The US doubts whether it is expedient to further develop F-35 fighters, as the aircraft has essential deficiencies. According to the American Thinker magazine, 'ten years after the F-35 first flew, it remains in development, though 180 have been built. None of those aircraft can operate in combat; all will have to be modified if and when the final design has been settled on. There is not much point in doing that, because the F-35 has a number of show-stoppers that would kill it instantly in a rational world.'The last line is over the top, but the first part of this is tantalizing. The Russians have penetrated our defense contractors just like the Chinese. They probably have as clear a view on the REAL capabilities of the airplane as anyone.
It should be also noted, that 'being designed as a light bomber, the F-35 is less maneuverable than fighter designs up to 50 years old and will be shot out of the sky by modern fighter aircraft.' The forecast says the Su-35 is expected to be able to shoot down 2.4 F-35s for every Su-35 lost. But even more terrible fact for the Western Air Forces is that they see the F-35's vulnerability now, when it has not become operational, and by 2020 stealth PAK FA fighters designed by Sukhoi will enter service. Still, there is enough time for the Western fighters' pilots to change their profession into another, more safe career.
The purchase of additional SU-35's now indicates something. I've speculated earlier that it means that they feel that its more than capable of taking on the F-35. This article confirms my suspicions. Which leaves the question...if the F-35 can easily handle the F-35 then why proceed with the PAK-FA? My thinking is that they're seeking overmatch.
Everyone touts the F-22 as being the fallback option for the US, but no one is thinking about how many flight hours are left on that airframe. How about attrition? Or the idea of numbers...less than 200 F-22's can't be everywhere all the time. Even in a combat zone we're unsure of how many sorties can be flown before maintenance grounds a portion of the deployed planes.
If this is true. If the F-35 loses to the SU-35 in combat simulations then my contention that we've sacrificed the defense of the West for an underperforming airplane based on the fantasy that they will somehow make it work is spot on.