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Red Flag Raptor Vs. Typhoon  
User currently offlinewingman From Seychelles, joined May 1999, 2244 posts, RR: 5
Posted (2 years 1 month 15 hours ago) and read 13459 times:

I kept looking for someone to post this news snippet for discussion so trying it for myself. There are a few news sources carrying this unofficial feedback from last month's exercise, in which the Typhoons did quite well in their face-offs with the Raptor. These German pilots are probably as good as anyone can get and there's no mention of whether the Raptors are failing to prevent them from closing into dog fighting range or not. Nevertheless, it's good to have allies with mad skills.


http://blogs.star-telegram.com/sky_t...-22s-in-mock-combat-just-fine.html

20 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineRaginMav From United States of America, joined May 2004, 376 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (2 years 1 month 13 hours ago) and read 13428 times:

Not a surprise, IMO. The article you linked is pretty vauge, but other sources suggest some were scripted, 'forced-merge' dogfights. In this arena, the F-22 is clearly no slouch. However, a merge with a Typhoon with and experienced NATO driver is pretty much a worst-case scenario for an F-22, espescially considering they are not yet equipped with JHMCS or AIM-9X.

This article points out that at least a portion of the engagements were WVR. (Emphasis mine)

Quote:
The Air Force said the planes flew 80 missions during the event “with a very high mission success rate.” However, a new report from Combat Aircraft Monthly revealed that in a handful of missions designed to test the F-22 in a very specific situation – close-range, one-on-one combat – the jet appeared to lose its pricey advantages over a friendly rival, the Eurofighter Typhoon, flown in this case by German airmen.

Interesting tidbit below, but not nearly as headline worthy as the above: (emphasis mine again)

Quote:
Two other German officers, Col. Andreas Pfeiffer and Maj. Marco Gumbrecht, noted in the same report that the F-22′s capabilities are “overwhelming” when it comes to modern, long-range combat as the stealth fighter is designed to engage multiple enemies well-beyond the pilot’s natural field of vision — mostly while the F-22 is still out of the other plane’s range. Grumbrecht said that even if his planes did everything right, they weren’t able to get within 20 miles of the next-generation jets before being targeted.

So as long as the brass and oval office don't hinder the Raptor with stupid rules of engagement, they can press their advantage. Alas, dogfights never occur in a vacuum.

I think this excercise confirmed what many have suspected for some time. WVR, the Raptor is quite potent, but not invincible. The Typhoon is indeed a potent dogfighter, and it absolutely excells in the WVR arena (no surprise at all). In the end, the Raptor holds its own when close, and is (to quote the German fellows mentioned earlier) "Overwhelming" BVR.

The Raptor will get a big WVR capability boost when JHMCS and AIM-9X are integrated.


User currently offlineautothrust From Switzerland, joined Jun 2006, 1595 posts, RR: 9
Reply 2, posted (2 years 1 month 13 hours ago) and read 13384 times:

Quoting RaginMav (Reply 1):
I think this excercise confirmed what many have suspected for some time. WVR, the Raptor is quite potent, but not invincible.

There are so many people which will deny that, the mantra about the F22 is: invisible + invincible. In reality both have their realm where they rule the sky.

Quoting RaginMav (Reply 1):
The Typhoon is indeed a potent dogfighter, and it absolutely excells in the WVR arena (no surprise at all)

Against any other opponent except the Raptor i dare to say it rules also in BVR.

Quoting RaginMav (Reply 1):
The Raptor will get a big WVR capability boost when JHMCS and AIM-9X are integrated.

Still the AIM-9X is does not par with the IRIS-T.

Likewise with the CAESAR and METEOR the Typhoon will get also a enormous boost in BVR.



“Faliure is not an option.”
User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 879 posts, RR: 12
Reply 3, posted (2 years 1 month 12 hours ago) and read 13371 times:

Its a pretty silly article. I think everyone with a lick of common sense knows that if you force the F-22 to merge to WVR where IR missiles can work it won't have nearly the advantages it has in the BVR environment. Of course the problem is that is very very hard to do.

This is a good article on it.

http://theaviationist.com/2012/07/13/fia12-typhoon-raptor/

And this is the key phrase in my view

Quoting :
Indeed, Typhoon pilots at Farnborough said that, when flying without their external fuel tanks, in the WVR (Within Visual Range) arena, the Eurofighter not only held its own, but proved to be better than the Raptor.

A slicked down Eurofighter is a nice concept but that is really airshow configuration, not a combat one.


User currently offlineThePointblank From Canada, joined Jan 2009, 1696 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (2 years 1 month 2 hours ago) and read 12970 times:

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 3):

A slicked down Eurofighter is a nice concept but that is really airshow configuration, not a combat one.

Indeed. Problem is, no fighter goes into combat "slicked off as much as possible."


User currently offlineMD11Engineer From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 14011 posts, RR: 62
Reply 5, posted (2 years 4 weeks 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 12840 times:

On the other hand, if you know your enemy´s stregths and weak points you go after the weak points. I´ve heard about NATO exercises, where e.g. an airforce using Tornadoes (I don´t know anymore if it was the Brits or the Germans) wentlow on the deck to avoid detection and then jumped the AWACS plane directing the other side´s fighters or they went after the enemy logistics.
Similarly the Breirish once surprised the Americans by going in at tree top level with a Vulcan, which then "bombed" the American base.

Or a German tank troop commander in WW2 in Russia didn´t go for a headon against the Soviet T-34s or KV-1s (which he would have lost). He went after their fuel and ammo dump and blew that up. When the Soviet tanks arrived at the smoke column they were short on fuel and ammo, so he could pick them up at leisure.

So for the Eurofighter guys it would make sense to sneak in on the F-22s and then get them drawn into a dogfight.
Anyway, in most cases the F-22 will lose it´s long range advantage because it will have to visualy identify another aircraft as a threat to prevent civilian aircraft from being shot down.


Jan

[Edited 2012-08-03 01:08:05]

User currently offlineautothrust From Switzerland, joined Jun 2006, 1595 posts, RR: 9
Reply 6, posted (2 years 4 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 12811 times:

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 3):
A slicked down Eurofighter is a nice concept but that is really airshow configuration, not a combat one.

Sorry that's nonsense. First the quote refers to the Typhoon proved to be better without external tanks and not without ordenance.

For most QRA and Missions the Typhoon has enough range.
With 2 BVR and 4 WVR Missiles the Typhoon is still capable to supercruise with Mach 1,2 at 10.973 m or

to accelerate from 200 Kts (~370 km/h) to Mach 1 (~1.240 km/h) in : 30 Sec.
from Mach 0,9 (~951 km/h) to 1,2 (~1.267 km/h) in 40 Sek.

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 3):
I think everyone with a lick of common sense knows that if you force the F-22 to merge to WVR where IR missiles can work it won't have nearly the advantages it has in the BVR environment

Indeed, and the IRIS-T Missile is so accurate it can even lock on, on a Match and could track the Raptor without any problem.

Quote:
Indeed, it looks like the F-22 tends to lose too much energy when using thrust vectoring (TV): TV can be useful to enable a rapid direction change without losing sight of the adversary but, unless the Raptor can manage to immediately get in the proper position to score a kill, the energy it loses makes the then slow moving stealth combat plane quite vulnerable.

I did find this phrases very interesting. That's concludes with what Typhoon pilots reported and truly the Typhoon masters:

High-G Supersonic Maneuvers without loosing much energy. German Pilots reported that a 6 km radius can be flown at 6G and 1.2Mach without loosing energy.

It appears the Raptor not being as agile at supersonic speeds as all assumed and TVC is not always useful apart from airshows.



“Faliure is not an option.”
User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 879 posts, RR: 12
Reply 7, posted (2 years 4 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 12678 times:

Quoting autothrust (Reply 6):
Sorry that's nonsense. First the quote refers to the Typhoon proved to be better without external tanks and not without ordenance.

For most QRA and Missions the Typhoon has enough range.
With 2 BVR and 4 WVR Missiles the Typhoon is still capable to supercruise with Mach 1,2 at 10.973 m or

to accelerate from 200 Kts (~370 km/h) to Mach 1 (~1.240 km/h) in : 30 Sec.
from Mach 0,9 (~951 km/h) to 1,2 (~1.267 km/h) in 40 Sek.

Two things. The quote basically said that the two planes were roughly equal in a WVR environment, not that the EF was better. It also was not really clear exactly what slicked off meant as no one explicitly states if weapons were carried or not. As the purpose was dissimilar training it is quite possible both sides were carrying nothing to maximize the challenge for one side or the other.

There is not good information out there on the pylon loadings of Eurofighter (it is classified but you can get the figures for the F-35 so go figure) so we don't really know what sort of agility limits they impose. We do know that many Russian fighters use a doctrine of dumping their BVR missiles going into a WVR turning fight due to the limitations imposed by carrying them.

Second, on the fuel tanks that is all well and good assuming you know the exact range you will need to go to perform you air defense mission and have time to remove the external tanks beforehand. If you are flying an air defense mission to keep an aggressor out the fuel tanks are not an issue. They are a major issue in offensive air superiority missions, which the Raptor is really designed for. Just different aircraft that do different things.

I think the difference in capability is well illustrated by the load out you offered for super cruise flight for the EF. The Raptor does the same thing only faster, higher and with very low observability while carrying 6 BVR missiles and 2 WVR missiles. One is a heavy fighter and the other is really much more in the F-18 class as far as weight goes.

Quoting autothrust (Reply 6):

It appears the Raptor not being as agile at supersonic speeds as all assumed and TVC is not always useful apart from airshows.

As with all such things it depends heavily on the specifics. I do agree on TVC but I think the Raptor got it right for its primary flight regime which is high and fast. The pitch control is useful for doing some things up there. All aspect TVC is a waste of time in my view and frankly I would not do any if it was going to cost very much. There are other things that are far more important.



My general opinion on the two planes is basically this. Both are optimized for their customers. Europe badly needed a fighter to get back in the game in the late 80's and 90's. The Tornado was not really a fighter in that sense and Europe (minus France) risked being basically locked out of the fighter building business if they did nothing. The Eurofighter takes nice, incremental steps forward from 4th generation fighters basically getting you F-15/SU-27 plus performance in an F-18 sized package. The main issue with this is that it happened 20 plus years after some of those aircraft entered service. Nonetheless it is a very nice aircraft that you would feel comfortable taking on anything in the 4th generation with depending on your training and support.

The F-22 is a bit of a different animal. I would not feel all that comfortable flying any 4th generation fighter against them. I might get lucky and get close enough to turn and fight with them. But the chances are also pretty good that I die without knowing what was shooting at me as well. In particular the USAF and the F-22's, unless time is a pressing issue, really are not forced to fight me on terms where I can have success unless they elect to. As part of the overall USAF strategy they really do fit in just about perfectly.

The US military will likely look to impose a duality choice on its opponents because it has the capability to do so. It has made an obvious effort to increase its standoff capabilities to the point that it can now saturate an area with hundreds of cruise missiles and standoff weapons. A single SSGN along with two squadrons of B-1's can deliver well over 700 cruise missiles in a single strike if needed. That does not even really add in a CVBG throwing in its own TLAM's or its aircraft lobbing JSOW's and SLAM-ER's at you. Or the USAF supplementing their long range assets with F-16's carrying even more standoff ordinance. Or B-2's for that matter. There has been a lot invested in this capability and the basic reason behind it is to gain quick control of the air environment. With multiple standoff weapons inbound for your shelters, airfields, radars and command and control you have to come off the ground to try and stop them. When you start radiating and shooting at the inbound weapons you are going to make yourself a target for the F-22 that you don't really have time to notice.

In that regards the USAF is a much different animal to deal with than most European Air Forces. The F-22, for all its capabilities, is really the least of anyone's worries as the long range strike capability of the US is going to allow it to hold your force at threat on the ground. The USAF for the most part can dictate the terms of the engagement by doing this. This makes achieving that intercept on the F-22's operating in the forward edge of the fight all the more difficult because just as the German commander said, his guys could do everything right and not get within realistic firing range for a IR missile. In the real world you are likely dealing with far more stress and far less information about what is happening than you had at Red Flag.


User currently offlineautothrust From Switzerland, joined Jun 2006, 1595 posts, RR: 9
Reply 8, posted (2 years 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 12647 times:

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 7):
The quote basically said that the two planes were roughly equal in a WVR environment, not that the EF was better.

Let's reread the article:

in the WVR (Within Visual Range) arena, the Eurofighter not only held its own, but proved to be better than the Raptor.

the Typhoons scored several Raptor kills during the Red Flag Alaska.

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 7):
It also was not really clear exactly what slicked off meant as no one explicitly states if weapons were carried or not.

And you and the crowd asssumed they used the Typhoon Red FLAG without weapons.  
Quoting BigJKU (Reply 7):
It also was not really clear exactly what slicked off meant as no one explicitly states if weapons were carried or not.

I'ts pretty obvious, how else could the Typhoon score a kill against the F-22 . Maybe with the Gun?

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 7):
There is not good information out there on the pylon loadings of Eurofighter

Not true, you just won't find it in the english speaking websites.

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 7):
They are a major issue in offensive air superiority missions, which the Raptor is really designed for.

True it was designed for this, the Typhoon was designed for QRA missions. That's why the F-22 is better in the BVR.

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 7):
Just different aircraft that do different things.

Agreed.

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 7):
The Raptor does the same thing only faster, higher and with very low observability

Not always true. From Ground the Typhoon has better performance, higher acceleration. Also service ceilling is marginally higher and with OBOGS problematics a nogo.

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 7):
while carrying 6 BVR missiles and 2 WVR missiles.

True, but the Typhoon has 15 Hardpoints for Weapons and they are integrated/recessed into the fuselage to not worsen the RCS and aerodynamics to much.

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 7):
The Eurofighter takes nice, incremental steps forward from 4th generation fighters basically getting you F-15/SU-27 plus performance in an F-18 sized package.

Sorry to say but that's the most ignorant post i have readed from you.

I think you have not really an idea about the capabilities from the plane and you downplay it by a great deal because your bias. How could a incremental F-18 package with F-15 plus performance win over the SU-35,F-16-F-15,F-18, F-22, Mirage?    banghead   banghead   banghead   banghead 

[Edited 2012-08-03 07:00:26]


“Faliure is not an option.”
User currently offlineptrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3944 posts, RR: 18
Reply 9, posted (2 years 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 12639 times:

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 7):
4th generation fighter

There are no fighter generations. It's such a crap concept. What are the five generations for you?



The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
User currently offlineautothrust From Switzerland, joined Jun 2006, 1595 posts, RR: 9
Reply 10, posted (2 years 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 12627 times:

Quoting ptrjong (Reply 9):
It's such a crap concept

It's a bullshit concept to distinguish oneself from the others because arbitrary and incremental number. It something like mine is bigger then yours.   

The truth is that nothing in modern warplanes is as black and white as some want us to believe. It's always a tradeoff and compromise.



“Faliure is not an option.”
User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 879 posts, RR: 12
Reply 11, posted (2 years 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 12622 times:

Quoting autothrust (Reply 8):
Sorry to say but that's the most ignorant post i have readed from you.

I think you have not really an idea about the capabilities about the Typhoon and you downplay it by a great deal.

Feel free to explain but there are plenty of people who feel that a fully upgraded F-15 with AESA has some advantages over the Eurofighter. I am certainly not alone in stating that the EF is much close to a 4th generation aircraft than it is to an F-22 or F-35. Its fundamental design principles are pretty much the same as all 4th generation aircraft and don't have much in all in common with 5th generation ones.


User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 879 posts, RR: 12
Reply 12, posted (2 years 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 12608 times:

Quoting ptrjong (Reply 9):
There are no fighter generations. It's such a crap concept. What are the five generations for you?

We can feel free to debate the fundamental differences to no end. I don't have any love for the generation concept but it does help clarify things in short hand rather than having to get into the long hand differences of each aircraft every time one looks to make a comparison.

I think it is simpler to answer the question of if the EF has more in common with say the F-18/F-15 or the F-22. I also think the answer if you look at it is fairly obvious.

The F-22 has internal carriage, the EF, F-18/15 don't.

The F-22 has 100N engines, the EF, F-18/15 are all in the 60-75N range.

The F-22 has a RCS an order of magnitude lower than the EF, F-18/15 (the F-15 is particularly poor here).

The EF comes closer than the others to the F-22 in terms of flight envelope but is not all the way there. The oxygen problem seems to be pretty much licked as well, it was not an oxygen problem but a g-suit problem with a fairly simple fix once it was identified.

The F-22 has AESA with a LPI mode. The F-18 and F-15 both have AESA. The EF is going to get it some day but does not have it now.

Again, all models have their positives and negatives. But I think the EF generally looks a lot more like a high end and modernized teen series fighter than it does an F-22. Do you disagree?


User currently offlineautothrust From Switzerland, joined Jun 2006, 1595 posts, RR: 9
Reply 13, posted (2 years 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 12589 times:

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 11):
Feel free to explain

No need, just do some research on the hundreds of post i made on the military forum about the Typhoon to explain.

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 11):
but there are plenty of people who feel that a fully upgraded F-15 with AESA has some advantages over the Eurofighter.

There are plenty of people who don't have any idea what they are talking from.Even the CAPTOR not being an AESA it has a advantages over any F-15 AESA Radar.

For more information do a search on a.net.



“Faliure is not an option.”
User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 879 posts, RR: 12
Reply 14, posted (2 years 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 12564 times:

Quoting autothrust (Reply 13):
There are plenty of people who don't have any idea what they are talking from.Even the CAPTOR not being an AESA it has a advantages over any F-15 AESA Radar.

For more information do a search on a.net.

I don't see anything particularly enlightening on this subject. This stuff is classified beyond the realm of anyone who would write about it on the internet for the most part but we do know the latest AN/APG-63(V)3 and AN/APG-79 are pretty modern radars (late 2000's) compared to the CAPTOR, which they are already looking to replace because foreign customers are pretty much demanding they do so.

Again, that is not saying that CAPTOR is bad (it is not) or that mechanically steered arrays don't have some advantages (they do) but it seems pretty clear the future for fighters is AESA radar across the board. The F-22 has it. EF will get it (probably). F-15's are getting it. PAK-50 is supposed to get it. F-35 will get it. New F-16's generally have it. Rafale appears to be getting it. There has to be a reason for all of this I would think.


User currently offlineptrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3944 posts, RR: 18
Reply 15, posted (2 years 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 12495 times:

I'm sure the F-22 is something of a revolutionary aircraft, that is not my point. But if you have any sense of history talking about fourth and fifth generations is just so silly.


The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 879 posts, RR: 12
Reply 16, posted (2 years 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 12490 times:

Quoting ptrjong (Reply 15):
I'm sure the F-22 is something of a revolutionary aircraft, that is not my point. But if you have any sense of history talking about fourth and fifth generations is just so silly.

As I said I tend to agree, it has however become a somewhat accepted convention. Otherwise to detail the differences you have to run through the whole gamut of things every time and that is somewhat unwieldy in a conversational sense. 5th generation is really just short-hand for the collection of characteristics that make the F-22 and F-35 different from previous fighters with the main three being internal weapons carriage, low observability and networked combat abilities, at least in my view.


User currently offlineptrjong From Netherlands, joined Mar 2005, 3944 posts, RR: 18
Reply 17, posted (2 years 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 12481 times:

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 16):
it has however become a somewhat accepted convention

Only within the US I think. And maybe you can apply it to one air force's fighters, although in the case of the USAF even that is terribly simplistic in my opnion. It certainly completely ignores foreign aircrat that happened to start in between. It's a really ignorant convention, sorry.

OK, rant over, back to topic, on which I have little to say.

Peter 



The only difference between me and a madman is that I am not mad (Salvador Dali)
User currently offlineautothrust From Switzerland, joined Jun 2006, 1595 posts, RR: 9
Reply 18, posted (2 years 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 12176 times:

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 14):
This stuff is classified beyond the realm of anyone who would write about it on the internet for the most part but we do know the latest

Not always true, there are some sources like Typhoon pilots who tells the press some unclassified stuff or from the specifications alone you get some data.

The CAPTOR Radar(if you do some research) will show you while it is a non AESA, it makes use of sophisticated technology achieves a in the NATO unrivalled ECM resistance, extremly fast scanspeeds only achieved normally trough AESA Radars plus higher range then most AESA because it doesn't loose range on the edge of the pivoting range.(doubles the range of a F-18 AN/AGP-65)

Also in comparison to other radars it can make a 3D-Picture of the battlespace together with the Sensorfusion.

Quoting BigJKU (Reply 14):
seems pretty clear the future for fighters is AESA radar

Agree, that's why the CAPTOR-E (LPI)is under way.(2015)

Quoting ptrjong (Reply 15):
But if you have any sense of history talking about fourth and fifth generations is just so silly.

So true.



“Faliure is not an option.”
User currently offlinePowerslide From Canada, joined Oct 2010, 569 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (2 years 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 12158 times:

From another side on the matter: http://elementsofpower.blogspot.com....journalism-vs-punk-journalism.html

User currently offlineBigJKU From United States of America, joined Feb 2007, 879 posts, RR: 12
Reply 20, posted (2 years 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 12049 times:

Quoting autothrust (Reply 18):
The CAPTOR Radar(if you do some research) will show you while it is a non AESA, it makes use of sophisticated technology achieves a in the NATO unrivalled ECM resistance, extremly fast scanspeeds only achieved normally trough AESA Radars plus higher range then most AESA because it doesn't loose range on the edge of the pivoting range.(doubles the range of a F-18 AN/AGP-65)

The AN/APG 65 was developed in the 1970's and entered service in 1983. The CAPTOR had an EIS of 2003. I would hope that a radar 20 years more advanced would be better considering the revolution in computer technology and electronics that has occurred since 1983. You can't really cite outperforming a radar that old as an indicator of superlative performance.

The best information I can really find in public source list the Captor with the following ranges.

CAPTOR (EF-2000 Tranch 1 and 2)

For RCS 0.0001 m2 class target: 12 km+
For RCS 0.001 m2 class target: 22 km+
For RCS 0.1 m2 class target: 70 km+
For RCS 1.0 m2 class target: 124 km+
For RCS 5.0 m2 class target: 185 km+
For RCS 10.0 m2 class target: 220 km+

And its contemporary (The AN/APG-79 which had an EIS 3 years after the CAPTOR and is an AESA radar)

APG-79 AESA (F/A-18E/F and EA-18G, Block 2 and 3)

For RCS 0.0001 m2 class target: 13 km+
For RCS 0.001 m2 class target: 22 km+
For RCS 0.1 m2 class target: 72 km+
For RCS 1.0 m2 class target: 128 km+
For RCS 5.0 m2 class target: 192 km+
For RCS 10.0 m2 class target: 228 km+

This is a fairly decent rundown of information as well. http://igorrgroup.blogspot.com/2009/...ars-for-fighters-brief-review.html

I am aware CAPTOR was designed with resistance to jamming in mind but AESA radars have resistance as an inherent part of their design, this is why people are switching to them.

The Eurofighter is no doubt a capable design and the addition of an AESA radar will improve its capability even more. But it really is not a comparable aircraft to the F-22 or the F-35 really. It does things very differently than either of those aircraft and when nations have been given the ability to acquire F-35's or Typhoons the results have been unequivocally in favor of the F-35 (Japan & Turkey both had the offers from Eurofighter group and LM to buy either and both took the F-35).

Japan in particular could have bought any aircraft it wanted from the west on very favorable terms given their stability and the likely size of an eventual order. They also are unique in not really needing the Air to Ground capabilities of the F-35 as much. They are replacing interceptors really and the Eurofighter is really designed to be a very good interceptor.

People can poo poo the idea of fighter generations (it is a clunky concept at best) but it seems fairly clear that there is a major change in capability between fighters like the F-22 and F-35 and the rest of the world at the moment. Otherwise the Russians and Chinese would not be investing the money they are in the PAK-50 and J-20 and would simply be buying the latest updated Flanker. Regardless of if one likes the 4th and 5th generation designations it seems silly to deny that many governments, all with better information than we can dream of having, see a big enough capability leap to invest billions chasing it for themselves.


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