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More For Less Or Less For More?

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Written by Julian Macfarlane exclusively for SouthFront

Julian Macfarlane: “My last article dealt with Japan’s reluctance to buy or co-produce what is now undeniably—according to research – the world’s safest high efficacy COVID 19 vaccine, opting for much more expensive American vaccines using newer but unproven technologies.”

The Japanese, are not Russophobic, as the Americans are—along with most of the “Western” world.

However, the people of this historically isolated archipelago have an essentially feudal mentality. As vassals, defeated in war, they must bow to higher authority: while Muslims prostrate themselves to none but God and only several times a day towards Mecca, the Japanese are always on their knees towards Washington. There is no love in this; nor is there any sense that Washington’s values are those of the Japanese; it is a relationship determined solely by the dynamics of power and habit after a catastrophic defeat and occupation.

Of course, as the French philosopher Foucault said, “where is power, there is resistance”. The Japanese do resist—but passively – maintaining their cultural “difference”, which support from other countries as a somewhat cute exoticism.  The price of this ambivalence is to simply “buy American” where possible.

Japan’s purchase of the Pfizer COVID vaccine is a good example. Add to that Japan’s purchase of American military equipment, especially the F-35 fighter, the Patriot and Aegis missile systems.

Cost performance doesn’t matter to the Japanese. A single F-35 A costs $94 million and an F-35 B, 122 million, not counting its maintenance over time that amounts to at least 352 million yen per jet.

The Patriot costs about one billion dollars and two Aegis systems, 4.8 billion, or about 2.5 billion dollars per battery. Compare that to the cost of Russia’s S-400, which is half that of the not-very successful Patriot, with superior capabilities in all areas! The Russian system is five times less expensive than the Aegis system, which is touted as having similar efficacy, namely a limited anti-missile capability. “Limited”? Because it is unlikely that the Aegis system, which was actually designed years ago, could cope with the newest generation of Russian and Chinese hypersonic missile systems. Consider also that the S-400 system is soon to be replaced by the even more effective S-500, specifically designed with hypersonic weapons in mind, not to mention multiple threat scenarios. There are rumors that S-700 will be developed soon after that.

Let us keep in mind that the US, while continually dismissing Russian technology,  as you know, primitive – y’know – “Russian” – has, until recently, depended almost entirely on Soyuz rockets to get the International Space Station!

The problem-ridden F-35 is the most expensive fighter project in history that costs over a trillion dollars, but is unlikely to be fully operational for 5 to 10 years. In the Russian arsenal, its nearest equivalent is the SU-57, combat-tested in Syria, that costs about one-half to one-third, with much lower maintenance costs.

The Russian antiaircraft and antimissile systems clearly offer superior cost performance.

While two Aegis batteries on two ships will protect those ships adequately against weapons other than hypersonic missiles, they can’t offer much protection at all for a spread-out chain of islands that extends from the tropical zone to the northern latitudes. For land defense, Aegis ship defenses are just part of a complex semi-integrated, multi-layered defense system.

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The Patriots? Maybe they are good for preventing bird strikes at airports.

The F-35 A is a bomb truck, designed for European tactical scenario, where its stealth characteristics could be useful in destroying trucks and tanks on a relatively flat battlefield where large forces can be easily deployed. It is not really suitable for mountainous terrains such as Switzerland – or Japan.

Billions are being spent on tentative to make the F-35 a “multi-role” fighter with the most advanced and new, bug-ridden technologies, a huge giveaway to the defense industry but really a waste of tax payers’ dollars. What you get in the end will be a “jack of all trades but master of none”, obsolete by the time it arrives after another ten years and billions of dollars spent to try to keep it from killing its pilots.

Besides the F-35’s tendency to crash, it can only carry a modest bomb load or weapons without sacrificing stealth. Nor is it particularly fast or maneuverable–not a real interceptor or air-to-air fighter –with small wings which limit its performance the F-35 B is a VTOL aircraft designed with Marine Corps attack scenarios in mind – even more limited because of a lift fan behind the pilot blocking his rear view, extra weight and short range. Maybe it is a good weapon for the US attacking Grenada. But who is Japan intending to attack?

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By contrast, the Su-57 is the logical development of the series of fighters that began with the Su27 platform. It is based on previous experience and is intended as a multi-role fighter, good at everything it has to do, and competitive with the hugely expensive F-22. The Su-57 is not designed as a true “stealth” fighter there really is no such thing. “Stealth” does not mean “invisibility” but only reduced detect ability, and radar and detection systems are advancing rapidly, with even F22s now traceable at 200 km. In combat, stealth aircraft have been shot down  by “third world” countries. The Su-57 approach to stealth is more practical rather than theoretical.

At the end of 2020, the first Su-57 reportedly entered service with Russian Aerospace forces. Russia is using existing aircraft, essentially prototypes, to test the platform, which will only be mature sometime next year, taking advantage of better “stealth coating”, upgraded electronics, a better weapon suite and a new, higher thrust, lighter and more fuel-saving engine — not to mention new technologies for cheaper, faster and more precise production.

The Russian approach to military matters  is always defensive rather than offensive unlike the USA whose wars have almost all been fought to dominate, expand territory and control. Offensive wars require huge amounts of military resources, manpower, and technology. After WWII, the military industrial complex was the major economic and political driving force and it needed wars of aggression to survive. The more complicated and expensive the technologies, the happier companies were. Hence, a series of wars on third world countries.

By contrast, President Putin, who will surely be remembered as one of the last true statesmen, made it clear to the Russian oligarchy, including those in the defense industries, that they could keep their ill-gotten gains only as far as they served the interests of the state, not the other way around. That meant better products and better efficiency.

The Russians don’t have money to waste. But then again, defensive weapons are less expensive to develop and involve fewer compromises of the kind we see in the F-35.

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Russia’s new weapons are built on existing technologies that are constantly improved, innovated in the smartest way, when there is need. For example, there are hypersonic weapons, the S-500 and the Su-57.

If the Japanese really wanted to defend the country, they would be buying S-400s and S-500s, as well as Su-35s and Su-57s, which have the range and capabilities to fend off any attackers.

This also applies to Canada, where the Sukhoi family is best suited to defend the vast expanse of the country, whose only attacker, historically, has been the US-made (four times).

However, Canada is also a vassal state and almost as Russophobic as the US thanks to its addiction to US media. Why would the US attack it when it already owns it?

 Is Russophobia the New AntiSemitism? Is Americanism the New Aryanism? That’s the subject of my next article.


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johnny rotten

Two notes, the first is that if the Americans were really capable of making functioning anti-missile systems they would have arranged them to defend their cities and their military bases, not only in the American continent but also in Europe, instead as is known it does not exist. anti missile coverage in the reality of the West, and it would have been a miraculous business to defend every European capital as well as politically advantageous, if this did not happen the reason is clear, the fact speaks for itself. The second is that when the evil empire collapses I assume that the Japanese people will celebrate and get drunk for at least the next twenty years, and they would have a good reason.


US tendencies to produce offensive weaponry fusing battlefield information from various air, ground and sea platforms involves a great reliance on latest technological developments…..in order to give its armed forces overwhelming superiority over the enemy. The problem with such approach is that humans become fully dependent on technological gizmos.

A capable enemy using effective EW can disrupt these linkages and gizmos, disorienting and confusing the situational awareness of the US forces, making them easy targets to reliable weapons that are proven killers.
Japan is buying such weapons to conform to the US strategic concepts, without considering the Russian and Chinese passive counter approach to annul so called technologically superiority.


This is why the emphasis in NATO is increasingly with cyberwarfare.
There is an achilles heal with cyberwarfare though, and that is when training for the manual operation of civilian and military systems such as power supply, water and military systems can bypass the integrated internet based systems.

Such ‘old tech’ resilience would benefit civilians amd military greatly.
A flashy high tech ‘car’ with a battery failure could be more resilient with an old fashioned starting handle :)

Wars are won with weapons that can withstand the ravages of war, and Russian weapons are particularly resilient, as demonstrated by history.

Tommy Jensen

Good point. The basic problem IOT and AI and all their prediction bs is that it easily can be hacked or destroyed or something unexpected happen, the weather, or a bird, a rat or a natural virus or something else.
The old fashioned manual is easily repaired, cheap and well proven.


Stick to what works, until new technologies are proven to withstand the rigors of war.


The UK MOD today announced that it would be reducing soldier numbers by 10,000 by ‘natural wastage’ over the next few years. One comment from MOD was that it was not wise to :- ‘Fight Afghanistan style conflicts’.
Is that because the NATO murder campaign in Afghanistan has only succeeded in killing and injuring friend and foe alike, along with profits for the arms and drug traders. Its 22 years and counting.

The British forces of the future strategy will be to use more drones and cyber warfare.
And I guess, more ISIS style proxies. This would allow for more ‘Chest Feeding’ soldiers etc. :)


There is a peace benefit when nations orientated to the US buy US weapons, as in real combat with Russia, China and even Iran, the chances of victory using US weapons are slight.

I realise that Iran does not have the defence ability of Russian or China, BUT Iran does possess a non nuclear option and that is the destruction of Israel with conventional arms and swarms of ballistic missiles aimed at Israel in particular :)


Japan exports expensive technology and cars in USA and their second hand cars in Russia.

Tommy Jensen

As long as it can transport you from one place to another, the result is the same………….LOL.


I heard the shrooms can transport you in multiple paces the same time.


And like Australia,factually both new and used to be frank!


Both true but can an average Russian buy a new Japanese car? They even sold Lada to Renault.

Raptar Driver

In the US the weapons in industry is simply a racket like everything else here.
They’re designed to make money, fighting a war is secondary.


f35 max speed 950 kph (overheating fuel cells
su 57 max speed more like add 20%,irrespective the factuall far outweighs the speculateds,
how can anyone compare single engined to a dual engined powerhouse,use you head,besides
Case dismissed:

Kenny Jones ™

Is this about the Kuril islands, which belong to Russia

cechas vodobenikov

recent expose reports that US pilots are confused by f-35 computer touch board—discarded and the 400,000$ headgear that creates a slow reaction to battle conditions

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