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  • September 2020
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Comparing options for Australia

Aircraft combat presence comparision

AIM-120D vs MBDA Meteor

Saab Gripen vs F-35

AIP vs nuclear submarines

Comparing modern Western fighters

Aircraft signature reduction measures

Close coupled vs long arm canard

Comparing modern fighter aircraft

Rafale vs F-35 dogfight performance

Fighter aircraft engines comparision

Comparing stealth fighters

Fighter aircraft gun comparision

FLX vs F-35

Dassault Rafale vs F-35

NATO main battle tanks comparison

PAK FA vs F-22

Dassault Rafale vs Eurofighter Typhoon

F-15 vs F-16

British battleship classes

Dassault Rafale vs Saab Gripen

Quick look

(note: infrared LO only applies at very low speed and is useless value for actual combat, since any aircraft will be very visible to IR sensors at high subsonic speeds and higher)

56 Responses to “Comparisons”

  1. Another Guest (from Australia) said

    @ picard578

    You can also make a “Quick look” comparisons with the:

    1. F-35 vs Sukhoi PAK-FA

    2. F-35 vs J-20 Mighty Dragon

    3. F-35 vs J-31 Falcon Eagle.


  2. nicjon said

    Hey Picard – love your work mate, keep up the good work. 🙂

    I think a chart on thrust/weight +wing loading for all versions of the F-16 would be quite interesting. ie. From YF-16 (which Pierre Sprey maintains was the very best F-16 there ever was) all the way to the latest version with the 32,500Ib engine. Pierre Sprey mentioned how wonderful it would be to get the F-16 back to F-16A weights and install the the latest F-16 engine. He said it would be a “smoking aeroplane”. Better yet, the YF-16 with the new engine. It would look very intersting on a chart againt the F-22, Rafael, Typhoon and co. (hint, hint!)


  3. NicJon said

    Another idea Picard :-). Have you come across the Discovery Channel’s Ten Ten Series? They’ve covered; Fighters, Bombers, Helicopters, IFVs, Tanks, Rifles, Warships and Submarines. Its a pity they didn’t do a feature on Attack Aircraft. In each countdown, they use a matrix which can include; kill ratio, fear factor, production rating, service length, innovation, payload etc. As a bonus, Sprey appears on both the Fighter and Tank countdown too.


  4. NicJon said

    Sorry, not Ten Ten – Top Ten. 🙂 (fighters)

    There was also another series called ‘Greatest Ever’ but can’t find the utube video link anymore.
    The results are here.
    The P-51 comes out on top in each list (a very worthy choice).
    However, the ‘Greatest Ever’ was ruined when they included the F-117 on their list.(!!??) Now that’s just stupid.


  5. F/A-18E Super Hornet isn’t bad!


  6. Which is be more expensive? A kinetic bombardment system program? Or the nuke program.


  7. F-35 vs F-22???


  8. Im not sure if you do this but please do a Tiger attack helicopter comparison with the AH-1Z Viper


    • picard578 said

      I typically don’t do helicopters, and you may have noticed my opinion on attack helicopters… sell them and buy some A-10s.


      • cheetahfang258 said

        They are good for close range support though especially CAS they can hover in there for a while and can take off vertically which is a nice benefit.


        • picard578 said

          Hovering just makes them more vulnerable so if enemy has anything more powerful than assault rifles, hovering can’t be used. As for vertical takeoff, yeah, but it is mostly useful for transport.


    • NicJon said

      Picards spot on Cheetah. Just compare the Ah-64 with the A-10. You can get two Warthogs for each Apache!! What a joke. Pierre Sprey – key designer of the A-10 AND F-16 feels the same way as Picard and I do. He said the problem with helicopters is they can’t maneuver. They can only pull 1-2 G which is hardly anything so they’re dead ducks in the presence of guns or Surface to air missiles. Not only are they unmaneuverable, they can’t take damage either. The list goes on and on. No, just as Picard said – use them for transport duty only. Attack helicopters? Forget it. A-10 Warthog every day of the week thanks. No contest.


      • Not really Helicopters are better for searching down targets and can remain on station longer than A-10s. Helicopters can go at high speeds at low altitudes without worrying about going too fast… They also can take off vertically which allows helicopters to take off without taking up much space. Yeah the harrier can do the same but helicopters are more efficient… For example a helicopter can hide behind enemy lines silent and then suddenly ambush them. A helicopters maintenance req is lower than that of an A-10 which gives it an advantage not to mention the avionics


        • picard578 said

          A-10 actually has longer loiter time than the AH-64, and is far more survivable (not sure if true, but I heard that a farmer in Iraq took out AH-64 with a .22 cal rifle. In any case, .50 machine gun is a certain death for the AH-64, while the A-10 can shrug off 20 mm, maybe even 30 mm).

          “Helicopters can go at high speeds at low altitudes without worrying about going too fast…”

          Only because they are so damn slow that even their fastest speed is far slower than that of fixed wing aircraft.

          “They also can take off vertically which allows helicopters to take off without taking up much space.”

          True, but I’d rather have far easier to maintain, cheaper, more effective and survivable STOL aircraft. Not that helicopters are useless, but attack helos are only good for wiping out what dedicated CAS aircraft missed.


      • I heard it was an AK, Many people have said something about it but that was the A, B, Or C version I believe which the later versions were updated to stand .50 Caliber bullets up to the cockpit.


      • Also your thoughts on the V-22?
        View at


      • picard578 said

        V-22? Waste of money. Better put some additional kits on helicopters… like this:


      • I think funding should be taken from the V-22 and put towards the S-97 Raider II


      • Chris said

        Now that I have done more reading on the V-22, it really should be cancelled.

        There are some major, major problems with that aircraft. It’s like a transport chopper version of the JSF.


  9. cheetahfang258 said

    Thank you.


  10. NicJon said

    A little bit of a Close Air Support Comparison I’ve been working on which include:

    SU25, A10, A4, A1, P47, F4U, IL2, JU87

    (I could have included others of course like: AC130 Gunship , OV10 Bronco, A37 Dragonfly etc.
    While the Spectre’s firepower is awesome, its cost of $260 million put me off – that’s 20 A10’s!
    The Bronco’s endurance was impressive, but its firepower was lacking.
    The Dragonfly’s size and performance seem close to ideal but its let down by lack of loiter)

    I’ve included the following measures:

    Production Numbers, Service Length, Climb Rate, Wing Loading, Loiter Time, Survivability, Cannon, Cost, Payload, Size, Cockpit Visibility

    Note: I’ve looked to get as much info as possible, done calculations, but I admit much is estimate work.
    Hopefully I haven’t messed up – we can’t all be rocket scientists like Picard! 😉
    ….Its a work in progress so any comments, adjustments etc are very welcome.

    Production Numbers Score out of 20
    SU25 1024 1
    A10 716 0
    A4 2960 2
    A1 3180 2
    P47 15660 9
    F4U 12571 7
    IL2 36183 20
    JU87 6500 4

    Service Length (years)
    SU25 33 11
    A10 37 13
    A4 58 20
    A1 39 13
    P47 24 8
    F4U 37 13
    IL2 13 4
    JU87 9 3

    Climb Rate (ft/min)
    SU25 11,400 20
    A10 6,000 11
    A4 8,440 15
    A1 2,850 5
    P47 3,120 5
    F4U 3,870 7
    IL2 2,050 4
    JU87 2,050 4

    Wing Loading (Ib/sq ft2) (lower score is better!)
    SU25 120 20
    A10 99 16
    A4 71 12
    A1 45 7
    P47 44 7
    F4U 38 6
    IL2 31 5
    JU87 32 5

    Loiter (hours) – Range -nm- divided by cruise speed -knots- X 1.14 or 14%
    SU25 0.9 2
    A10 4 10
    A4 0.75 2
    A1 8 20
    P47 3.1 8
    F4U 3.7 9
    IL2 3.2 8
    JU87 1.8 5

    SU25 17
    A10 20
    A4 8
    A1 10
    P47 8
    F4U 8
    IL2 10
    JU87 4

    SU25 1 x 30mm with 250 rounds 4
    A10 1 x 30mm with 1350 rounds 20
    A4 2 x 20mm with 400 rounds 2
    A1 4 x 20mm with 800 rounds of ammo 4
    P47 8 x .50 in (12.7mm) with 3400 rounds 4
    F4U 6 x .50 in with 2400 rounds OR 4 x 20mm 4
    IL2 2 x 23mm with 300 rounds + 2 x 7.62mm with 1500 rounds 3
    JU87 2 x 7.62mm + 2 x 37mm gunpods 10

    Cost (lower score better!)
    SU25 11,000,000 19
    A10 11,800,000 20
    A4 7,600,000 13
    A1 3,000,000 5
    P47 1,250,856 2
    F4U 1,100,000? 2
    IL2 1,000,000? 2
    JU87 710,000 1

    Payload (Ib)
    SU25 8,800 11
    A10 16,000 20
    A4 9,900 12
    A1 8,000 10
    P47 2,500 3
    F4U 4,000 5
    IL2 1,320 2
    JU87 770 1

    Size (length by width in feet) (lower score better!)
    SU25 50 x 47 16
    A10 53 x 57 20
    A4 40 x 26 7
    A1 38 x 50 13
    P47 36 x 40 10
    F4U 33 x 41 9
    IL2 38 x 47 12
    JU87 36 x 45 11

    Cockpit Visibility
    SU25 15
    A10 20
    A4 15
    A1 18
    P47 18
    F4U 18
    IL2 12
    JU87 15

    (Formula: Add Survivability, Cannon, Payload, Visibility, Service, Climb, Loiter score out of 20, then take away the Wing Loading, Size and Cost score out of 20)
    (lower score is better!………..)
    Survivability Cannon Payload Visibility Service Climb Loiter Numbers Wing Loading Size Cost
    SU25 17 4 11 15 11 20 2 1 20 16 19
    A10 20 20 20 20 13 11 10 0 16 20 20
    A4 8 2 12 15 20 15 2 2 12 7 13
    A1 10 4 10 18 13 5 20 2 7 13 5
    P47 8 4 3 18 8 5 8 9 7 10 2
    F4U 8 4 5 18 13 7 9 7 6 9 2
    IL2 10 3 2 12 4 4 8 20 5 12 2
    JU87 4 10 1 15 3 4 5 4 5 11 1


    A10 58
    A1 57
    F4U 54
    A4 44
    P47 44
    IL2 44
    JU87 29
    SU25 26

    The F4U Corsair in 3rd was a surprise. I didn’t think it would come out as far in front of the P47 Thunderbolt as it did.
    The SU-25 Frogfoot was really disappointing finishing in last place.

    Liked by 1 person

    • picard578 said

      Funny, I tried designing a CAS fighter based off the Su-25… I scrapped it because it ended up being a disappointment.


      • charlie said

        The Frogfoot still has its good points – particulary climb performance for example. One of Sprey’s main concerns of the A10 is its climb away / escape / reposition performance after an attack. He proposed a requirement of a 75% improvement. The SU25 seems to fit the bill here.

        The payload of 8,800Ibs is by means a disgrace either. Its in the same class as the A4 Skyhawk. Sprey actually pointed out that the Warthog went to far in this area with 16,000. He viewed the Skyhawk’s payload as quite adequate.

        I came up with .9 hrs for loiter time which is relatively low (assuming its correct). Sprey noted the A4 had .75 in this area, again, not great.

        Also the SU25’s 30mm was really let down by the low amount of ammo carried – only 250 rounds.

        Yes, It was really surprising that while the A-10 and Su-25 shared many of the same traits such as;
        heavy armour, a 30mm gun, similar service length, relatively low production numbers for each, similar service length, similar wing loading,
        There was still enough difference between the two for one to finish 1st and the other last. Very surprising.


      • picard578 said

        Payload should be counted per procurement USD, not per aircraft, though too low payload may limit types of ammunition utilized (I’d say that 4000 lbs is an absolute minimum). As for loiter time, I’d say that several hours loiter time is required for CAS aircraft.


      • NicJon said

        Yep, Sprey recommends 4-6 hours.

        Thanks for the feedback Picard. 🙂


    • picard578 said

      By the way:

      “Hopefully I haven’t messed up – we can’t all be rocket scientists like Picard!”

      I’m not a rocket scientist either, most things you need to know are actually quite simple. For example, a jet engine designer can talk about alloys, bypass ratios, number of fans etc. But these are nothing more than tools for achieving what actually matters: fuel consumption, thrust-to-weight and thrust-to-drag (thrust to frontal area) ratios as well as ease of maintenance. Most of it can be relatively easily (albeit not with 100% precision) approximated through public data and information from whistleblowers and other insiders, such as is avaliable. A piece of advice, though: if you want to research military, start with military history from World War I to today, and preferably from Ice Age to today – understanding how technology avaliable is used is far more important than understanding its precise workings, and that is the only way of achieving it.


  11. NicJon said


    Could have included sorties per day but didn’t have enough info ie:

    SU25 ?
    A10 3
    A4 1.5
    A1 6
    P47 ?
    F4U ?
    IL2 5
    JU87 5


  12. The best stealth fighter


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