Thanks Wolf, I'm not a representative of our MOD but I'll try to answer a few questions!
Yes I've heard of the Hunter project, good luck to them.
As for the F35's faults, i try not to dwell on them but it isn't ideal obviously. i think they're up to 800 now I saw today. Hopefully they will be ironed out (eventually) but the F35 has been a flawed project. The aircraft is capable but flawed. For instance you mention the payload, not great at all and hence the use of the new 15EX as a 'bomb truck'. As for stealth, maintaining the coating has been better than on the F22 but it's still not perfect; good luck to Lockheed, they're aiming to drive down hourly operating cost to $35,000!
The reason I joined this forum was to get more info about Russian aviation developments, my interest in which was there years ago but has only been reignited in the last year as I got back into western military aviation and naturally wanted to know what the 'enemy' were up to. One impressive stat for me is the 4,500 km range of the Kh101!
I know, point taken.
and my appologies.
I could have worded that somewhat differently and more friendly.
The F-35 is my nations newest "addition" as well. But its an pain the ass ever since we got it.
Lockheed bought the Tech from the Russian Yak-141 in the 90's. and stored it.
The Yak-141 was scrapped by the russians as it was just too expensive to make it work. even then, it had an limited capacity.
They tried to make the F-35 master of all, but now it is the master of nothing.
i know, i heard the same story's too about "needing to team up".
You can not team up and stay together in combat.
You need to break because of incomming fire, F-15's are pretty agile. but when they are loaded with ordnance they can not go anywhere either.
they need to shed their payload to be able to avoid and engage.
Having aircraft enough you can even afford to have strike wings like this is an luxury.
In Afghanistan all fighter aircraft flew in pairs, never multiple. bombers even alone.
it was not because there was air superiority,
because airpower is such an restricted resource, it simply can not be fielded in massive one-off missions.
The problem is too if you withdraw strike craft from one area for an combined mission, you leave that area open to be contested by the enemy.
There are also massive vulnerability's with the F-35 they can not possibly all iron out.
They need to scrap it, older succesfull models need to be looked at what made them such successes.
Redesign these and make new generation aircraft out of them.
The big elephant in the room is also the costs of western stealth craft versus russian combat aircraft.
For the costs we field one stealth F-22/F-35. The Russians can field two or three of their modern SU aircraft.
Loaded on multiple hardpoints with anti-air missiles. They are not Stealth perhaps.
But its irrelevant when they posess an superiour number of aircraft with an superior number of loadout.
You have seen the large lens on Russian aircraft nose cones?. I believe the russians call it ISRT if i remember correctly.
they are IR camera's to they can detect aircraft passively.
The West stinger-system uses the same principle. it catches abnormalities in the IR spectrum and interpretates these.
Russian air defense is unlike anything we currently possess in NATO.
Here in NATO we only have Patriot or Stingers to hide behind right?.
We in the west are without SPAAG's or SPAD's. When they penetrate that umbrella we have no answer.
Russia ever since the cold war maintains an doctrine that they WILL take casualty's. so their weapon designs are directed to maintain combat effectiveness as an whole army.
So their air defense is layered in various umbrella's of air defenses.
At long range, an S-300/400 engages Western missiles/aircraft.
Medium Range, Tor and BUK starts to engage as well.
Close range, Tunguska/Pantsir with close-range interceptor missiles and auto-cannons.
The deeper you go, the more attention you are going to get.
Meanwhile new targets that enter the engagement range are engaged as well.
Russia went an long way in automating its systems to engage multiple targets at once.
The issue that is plagueing NATO also is its massive reliance of BMS systems.
BMS standing for Battlefield Management System.
The navy might call it differently but its basically the same.
its an interconnected battlefield awareness.
So for example, an ship in front of the coast sees that an unit on land in combat is engaged with an enemy unit.
The ship then can use that data to target and fire on detected hostile unit.
The massive weakness is, that an corrupted computer can send false data in the network without anyone knowing.
It can create phantom units, and paint allied units to hostile and vice versa.
The real issue is here that politicians and the millitary keep telling everyone they got the superiority.
It is not the case. I was fed the same bullshit in the millitary untill i encountered the Russians and Russian hardware in Afghanistan.
since you posted about the RAF and QE-Class of ships i assumed you where British.
I know of the large issue troubling the Royal Navy. nuclear submarines being build being torn appart to keep the rest operational.
That there is barely enough crew to operate the ships the Navy has at this moment. etc.
Do not get me wrong, i catched up a lot about british maritime history trough Drachinifel's channel on youtube. i love his channel.
I got deep respect for past british achievements on sea.
you really might like his channel.
but right now in time, These are domestic problems that make the Royal navy unable to deal with any conflict.
You need motivated men to crew your ships, and adequate funding to get ship-parts, munitions and training.
there are barely enough to field british destroyer skeleton crews.
In this day and age, big carriers are prime targets in the age of super/hypersonic missiles and supercavitating torpedo's.
It was an massive waste of money to spend all this money on the QE-class carriers.
Remember, any enemy knows you have to take these carriers to their oceans in order to use their strike-craft. they will prepare accordingly.
the money was better suited to finishing the british submarine fleet and pressing an new type of all-round destroyer/cruiser class into service.
smaller, more nimble ships or submarines with lesser crew are the future.