BLUFThe best 4.5-gen fighter jets—4.5 are not as stealthy as fifth-gen—are being acquired by Middle-Eastern countries in response to perceived volatility in the region.
This article by Paul Iddon, writing for Forbes, makes the following points:
- In 2010, the Obama administration authorized the sale of 84 advanced F-15s to Saudi Arabia as part of a record $60 billion deal.
- The Trump administration struck a deal to sell 50 F-35s and 18 MQ-9 Reaper drones to the UAE for $23 billion.
- Turkey was previously part of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program but was suspended from the program following its purchase of Russian S-400 air defence missile systems.
- Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, Jordan, and Egypt are all ordering advanced fighters, while Qatar has ordered 96 of the most advanced 4.5-generation fighters from three different Western countries.
References from the Web:
- SEP 2022 Saudi Arabia, UAE Are Building up Air and Naval Forces to Counter Iran (businessinsider.com)
- FEB 2022 Fighter jets are suddenly all the rage in south-east Asia—AFR