In the context of prolonged tension, between the two “brother” countries Russia and Ukraine, the former head of the design department of the Antonov Aircraft Design Bureau advised the Ukrainian Air Force to choose the F-15EX instead of the F-35.
According to the US website Defense World, former head of the Antonov Ukraine Aircraft Design Bureau Alexander Lowes said that, if the Ukrainian Air Force were to replace the old Soviet-era fighters, the MiG-29 and Su-27, then the choice should be Boeing’s F-15EX, instead of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 stealth fighter.
The reason for Lowes to give the above advice is that on the basis of analyzing the Russian military’s anti-stealth radar capabilities, it is possible to capture stealth targets by the Russians Therefore, the stealth characteristics of the F-35 fighter do not have many advantages against Russia.
According to Mr. Lowes, even if Ukraine becomes a NATO member, similar F-35s will not appear in Ukraine; Since this country share borders with Russia and Russian military radars are deployed in the border area of the two countries and can detect the F-35.
With current capabilities, Ukraine’s purchase of US-made fighter jets will enhance interoperability between Ukraine and NATO; this is necessary for a country with a long border with Russia, said by Lowes.
Lowes added that the F-15EX fighter has a larger weapon payload and higher speed than the F-35. The F-15EX can surpass the Russian fighter in flight performance and firepower, and can defeat any Russian-made fighter.
The F-15EX can carry 24 missiles; During combat, the F-15EX can interact with the F-35 over the data link, and the F-35 will act as a passive “monitor” to provide the F-15EX with positioning information. target. In other words, the F-15EX can use target information provided by the F-35, to launch weapons at these targets at long distances.
The F-15EX fighter, is the latest and improved fighter model of the F-15 Eagle family of heavy fighters. Since entering service in the late 1970s, the F-15 has been the US Air Force’s main air superiority fighter for more than 20 years. Although the F-15 was still at its peak at the time, the US Air Force plans to use the fifth-generation stealth fighter F-22 Raptor, to replace the F-15; but the US military closed the production line of this type of aircraft, and bought less than 200 F-22s.
The premature closure of the F-22 production line, forced the US Air Force to continue keeping hundreds of old F-15C fighters. It is worth noting that recently, the US Air Force had initially planned to buy 144 F-15EX aircraft, and could buy up to 200 in the future.
Although the Ukrainian Air Force is “very close” to the US F-15EX or F-35, the possibility of Ukraine buying the US F-15EX or F-35 is very low (if not zero). The reason is that these planes contain a lot of American defense technology; America only sells to close allies. Not to mention these fighters are very expensive, while Ukraine’s budget is “exhausted”
The fighter that Ukraine can currently buy is “relatively” a French Rafale fighter. In the 30 years after the breakup of the Soviet Union, Ukraine has not purchased any new fighter aircraft, and its air force is in urgent need of an upgrade and France can help.
France has recently been busy promoting the Rafale fighter from Dassault producer. It is reported that Ukraine will receive a loan from France to buy Rafale fighter jets.
To ensure this transaction is successful, France will provide Ukraine with a loan guarantee of up to 85%, and has set aside 1.5 billion euros for this purpose. This also explains why Ukraine is interested in this highly “viable” contract
The Rafale is a 4+ generation multirole fighter, powered by two engines, using a triangular wing design, typical of French fighter design; In addition, Rafale is equipped with a nose duck wing, helping the aircraft to improve maneuverability.
The Rafale is equipped with a variety of weapons and is designed to perform various tasks such as air control, interception, air reconnaissance, ground support, attack into the enemy’s defensive depth, anti-ship and nuclear deterrence. This is a real multi-purpose combat platform, which could change the defensive situation of Ukraine against Russia
In addition, defense cooperation with France will also help solve the difficult problems facing Ukrainian President Zelensky. The company Safran, a French military and aeronautical industry giant, intends to acquire Ukrainian engine manufacturer Motor Sich.
If Safran’s acquisition is successful, it will continue to sustain Motor Sich’s operations and employee employment, thus avoiding the massive unemployment problem facing President Zelensky. This will also make the US happy, as it will prevent Motor Sich from being acquired by Chinese companies.