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Fifth-Generation Fighters Will Determine Air Dominance in Future Conflicts

National Defense Magazine // September 01, 2014

In August 2013, South Korea chose Boeing’s F-15SE as its next-generation fighter aircraft over Lockheed Martin’s F-35 and the Eurofighter Typhoon.

Months later, the South Korea’s Defense Acquisition Program Administration reversed course in favor of buying fewer of the more capable F-35.

John Pike, Globalsecurity.org think tank director, said the episode is the best endorsement of the joint strike fighter’s fifth-generation technologies, regardless of its problematic development and relatively high cost. 

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Fifth-generation fighters bring more to the table than simply stealth. In future conflicts, they will charge ahead and determine which force will achieve air dominance, Pike said. Older fighters, which will still be in U.S. and other nations’ fleets for decades, will then come in and perform “clean-up” missions against enemy positions and air-defense installations, he added. They also will carry sophisticated electronic-attack weaponry designed to counter enemy radar and air defenses in the sort of non-permissive environments that U.S. aircraft have not had to contend in the wars of the past decade.

Read the full story from National Defense Magazine.

Photo by Lockheed Martin.