Su-35’s outdated radars will fail against F-16 – ex-F-16 US pilot
WASHINGTON, US — Russian Su-35 fighter jets don’t stand much of a chance against American F-16s, claims a former American F-16 pilot. According to him, the obsolete radars of the Russian Felon will take away the “maneuverability” advantage in air combat of the Russian aircraft.
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Dan Hampton, a retired US Air Force lieutenant colonel who flew the F-16 and is known by his nickname Two Dogs, is the veteran who expresses this opinion. In a recent interview with The Facts, Hamilton revealed some details from his extensive experience.
In the air, two fighters can fight two dogfights, the pilot says. One is at a close distance while the other is at a far distance. In the first case, success in combat often depends on the pilot’s experience and how well he knows the aircraft he is flying. In the second, however, not only the experience is important, but also the radars and sensors of the plane.
Hamilton says the Su-35 has 30-year-old antiquated radar technology. This is a problem for the Russians, says the expert. He recalls that the F-16 has advanced radar. This gives pilots an advantage in one of two types of air combat: long range. Also, the former air ace recalls that the F-16’s radar can track multiple targets. Another advantage of the F-16 is the ability of the pilot to attack a single target with different types of missiles.
However, Hamilton’s claims are not so correct, as other experts note. For example, the Su-35’s radar is Ibris-E, and it is not 30-year-old technology. The radar was commissioned in 2007. Although not an AESA, but a PESA radar, Ibris-E also tracks up to several targets simultaneously. According to Russian engineers, this radar can track up to 30 air targets at a distance of up to 350 km, attacking eight of them simultaneously. The latter statement indicates that the Su-35, like the F-16, can use a wide range of weapons, both single-target and multi-target.
According to the American ex-pilot, the maneuverability of the F-16 gives the American aircraft a greater advantage in close combat. According to official data, the F-16 is not more maneuverable than the Su-35, on the contrary – the Su-35 beats the F-16 by this indicator. But with all that said, as radar technology and maneuverability are more in the realm of “paper data” there is one indicator that can decide the outcome of a dogfight.
Hamilton calls this metric “tactics.” According to him, the problem of Russian pilots is uniformity. He sees such uniformity both in the air and on the ground. I.e. the Russians rely on numbers rather than new thinking to bring ingenuity into the air. The American pilot sees more ingenuity in the actions of the Ukrainian pilots than the Russian ones.
The opinion of the former American pilot has been much sought after by the media in recent weeks. Actually, there is a reason why this particular pilot is in demand. More recently, Hamilton announced that he was ready to fight for Ukraine if private and ex-drivers were allowed to do so. Also, Hamilton has quite a lot of military experience accompanied by a lot of flying hours. His opinion can be taken as authoritative.
The F-16 continues to be the most requested fighter by the Air Force of Ukraine. It is because of this that this fighter is present more and more often in the headlines of the media. At the same time, Ukrainian pilots continue to argue that their outdated Soviet-era fighter jets are no match for modern Russian Su-series aircraft.
At the same time, the Russian government continues to routinely claim that the Su-35 can handle any Western aircraft and that they [the Western ones] cannot compete with Russian fighters.
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