Story 2015-07-08 DNR0 U.S. Air Force's new F-35 jet is beaten in dogfight by F-16 designed in the 1970s

U.S. Air Force's new F-35 jet is beaten in dogfight by F-16 designed in the 1970s

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story imageThe most expensive weapon in history, the U.S. Air Force's $350 billion F-35 stealth jet was outperformed by an F-16 (designed in the early 1970s) in a mock dogfight. The F-35 test pilot said new plane was too cumbersome to dodge enemy fire, and deemed it totally inappropriate for fighting aircraft within visual range. U.S. military leaders have extolled the virtues of the F-35 jets. Marine Lt Gen. Robert Schmidle said the planes were like flying computers and that they could detect an enemy five to 10 times faster than the enemy could detect it.

While the F-35 is a "multi-role" aircraft and not a purpose-built air superiority fighter (unlike the closely guarded F-22), the fifth-generation aircraft is designed to excel in electronic warfare, air-to-surface combat and air-to-air combat. The US is anxious to sell them to their NATO allies to replace aging F-16, F/A-18, F-4, and Harrier fleets. The F-16 has served in the Air Forces of 26 nations, including the U.S., Israel, Egypt, the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway. Most are expected to purchase the new F-35 jet. Britain plans to purchase 138 F-35 jets from the US, but at present costs that would add up to a total of $19 billion. US Vice President Joe Biden promised a delivery of the jets to Israel ‘next year’, amid reports that Tel Aviv has approved a new deal to add 14 more jets to its 2010 order for 19 aircraft. Australia has committed to purchasing 72 F-35s. Japan has ordered 42 F-35As. South Korea has also ordered 40 F-35As, with plans for 20 more, budget permitting.
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