4th Generation Jet Fighters
- 4G and 4.5G fighters
4G and 4.5G fighters
Fly-by-Wire control systems for greater agility
4G jets were first to use these control systems. This includes reliance on digital processing for advanced flying characteristics and performance. The use of Fly-by-Wire and advanced digital control systems allows design of non-traditional aerodynamic surfaces, that can greatly boost stealth profiles. An early example of stealth planes enabled by this was the F-117 Nighthawk Stealth.
4.5G Lifetime of 4G fighters prolonged while patiently waiting for 5G practical
4.5G Technology upgrades allowed some stealth
The upgrades allowed advanced flying forms for better control and improved performance even reducing RCS for stealth, without requiring expensive redesign of complete airframes like in the F-22 or F-35.
---- Russia's T-50
The T-50 does boast a modern Infra-Red Search and Track (IRST) system with a maximum fifty-kilometer detection range. In any event, the IRST does not offer the means to target other aircraft, it merely gives an idea of their general position.
The T-50 also has its own L-Band radars in the wings which theoretically would be effective in determining the general position of stealth fighters. However, their range is fairly limited and they are not precise enough to lock on weapons. Unlike the IRST, they have the disadvantage of making the T-50 highly observable on radar when activated.
F/A-18 Hornet by Boeing 1983
Israel's custom F-15Is
F-15Is trade the F-35’s stealth for greater range and payload are are significantly cheaper.