I wouldn't be surprised if it had the same technological specs of the 22, eurofighter or the recent chinese fighter (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chengdu_J-20), which is to say, while some of these might beat others in various tech specs, they are interchangable in that they are "5th gen" fighters
I thought the Americans had unveiled plans for a fighter upgrade at the same time as they were rolling out the fighter/bomber F35, but apparently I am mistaken. From what I've seen, the F35 is technologically superior to all the previously mentioned craft, however, as it plays a bombing role more than a fighter role, would probably lose in 1v1 combat against these fighters.
all that being said, American air supremacy comes from a number of things, only one of which is technological superiority. For instance, even if Russia had better planes, they have far fewer carriers, and would thus be reliant on local airbases in term of engaging American air power.
Very cool though, and I agree with mindset, having state of the art jets is more just saying "ya, we roll with the big guys" more than any change in geopolitics. Russia isn't going to jump so far ahead of the Americans in military technology that it shifts any balance of power.
if we look at NATO, and the wars they get into, sure, something like the F35 is a far better investment than an upgrade to the F22, because ya, if all you want to do is bomb villages who have no air defenses, hell, you could use a B52.
However, in Canada, as global warming opens up northern shipping passages, we are going to start having international pressure regarding the Northwest Passage (that are clearly internal Canadian waters), where it might actually be meaningful for our military to have the "scramble fighters" response to nations trying to use it. Or even more generally, as the arctic becomes more traversable, our northern lands are going to see a large amount of competition from all the world powers. I personally think an "in-house" arctic-fighter would have been a much better investment for our army, than to buy a couple of the F35s, which is what we did otherwise. It certainly shows where our military priorities are, but with Russia flexing its Arctic military muscles (they have had some demonstrations over the past few years) and international pressure over the NWP, idk, I'd prefer we focus less on how effective we are at bombing brown people, and more on how well we can defend our own territories.
Ah, but war is strange like that. The F-35 is the tech that's most directly important to winning but it can be taken down by air superiority fighters, so you can't send your F-35s out against a strong enemy unless you have some F-22s to protect them from enemy air superiority.
The same thing happened to modern naval powers. Carriers are (assumed to be) the destructive arm of the fleet but submarines will destroy them so you have to issue destroyers to protect them from the subs even though to destroyers are nearly useless for attacking the targets you're going after.
As its turned out (as inimalist pointed out) NATO isn't getting much use out of it's F-22s these days but they can't afford to not have them in the event that they tangle with someone who does.
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we get a really biased view here in Canada, because we always try to play down the talent of American soldiers ("we always beat them in war games" and the like), so I really can't comment on who would have better pilots, other than to say, Canada has the best!
[no, probably not]
actually, this is one issue where we would probably be better served siding with the Russians over the Americans
America wants the NWP to be international water, so that they don't have to get clearance with us to use it, whereas Russia has similar claims in their north. We could easily form a bloc where we recognize the independence of eachother's claims to try and stop nations like America or China from claiming our internal waters for their own use.
that being said, I don't think its a full invasion we have to be worried about, just something that lets us assert national sovereignty.
EDIT: just as an anecdote, our arctic is larger than western europe, rugged terrain, sparsely populated and of such a brutal climate that I've seen military officials joke that Canada's response to any foreign army there would be a rescue operation. lolz... idk, i found it funny
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Last edited by tsilamini on Aug 17th, 2011 at 09:02 PM
I'll have to look up the mandates, but it isn't that the NWP is part of American water, but rather, that it is an international shipping route that Canada should not have independent control over.
China would push for the international definition almost precisely because they have no similar claims, as it would give them access to the route without consulting Canada, and they wouldn't be losing any territory that is opening up due to climate change
Its a UN designation thing... in all fairness, I think there are reasons to suggest it should be international waters, but my feelings are that we should push back against that, **** the UN and all that.