Fighter Aircraft Design 2023

Fighter Aircraft Design 2023

by David Archibald

19 January 2023


I gave this presentation two nights ago in Perth — 140 slides in two hours.

The president of the Military History Society said it was ‘incredible’. I think he meant in a good way.

The entire presentation is here, as a long pdf file. A few excerpts:



Stealth isn’t that important anymore.

  1. Aircraft don’t fly with their radars on because it just attracts radar-homing missiles and tells the enemy where the emitting aircraft is. “He who emits, dies.”
  2. Stealth only works in the X band that aircraft radars use. Ground-based VHF radars can detect stealth fighters hundreds of kilometers away. So can AWACs that use the L band such as Australia’s Wedgetail. Russian fighters now have L band radars in their wings.
  3. The electronics of infrared detection have improved and infrared is the best passive way of detecting other aircraft.


Need to dodge missiles?