Friday, 4 September 2015

Good News,

from Lockheed Martin,

the price of America's F35's has gone down, the most recently contracted unit costs for Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) lot 7 are:
  • F-35A: $98 million
  • F-35B: $104 million
  • F-35C: $116 million

I should point out that there is one non-optional item not included in the above prices, the engine, but it does seem to mean that the order for 2,400 of these aircraft will be fulfilled, so I guess there was a bit of a flutter last week when at the MAKS air show in Moscow, Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation (RUAC) unveiled a model of what appears to be a drone that hunts F-35s, according to FlightGlobal, the head of UAC claims the F-35 hunter will have a,

“deeply-integrated electronic warfare system that not only provides a protective electromagnetic sphere around the aircraft to counter air-to-air missiles, but also cloaks it from radars.”

the basic idea appears to be that the F-35 is designed to have powerful sensors, but it has a very limited capacity to carry missiles stealthily inside its body, making missiles miss and hiding from sensors are a good way to beat the F-35, to properly find and destroy F-35s, it looks like this as-yet-unnamed drone plans to use radar similar to that of China’s Divine Eagle 2, which will let it find low profile stealth aircraft, such as the F-35 or the F-22, so the arms race seems to show no sign of slowing down as I guess the F35 will now have to have a plan to beat the new RUAC produced F35 hunter drone if it ever goes into production.

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