A US Air Force General has made the claim that older jets ‘such as the F-16 and F/A-18’ can’t match the F-35, even with upgrades.
Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, a former F-16 pilot said:
“You cannot take an airplane like an F-16 and really make it stealthy. The airplane is the shape of the airplane, the size is the size of the airplane.
The radar cross-section of an F-18 is the radar cross-section of an F-18 — you can’t change that. Low observable technology, the ability to evade radar if you will, is something that has to be designed into the airplane from the very beginning.”
Pleus also detailed the advantages of the F-35:
“The idea is, the F-35 was developed to go into a highly contested area, both air-to-air threats and surface-to-air threats, drop its bombs, hit the targets it’s supposed to, and then come home — and that is the entire fifth-generation package.”
He said of an F-16:
“If my radar doesn’t see it, then I don’t see it. In the F-35, if my radar sees it, or if my electronic warning system sees it … or my wingman’s radar sees it, or their wingman’s radar sees it, I see all of it.”
The US Marine Corps recently deployed F-35B aircraft to Japan for the jets first operational deployment.
The first squadron of F-35Bs, Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121, left their base in Arizona on Tuesday the 10th of January and are now at Iwakuni Air Station in Yamaguchi Prefecture in Japan.