Because of its heavy investment in military technology, Russia was recently thought to have achieved an edge in air power over its NATO rivals. However, that advantage is now up for debate due to the purchase of the F-35 by many countries in NATO, including some on the front line with Russia. The F-35 is more than a strike fighter. What makes it so essential for partners and so coveted by buyers is its unmatched lethality, survivability, and adaptability. It is ten times more effective at collecting intelligence, reconnaissance and surveillance (ISR) than other fighters. In addition, it is capable of putting so much energy on relevant frequencies that it suppresses enemy radar and communications. In short, it is an unparalleled force multiplier. I have written more on this subject here.
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