Thursday, January 06, 2011

An air-superiority fighter for China?

These images appeared in the Wall Street Journal yesterday, showing what looks very much like a worthy rival to the F-22 air-superiority fighter, recently chopped back in favor of the smaller, cheaper F-35.

The United States hasn't had to fight a serious enemy air force since the Vietnam War, and the last time an American fighter pilot anywhere shot down an enemy aircraft was during the Yugoslav fracas of 1999. Worthy of note: that "kill," by Lt Col Michael Geczy, was made by an F-15, an air-superiority fighter like the F-22. When you need such a plane, nothing else will do. Smaller, cheaper warplanes are all very well, but they can't stand up to a muscular airplane killer, and that seems to be what China is attempting to build. Blue skies! -- Dan Ford

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