Why "this vs that" platform discussions are unproductive


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This forum is moderated and new members must read the Forum Rules before posting. We are aware that, as new members, you cannot post links in the first 10 posts. The following are a few survival tips for new members:

(a) do not post one-liners;

(b) do not convert discussion threads into news ribbons;

(c) do not make multiple sequential posts in the same thread with the sole objective of increasing post count;

(d) when posting facts to support your comment/opinion, cite your source(s) (by typing the article title, publication, author and page number), if you want to avoid a source challenge; and

(e) we encourage fact based professional discussions and members are free to express their disagreement on defence issues; but there is little tolerance for unthinking nationalistic trolls.​

Over time, new members will come to appreciate the rationale for the Forum Rules. New members should also note that there are no 'this vs that' (rule number 3) platform discussions allowed because this format of discussion appeals to the less informed.

We cater to members who have a real interest in learning more about air power matters and to get new members/newbies started, we have created a reference thread, called 'Air Power 101 for New Members'. We strongly encourage new members to take a look there before jumping in to the various discussion threads.

When the premise of the discussion is "which one is best" it has zero worth, what exactly is 'best'?

  • Different aircraft with different uses are key, a country may not be looking for an A2A fighter but more of a bomb truck, so the bomb truck is best for that countryr
  • Vice versa, a country might want an A2A platform, so the one better at air superiority would be 'better'
  • Finances, a country might have X requirement which would be 'best' solved by Y aircraft but if it can't fund that aircraft or keep them flying in any acceptable condition then a cheaper version would be 'best'.
  • A country might want strong transfer of technology so if a fighter does not include that in the sale, it would not be 'best'
  • What do they plan on doing with the fighter? Planning for a regional competitor, NATO mission involvement, multirole capabiilities, they all have different things which would be 'best'.
  • Missile inventory, fighter X already has another customer who has integrated a significant proportion of your missile inventory and future inventory, from a financial standpoint that could e a component considered as 'best'.

No scenario, no worth. There is no 'best' if there's nothing to base it around otherwise it'd be like comparing an offroad truck with a sports car, each one is best depending on the scenario and what you want to do with it.

a 1 v 1 scenario is so constrained that it's not a viable situation in real life.
In the real world, no fighter, fights on its own. Some newbies have said this policy is boring but we have had so many cycles of correcting newbies that the members of the forum are bored with dealing with people with little or no interest in having a real discussion on defence matters; and we have a reference 'thread (where some prior comparisons were made)' for new members to read, to help them stay out of trouble.

CREF what has been said by all the others.

in addition the other reason why we have an aversion to x vs y threads is because platform vs platform discussions are fundamentally useless.

platforms act within the construct of a system event, they don't operate in absentia of a whole pile of other multipliers such as awacs, sat feeds, a broader operating picture etc... even when air forces do an assessment against other competitors they run those comparisons against combat vignettes where other force contributors are in play.

if you look at threads where there are platforms under discussion its always around system events.

a platform vs platform discussion is basically meaningless and disingenuous as its ignoring the real constraints.

about the only thing that can be measured are physical dimensions as even the platforms real performance stats are not published.

I can tell you from first hand exp that performance data for in service combat aircraft are derated when published. physical dimensions are accurate, but even data such as fuel capacity and range is deliberately inaccurate. that includes weapons systems etc.....
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