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Pros and cons of F-35 Lightening, LCA Tejas, JAS Gripen, F-16 Aircraft

Updated on August 27, 2012
  • F-35 Lightening from USA, UK, Norway, Australia
  • LCA Tejas from India
  • JAS Gripen from Sweden
  • F-16 Falcon from USA

Below are a few characteristics and pros and cons of the above-mentioned aircraft. This is not a comparison because these aircraft range from fourth to fifth generation and 5.6 ton to 15 ton (empty weight).

F-16 Falcon

F-16 Fighting Falcon was originally a design from 1970s but because it was designed, backed, and continuously upgraded by USA firms like General Dynamics, PW, GE, Lockheed, etc., it is still one of the best fighter aircraft in the world. It is a cheap substitute for big countries like United States of America and Japan and a premier fighter for smaller countries like Greece and Norway. At the moment when we are discussing the latest model of F-16, it is second only to the F-22 and no other fighter has capabilities comparable to F-16s (like AESA radar, SNIPER ATP, AIM-120D [advanced medium range air to air missile], HARM [high-speed anti-radiation missile], JDAM [for turning dumb unguided bombs to smart bombs or munitions], etc.)

Pros of F-16 Falcon:

  1. It is not very expensive.
  2. F-16 has very good airframe
  3. Has superb agility.
  4. F-16 is low on maintenance.
  5. Has good combat radius.

Cons of F-16:


F-16 Falcon
F-16 Falcon | Source
F-16 Fighting Falcon Double Seater
F-16 Fighting Falcon Double Seater | Source

This aircraft is best in nothing but still is a favorite of most according to the present time and scenario:

Pros of JAS-39 Gripen:

  1. Ultra low maintenance.
  2. Best airframe ever.
  3. JAS-39 Gripen can take off and land and refuel on roads and unpaved runways.
  4. It requires maintenance comparable to a luxury car.
  5. It can fly at Mach 2 and pull 9G where your 10-pound head starts weighing 90 pounds.
  6. JAS-39 Gripen has a radar comparable to F-16 and is planned to be upgraded with a better (comparable to F-18 and Dassault Rafale), that could become the best fourth generation if fitted with EuroJet. Best and only choice for small countries like Sweden, Thailand, Switzerland, etc.

Cons of JAS-39 Gripen: Surely NONE, but one can say range if you are a country like India, Canada, or Australia.

JAS-39 Gripen
JAS-39 Gripen | Source
Two JAS-39 Gripens flying above the clouds
Two JAS-39 Gripens flying above the clouds | Source

LCA Tejas

LCA Tejas of India is one of the lightest combat aircraft in the world. It has been the best fighter completed on time. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited is planning to upgrade it to new levels. It is already in production.

Tejas LCA light combat air craft
Tejas LCA light combat air craft | Source
Kaveri Gas Turbine Engine - LCA Tejas
Kaveri Gas Turbine Engine - LCA Tejas | Source

F-35 Lightening II

F-35 Lightening II is America’s second fifth generation fighter after F-22. Many experts across the globe doubted its performance and stealth capabilities but as again it is designed, produced, and backed by best US/EU firms, one cannot doubt its future. They have guts to continuously upgrade it like they did with F-16. The only problem it has to face is raising price tag (and of course Russian and Chinese fifth generation fighters also if not backed by F-22 Raptors.

Pros of F-35 lightening are stealth, superb sensor fusion, short take off and vertical landing, and range.

Cons of F-35 are huge price tag, inability to supercruise, and low internal weapon load.

F-35 Lightening II
F-35 Lightening II | Source
F-35 Lightening II
F-35 Lightening II


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    • profile image

      Neil 5 years ago

      Soni please include the following in your article or correct it as you please.

      A. Cons of F16:

      1. Dwindling production lines

      2. Airframe design from the 70s with no room to evolve further.

      3. F-16 A/B has a better sustained turn rate than C/D. This is because the conformal fuel tanks induce more drag.

      B. It is unlikely Gripen NG will be powered by Eurojet as they have already contracted GE to supply F414 engines.

      C. Tejas is onle of the best fighter completed on time? Are you kidding me? I suggest you read up on the Tejas timeline on Wikipedia. Also, Tejas was supposed to be powered by the Kaveri Engine which is still not ready yet. Tejas Mk1 is powered by GE F404 engines and MkII will be powered by F414 engines with increased thrust.

      D. Cons of F-35

      1. Low T/W (Thrust/Weight) ratio leading to loss of sustained speed at High AOA (Angles of Attack)

      2. Speed of onlu Mach 1.6 with afterburners.

      3. F-35 C has problems landing on carriers

      4. Ability to carry only two AtoA internally.

      5. Low combat radius without mid air re-fuelling which may not always be a possibility in combat scenarios.

      Considering all the above scenarios, even a MiG 21 Bison can make mincemeat of the F-35 in a hypothetical dogfight scenario.

    • soni2006 profile image

      Rajinder Soni 5 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Thanks Rohan. Sorry for such a delay in responding. Actually I was very busy with my new job that's why was not able to comment here for soooo long.

    • profile image

      Rohan 5 years ago

      Nice pictures.would love to see a little specification about Tejas plus this is a project which didn't completed on time since it started in 1990.

      And please put some real sexy pictures of Tejas.just love this supersonic bird.

    • soni2006 profile image

      Rajinder Soni 5 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Thanks Trsmd.

    • Trsmd profile image

      Trsmd 5 years ago from India

      Very nice picture gallery and nice review about the aircraft..

    • soni2006 profile image

      Rajinder Soni 5 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Thanks for your visit and feedback ttagpine. Yes that was a typo. Edited that section too. Any other errors. I need feedback seriously.

    • ttagpine profile image

      George S McChristian 5 years ago from Louisiana, USA

      Great article. You might want to correct the speed of the Gripen. I think 680.58 miles per second may be a typo.

      My favorite plane is the F-14 Tomcat. I like the variable wing & mach 2+ capability.

    • soni2006 profile image

      Rajinder Soni 5 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Hey friend, that was a nice feedback, published this hub when my daughter was standing behind asking me to take her to Children Park. I have edited the "aircraft" part plus the photograph of LCA Tejas. My fault but I am very glad that you did it. Thanks. Feedback helps us improve. Also I am glad you enjoy reading my hubs.

    • FGual profile image

      FGual 5 years ago from USA

      This is a good Hub on combat aircraft in service. I hope you don't mind mentioning, but the word "aircraft" is already plural, so the letter S at the end is not needed. Also, the photo of the Tejas appears to be the French Mirage fighter. Enjoy reading your Hubs.