will be easily defeated by Russian-made radars and missiles.

The F-35 A model, for normal runways, now in flight test

Now you see me...

Dr Kopp's report, Assessing Joint Strike Fighter Defence Penetration Capabilities, is published at his Air Power Australia website, where he campaigns against Australia's stated policy of purchasing F-35s. Kopp believes that the land down under should instead keep on operating its 1970s-era F-111 swingwing bombers, and ask the US to buy the latest Raptor super stealth fighters as well - though these aren't on offer for export at present.

The F-35, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter and as "Lightning II", is mainly built in America. However, the programme has many overseas industrial partners - particularly including the UK - and unlike the Raptor it is intended for wide export to US allies from the outset. Within the US armed forces, it is intended to be an "affordably stealthy" and numerous supplement to small numbers of dedicated air superiority planes like the Raptor and the US Navy's Super Hornet.

F-35s are supposed to focus mainly on air-to-surface strike missions, but also to offer a solid performance in air-to-air combat, especially at long ranges using advanced missiles and low radar signature to good effect. The F-35, unlike the Raptor, is also to be available in vertical-landing jumpjet (F-35B) and catapult/tailhook aircraft carrier (F-35C) versions.

Carlo Kopp, however, reckons the F-35 is terrible:

As with claims made for Joint Strike Fighter air combat capability, claims made for the Joint Strike Fighter concerning the penetration of [enemy air defence networks] equipped with modern radars and SAMs are not analytically robust, and cannot be taken seriously.

He goes on to analyse the shape of the F-35 prototypes now flying, using openly-available photos, and says that the aircraft is basically only stealthy at all (that is, difficult to see on radar) from dead ahead and, somewhat less so, from dead astern. According to Kopp, any enemy radar to one side of the aircraft will be able to see it as though it had no stealth features at all.

He also reckons that the latest Russian defence radars, nowadays operating on longer wavelengths as a countermeasure against US stealth planes, will be able to see an F-35 from any direction - completely invalidating its low-observable design. This will mean that countries with modern air defence networks supplied by Russian exporters will find it a simple matter to stand off air forces equipped with F-35s.

Kopp sums up by saying:

The Joint Strike Fighter is demonstrably not a true stealth aircraft in the sense of designs like the F-117A [the original US "Nighthawk" stealth fighter, now retired], B-2A [US stealth bomber] and F-22A [Raptor], as its stealth performance varies much more strongly with aspect and threat radar operating frequency band...

The operational economics of a fighter force using the Joint Strike Fighter will be much inferior to a force using a true all aspect stealth aircraft such as the F-22A Raptor.

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder
And now a message from our sponsors: 'STFU or else'
Top beak: UK privacy law may be reconsidered because of social media
Rise of Twitter etc creates 'enormous challenges'
Uber, Lyft and cutting corners: The true face of the Sharing Economy
Casual labour and tired ideas = not really web-tastic
Ex US cybersecurity czar guilty in child sex abuse website case
Health and Human Services IT security chief headed online to share vile images
Don't even THINK about copyright violation, says Indian state
Pre-emptive arrest for pirates in Karnataka
The police are WRONG: Watching YouTube videos is NOT illegal
And our man Corfield is pretty bloody cross about it
Oz biz regulator discovers shared servers in EPIC FACEPALM
'Not aware' that one IP can hold more than one Website
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.