05:23 GMT14 August 2020
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    In a string of articles for The National Interest, columnist Dave Majumdar commented on the threat of Russian SAM systems to advanced American air power. Asked for comment, military aviation expert Viktor Pryadka told Sputnik that the US developments in stealth technology lag far behind Russia's creation of even more advanced air defense systems.

    According to Majumdar, the use of fourth-generation US aircraft such as Super Hornets and F-16s in the areas where modern Russian air defense systems are deployed has long become 'inexpedient,' but the newest US combat planes have no guarantees against the S-400 and upcoming S-500 air defense systems, either.

    The biggest threat to the US's new planes, the expert hinted, would be a full-scale echeloned Russian air defense network, focused specifically on the detection of stealth targets.

    Speaking to Radio Sputnik, Viktor Pryadka, military expert and director of Avintel Aviation Technologies Alliance, suggested that development of US stealth systems is already significantly behind the creation of Russian air defense systems designed to defeat them. This, he added, was something of a natural process.

    "While the US developed the stealth F-22 and F-35s (and before them was the stealth F-117, which was shot down in Yugoslavia by an anti-aircraft system developed in the 1950s), the dynamics of development of anti-aircraft systems proceeded at a more rapid pace," the analyst explained.

    "Therefore, by the time the [new] aircraft actually hits the production line, it already has a clear 'antidote' which can shoot it down without any problems. Originally, it was planned for [US] stealth aircraft to have the ability to cruise at supersonic speeds. In this case, the plane's configuration was meant to scatter radio waves on radar systems, making the visible area so small that the aircraft may be mistaken for a large bird. But given that work on new air defense systems has also progressed, the whole concept has not justified itself," Pryadka noted.

    "Additionally, of course, the cost of producing stealth aircraft significantly exceeds the cost of missiles which can knock them out of the sky," he added.

    Furthermore, Pryadka recalled that the F-35 has already been classified by many US observers as a 'national disaster'. "Its development program is now limping along, due to delays. The concept for the plane's use and the program itself have already become somewhat outdated. Now, something must be done with the program. The question arises: should a new program be started – one which takes account of modern air defense systems and technologies?" 


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