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Now I Know Why the F-105 Fighter Was the Vietnam War's F-35

War Is Boring
By USAF - U.S. Air Force photo no. 060928-F-1234S-019 [1], Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6414952

War Is Boring

Security, Asia

Just not stealth.

Now I Know Why the F-105 Fighter Was the Vietnam War's F-35

The U.S. military’s new F-35 Joint Strike Fighter can’t turn fast enough to defeat a much older F-16 in mock air combat, according to an official test pilot report that War Is Boring obtained.

So how will F-35s — on track to be the U.S. Air Force’s most numerous fighter — survive in battle against foes flying much more nimble Russian and Chinese jets?

Look to history for possible answers. Fifty years ago, the Air Force was in a similar predicament. Its main strike fighter was the F-105 Thunderchief — a heavy, high-tech ground-attacker that, much like the F-35, was supposed to also be able to defeat enemy fighters.

But in fact, the F-105 — like the F-35 — turned too slowly to reliably beat the Russian-made MiG-21, the Thunderchief’s main potential rival at the time. So the Air Force worked out special tactics to help the F-105 survive.

The flying branch will have to do the same for the F-35.

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