Re: Thunderbird 0
"As far as I can see, a VTOL F-35 would lose out to a Harrier."
Supposedly the advantage of the F-35 is that it has stealth and has a high degree of intelligence integration. So it can work with other F-35s plus carrier radar, Type 45 SAMPSON radar etc. to build a picture of all combatants in the area. Aligned with over-the-horizon air-to-air missiles, it 'should' mean that a Harrier or Super Étendard won't know where the F-35 is in order to start a dogfight, so the F-35 'shouldn't' need VIF and can score a kill before the enemy knows it's there. Rather have an F-22 though.