Former US Pilots Doubt F-16’s Ability To Take On Russian S-400, But With This Stealth Jet…

WorldTekhno.comThere is no doubt about the sophistication of the Russian S-400 missile system, which is why former U.S. pilot John Venable himself admitted that sending F-16 fighters to Ukraine would be in vain, according to him, to compensate for the Russian S-400. missile system, it must be confronted with F-35 stealth fighter jets.

The F-16 fighter jet’s chance is very difficult to win against Russia’s advanced S-400 Triumph missile defense system if it uses it for the invasion of Ukraine. According to veteran U.S. fighter pilot John Venable, only the F-35 stealth fighter jet is capable of countering Moscow’s defensive weapons.

Jhon Venable, a former U.S. pilot who is now active as a senior fellow on defense policy at the Heritage Foundation, said he was a pilot of F-16 fighter jets, so he knew exactly the combat opportunities for this aircraft. His assessment is also based on his interviews with a dozen operational pilots from a team called the “Weasels.”

In the early 1990s, the “Weasels” were tasked with triangulating active surface-to-air missile (SAM) radars, pinpointing their location and then targeting them with HARMS targeting system (HTS) pods.

Russia’s S-400 air defense In his comments, Venable defended the F-35: “Weasels are very capable, but they need to have a ‘line of sight’ to the target, which means they can be shot down by the threat. they are trying to destroy.” The 25-year USAF veteran said the Russian S-400 SAM was put into service 15 years after the F-16 Block 50 fighter and specifically to counter superior Fighting Falcons.

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During the war, F-16 pilots had to fly close enough to force S-400 operators to turn on their systems, revealing to Weasels. “More than a dozen Weasel operational pilots I interviewed in 2017 said that fighter losses of these dual aircraft types would not be sustainable.

Each conveyed the belief that the only fighter capable of taking on the S-400 and avoiding such losses is a fifth-generation fighter designed specifically for that fight: the F-35,” Venable emphasized, the EurAsian Times reported Friday ( 5/5/2019).5/2023). The current war is between Russia and Ukraine, but both sides deployed Russian weapons and SAM systems.

Their effectiveness against fourth-generation fighter jets has prevented both countries from using air power in a systematic way. “Russian SAM systems deployed by Russia and Ukraine are so effective against fourth-generation fighters that pilots rarely attack enemy positions because the chances of success (or survival) are so low.

Such threats have led both sides to engage in sporadic attacks, pop-up attacks or engagement operations with little tactical, let alone operational, effect on the battlefield,” Venable said. While Ukraine has the S-300, Russia deploys the mobile S-400 (known as SA-21 Growler among NATO countries), considered the world’s most advanced SAM system designed to engage targets at distances of up to 400 kilometers in a wide jamming. intensive environment.

The S-400 system can track multiple stealthy targets with high modularity and high mobility, ensuring that the system can be deployed and engage targets within minutes. It is lethal against non-stealthy fighter aircraft. Those conditions have forced Ukrainian pilots to fly their fourth-generation fighters beyond the effective range of the S-400 or fly low until they reach a target they can find before descending again to low altitude.

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The fight against the Russian S-400 has become the main focus of NATO countries. The United States has provided high-speed anti-radiation missiles (HARMS) to counter long-range missiles. To be effective, HARMS must be launched from the missile’s maximum range and on an actively transmitting radar.

“Without an onboard system that can pinpoint the location of the SAM, or detect its emissions, hitting the S-400 (or any other radar) with a USD200,000 HARMS launched from a MiG-29 or Su-27 is nothing more than pure luck,” Venable added.

“The F-35 is the only system that can find, fix and destroy the S-400, and it costs millions less to acquire and 10 percent less to maintain than the fourth-generation F-15EX, a fighter that will be no more effective for Ukraine than the MiG-29s or Su-27s currently operating there,” he said. While the U.S. is hesitant to provide F-16s to Ukraine, the scenario of the U.S. providing the latest F-35s to Ukraine is not attractive. “It is highly unlikely that the U.S. will provide Ukraine with fighter aircraft, either F-16s or F-35s, because there has not been time to provide adequate training for Ukrainian pilots,” he said.

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