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F-35s and the Iranian threat

Reader comment on item: End U.S. Aid to Israel
in response to reader comment: money will not destroy Iran's nuclear facilities

Submitted by Michael S (United States), Aug 18, 2016 at 15:36

Hello, myth

I am not an expert on military affairs; but there are some pertinent articles on the Web, as to why Israel is investing in F-35 fighter-bombers:

1. New need for stealth

"The timing of the arrival of the Stealth aircraft to Israel is especially auspicious. A high-level Israeli military figure told Al-Monitor last week on condition of anonymity, "Batteries of surface-to-air S-300 missiles produced by Russia have already reached Iran." He added, "Although they are not yet operational, we expect them to become operational in the near future."

The arrival of the F-35 to Israel — simultaneously with the supply of S-300 missiles from Russia to Iran — preserves Israel's qualitative edge over Middle East skies. "In most cases, the F-35 is able to elude the radar of the S-300," a high-placed military source told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity. "This is a big challenge for us, but we are up to it. The Stealth [aircraft] was built for exactly this purpose and will give us freedom of movement even against this new development."

2. Tactical superiority

"Some high-ranking Israeli air force members have already flown simulation flights on the sophisticated F-35 simulator system. "We are in a completely different league," one of them told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity. "The flight included dogfights against an octet of advanced, non-F-35 aircraft, and the Stealth [aircraft] won hands down."

-- http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/08/israel-air-force-prepares-for-receiving-f-35-jets.html#ixzz4Hi8p4wSz

3. Range.

Google lists the range of the F-35 at 1,379 mi, without providing details. Tehran is 993 mi. from Tel Aviv. Assuming a "go-and-come-back" range of 689 mi. for the fighter-bomber, it might seem that Israel is still coming up short. The "bombing" range is longer than that, though, because missiles launched from the plane add to the miles. Also, Israel is reasonably friendly with countries near Iran, such as Saudi Arabia, which have their own issues with the Islamic Republic. The IAF can extend the range of the jets as well, of course, by mid-air refueling, and by adding detachable wing tanks. The latter can be ejected at a safe distance, so as not to compromise the stealth of the aircraft.

4. Payload (similar to current capabilities):

"Even the rumors that the F-35s have a more limited weight-carrying capacity (for armament) than their competitors have been disproved. When the F-35 flies while reducing radar footprint (maximum stealthiness), it can carry two tons of bombs and another four air-to-air missiles, exactly like the F-16. When it does not reduce its radar footprint, the F-35 is capable of carrying six tons of bombs and four missiles, exactly like the F-15."

-- http://www.siasat.pk/forum/showthread.php?479637-What-new-F-35-jets-mean-for-Israel%92s-air-force

Other reasons for Israel's upgrade to the F-35 "Adir" are also given in the above article.

Israel is seriously threatened by Iran. Not only can Iran have its own nuclear weapons within months of deciding to produce them; but Russia and Turkey have been making moves toward a triple alliance since the failed coup in Turkey. Russia now has basing rights in Iran, from where it is flying bombers into Syria; while at the same time, the US seems to be withdrawing from its bases in Turkey. This withdrawal reportedly includes some 60 tactical nuclear weapons there, which Turkey wanted to get control of:



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