The Pentagon has billed the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II as the most advanced multirole fighter in its arsenal, but the most expensive piece of military equipment ever made apparently has a weak spot that could make it visible to newest air defense systems developed in Russia and China.
“The F-35’s single Pratt & Whitey F135 engine – while immensely powerful, producing about 43,000 lbs of thrust – also runs extremely hot,” defense analyst Dave Majumdar wrote for the National Interest. “The Russians – who build excellent infrared sensors – could use the F-35’s thermal signature to develop a weapons quality track to engage the stealthy new jet.”
In fact, Russia is reported to have already developed a radar that is capable of tracking and intercepting the F-35. Known as the Podsolnukh (or Sunflower), it is a short-range over-the-horizon surface-wave system that has already been deployed in three areas across the country, covering the Sea of Okhotsk, the Sea of Japan and the Caspian Sea.
Other object-detection systems are apparently in the making.
“The Russians, especially, have been investing in long-wave networked radars operating in the UHF and VHF-bands for over two decades in their efforts to counter American stealth technology,” the analyst detailed.
Meanwhile, the Pentagon has tried to present the F-35 in the most favorable light.
Full article: This is F-35’s Weak Spot That Russian Radars Could Exploit (Sputnik News)