Such diverse demands, however, come at a heavy price: The F-35 in its current form has less armament, shorter range, less manoeuvrability, a slower rate of climb and lower speeds than many of the specialist aircraft it is supposed to replace.”
“In ‘stealth’ mode, the F-35 can carry only two bombs and two anti-aircraft missiles. Its potentially equally sneaky opponents appear to be able to carry up to eight.
In ‘non-stealth’ mode, the all-in-one F-35 has fittings to carry seven external objects. Its faster, more manoeuvrable and longer-ranged specialist opponents can carry double that.
None of these differences can be improved through upgrades.”
“However, some analysts say even the most modern air-to-air missiles only have a 50-50 chance of hitting a supersonic target. The F-35 can launch a single salvo of two missiles. Russias 4.5th Generation Su 27 Flanker can fire four salvos of three different varieties of missile — making them all that much harder to confuse and dodge.”
“For the F-35, compromise — as well as cost — has resulted in less than optimal stealth characteristics. It’s ‘round’ engine nozzle is said to be a beacon for radar from behind — though it does allow a degree of ‘directional thrust’ that the stealthy square alternative does not. The most modern Russian and Chinese jets have similar flexible, vectored-thrust nozzles to enhance their manoeuvrability.
Most anti-radar technology is effective at deflecting short wavelength sensors (essentially high-pitch). Lower wavelengths, though, are much harder to bounce away — and that’s the direction Russia’s modern fighter-based radars appear to be headed.
The other option is to use technology other than radar, such as infra-red.
Some defence industry experts express the fear that the F-35 could soon be detectable at ranges of up to 90km.”
“…it’s the aircraft’s ultra-advanced “artificial intelligence” that is causing the most concern. Its self-diagnostic system is reportedly becoming notorious for shutting the aircraft down because it “disagrees” with what mechanics have been doing — even to the point of refusing to accept human overrides.”