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Air Power Australia
Air Power Australia


“The Joint Strike Fighter Cannot Survive Against New Russian Radars”

7th January 2009

" The Joint Strike Fighter lacks sufficient stealth capability to survive against the new generation of long range Surface to Air Missiles and supporting search radars”, said a spokesman for Air Power Australia today.

“Air Power Australia recently performed computer modelling of the radar signature of key parts of the Joint Strike Fighter design, at radar frequencies used by the long range radars of interest. Despite the simulations being set up to favour the Joint Strike Fighter, it was unable to survive in combat against the newer long range missile systems of Russian design.”

“Of the 96 test points analysed in the stealth simulation, the Joint Strike Fighter failed 64 percent.”

“When stealth performance requirements were set down for the Joint Strike Fighter some years ago, its performance limits were set so that it could defeat short and medium range Surface to Air Missile systems used for battlefield air defence, and the first generation of Russian long range Surface to Air Missile systems. The simulations have confirmed that the Joint Strike Fighter can only survive against these increasingly irrelevant threats, but cannot survive against the more powerful radars which have emerged since then.”

“While exports of Surface to Air Missile systems during the Cold War and immediately after were dominated by the short and medium range weapons which the Joint Strike Fighter can survive against, since then the market has been dominated by much more powerful and longer ranging products such as the Russian Almaz-Antey S-300PMU1 (SA-20), S-300PMU2 (SA-20) and now S-400 (SA-21). In Asia, the S-300PMU series has outsold all competitors, and Iran is also taking delivery of these capable weapons.”

“Flying the Joint Strike Fighter against such defences will result in unsustainable combat losses. Only the F-22A Raptor has the stealth performance and speed to safely defeat these Surface to Air Missiles and supporting search radars.”

“Further analysis performed by WGCDR Chris Mills (Retd), formerly the 'Red Force' analyst for the RAAF, has shown that the inadequacies in Joint Strike Fighter stealth capability will result in unsustainable combat losses if it is flown against the later generation Russian Sukhoi Flanker fighters.”

“As this study shows, the JSF clearly will not pass the ‘Survivability’ test; in the same way it fails tests for ‘Affordability’ and ‘Lethality’.”

The study of Joint Strike Fighter survivability is now available to the public at:


Technical assessments and supporting data on the Russian radars of interest are available here:


B-roll - Russian Missile Systems:

Dr Carlo Kopp, MIEEE, SMAIAA, PEng
Defence Analyst and Consulting Engineer
Editor: Air Power Australia @ http://www.ausairpower.net