Military Review

Bigger is better: the fifth generation of wilderness walks

31

The word combination "elephant walk" has long taken root in the American lexicon. It means working out the control of a large number of aircraft of the same type in close formation: in this case, the takeoff of the machines is carried out at a small interval. The exercise allows you to practice the skills of pilots and technical personnel in case it is necessary to fly a large number of aircraft into the sky as soon as possible. Recently, the United States is increasingly using the latest fifth-generation fighters in such exercises.


Raptors rush into battle


In March 2019, the United States Air Force decided once again to demonstrate potential of the first in stories the fifth generation serial fighter - F-22 Raptor. Immediately 24 fighters of the 3rd Wing of the US Air Force, which is based in Elmendorf (Alaska), went on an elephant ride. In addition to them, the E-3 Sentry early warning aircraft and the C-17 Globemaster III transport aircraft took part in the training.


As experts then noted, the importance of the exercise is due to the fact that the pilots of this wing will be among the first who, in case of danger, will go to the risk zone in the Pacific region. In addition, F-22 fighters are at the forefront of American air defense for a large part of a strategically important air "shield" directed primarily towards Russia.

In a broader sense, the exercises served as a reminder to the world that the United States has long and very successfully operated what is probably the most powerful of the fifth generation serial fighters. In total, we recall that the United States produced 187 serial F-22s. To date, production has been closed: rumors about its resumption, in all likelihood, do not correspond to the truth.

A show of force


Everyone remembers well the American-Iranian controversy caused at the beginning of last year by the assassination of Lieutenant General and Commander of the Al-Quds Special Forces in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Qasem Soleimani. After the controversy grew, the Americans decided to flex their muscles.


Among the demonstrations of force were exercises involving a large number of F-35A, conducted in January 2020. Then, 52 of the fifth generation F-35A Lightning II fighters of the 388th and 419th fighter wings of the US Air Force from Hill airbase (Utah) took off immediately on an elephant ride. Both wings conducted similar exercises in November 2018 with the participation of three dozen aircraft, which was also impressive, but the simultaneous participation of 52 invisibles is more impressive than ever.

On the other hand, the large number of F-35s in one photo is less and less surprising. As of the beginning of 2021, over 600 of these machines were produced, and their total number should exceed three thousand. To date, in addition to the F-35A version for the US Air Force and the American allies, two other modifications have been commissioned - the F-35B with a short take-off and vertical landing, and the deck-based F-35C.

Marines at the ready


It's not just the US Air Force that is conducting impressive exercises with fifth-generation fighters. In 2019, the Marine Corps showed a willingness to fly numerous F-35Bs. The exercises affected 20 aircraft of the VMFAT-501 squadron.


The exercises were held at the Beaufort Marine Air Force Base. The service said:

The safe launch and recovery of the aircraft confirms the squadron's commitment to achieving and maintaining the highest level of preparedness to train the next generation of F-35B pilots from the United States Marine Corps and partner countries.

This "elephant ride" was the first training of its kind for the USMC F-35B. The event became an important milestone also because this version of the fighter, in terms of the sum of its indicators, is the most technically complex and expensive. It is also important to note that this aircraft will very soon become the basis of the aviation wing of the British aircraft carrier strike group, based on the new aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth.

Together


In December last year, the F-35 pilots again made themselves felt. This time, the United States conducted an exercise at the Eilson military base in Alaska, using 18 fifth generation stealth fighters and 12 F-16 Fighting Falcon 354 fighter aircraft. The fighters were escorted by two KC-135 Stratotankers of the 168th National Guard Wing.


This came shortly after Russian and Chinese bombers conducted joint patrols over the western Pacific, demonstrating the increasingly close military ties between Beijing and Moscow. A related statement from the Americans says:

We are doing this despite the coronavirus, despite the extreme weather conditions, and despite the fact that this is one of the shortest days of the year.

Obviously, even in the distant future, fifth-generation fighters will have to serve side-by-side with the machines of the previous generation - the fourth. Therefore, interaction between different platforms can be one of the key aspects of the success of a given operation.

Not only the USA


China is increasingly using its new fifth-generation Chengdu J-20 fighters, which were commissioned back in 2017, in the exercises. It must be said that such a rate of development and construction of the PRC of a new fighter ten years ago seemed "fantastic". In 2019, an interesting photo of joint flights of the J-20 was posted on the Web, which a number of observers compared to the American "elephant walks" (in total, 15 new machines were identified then).


Experts estimate the total number of J-20 built in different years at about fifty units. This includes not only the first series aircraft, but also pre-production samples and prototypes of the fifth generation fighter. Note that nowadays there are few doubts that the Chengdu J-20 will become a truly production car. And perhaps the basis of the PRC Air Force.

With hope for the future


In addition to the US and China, there is another country that produces its own fifth generation fighter. This is Russia. However, we may not be able to see the joint flight of a large number of domestic Su-57s soon: the first production (actually the second, since the very first production fighter crashed last year) was received by the Aerospace Forces only in December.

Earlier, as part of MAKS-2019, we saw demonstration flights of four prototypes of the Su-57 fighter at once, which undoubtedly became the "highlight" of the flight program. In addition, a prototype of a fighter has recently performed flights together with an experienced strike UAV "Okhotnik".


In any case, the real strength tests of the Su-57 are still ahead. Recall that within the framework of the contract concluded in 2019, the Russian Aerospace Forces must supply 2028 Su-76 fighters by 57. Most likely, this will not be the last batch of "invisibles" that the Ministry of Defense will receive.
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  1. Outsider
    Outsider 25 January 2021 18: 08
    +2
    - The legate is well done!
    He was forced to lie just once:
    In addition to the US and China, there is another country that produces its own fifth generation fighter. This is Russia.
    1. Ingenegr
      Ingenegr 25 January 2021 23: 31
      +7
      The 1: 1 score for almost two years does not yet allow us to talk about serious mass production.
      1. A1845
        A1845 26 January 2021 13: 27
        +4
        Russian Aerospace Forces should deliver 2028 Su-76 fighters by 57

        if you collect all such "must" lately, you get just space winked
    2. yehat2
      yehat2 27 January 2021 11: 14
      +2
      5th generation aircraft prototypes are in Japan (1 experimental piece), in Germany (but it’s not about stealth at all, it’s about the thrust vector, etc.), 2 English prototypes, 1 Iranian, the Indians were motivated, but in my opinion nothing will come of it).
      Let me remind you that there are no 5th generation criteria. Amers have them alone, China has others, we have third.
  2. paul3390
    paul3390 25 January 2021 18: 40
    +2
    I don’t know, it still seems to me that it’s better to lick the future basic aircraft on tests than to release a damp car and then feverishly patch it. The motives of the amers are not clear, they had money on fire, if they pulled the F-35 for a couple of years, they could have covered up the program. The Chinese are also understandable - most of their aircraft fleet is extremely outdated, they need to urgently change it for at least something. But we - in the presence of the Su-35, etc., there is no need to tear the claws too much .. Although we slow down a lot - the same is not a trace ..
    1. OgnennyiKotik
      OgnennyiKotik 25 January 2021 19: 04
      +4
      Quote: paul3390
      that the future base plane would be better licked off during trials than letting out a crude car and then feverishly patching it up.

      They did just that, licked it off in trial operation, solved the problems and are successfully mass-producing. There is only one question left, whether the F16 will be outnumbered or not.
      1. KCA
        KCA 26 January 2021 03: 47
        +1
        Then why did the Pentagon find 960 technical flaws, of which more than a hundred were recognized as critical, on a serial aircraft that was licked in trial operation? It was not our sofa experts who decided so, but the American military themselves.
        1. OgnennyiKotik
          OgnennyiKotik 26 January 2021 08: 31
          +2
          Quote: KCA
          Then why did the Pentagon find 960 technical flaws, of which more than a hundred were recognized as critical, in a serial aircraft that was licked in trial operation?

          Why did you find it? Because there are 960 technical flaws, that's why they found it. It seems logical.
          Will they all be fixed? Of course not.
          Will it affect anything? Of course not.
          In reality, each product has thousands of shortcomings, hundreds of them potentially critical (this is what the paragraph sounds like, critical ones have been corrected). The F-15/16/18, Su-27/30/35/57, etc. have no less of them. The question is, how many are there? When we get the answer, then we can judge the F35.
          You can talk about these 960 shortcomings as much as you like, when information about other aircraft was classified.
          Only there are real facts.
          More than 35 F-600s have been produced, the queue is 5-6 years ahead, the countries that bought them are re-ordering, which are refused sale, they are fighting to get them, it successfully performs side tasks, etc.
          1. Illanatol
            Illanatol April 4 2021 09: 07
            0
            Well, the Yankees know how to impose their wares on customers, whoever argues.
            Strictly speaking, such goods are ordered not by countries, but by "local elites". Who would refuse to cut a fat rollback on such an expensive "wunderwaffle"?
            Is he successfully solving combat missions? Bombing the Papuans? Old "phantoms" can cope with this.
            Or maybe he showed himself successfully in aerial battles? Examples in the studio!
            Nothing is known about the combat losses of the "raptors", but non-combat losses are available. Sadness, however :)
    2. The eye of the crying
      The eye of the crying 25 January 2021 19: 06
      +2
      Quote: paul3390
      it would be better to lick the future base aircraft during tests than to release a raw car and then feverishly patch


      In your opinion, the Su-57 was "licked off during testing"? Actually, the first serial copy crashed.
      1. paul3390
        paul3390 25 January 2021 19: 29
        -3
        And - what with that ?? Is it a revelation for you that experienced aircraft often fight? And that this is one of the aspects of licking? I will upset you even more - even serials fall. And oh, horror - American too ..
        1. The eye of the crying
          The eye of the crying 25 January 2021 19: 31
          0
          Quote: paul3390
          And - what with that ??


          The fact that "licked" is bad.

          Quote: paul3390
          Is it a revelation for you that experienced aircraft often beat?


          Did you notice the word "serial"? A serial plane crashed.
          1. Lad
            Lad 26 January 2021 23: 28
            0
            Exactly.
            It's just that the approach and conditions are different.
            If in Russia, with so many Su-57s produced, these are already of the "serial" type, then in the states of 600 aircraft these are not yet serial. Before the New Year, I once read that the decision on the serial production of the F-35 has not yet been made. 600 planes are a trifle for them.

            In the same way as the conditions of publicity with the number of shortcomings of the F-35.
            All planes have disadvantages. But in Russia everything is closed otherwise the "image" will suffer.
            And the Americans are open, they do not hide, they do not care what someone finds out. Experts already understand all this.
            And everyone else can write that the F-35 is 960 times worse than the Su-57 because it has 960 flaws, and the Su-57 has none.
    3. Ka-52
      Ka-52 26 January 2021 05: 25
      -1
      The motives of the amers are not clear, they had money on fire, if they pulled the F-35 for a couple of years, they could have covered up the program.

      yes, everything is clear. Lighting is LM's marketing product. With full use of the American administrative resource for the imposition of this aircraft on the aborigines. Therefore, the release of the product on the market (while the pie is hot, it must be sold) was so sudden. Advertising is a tool of trade, not combat capability
      1. Evgeny Goncharov (smoogg)
        Evgeny Goncharov (smoogg) 27 January 2021 13: 12
        0
        Do the natives buy airplanes for palm oil?
  3. rocket757
    rocket757 25 January 2021 18: 51
    0
    A show of force

    If there is power, they will demonstrate it.
    So far so, and then who knows, what should they decide on?
  4. Ros 56
    Ros 56 25 January 2021 19: 05
    -4
    Oh, these storytellers. fellow
  5. Shahno
    Shahno 25 January 2021 19: 07
    -2
    // On the other hand, the large number of F-35s in one photo is less and less surprising. As of the beginning of 2021, over 600 of these machines were produced, and their total number should exceed three thousand. To date, in addition to the F-35A version for the US Air Force and the American allies, two other modifications have been commissioned - the F-35B with a short take-off and vertical landing, and the deck-based F-35C. //
    And I heard in foreign media that everything is bad ... There are hundreds of defects there.
    Ps. Only ours do not know, probably out of spite .... They carry out flights for themselves. Recently, even our Syrian opponents saw with their own eyes the wreckage of a mini GBU ...
  6. Bow
    Bow 25 January 2021 23: 15
    +1
    The author is a rather impressionable character.
    This is my impression.
  7. Runway
    Runway 25 January 2021 23: 57
    +3
    The author is trying to discover America - the backlog of the Air Force of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation in the number of 5th generation aircraft put into operation.
    Fastening the "elephant walk" (as training FIRST of all, aimed at practicing the withdrawal of EOS from under the blow and only then at their massive use) is a wrapper of a bitter pill.
    1. Ka-52
      Ka-52 26 January 2021 05: 10
      -2
      Fastening the "elephant walk" (as training FIRST of all, aimed at practicing the withdrawal of EOS from under the blow and only then at their massive use) is a wrapper of a bitter pill.

      all this nonsense, not a pill. Such exercises are planned in advance, the pilots have time to arrive at the airfield, undergo training, briefing, go into readiness for take-off and start, taxi, and take off at the signal. The flight time of an ICBM is about 25 minutes (even less in the case of an SLBM). During this time, no one will have time to complete all the above actions. And all this icon of American patriots from the countries of the former USSR will burn to the edren hair directly in their hangars and caponiers
      1. Runway
        Runway 26 January 2021 05: 22
        +2
        Everybody sees vigorous blows (sudden and from a 12-mile zone).
        Dispersion is not a way out of the blow?
        How it is done - a massive rise or lazy onboard - question №126.
        Carrying out the exercise in peace and readiness during a special period / during the war are two big differences.
        1. Ka-52
          Ka-52 26 January 2021 05: 37
          +2
          Dispersion is not a way out of the blow?
          How it is done - a massive rise or lazy onboard - question №126.

          sorry, but unlike you, I saw with my own eyes the massive flight of TBAP. and I know how long it takes for all the preparation ahead. In your alternate universe, are pilots sitting 7/24 in ready-to-fly mode? Yeah, this was only on the hottest days of the Caribbean crisis. It is impossible to keep the flight crew in the low start position for long. So, until the collection team reaches them, until they arrive at the regiment, until they climb into the VVK, while taxiing, taking off, collecting in the air and leaving the airport zone - the Siberian animal will come to them, not an elephant ride.
          Training is certainly good, there is no superfluous, but your admiration for the Americans does not touch me.
          If an attack is predicted as the most likely, then it is more profitable to disperse aviation, rather than collecting it on one runway. fool
          1. Runway
            Runway 26 January 2021 09: 16
            0
            You more accurately "turn" lay on the account of admiration and people will be drawn to you.
            If you are reading "diagonally", slowly read my last sentence in the previous post. There it is written in black and white.
            In contrast to the "white bone" had to serve 7/24 (excluding vacation).
            1. Ka-52
              Ka-52 26 January 2021 09: 39
              0
              If you are reading "diagonally", slowly read my last sentence in the previous post. There it is written in black and white.

              you can read at least diagonally, at least along a chord. Nonsense is written there. There is no difference between curriculum and combat. Working out interaction in a group, as part of a flight, squadrons can be carried out according to an individual flight plan, but if we are talking about exercises, then everything is "according to combat." But even if it is in your opinion (like we are in no hurry, through a stump-deck), this does not cancel what I have written - not dispersed aircraft will most likely be destroyed at their air bases during a nuclear exchange of strikes. And after it, the fact that some of the sides had a dozen or two more planes does not really matter.
              In contrast to the "white bone" had to serve 7/24 (excluding vacation).

              each serves in his own way. The ensign at the fuel and lubricants warehouse also serves laughing taking into account that he pushes fuel to the left at night, then exactly 7/24 laughing
          2. Intruder
            Intruder 26 January 2021 16: 37
            -1
            sorry, but unlike you, I saw with my own eyes the massive flight of TBAP. and I know how long it takes for all the preparation ahead. In your alternate universe, are pilots sitting 7/24 in ready-to-fly mode? Yeah, this was only on the hottest days of the Caribbean crisis. It is impossible to keep the flight crew in the low start position for long. So, until the collection team reaches them, until they arrive at the regiment, until they climb into the VVK, while taxiing, taking off, collecting in the air and leaving the airport zone - the Siberian animal will come to them, not an elephant ride.
            Well, about the flight crew, surprisingly I agree with you :)))
            but regarding the Siberian scribe and his rapid arrival at the territory of the US bases, it will very quickly and not 100% reach the target, although in the complete absence of a reaction "by early detection" from Norad, the orbital groupings immediately extinguished, all means of the Air Force and The Navy in the Pacific and Atlantic, somehow a very fantastic situation, so that this could even be assumed in the Russian Federation and NATO !? All the same, the launch of ICBMs and even suddenly, surprisingly, SLBMs, which managed to penetrate into the "quiet" under the ice of the Arctic in the Greenland region, is not a very bright option for the 3rd World War, or rather the beginning of a global conflict over cities: Washington and Moscow !! !
          3. The eye of the crying
            The eye of the crying 26 January 2021 23: 31
            -1
            Quote: Ka-52
            In your alternate universe, are pilots sitting 7/24 in ready-to-fly mode? Yeah, this was only on the hottest days of the Caribbean crisis.


            Well, that is, it will be so in the hot stage of the crisis.
  8. Nestor Vlakhovski
    Nestor Vlakhovski 26 January 2021 03: 52
    +2
    The F-35 became the backbone of the US Air Force, which is already a fait accompli.
    It is hardly probable that the ordinary exercises of the combatant units should cause such a violent reaction abroad.
  9. Rufat
    Rufat 26 January 2021 15: 16
    -5
    All American technology is rubbish. Russian most modern
    1. Intruder
      Intruder 26 January 2021 16: 38
      +4
      All American technology is rubbish. Russian most modern
      exactly, it's all straight and only Russian !? drinks
  10. AntiAleks
    AntiAleks 31 March 2021 11: 54
    0
    "Videoconferencing must by 2028" ... well.
    The site should be renamed to "nostradamus review".