Friday, June 20, 2014

Introducing Fighter Jet Fight Club



With summer more or less here, there will likely be a slower-than-usual trickle of fighter related news.  I will also be spending more time away from the computer and more time doing fun summer stuff.

That's no reason to stop this madness, however.

Over the next few weeks and months in an effort to truly find the "best fighter for Canada", I will be doing a direct comparison with what's available.  This will not be truly definitive, and it will not take into account the myriad economical and political benefits of each platform.  Instead, it will be a simple "this versus that" comparison.

Here are the rules to "Fighter Jet Fight Club":


  1. Don't talk about Fighter Jet Fight Club.  Talk about it as much as you want!  The whole point of this exercise is to encourage discussion.  If you disagree about something let me know.  I may even change my mind...
  2. All participants will be considered to be flown by equally skilled pilots, with equally skilled support.  Aircraft will be similarly armed.
  3. All equipment will work "as advertised".  No buggy software, etc.  
  4. All participants will be operating as currently planned out for the 2020 time frame.  That means all the latest upgrades that are currently in testing will be in service.  In order to be considered, upgrades must currently in the testing phase.  No "concepts" that exist solely as fancy drawings or models.
  5. No ties.  While some aircraft may equal points, there will always be a declared winner, with an explanation why.
Scoring will be based on three categories:  Air-to-ground effectiveness, air-to-effectiveness, and versatility/logistics.  Each of these will be divided into subcategories.

Air-to-ground: (4 points)
  • Interdiction:  How well the aircraft will be able to destroy targets over contested airspace.  This will be first day "shock-and-awe" type warfare.
  • Deep strike:  What is the maximum range a fighter can reach a target from?
  • Payload:  Simply put, how much ordinance can the aircraft bring to the target.
  • Close air support:  How well the aircraft can support troops on the ground.
Air-to-air:  (4 points)
  • First look, first kill:  Whomever sees first and shoots first usually wins.  This will compare the aircrafts' ability to detect enemy aircraft before they themselves are detected.  
  • Beyond Visual Range:  Seeing the enemy is one thing.  Bringing them down is another.  How well does each aircraft handle BVR combat?
  • Within Visual Range:  Things have gotten uncomfortably close now.  
  • Dogfighting:  Both aircraft are now out of missiles and need to rely on cannons.
[NOTE:  There will be no ties in the air-to-air category.  Somebody's either bugging out or going down.  This will usually be the "tie-breaker" if scores are otherwise even.]

Versatility/Logistics: (2 points)
  • Versatility:  These are multi-role fighters, after all.  How easy do they switch roles?  Can they perform others?  
  • Logistics:  How easy are they to keep in the air?
Points will be awarded and a winner selected.  Remember, aircraft will be compared against one another.  Just because "Fighter A" scores well against "Fighter B" in one match, doesn't mean it will score well against "Fighter X" in another.  

Remember, Fighter Jet Fight Club will also ignore such mundane things such as industrial offsets, costs, etc.  It also doesn't account for larger numbers (100 Gripens vs 65 F-35s, for example).  This is merely a way to compare how each aircraft can handle each mission.

Also, this simply an exercise to promote discussion while having a little fun.  Comparing two aircraft based on information found on the internet is NOT equivalent to a full competition using top secret information!  Take every result with a huge grain of salt...  Your mileage may vary...  

Have an comments?  Suggestions?  Let me hear 'em!

8 comments:

  1. AESA-equipped F16 Bk52 or Su35S!

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  2. That seems interesting. I will follow this "world cup" ;)

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  3. Range
    Combat Radius
    Toys - Air to Air Refueling - Great for a large country with few tankers.

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  4. Great idea.. let's Get Ready to Rumbleeeeee!

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  5. Sounds like a great idea. Wonder where the F-35 will end up ;-)

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  6. Interesting find for the F-22 RFP. The Northrop Co-op fighter looks like the Gripen.

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  7. I wish the SU-35 was included as well. Canada should be looking for the best frame and Canadianize it.
    Newspaper articles keep taking about the enemy fighters, there is no war!
    You never know you may have a war where two air forces square off and they both have F-35's.

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  8. You have a lot of imagination :)

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