The crucial challenge for Russia, which has strong competencies in this area, is to maintain its lead. Those who manage to stay on the podium will be rewarded for their efforts through military- industrial cooperation, will develop their engineering capabilities and aligned scientific areas, and will gain firm guarantees of national security.
January 2022 saw a fairly symbolic event in the recent history of military aviation: Norway became the first country to completely scrap the F-16 Fighting Falcon fighter jet. It replaced its fighters with the F-35 Lightning II. Thus, the main symbol of the world’s most successful fourth-generation fighter jet will pass the baton to a plane that was conceived as its successor. However, it’s not as simple as it seems; reports indicate that assembly lines will be restarted for new export contracts including Turkey’s purchase bid.
The situation is evolving similarly with a number of fourth-generation platforms: Russia manufactures the Su-27’s successors (the Su-30 and Su-35) for export and for the domestic use, the MiG-29 is promoted for export with varied success, while in the US, the latest upgraded F-15 is the most expensive export fighter jet available, and the US Air Force began to purchase them after a 20-year break with plans to procure up to 144 planes.