F-35 vs S-400: Does S-400 makes stealth F-35 obsolete

F-35 vs S-400: Does S-400 makes stealth F-35 obsolete

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a family of single-seat, single-engine, all-weather stealth multirole fighters. The fifth-generation combat aircraft is designed to perform ground attack and air superiority missions.

It has three main models: the F-35A conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) variant, the F-35B short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) variant, and the F-35C carrier-based Catapult Assisted Take-Off But Arrested Recovery (CATOBAR) variant.

The S-400 Triumf is an anti-aircraft weapon system. The S-400 uses four missiles to fill its performance envelope: the very-long-range 40N6 (400 km), the long-range 48N6 (250 km), the medium-range 9M96E2 (120 km) and the short-range 9M96E (40 km).


Keeping it simple here and the answer is yes. The S200, S300, S400 and even the S500 has the capability to shoot down all known stealth in the US inventory.

Basically, paying to an expensive jet with stealth features is a complete and utter waste of money unless you’re attacking a country that doesn’t have one of these systems!…



The Pentagon began the F 35 program in 2001 with an aim to develop a cost-effective replacement for u.s. military’s f-15 fighters, f-16 and f-18 bombers and reconnaissance aircraft, and a-10 close air support warplanes.

Apart from the United States, the primary customer and financial backer, the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Canada, Turkey, Australia, Norway and Denmark are also part of the program. Many other nations like Japan and Israel are also deploying the fighters.

The nine major partner nations, including the U.S, plan to acquire over 3,000 F-35s through 2035, which, if delivered will make the F-35 one of the most numerous jet fighters. The fighter aircraft will be in service till 2050. On 2 August 2016, the U.S. Air Force declared its first squadron of F-35A fighters combat-ready.

S 400 Triumph is an anti-aircraft weapon system developed by Russia’s Almaz Central Design Bureau in the 1990s as an upgrade of the s-300 family. it has been in service with the Russian armed forces since 2007.

It is designed to defend against aircraft including 5th generation stealth fighters, bombers, awacs, cruise missiles, and ballistic missile.

It is considered one of the most powerful anti-aircraft defense system in the world.


Here is a list of specifications of F 35 and S 400 respectively.


In a combat environment, F 35 has the following options to defeat S 400.


We will analyze each of this one by one and rate the chances F 35 against S 400 on a scale of 1 to 5.


But in case of F 35, the tactics will be useless since it has a top speed of only 1.6 mach and missiles deployed by s 400 have hypersonic speeds ranging from 6 Mach to 14 Mach.

For example, 40N6 missile has a speed of 14 Mach.


F 35 is not designed to be a great dogfighter and lacks agility when compared to fighters like F 22 or SU 35.
The need for the small F 35 to carry a heavy range of internal engines, fuel and weapons has resulted in what aviation experts label a ‘high wing loading’. essentially, the wings are small in relation to its weight and this impedes maneuverability.

F 35 also has a sluggish rate of climb when compared to modern fighters.


The trump card of F 35 against any air defense system is that it is a stealthy aircraft.
But F 35’s simplified airframe is far less of the ‘shaped stealth’ found in the F 22. This implies much greater reliance on radar-absorbing materials.

* Against x-band radars, it is only stealthy (lo) from front and rear;
* Against S-band radar, it is stealthy from narrow front aspect,
* Against l-band radar. the limited reduction is achieved from direct front

The nabob svn & zebu m have a claimed capability against stealth aircraft.
Keeping in view the different aspects, F 35 will be vulnerable in a combat scenario.


All three variants of the F 35 carry Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radars with sophisticated electronic attack capabilities, including false targets, network attack, advanced jamming, and algorithm-packed data streams. This system allows the F 35 to reach well-defended targets and suppress enemy radars that threaten the F 35.


S 400 is designed to be mobile.
All system components are carried by self-propelled wheeled all-terrain chassis.

Even if detected, S 400 will be a very very tough nut to crack.
Just one S 400 system can control up to 72 launchers, with a maximum of 384 missiles.
This means that the system has enough ammunition & targeting strength to take down a saturation attack.Also, an important aspect is that for aerodynamic target and ballistic targets, the minimum engagement range is only 2 and 5 km respectively.

A separate independent air defense system 42S6 Morfey is being developed by Russia’s Almaz-Antey corporation.
This system is designated as a short-range air defense system and will protect the s-400 from various threats at their terminal phases.


As per our analysis, F 35 will find it difficult to operate in areas protected by S 400. This means the not only us but the partner nations will find it hard to gain air supremacy, which is vital in modern conflicts.

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  1. Clearly the author of the site has no idea how low RCS works. Detection is only the first part of the kill chain, so even if the S-400 can detect the F-35, that doesn’t mean it can shoot it down.

    After detection comes tracking where the Radar tries to gather info such as heading, velocity, etc. Once a tracking solution is made the SAM system needs to make a targeting solution where it will attempt to predict where the interception will take place. These steps are all part of what radar operators call a “kill chain”

    against a Stealth aircraft, all the links in the kill chain are dramatically harder to achieve. The S-300,400 and the upcoming S-500 uses advanced versions of low frequency (LF) radars to detect the presence of Stealth aircraft, however LF radars cannot deliver weapons quality tracking solutions accurate enough to guide a missile.

    To obtain a weapons quality track, the S-300, S-400 and S-500 still uses C, X and Ku bands, which are used by fire control radars to produce a high-resolution track. This is where the kill chain fails against the F-35 because the aircraft is specifically designed to be undetectable by these types of frequencies.

    Is it impossible for the S-300/400/500 to kill an F-35? absolutely not, Even the US does not claim this, but it will be very very very very difficult to do so.

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