A minimum acceptable number would be around 1200 aircraft (I'm talking about the Su 35/57 duo).
The problem is that the costs to buy and operate such a force would reduce spending in other more important areas.
Equally I don't think 1,200 would cover it anyway... having 1,200 Su-35/30/57s, plus half that number of Su-34s would be a very good base, but your numbers aircraft, which has been missing all this time would be 500-600 MiG-35s and then a growing number of light 5th gen fighters which will be cheap and light and capable and will fill the gaps created by not being able to buy and operate 2,000 of the bigger planes.
Having modern AESA radars and IIR systems flying around the battlefield cooperating with ground forces to find targets and engage them with whatever platform is suitable.
Even a MiG-35 with ARMs and a couple of fuel tanks and AAMs could use its AESA radar and IIR systems to find targets and watch the battlefield in real time and that information can be sent directly to the troops on the ground so they can mark out problem enemy units and find otherwise hidden enemy forces and also detect reinforcements in depth before they arrive that can be hit by artillery or helicopters or other means.
It is about providing awareness to ground and air forces.
Now the west supplies new air defence systems so systems operating silent all this time might suddenly pop out and take shots... you might lose a few planes, but the information they provide might save dozens or hundreds of Russian soldiers lives in the process.
They might operate the MiG-35 back from the front line and it could control an S-70 drone with an AESA radar and IIR optics so unmanned platforms take the brunt of enemy fire... and that is something they need to work out too.
A stealthy 5th gen fighter that HATO AD can't shoot down would be hilarious... and a good seller on the international market... it might be so cheap HATO goes in to its next conflict in a third world country against an enemy with more and better 5th gen fighters than they have. In fact they might have reverted back to their ancient F-15 and F-16s put back into production because their new stuff is a joke.
the world's largest economy
If it was the worlds largest economy it would be out producing a gas station with nukes very quickly...
Worlds largest ego is more accurate...
The Military Balance report by the IISS, a London-based think tank, shows that Russia's invasion of Ukraine has unleashed a deluge of defense spending around the world — most of it from Russia's rivals.
Surprisingly honest, but the increase in defence spending is not going to result in a surge in performance capability... it is going to be used up mostly replacing all the old stock items burned up in the Ukraine that even if replaced one for one by all new and expensive stuff is not going to be enough like it wasn't in the Ukraine.
They are going to have to increase their stock levels by 1,000% and it is all going to be brand new expensive stuff made even more expensive now by demand.... they are going to be blowing their budgets just to get to where they should have been before the conflict started, but most of their go to stuff they were going to rely on to win against Russia has proven to be not good enough so they will need to start programmes and research to replace it all at an enormous cost.
The only other option is to change... before they had super weapons that would destroy Russian crap so they could beat Russia in combat when and where they pleased, but with the destruction and defeat of their weapons and equipment it is pretty clear they not only don't have superiority, but they even lack parity in many areas when fighting in Europe in summer, autumn, winter, and spring conditions, so their new doctrine will have to be make all the existing stuff to fill storage sites and change goals to defense... HATO has become a guerilla army... which is still going to cost them trillions because the new ammo is expensive and the volume needed they now understand is orders of magnitude more than they were storing which makes it even more expensive, but it is proven to already be inferior to what Russia is fielding now and they have plenty of new stuff they are ready to roll out to raise the bar even further.
How long before they start talking about nukes... the cheap security measure.
Their actions empowering nazism in Europe gives Russia a free hand to support other countries the west might be fighting so it can deliver Kornets and Verbas and Onyx missiles to defeat those western uber weapons.
Hahahahaha... now when you call Uber for a ride in Europe a Leopard II will arrive I guess... maybe that is what they meant about western super weapons.
Actually debating not getting a copy of the World Balance this year...
If you don't buy it it might be hard to find in the Library... will it be in the reference section, the comedy section or the Hollywood bullshit section, or maybe it will be in the horticulture section on maintaining a good garden?