Don’t assume the newer US aircraft flown in these ‘competitions’ are performing to their maximum capabilities when they ‘lose’ to an earlier generation aircraft.
As for SAAB making the world’s best fighter jets, I would have to disagree to a certain extent. SAAB makes excellent fighter jets that are well-suited for Sweden’s defense needs (quick scramble, dispersed infrastructure, the need and ability to use roadways for runways, etc.) but have limited survivability in a modern air combat environment. (Its combat radius is less than 500 miles which, again, is just fine for defending Sweden from a potential attack from across the Baltic or Gulf of Bothnia.)
Countermeasures are helpful but the JAS-39 Gripen, Sweden’s latest fighter aircraft, was developed in the early-1980s and has design characteristics typical of Euro-aircraft design at the time (delta wing, canards, external weapons carriage, etc.). It, like the Euro Typhoon and Dassault Rafale, light up like Christmas trees on radar. ‘Look! I’m over here! Kill me!’
The modern SAM and AAM environment is lethal to them though, again, some of those deficiencies can be overcome with a well-trained and motivated pilot using upgraded radars in his/her aircraft tied in to an AWACS-like command system.
In any event, one would have to assume the Swedes, like everyone else, is continually improving their aircraft defensive technology so there is probably a JAS-X somewhere in the pipeline.
->Posting last edited on Tue, 14 May 2019 05:54:47.Posts in this Thread:
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