F 35 Lightning is World’s first Fifth generation multi-role, all weather, stealth, combat fighter.



F 35

The only other stealth aircraft of the world that reached operational status are USA’s F-117 Nighthawk (1981–2008), B-2 Spirit bomber, F-22 Raptor fighter, F 35 Lightning II and China’s Chengdu J-20.


F 117

But this Post is not about stealth aircraft. It is about our self-proclaimed defence experts, the self-appointed Solomon, and how disrespectful – ignorant is the right but too strong a word to use – they are of facts and logic.


B 2

I had an argument with a Solomon of defence and his cohort.  I reproduce below the final comment I made to him.

This is a long Post and few will read it. But the few who do, will find the read interesting, and a spotlight on defence Solomon-s.

Happy reading.


F 22


You challenged me to a ‘duel’ in aerodynamics. I accepted. And gave you the choice of the ‘weapon’: you choose the topic for argument. Your response: deafening silence.

I then offered that you could appoint your cohort – IIT grad and a DRDO spokesperson for 35 years to boot – as your “champion.” Again, deafening silence.

Perhaps deep stall, flat spin, inverted spin, inertia-roll coupling and so on are too arcane a topic for you, your forte being subjectivity. So consider this topic: “Handling qualities of space shuttle vis a vis Mig 21 FL and Jaguar in the approach and landing phase.” You can’t get a topic more subjective than that.

Alternatively, heed the advice I gave you: “Never challenge a person. You never know how he will react. Instead of getting frightened, he may pick up the gauntlet. What then?”

You call me a ‘novice,” an “amateur.” I am. And am proud to be one. And like all of them, I check and double check my facts. You will never catch me wrong on facts.

You, on the other hand, are wrong in every fact you cite. So smug are you in your God like being that you believe your words are gospel that need no supporting evidence. Therefore, you don’t check your facts. And get them wrong.

Let’s sample a few of your “gospels”/facts:

Tejas flies “supersonic at treetop heights” to deliver air to ground weapons (agw). You are wrong:  no aircraft (a/c) in the world flies “supersonic at treetop height” and delivers agw. Else, name the a/c that does.

“The F-35 is a derivative of Yak -38. . . . “  In support of that you throw in an article from a Russian govt publication. The article is by a freelancer from New Zealand which is best known not for its dairy products and orchards and venison meat, but for its great universities and think tanks – do tell me names of a few of these, I don’t know of any. And best, you haven’t even read the article beyond the heading. Because if you had, you would know that the article only says that the two aircraft, F 35 and Yak 38, have similar appearance and similar jet exhaust temperature, and that Lockheed Martin (LM) “POSSIBLY” – not certainly – used what they might have learned at Yak to “DESIGN” – mark that the LM designed not derived from Yak 38 – the VSTOL thrust system of F 35 B. On record F 35 B thrust system (ILFS) was designed by Paul Bevilaqua of LM, and developed by Rolls Royce (RR) who hold the patent for it.

“F-35 JSF, was built in the plant imported from USSR,” or “lifted from Russia.” That surely is “Eighth Wonder of Modern World” feat, I said, and repeatedly beseeched you to reveal the source of this fantasy. You sneered: Go, “Ask LM, ask Pentagon.” And I said to you, “what if I were to say that I did and they said, ‘This is an idiotic, fraudulent, statement. Even an idiot won’t believe that a Fifth generation 2006-vintage stealth, multirole, fighter of American design can be built in a 1970 vintage Russian factory that built a few non-stealth, single role, aircraft of 1970’s of Russian design.’ Don’t believe me? Go ask LM, ask Pentagon whether they said it.” From you, deafening silence.

“[F 35] is optimized for temperate climates. . . .” Really. So F 35 C of US Navy will have trouble in operating near Sri Lanka, or in Arctic or Antarctica region. Was F 4 Phantom which was so successful in combat in Vietnam “optimized” for tropical climate?

“Tejas is optimized for tropical climate.” So it will have difficulty operating from Leh, Thoise, Daulat Beg Oldi in Ladakh!

“the pilots were so violently shaken as it [F 35] was being launched [catapulted] that they were sick !! Why was this not seen in tests in wind tunnels?” you demand to know, blissfully unaware that Wind Tunnel tests the aerodynamics of a body. An aircraft at the catapulting has hardly any airflow and therefore hardly any aerodynamics. So “violently shaken” was not because of aerodynamics and therefore could not have been detected in Wind Tunnel.

“LM has already spent $ 1.45 trillion on F 35,” you say. Wrong. That, $ 1.45 trillion, is the cost of the program over its 55 year life, ie, till 2070.

Your friend Mr Gupta comes up with his own contribution to the 8th wonder theme. “FOR YOUR KIND INFORMATION, THAT [ASR for Tejas] WAS IN 1995” – he says. And Tejas TD 1 rolled out a few months later, in 1995 itself!! A Fourth generation plus (as per you) fighter designed and built within a few months of the ASR being issued. Doesn’t that too qualify for the 8th wonder?

I could go on and on citing your bloopers, and Mr Gupta’s contribution to these. But let me stop here and repeat the advice that I gave:

“You claim you have many experimental test pilot (tp) friends. Why don’t you check with them before striking the keyboard?”


“Please lace your response with facts and logic, not with invective and abuse. And don’t question the integrity and pedigree of every one who happens to disagree with you.”


 Chengdu J-20



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