The USA is concerned about the Russian military threat. The US Congress asked President Obama to continue the purchase of F-22 Raptor fighter jets to guarantee the interests of the national security and the economy of the United States.
US congressmen believe that it will become a good response to the modernization of Russia’s powerful missile systems known as SA-20 - the export designation of S-300 and S-400 complexes. Military experts Alexander Khramchikhin, Vladislav Shurygin, Anatoly Tsyganok and Konstantin Sivkov gave their comments to Pravda.ru in this connection.
It goes without saying that US congressmen exaggerate the “Russian threat.” The legendary S-400 system is not meant for export and cannot be found anywhere outside Russia. Furthermore, the Russian army has only two divisions armed with S-400 missile complexes, but the systems raise concerns with the United States anyway.
Konstantin Sivkov, the vice president of the Academy for Geopolitical Sciences, believes that the F-22 fighter jets pose a great danger to any modern missile defense system. “This aircraft has a wide range of opportunities to defeat the system. Its stealth element makes it inconspicuous for anti-aircraft systems. One has to add the enormous speed, which the aircraft develops, its maneuverability and its airborne equipment. All of that makes it a very powerful and dangerous aircraft,” he said.
An expert with the Institute of the Military and Political Analysis, Alexander Khramchikhin, believes that the statement from the US congressmen was a typical lobbying method, which they practiced for decades. “Russia exported S-300 systems to a very limited number of countries. We can not sell the S-400 system to anyone for a number of reasons. The Americans are dodging, because air defense facilities are not categorized as offensive weapons, and consequently, they cannot pose a threat to them. They only want to enhance their defense complex,” the expert believes.
“The US fighter jet of the fifth generation, F-22 Raptor, is a very strong weapon. However, one should not overestimate its abilities. It is radar-detectable and it is destructible, no matter what they might say. I have to say that the Americans are dodging when they talk about the danger of S-300 and S-400 systems. These systems are categorized as defensive arms – they cannot be used for attacking anyone. Therefore, the United States simply wants to continue its rearmament program to become absolutely predominant over any potential enemy,” the expert told Pravda.ru.
Anatoly Tsygankov, an expert with the Institute of Military and Political Analysis, said that the initiative of US congressmen revealed a military gap between Russia and the USA . “The USA has fifth-generation aircraft, but we have not started even testing it. However, there is no sensation about the suggestion from US congressmen. They most likely want to purchase the weapons, which they may not even use in the near future,” he said.
To put it in a nutshell, the myth about “the Russian threat” is just a feed box for the US defense industry.
The Pentagon previously planned to rearm the nation’s Air Force with F-22 aircraft. The jet was supposed to replace F-15 and F-16 fighters which make the basis of the US Air Force. However, the cost of Raptors skyrocketed due to the introduction of ultra modern expensive technologies. It costs $137.5 million to make one Raptor, whereas the full price makes up $361 million.
Nevertheless, US hawks demand the completion of at least the first batch of F-22 planes – 188 aircraft - claiming that potential adversaries already conduct active works to challenge the power of US Raptors. They mean Russia and China here first and foremost, saying that the two countries may have fifth-generation fighter jets during the upcoming five or ten years.
The deployment of F-22 jets in Japan, the Philippines and in Taiwan means that the planes will be meant to intimidate other countries too. The development of the F-22 fleet will most likely be aimed to restrain China’s ambitions which also has S-300 missile systems in its arsenal. It is worthy of note that not only did Beijing purchase the systems per se, but it also acquired a license to produce one of its modifications - S-300PMU-1, or Honggi-10 (HQ-10).
Raptors could be tested in Iran (this country also owns S-300 systems) and other countries that do not wish to dance to the US tunes. To crown it all, US defense officials would like to see how their Raptors would work in a real battle against S-300 complexes. This could be done in 13 countries, which have the S-300 system in their arsenal: Algeria, Armenia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Hungary, Vietnam, Greece, India, Kazakhstan, Cyprus, Syria, Slovakia and Ukraine .
Vietnam is history, but Iran, Belarus and Syria make the group of the most problematic countries for the US administration.