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New videos leaked from the US Air Force's F-35 demo or stunt flying team show the jet making head-spinning turns that older jets could never hit.
Russia's Sukhoi fighter/bombers have enviable maneuverability and serious dogfighting capability, but only the US and China have produced true stealth fighters.
Many defense experts believe a revamped fighter fleet with fifth-generation technology could have matched the F-35 at a fraction of the cost.
The new F-35 carriers will not only give Japan its first true aircraft carriers since World War II, but seem ideal for taking on the Chinese navy.
The F-35 stealth fighter just pulled off a massive flex that China’s J-20 and Russia’s Su-57 aren’t anywhere close to matching
Until China and Russia sort out their engines and actually build the stealth planes, they're not worthy of a mention in the same breath as the F-35.
Even if all F-35s and F-22s turn out fine, the loss to Tyndall Air Force Base, where stealth fighter training takes place, represents a huge setback to US air dominance on par with losing a big battle.
In the face of a massive Russian naval presence in the Mediterranean hugging Syria's coast, the US doesn't have a single carrier strike group anywhere near the region. But it does have a squadron of US Marine Corps F-35Bs.
The F-35Bs aboard the Essex will train on a variety of missions near the Red Sea, such as how to provide close air support for Marine units optimized to take beaches, or how to respond to an attack.
"That can be done much, much more rapidly than introducing a new design," David Deptula, a retired Air Force lieutenant general who now leads the Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies, told Defense One.
The F-35C has had a long, costly production, but now promises to revolutionize naval aviation as the first carrier-launched stealth fighter, a revolutionary leap in US carrier's combat power.