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American Gripen: The Solution To The F-35 Nightmare

One thing that has helped keep the F-35 program going is a perception that there is no ‘Plane B.’ As Margaret Thatcher famously said,“There is no alternative.” No matter how bad the F-35 is, it is going to be built because the U.S. Air Force needs something to replace its worn-out fighters. ( More...

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iflyfsx 7
Well, it's not like we are all paying for this ******. Oh, wait...
bbabis 4
SAAB has had the best multi-role fighters since the Draken. We would be very wise to move to the Grippen and cut our losses on the F-35 manned program. Nightmare is a very kind way to describe it. The GEN level of aircraft now means nothing until you go unmanned or auto-combat. The drone jockey can grin in his chair or the winning pilot can wake up after the turning fight is over. Man is now the limitation of air combat. Turn radius is important but means nothing if you can't hold it long enough to win the fight.
Ruger9X19 6
All this leaves out the fact that the USAF has turned its back on manned aircraft. The vision at the top is swarms of drones, cheaper lighter, easily replaced. The quicker they can cause manned flight to be "not economically viable" the easier they sell their unmanned toys to the public.
bbabis 2
I agree manned fighting aircraft will soon join the dinosaurs. Its beyond comprehension why we are still dump shoveling money that we don't have into the F-35 program when better proven alternatives exist. It is only about money and not the security of our nation. For the money's we've poured into worthless projects for the betterment of cronyism we could have brought the "Starwars defense shield" to reality. Now we have nothing and staggeringly inept State and Defense departments. The next administration may not be able to dig out in time.
Tom Lull 2
Wonder how effective all those drones are if the satellite comm connection is shut down?
bbabis 2
Many will be autonomous and capable of controlling others via non satellite comm.
Tom Lull 1
Not a pleasant picture. A bunch of autonomous drones flying around looking for something to shoot at.
bbabis 1
Agreed, but so much we have now is unpleasant. Hopefully, just for potential enemies.
ken young 1
why would that happen?
randomguy 3
There is a lot of junk in this article, IMO.
M.F. LaBoo 3
The author's statement that we will be fighting "Russian and Chinese fighters" is precisely the kind of troglodytic viewpoint that we must repudiate. He actually envisions a "small war" with China and says it will be necessary. He invalidates any technical merits of his argument by the ludicrousness of that claim.
lynx318 0
As Russia isn't really interested in starting any major conflicts due to it's policy of trying to "fit in" with the west and China having enough problems internally with current it's economic climate, I doubt they pose any foreseeable threat in at least the next 20 years or so. The only possible threat might be North Korea but if their air-fleet is of similar quality to the cars coming out of South Korea,the best defense would probably be a fleet of old Steerman armed with spud guns. In the case of IS, I reckon defense would be a bunch of schoolkids armed with slingshots.
Egadnow 3
No one aircraft can be made best in both aerial combat and close ground support, regardless of if it is a Drone or Manned.
G forces on the pilot is the limitng factor for aerial combat even / especially with a smart missile many miles away.
fredop 1
IMO, the closest thing that the DOD has to the best multi-role aircraft is the F/A-18. It's built to do both and I haven't heard anything bad about it....other than the outward facing rails thought to have been efficient in helping with drag.....which was proven wrong. LOL But that's now its classic look.
mikeenderle 4
This has every indication that the machine has grown too big to function. The country cannot adapt because politics has a stranglehold on reality. The jokers in congress who make the purchases have no idea what they are doing. If you suggest a more frugal option or question the status quo, "How dare you not support the troops! They deserve the very best equipment!" is the response. Military pet projects are bankrupting this nation nearly as fast as entitlements. The day is coming where the waste will have to stop because we have nothing left to squander. Alright, I'm off the soapbox...
bbabis 3
We need more patriots on the soapbox Michael. Our best hope is that the The F-35 and other programs are not getting better because they are diversionary programs and the money is really going to DARPA and secret projects that truly can better our military. Every indication though is that that is beyond the scope of our current leadership.
lynx318 0
Zeus: "Release the Kraken.....what, he's still trying to figure out which tentacle to walk with first and isn't ready, oh well what else do we have? ...OK then, Release the Sirens...we'll sing em' to death!"
People write articles with only half the information and claim it is absolute fact. If-When the F35 gets corrected and placed in service, it's capabilities will be far superior than anything else in the world for years to come. That is why it is still being developed . And do not kid yourself the idea that the F22 is inferior somehow to what is flying now is in itself absurd. Why has the F-22 fleet been sent to Japan, if it was inferior to what China and or Russia has ?
To many people assume what they have little knowledge of.they ask questions to politicians and their hires and some military personal who do not know and or want something else done .
How many years was the SR-71 flying before anyone knew it's truth ? Even to this day Nothing created could or can do what It already did and could still do . Never say there is no plan B . Plan B is already being addressed while Plan A is still getting the bugs worked out.
Simply get away from the platform and get to what a platform uses....radar and missile capabilities far out weigh the platform that carries it.
A Unmanned aircraft that could carry a precision weapon and radar jamming ability could do far more damage than anything presently in the air. Lets develop better radar, better weapons , and the platform that would carry it would not matter as much. Take a million "drones" against a few thousand manned aircraft, overwhelm the enemy and take control of the air, then you "inferior" aircraft could control the sky during any conflict...same goes for manned armies..overwhelm them with "drone" attacks, then what is left could be moped up by what you normally have.
Think it can't be done ? Why do you think they are hyped on the concept ?
Munitions /radar/radar jamming/electronic warfare etc etc...makes the difference, not My plane is bigger than yours, and or mine turns faster than yours. If I can overwhelm yours and knock it down
and never lose a life while you lose hundreds/thousands who wins ?
When all you fast turning , sends you into an overwhelming force and there is no where to run..YOU LOSE .
lynx318 1
Is anyone else thinking "Skynet"?
"So an Su-35 can see a F-35 well before the F-35 can detect it."

That is terrifying. Can anyone confirm/deny/expand this claim???
Ken Hardy 2
Another DoD boondoggle no matter how bad the Contractor is doing managing the program or how dumb the Services are with their performance requests, the Goverment will keep throwing billions at it because a lot of Officers careers and Civil Service big wigs won't ever admit a better and cheaper choice would have been a upgraded FA 18 Super Hornet
fredop 1
But that's a sound and logical idea. You know damn well that kind of thinking is not allowed in gov't or politics.
There is so much more to both the F-22 and F-35 that no fourth generation aircraft, like the Gripen, could ever even come close to doing it's not funny. Fifth generation is far more than just stealth.
canuck44 10
Unfortunately the fifth generation has not arrived with pretend weapons systems, poor engines, short endurance, poor maneuverability, high cost and undeveloped computers. Its design as a multi-role aircraft takes away a little capability for each role so the question becomes is it cheaper to buy two inexpensive platforms (like the A-10 plus the Griffin) when each gives superior performance in their more limited roles?
Russ Nelson 5
Can I hug the A-10? Is that allowed?
Steven Fortson -2
You consider the F-22 fourth gen? Seriously? The Gripen will never be able to do what the F-35 can already do, no matter how hard it tries. No fourth generation aircraft can.
shoepuke 4
^ did we read the same article?
I know a lot more about what's going on than was in this article. I've followed everything about the F-35, plus know people that have been with the program.
Karl Gretton 1
Why do we need manned aircraft?
kurt1000 1
When the JSF was being developed what was the quoted percentage for air-to-air and air-to-ground from George Muellner?

Where did the quoted results of the “simulation” come from and what were the assumptions in it?

The chart doesn’t mention what altitudes those numbers are good for (assuming they are good at all). Is the altitude the same for all the aircraft on the chart?

“Turning, and carrying a gun, remains as important as it has ever been. Most missiles miss in combat and the fighter aircraft will go on to the merge.”

Is either of these two statements true? What was the hit rate in the first Gulf War by the US missiles (AIM -7 and AIM-9)? What is the hit rate for AIM-120?

Have the Russians stopped their development of stealth aircraft?
Hugh Somsen 1
I have new. And wondrous weapons being developed that will drive the enemy into the sea...... Uh, kind sounds familiar.
Hugh Somsen 1
Why oh why follow the unmanned concept?. It's kind of like our President not willing to put boots on the ground. Or kind of like the new floating, LITORAL Slab sided Submarines.
Hugh Somsen 1
Do the F35s come with white flags of surrender?
Karl Gretton 1
They don't have time to deploy them.
lynx318 1
IF they deployed at all.
Tom Bruce 1
10 years of trials...10 years! and it's still not ready to go... just STARTED testing the gun...the Chinese and Russians will be ready for it when it is combat ready... in another 5 years?
lynx318 1
UGHH China, even with it's economic woes, will probably have bought out western countries before this lemon is ready.
M.F. LaBoo 1
"Chinese and Russians" ... *sigh*

You can just imagine the problems we'll have with the Arcturans and Tau Cetians.
John Clark 1
After delving into the histories of the F-15 Eagle and F-14 Tomcat, I am experiencing a deja vu after reading this article. It would be easy to replace instances of F-35 with either of these aircraft names and then replace the F-14/F-15 with the F-4 Phantom to create an article fit for the early 1970's. Why would we need expensive fighters with questionable systems, reliability and engines when the F-4 does it all for every service? I am not much of a fan of the F-35 but it is important to realize that few large defense programs live up to their full potential at their service introduction.


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