Will NATO Lose In An Air War Against Russia?

Two Typhoon FGR4 aircraft. Sgt Paul Oldfield/MOD

Alex Lockie, Business Insider: NATO will lose its next air war to Putin's 'formidable beasts' if it waits for the F-35 to save it

* NATO needs the F-35 to keep up with evolving threats from Russia, but in a decade, only 20% of NATO's forces will be flying fifth-generation fighters — meaning 80% of them probably can't fight against Russia on day one.
* This puts NATO at a huge disadvantage against Russia, which has new, cheap, and deadly systems meant to shoot down NATO's legacy aircraft by the hundreds.
* Simon Rochelle, the Royal Air Force's air vice-marshal, has proposed plans to keep legacy aircraft fighting and supercharged with the information pulled from fifth-gen fighters and other support planes.
* Rochelle said that if NATO can't fix its interoperability problems across its 28 members, it will lose the next war against Russia.

LONDON — Much of NATO's hope to remain a relevant fighting force in the coming decades has been pinned on the introduction of the F-35, but a simple look at the numbers shows that one airframe alone won't turn the tide against Russia.

"If we think we're going to wait for the next generation to sort the problems out, I can categorically tell you we will fail when next major conflict occurs." Simon Rochelle, the Royal Air Force's air vice-marshal, told the Royal United Service Institute's Combat Air Survivability conference on Wednesday.

"In 2030, 80% of the European NATO forces — should one of those situations occur, God forbid — will be gen 4 fighters. You can't walk away from that," he continued, referring to pre-stealth jets as belonging to a fourth generation of fighters.

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WNU Editor: NATO (excluding the U.S.), has more than double the air power that Russia has. Throw in the U.S., that air power increase to 5 to 6 times what Russia has. So will NAOT lose in an air war against Russia. I doubt it.

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