Military expert: “He is not invisible to our radars”
The British Air Force F-35B stealth fighter that fell during an exercise in the Mediterranean Sea is looking for a race with the Russians. British Daily Mail writes about it. She claims that the Russian military is so interested in the secret technologies of this ultra-modern 5th generation aircraft that they are ready to go to the bottom of the sea for them. And therefore, in order to prevent them from mastering technological secrets, a security team consisting of the British and American military is now on duty in the area of the fall of the F-35B.
Photo: US Air Force.
What secrets they are guarding at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea, “MK” was told by a military expert, editor of the newspaper “Arsenal of the Fatherland” Alexei Leonkov.
As a reminder, this is not the first accident of the newest American F-35. In 2020, the F-35 was involved in emergencies four times. Three times in 2021. Moreover, on July 13, two F-35B fighters were hit by lightning at once. This time, a carrier-based fighter of the British Air Force took off from the aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth during an exercise in the Mediterranean, after which it had an engine failure, according to preliminary data. The pilot was allowed to eject, and the plane fell into the sea, where the British are now looking for him.
The F-35B is the most expensive American multipurpose fighter-bomber developed by the American company Lockheed Martin. This modification in serial production costs $ 108.1 million. At the same time, it is considered less reliable than the usual F-16. And also, according to the authoritative American magazine National Interest, in terms of most of the technical and combat characteristics it is inferior even to the Russian Su-35S of the 4 ++ generation.
Is it really, then, that the secrets of its technology are so important to our military that they are ready to climb behind them along the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea, going into conflict with the Americans and the British?
“Of course not,” says Alexei Leonkov confidently. – As for some kind of super-secret equipment, I can say: when we made our 5th generation Su-57, we advanced much further than the creators of the F-35. We just didn't play catch-up with the Americans, but went our own way. They put on their plane what they thought was necessary, and not what the Americans were doing. It used to be: now, they say, the Americans have done something, so let's do the same. For example, they made the Space Shuttle in their time, and we will make the same similar Buran. Well done, so what? And now we are going our own way. And therefore, we do not need to look for other people's secrets at the bottom of the sea.
The main “highlight” of the F-35, which the Americans used to be very proud of, – explains the expert, is the “stealth” technology. Their politicians and the military directly stated: they say, our plane is the most invisible, – says Leonkov. – American analysts have argued that no radar is capable of recognizing it. And our military is just talking about its reduced radar signature, since it is not “invisible” for our radars. We have already had several generations of VHF radars that perfectly see this aircraft. And far enough. He flies and does not even know that he has already been detected.
The expert recalled that when the F-35 was just being created, its maneuverability and speed characteristics were sacrificed to stealth technology. As a result, now in cruise mode, it cannot fly at supersonic speed, only afterburner.
In addition, the engine of this aircraft is very resource intensive. He needs a large supply of fuel for vertical takeoff and landing, as well as various maneuvers in the air. Because of this, the F-35 has a number of equipment and armament restrictions. For example, it has only one weapon bay. So the military has to choose: either a lot of fuel and more flying, or more equipment and weapons, but less flight time.
– Diving into the depths of the sea for such “secrets” – the expert notes – it's just not worth it. I hope that the tendency – to go our own way – is stable here and will continue for a long time. When we make analogs of someone's product in the field of weapons, then perhaps it even comes out better for us, but while we are catching up, copying someone, we ourselves are still lagging behind. And there are many such examples. Let's say we had a Tu-4 aircraft, which we copied from the American B-29 bomber. In the army, he took root. And when we began to make our own line of aircraft, based on our own design ideas, equipment, engines, then we got aircraft that had no analogues in the world. And now we are no longer catching up, but moving forward our own way. Therefore, looking for other people's “secrets” at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea is an expensive and useless exercise. Moreover, all the “secrecy” of this aircraft is erased as soon as our radar detects it. And he stably detects it.
So, according to Alexei Leonkov, the English edition is strongly deceived about our interest in finding the drowned F-35. We could, of course, do this, but solely for the sake of searching for the “black boxes” of our own technique in order to decipher them and understand the cause of the fall. And we definitely do not intend to hunt for someone else's aircraft.
The expert recalled that at one time, when the Japanese also had a plane crashed into the sea, they were also very worried: the Russians would come, find and learn our secrets.
-The situation here is about the same, – says Leonkov, – But I think that Daily Mail just needs to convince its readers once again that they, together with the United States, are great powers that have super-secrets. They even made a movie about the F-35 and its stealth elusiveness. Only you know, this elusiveness is like in that joke about the elusive Joe: why is he elusive? Because no one catches him.