“Based on the tremendous cost and cost overruns of the Lockheed Martin F-35, I have asked Boeing to price-out a comparable F-18 Super Hornet!” Trump tweeted Thursday.
There is no comparable F-18 Super Hornet to price-out. The F-35 has shown an ability to shoot down non-planer aircraft (non-airplane aircraft), which, I think, makes it a generation or two ahead of the F-18 Super Hornet. The F-35 is built to be a 5th generation fighter and the F-18 was built to be a 3rd generation fighter.
What gives the F-35 its designation as a 5th generation fighter (if developed–a big if), the F-35 doesn’t rely on a plane of air to maneuver on.
The F-35 maneuvers in directions other than parallel to the plane it is on and without having to change the direction of that plane in flight. Most other aircraft and all airplanes are dependent on one plane of air and maneuvers by bending that plane.
In other words, the F-35’s maneuvering is not dependent on a linear plane. The F-35 flight can be considered, in that context, to be nonlinear. It is a 5th generation fighter jet. If Trump’s administration is figuring to prepare to fight a tactical (1st generation) nuclear war as stated, then probably the F-18 Super Hornet is the machine to go for. If his administration is planning to participate in the 4th generation war we have, then they should really think about getting serious about developing the F-35.
Part of this ability of nonlinear flight of the F-35 is in its structural design. The F-35 has an interior center of mass that gives it symmetry similar to that of a flying saucer. Coupled with an engine that is virtually able to move in all directions enables the aircraft and all targeting systems to revolve around the center of mass. In that sense, the F-35 should be able to target an aircraft behind, or any other direction, as easily as it is able to locked on and destroy the aircraft in front. This seems to me, if developed, to be some kind of an advantage and what, at least in part, gives the F-35 its status as a 5th generation fighter.
The other ability of the 5th generation F-35 fighter (and there may be more) that makes it a non-nonlinear fighter depends on it hooking into the virtual world of the world wide web and connecting that world to its real world in realtime, in all directions, in all environments, and all at once.
And while the F-35 has not proven itself in simulated dog fights with fighters of lesser generation, other fighters, as far as I know, haven’t proven themselves able to fight a battle waged in 5th generation war. I think the F-35 has, at least in a small way. It was used to successfully shoot down missiles in flight.
That is the war the F-35 is created for and the war we are fighting right now today. So to me it comes down to being able to fight the war we have, or fighting the war the Trump administration apparently wants.
President-elect Donald Trump elevated his criticism of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighter today, saying he’s asked Boeing to explore pricing for an alternative to the costly fighter jet.
Now “alternative” is another narrative. In warfare or in the context of a political solution, i.e. one State/ Two State solution?