China has a New 5th Gen. Fighter!
Look out World!!! China is closer than previously thought to producing a 5th Gen. fighter jet capable of rivaling the F-22 Raptor and F-35 JSF. This revelation makes the U.S. Government’s decision to cancel further orders of F-22 Raptors in favor of inferior and allegedly cheaper F-35’s seem shortsighted.
Defense experts believe nothing in production or on the horizon is capable of surpassing the F-22, but the slower single engine, less stealthy F-35 is another matter. Many nations participating in the JSF program were counting on the F-35 as a way to provide superior air capability against any potential threats, but with Russia and China quickly developing their own 5th generation aircraft, the value of the F-35 is in question.
The F-35 has been plagued by cost overruns and delays as well. The current price tag of the F-35 is around $150 million dollars each, up from the original estimates of $55 million dollars per unit. The far superior F-22 is being produced at around $360 million per unit, mainly because production has been capped at 180 planes, and the cost of R&D is being spread out over far fewer planes. If production of F-22’s were to be resumed it is believed the planes could be produced for about $220 million per unit.
The F-35 was a much more enticing platform when it meant that a F-22 could be traded for three or four F-35’s, but now that F-35’s are being produced for around $150 million when F-22’s could be produced for less than double the amount, the F-35 isn’t the low cost alternative it once was. The desire for the F-35 is further lessened by the appearance of new aircraft like the Chinese J-20/J-xx and the Russian Su-50…