The amount of information on this new American combat aircraft is simply off scale. They write about it constantly, listing numerous problems that have arisen during its creation. Problems, as it turned out, he literally with everything: with a glider, with an engine, with software, a bailout system, a helmet. There are many articles on this topic, they appear fairly regularly, so write on this The topic is not so interesting. It is difficult to say something fundamentally new.
Another thing is surprising: practically the question remains behind the scenes of what it means for the US military and in general for the United States of America. In any case, they talk about this much less. And the topic is very important. In fact, how did American domination begin? It, if anyone does not remember, was achieved at the end of WWII. World War I was not enough, but after 1945, the world became American in many ways. And it was during the Second World War that the star of the United States armed forces rose. But why did she come up? What was the root cause?
The American land army was, is and will remain best case scenario middling. The American fleet was very good, but the Japanese fleet was not much inferior to it in quality. Aviation. That's where you need to look for the key to the success of the Americans. American fighters won air superiority (there were a lot of them, and they were among the best), and American bombers wiped entire cities from the air. So remove this component of the American armed forces, and what remains? So they always fought: against Japan, Germany, North Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Yugoslavia. Only in this way, and nothing else.
They do not have a strong ground army capable of crushing the enemy. Therefore, their bomber aircraft rained down an endless stream of bombs on Dresden and Tokyo, Hanoi and Baghdad, Tripoli and Belgrade. Such is the "conveyor". I know that you will immediately remember a lot of articles and photos about American Tanks, infantry, special forces, etc. All this is true, but all this plays a supporting role. The main blow was almost always delivered from the air. Just as the British Empire was unthinkable without Royal Navy, the United States was unthinkable without the USAF. A kind of key element. The USA without major fighters is all that the British Empire has forgotten how to build modern battleships and cruisers.
This is not a failure - it is a full-blown catastrophe. And this is not an exaggeration: the strength of the United States is that from their numerous air bases they control most of the airspace over this planet. And their fighters, starting with the Second World War, were among the best, if not the best. Is always. And this period is over. Why do I speak with such confidence, because by this time it has finally become clear: the F-35 "will not fly." That is, it will not be the workhorse of the Air Force. And the more they have nothing and is not expected. They put everything on this card, and they were not lucky. Their allies were unlucky: they were counting on the “magical” F-35.
No, of course, there is something and they, or rather it was. Eurofighter Typhoon, Gripen NG, Rafale, for example. But somehow these fighters did not go to the world market. I am not an expert, of course, but the fact is indicative. Japan is doing something there ... But mostly the “free world” was counting on an American toy. England, Norway, Canada, Turkey, Israel, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Holland ... It did not work out. And what they arm now? Fighter - the basis of modern armed forces. F-22 Americans categorically refuse to sell. And in general, everything is dull with him and it is not clear how good he is. Production discontinued.
And there are those in modern America who are fighting for F-35, and there are those who are fighting for the revival of F-22 and the lifting of export restrictions. Such is the struggle of the "blunt-tips" with the "pointed-points." The thing is that both aircraft are insanely expensive, complex and with a lot of technical problems. No, of course, the time of the PRC with a huge number of inexpensive and primitive shelves have passed forever. Airplanes are less in number, they are more expensive ... But not to the same extent! Can not combat aircraft cost a lot. It can not be literally "worth its weight in gold." In the war somehow knock. And here we have an ordinary fighter turns into a kind of analogue dreadnought - the cost of loss.
The problem is that for most small and medium-sized countries, aircraft such as the F-35 and F-22 are simply not available at cost. There was a period in the sea storieswhen, in principle, even a small state could acquire a sailing battleship. Expensive, but tolerable. With the emergence of metal monsters at the turn of the XIX-XX centuries, it is a thing of the past. Only a great power could afford a normal fleet. Here is something like that. The figures for cost are very conditional, but give up to 400 million dollars for the 1 (one) fighter (According to the United States Central Control Office (GAO), at the end of 2010, the total price of one F-22 aircraft reached 411,7 million dollars) ... It is somehow cruel. And very heavy for most countries. F-35 turned out not much cheaper. And who can afford them? In addition to the armies of the United States and Japan, there are dozens of much poorer armies. What should they rearm?
And now there are plans to extend the production of F-16. By the way - a great plane! Sorry, outdated a bit. After all, he made his first flight more than forty years ago. And again in battle! Or not, not so: “Only old men go to battle ...” And there is nothing more to offer the Americans. They have no other development. You see, the epic file F-35 is a terrible political catastrophe. It can not cover up. Americans formally claim a leading role on this planet, and quite frankly and without embarrassment to anyone. Last but not least, this confidence is based on the "superiority of Western technologies." And where is it, this superiority?
What planes can they offer to the leader of a poor third world country? For example? And as recent wars have shown, such a fighter or a fighter-bomber is the basis of the armed forces (except for the case of Donbass). They gain air supremacy, they inflict the lion's share of strikes on the enemy. The main combat unit. No, of course, by themselves, they do not win the war, only in conjunction, but without them - no way. And what can Americans offer their friends? The mockery is that just Russia can offer a lot of modifications of the MiG-29 and Su-27. All these years in Russia have been developing something within the framework of the 4 generation. And there are very, very good cars. For a reasonable price. The Americans put everything on one "super mega fighter". And he did not shoot. And now what i can do?
Why do I say with such confidence that he did not shoot? The thing is that if the technical project is stretched endlessly and requires more and more money and improvements, then there is a suspicion that the original project itself is a dead end. So it happens - everywhere and always, in order to invent prototypes: painted, assembled in metal, checked, spat and disassembled. And they forgot. The thing is that any constructor (group of designers) may be mistaken. All this turns out to be experienced models. Most projects stop to the stage of mass production. Tried - did not work. There is nothing terrible in it - NTP assumes such situations, we after all learn to build NEW planes, on new principles.
As you know, for F-35, instead of prototypes, they focused on computer modeling. A model - they are such models, they have badly twisted nuts do not fall out. And here we have almost two hundred unsuccessful prototypes. What had to be eliminated at the design stage went into series. And now - “late to drink Borjomi”. It is difficult for a person, far from the technology (financier or congressman), to understand that the project of a new product can be initially dead-end. And then that it can not be “finalized”, for any money, it is easier to start anew. If the project at the stage of incarnation in the metal is detected a the number of "holes" and inconsistencies - the project must be thrown into the basket. Then, prototypes are needed, then tests are needed, in which experienced pilots often die. No other way.
But in the US in 1991, the “end of the Fukuyama story” came. USSR disappeared, the Warsaw Pact, too. America won all. Well, or so it seemed to someone from Washington politicians. Therefore, the main in the design of the new fighter steel internal disassembly in high offices. Opponent brilliantly absent. Just remember the 90-s: Russia has fallen into complete nonentity, its former allies trooped rushed into NATO. It was then that the requirements for the new fighter of the “new era of American supremacy” were developed ... It is not surprising that administrative and political inquiries won over purely military interests: the fighter should have been super powerful, super modern and super versatile. Kinda Absolute weapon. At least on paper.
The whole trouble with F-35 was that at the time of the start of the development of the new project “Hannibal was not at the gate.” "Hannibal" was absent altogether. And American officials engaged in "technical creativity." The new aircraft was not to reflect the hordes of Red Star invaders, but to solve completely different problems. Financial, political, foreign policy. Political fighter. His problem is that he was designed in the era before the “revisionist Russia” and the “red dragon”. To learn money, to introduce technology, to release colorful advertising booklets, to make videos.
In the absence of modern competitors and in conditions of complete political and military dominance of the United States, the F-35 could be the “king of the air”, regardless of its characteristics. However, times have changed. Absolutely all of a sudden (for me, by the way, too) new, modern, inexpensive and “buggy” 4 generation aircraft appeared in Russia. It is not so important how many advantages they have after the four, the other thing is important - they have nothing to oppose to the USA. I'm not going to say that Su-35 is something extraordinary and unsurpassed. But there is one, and our Western partners have nothing analogous and are not expected in the near future. Too they relied on "American leadership in the 21 century" and on the technological superiority of the "free world."
They somehow prepared to live in some magical new reality, where the dominance of the “golden billion” is guaranteed for ever and ever, and no one is questioned. It looks most amusing in the Baltics: suddenly the Americans are immersed in their own problems (this is noticeably more and more), Europe does not have its own army, and the Russians have a new “toothed” army. The very Russians whom they officially recognized were second-rate at the legislative level. New magical reality did not take place. It so happened that the "second-rate" Russians have Su-35, but in Europe there are no analogues, in the US all the more.
It seems to me that the operation of the VKS in Syria has become an icy shower for even the most "reckless" European politicians. They lived in their own small, cozy little world, no one took Russia seriously there, and here you are! It is rightly said that with the 1986 in the world a new generation of politicians has grown up in the world, which knows only one center of real power, around which it builds all its schemes. They are simply not familiar with any other situation on the planet. So the conflict in Ukraine, and the war in Syria, and Russia, which did not collapse under the weight of sanctions, is a kind of new reality. That is, there are not just local victories, but something more.
Both the invasion of refugees and the entry of Russia into the Syrian conflict became a painful shock for European politicians. It suddenly turned out that, apart from USAF, there is another powerful force on the planet. The power that can erase ISIS into powder. The presence of Putin and Su-35 and the absence of Obama and F-35 in the Syrian conflict are in fact much more significant than many people think: it completely mixed the cards to all European politicians. Just a big see in the distance. Obama has really withdrawn himself - from Ukraine, and from Syria. For various reasons, let's say, for several years, the Russian Aerospace Forces have done much more than coalition aviation in a year. That is, literally next to the European Union, a certain new force has declared itself, which cannot be ignored and which possesses the most modern combat aircraft, and the F-35 continue to painfully long to bring to mind and solve numerous technical problems. And in the United States is actively preparing for the presidential campaign ...
Oddly enough, it turned out that the Middle East is much closer to Europe than to Russia, and even more so to the United States. And now, European politicians urgently need to do something, but Obama, with whom Merkel proudly announced the sanctions of Russia, withdrew from the problem of Syria. But it is impossible to talk seriously about something with a sub-sanctioned Russia before lifting the sanctions (this, I hope, is understandable). And the sanctions are already living their own lives and are not going to leave (there is a consensus in the "European anaptikum" that Russia should be "pressed to the bottom"). Just imagine how Mr. Hollande feels in this situation (and he is much more attractive than Merkel).
By the way, after the last meeting with Erdogan, it was Hollande who looked extremely preoccupied and no joy on his face could be read: unlike Merkel, he just understands that this is a dead end. Having completely quarreled with Putin and declaring an economic war to the Russians “to the bitter end,” Merkel completely deprived herself of a political maneuver. She simply can’t come to Moscow and start discussing something - it will look like surrender. Obama is indifferent to the problems of the Old World ... And there remains to be a very suspicious bargaining with Erdogan, who himself is teetering on the edge (like all of Turkey). In Turkey, terrorist attacks are rattling with frightening constancy and the “ATO” is expanding in the Kurdish southeast, and then suddenly there is a visa-free regime with Europe! And billions for the "rotation of the refugees."
Going further, Merkel could enter into negotiations with the leaders of ISIS ... And what to do? Promise them money in return for stopping the flow of refugees. So go around the Middle East, offering billions of euros to everyone who wants to "stop the refugees." You can, of course, ask: "why it all started with the problems of F-35, and then suddenly Syria, Merkel and the refugees?". The thing is that a fighter is a very complicated, expensive and политическая. That is why the presence of Su-35 in the sky of Syria and the absence of the F-35 “covered with legends” there drastically changes the situation in world politics. But in theory, he just had to show himself in the destruction of ground targets in large quantities and with great accuracy, such goals as the technique of ISIS, for example. And orders for the "miracle plane" would have poured just like a river. But did not grow together.
"Main reptiles" bombed the aircraft VKS, and the F-35 continues to "surf the Internet." Unfortunately, not all world politics is done on the expanses of this very Internet. The application of high-precision strikes using GLONASS, Caliber and other "goodies" came as a complete surprise to European politicians. In general, the policy is done, not on the basis of the principle of likes / dislikes, but on the basis of interests and the balance of power. In other words, Russia in this case should not be “loved with all my heart”, but simply taken into account in the geopolitical scenario, negotiations should be held (behind tightly closed doors), positions should be coordinated. But Merkel completely quarreled with Putin and lobbied for the introduction of sanctions against Russia. At that time, it seemed quite a reasonable move.
But the appearance of the Su-35 in the skies of Syria and the high-precision strikes against the militants under its cover turned the entire political situation upside down (or, rather, vice versa). And the F-35 didn’t show themselves in any way (they are still “doped with a file”). Previously, this was never in the era of aviation. America has always made the most modern aircraft (at least after WWI) and here you are: there is a war, but there are no new American planes. And in general, US policy in the Middle East has stalled. That is, assess the situation: in a key region, the Russian Aerospace Forces conduct a sudden massive operation, and the United States and its coalition go to the background. But Merkel just put all the money on Obama. But he could not. Well, or did not want.
And a truly paradoxical situation has developed: there is a politician who is able to “provide leadership”, and the politician is quite European, and he has the “airplanes” necessary for this. And this politician has clearly proved in practice that he is able to provide this very “leadership” in the Middle East, and these airplanes in the past six months have shown that hi-tech is in Russian. But for Europe, Russia's leadership is categorically unacceptable. Unacceptable on principle (ideological) considerations. The actions of the videoconferencing system in Syria are perceived by Europe as very hostile. The thing is that the Europeans in general “do not see” Russia in big politics, from their point of view, it does not concern Russians. And here such embarrassment.
So, both in Ukraine and in Syria, Europe tightly closed the doors for collaboration with Russia. They have imposed sanctions and are waiting for them to act. Just like a black mamba. But it is already clear that the crisis in the Middle East (Syria and Yemen), as well as the crisis in Ukraine (with its collapsed economy) cannot wait. Obama does not offer solutions, F-35 continues to “fail” ... where should the poor parliamentarian go?
In principle, for an outsider, an unbiased observer, it is already completely clear that the best times of the United States are long gone, they are actively exploiting "past glory" and will not help anyone. Today’s US is a “blown away” superpower, and they are finally actively using all sorts of Latvia and Germany there to solve my personal problems. And the whole European policy is sharpened by the fact that at a critical moment the “good American uncle” will come with a bag of dollars and a collar of the 45 caliber and “solve” all (or almost all) of the problems. By the way, the Ukrainians also counted on this: both for dollars and for the Colt. Not grown together.
America is no longer a cake, and it has less and less chance of regaining its global leadership. I am not writing this because I am a “turbopriot” and I get heartburn from the colors of the American flag, no, I just state the facts. The financial and domestic political problems of the USA will not disappear anywhere and will not “resolve”, as many expect. Therefore, today the United States is not up to Syria and not to Ukraine (by and large). They can no longer, as in the years of the Cold War, “play on long” and invest billions in regimes that they are interested in. Today, the United States has neither free billions nor calm decades ahead. The economy is "collapsing."
Therefore, the same Ukraine / Georgia fell not the role of South Korea (as they expected), but the role of kamikazes. Russia wins, the US loses on the global map ... and what to do? Run the kamikaze! We admit that the war in Ossetia really hurt us, the war in Ukraine hurt us even more. So it was the goal of the United States! The victory of Tbilisi / Kiev was theoretically possible ... but absolutely unprincipled! Their task was to smash their country about the "deck of the aircraft carrier Russia," and not to win. In principle, the United States deceived everyone here: Georgians, Ukrainians, and Europeans. So Yatsenyuk, calling his government - the kamikaze government, said the absolute truth. Kamikaze divine wind of democracy ... Such are the cases. Yatsenyuk told the truth, but they did not understand him. And in vain. They laughed at him - they say, not one kamikaze lives for as long as his government. But he, of course, did not mean himself personally (his future is quite cloudless).
Yatsenyuk (I respect him for this) told the truth - his task is to use the whole of Ukraine in the so-called “banzai attack” on the Russian Federation. What he did. And why? Because the F-35 never “took off” (in a broad sense). America has already lost leadership. Therefore, the “kamikaze era” has come. But they (kamikaze), of course, better not to know about it: the appetite will be spoiled and sleep will be gone. So the words of the legendary Ukrainian anthem "Scho did not die .." contains the tragic truth. Ukraine had to die heroically in the fight against the "eastern aggressor." She died. "Bobo is dead, but the hats do not down ...". I can offer the Ukrainians the lines of the new hymn: “If you go to Donetsk, the bones turn white, The watered poppies bloom with blood, the Sun shines, we are advancing, And the mountains of corpses are growing ...”. Or (in another translation): "If I go out to the mountains of Rostov - I become a corpse in the grass, if I go out to the Sea of Azov - I become a corpse in the waves, but if I die for the chocolate emperor - my life did not go in vain ...". Music can not be changed.
Here we argue that the United States did not seize the Crimea and lost. Basically so, but it tactical defeat. Yes, the seizure of the Crimea allowed them to block Sevastopol (by the hands of the Pravoseks) and sharply complicate the aid to Syria. All this is true, but the strategic task — the creation of Russia's global problems at the cost of “annihilating” Ukraine was solved. Cruel, but effective. You just need to learn to think of them in categories: donate the 40-million European country to create serious problems for a competitor? It's worth it.
America rose as a superpower during the two world wars (primarily in Europe). Were it not for these two bloody and protracted wars (which is quite possible!), America would never have become what it has become. So it’s ridiculous to expect sentiments from Americans about the suffering of citizens of a particular European country. For them, this is the "problem of the Indians." So America could not lose in Ukraine. You just need to understand what their true goals are. So, they reached them. At a very difficult time for the USA, Russia had very serious problems. And not by chance. This will not save the USA, but it will give a certain respite.
US friends only to themselves. So that they are Europe, Ukraine, Russia. And if at a difficult (really deadly) moment for America, Europe and Russia can be set off at the cost of the annihilation of Ukraine: it's worth it. And now the naive continental Europeans ask themselves: “What are we to do with this very Ukraine?” Finally, they woke up. And do nothing. Sit and wait for F-35 shipments. They will surely follow, and it is these wonderful airplanes that will save European democracy from the "Eastern aggressor." Saw, Shura ... they are really worth their weight in gold.