Does Israel have the F 35
Israel's new weapon : The F-35 - flying warning towards Iran
The image that the Chief of the Israeli Air Force, Amikam Norkin, threw on the wall of the auditorium a few weeks ago during a presentation was chosen with care. In front of a group of air force chiefs from other nations in Herzliya, he showed the photo of a new stealth aircraft of the type F-35 of the Israeli army - during a flight over the Lebanese coast. And that is enemy territory.
Norkin took the opportunity to emphasize how progressive the Jewish state's army is. “What we see here is an F-35 machine over Beirut. I think we'll be the first to attack targets in the Middle East with F-35s. "
Only recently had Israel known the world that the country would be the first nation to have F-35 fighter jets in combat. Norkin reported that air strikes on two different fronts had already been carried out with the F-35.
Deterrence for Hezbollah
The image of the flight over Beirut worked. Israel's media reported the news spread. The warning, even deterring gesture is difficult to deny. It was probably not only aimed at the enemy in Lebanon, as the terrorist militia Hezbollah as the extended arm of Iran, but also at the arch enemy himself. Israel's army has attacked Iranian targets in Syria several times in the past few months.
In mid-May, for example, Israel flew several air strikes and, according to Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, destroyed almost all of Iran's military infrastructure in Syria. According to the army, it was a retaliatory strike after Tehran fired 20 rockets from Syria at Israel.
Tehran is considered to be the greatest threat in Israel
Most recently, Israel condemned Iran's announcement that it would again want to enrich uranium indefinitely. Israel even threatened a military strike. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that the Islamic Republic will not be allowed to receive nuclear weapons. Iran is considered to be the greatest threat as it has set itself the goal of eradicating the Jewish state.
In any case, with the use of the F-35, Israel is one step ahead of its enemies. It is considered the most modern fighter aircraft in the world. The Jewish state reportedly already owns twelve of them. The first were delivered at the end of 2016 and, over time, integrated into ongoing operations.
Israel plans to buy 50 of these fifth generation jets by 2024. According to reports, the costs for the first 19 copies amount to the equivalent of more than 106 million euros per aircraft. However, the price should decrease over time.
“Israel wants to be better than everyone else. Because if we are not, we are dead, ”says the analyst and advisor Reuven Ben Shalom, who served as a helicopter pilot in the army for 25 years and worked as the director of the Israeli-American military cooperation.
"We need the best army in the region, the best possible equipment, and we always have to make sure that we are two steps ahead of the others." For this, the Israelis had been in contact with the Americans for years. Last but not least, to make it clear which requirements a new combat aircraft must meet.
Manufactured by the American arms company Lockheed Martin and upgraded with its own Israeli technologies, the aircraft not only has six infrared cameras that give the pilot a 360-degree view around the aircraft. It also has particularly good sensors that detect enemy planes. And that long before the F-35 can be recognized by itself.
Probably the most important property: the fighter aircraft can cross enemy airspace largely undetected, thanks to a material that absorbs radar. While this is of little interest for operations in Gaza - Hamas has no radar system - it is very relevant for flights over areas like Iran.
As unrecognized as possible
"As things stand, Iran is the greatest threat, it is the main sponsor of terrorism, supports Hamas and Hezbollah," says Ben Shalom. The army must prepare for this. Even more. "The F-35 can reach Iran, but it could also be used in the Gaza Strip, for example to hit a Hamas weapons depot." A multi-purpose aircraft that can be deployed flexibly.
There are already rumors that Israel has crossed Iranian airspace. The Kuwaiti newspaper “Al Jarida” reported in May that Israel had flown via Syria and Iraq to Iran and circled over the places associated with the nuclear program.
This has not yet been confirmed. “I've heard of these reports, they can be right or wrong, I don't know. But I don't think that's so important, ”explains Reuven Ben Shalom. “If we have to, we will be able to cross Iranian airspace. That's what it's all about. ”And then, if possible, undetected.
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