Fighter F-35

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Israeli F-35 will get additional tanks, making the fighter a perfect target


Israel insisted on adding F-35 fuel tanks.

The American company "Lockheed Martin" is working to provide the F-35A fighter and its Israeli F-35I variant with the ability to carry two outboard fuel tanks, each with 600 gallons (2700 liters each). Such equipment will adversely affect the invisibility of the machine for radar.

A number of details about the innovation became known on 13 on June 2019 of the year when it was described in the publication of Aviation Week. The customer demanded that Lockheed Martin increase the fighter’s range. Initially, the company was going to install 460-gallon tanks (1700 liters) on the aircraft For additional tanks, they planned to use the internal compartment of the machine, but later this option was discarded.

In "Lockheed Martin" explained that the discussion of the possibilities of expanding the range of the aircraft with various customers had previously been conducted. The corporation emphasizes that the main driver in this was Israel, which exploits F-35I (local designation "Adir"). Companies based there are already involved in the development of several options. These include dropped tanks and “conformal” (CFTs, ​​which give a lower aerodynamic penalty and do not occupy pylons for ammunition).

The publication of The War Zone suggests that Israel and a number of other countries have a need to increase the volume of fighter fuel due to the fact that they have a small number of air tankers. For this reason, you have to rely only on the fuel capacity of the fighter. Its indicator can have a direct impact on operational planning. In addition, Israel turned out to be the first state to use the F-15 Eagle in long-distance shock missions.

As noted by The War Zone, now the main potential enemy of Israel is Iran. For the local air force, any attack on targets located in this country will require to ensure longer range with limited support from tankers.

The publication believes that F-35, while in combat order, with the least probability will use weapons of deterrence when performing operations.

Therefore, it is clear why the local companies “Israel Aerospace Industries” and “Cyclone” were working on the increased tanks for the F-35I. According to Aviation Week, in April of this year, the companies completed the initial design studies on the design of a conformal and 600-gallon tank. Currently, Lockheed Martin is working to certify all F-35A in the version in which they are equipped with an 600 gallon tank. What measures are taken with respect to conformal tanks is not known.

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