Note: F-35 might be capable of SEAD/DEAD operations, but even there its low sortie rate / high maintenance downtime and limited payload / endurance will limit its effectiveness.
The RealClearDefense website has published an interesting article on the Israeli Air Force – arguably the best in the world. It worries that the IAF, its pilots’ skills notwithstanding, may lose its technological edge, because the F-35 cannot defeat modern Russian fighters, especially those equipped with infrared search and tracking systems:
“If the F-35 cannot hold its own against fourth-generation fighters, which are increasingly equipped with infrared sensors that can detect stealth aircraft, it will be limited to ground-attack missions and require escorts to carry-out operations in contested airspace. The former head of the USAF’s Air Combat Command admitted last year that the F-35 was not built as an air-superiority fighter and needs the USAF’s existing stealth fighter, the F-22, to protect against enemy aircraft.
This shortfall represents a major problem for Israel, which cannot acquire the F-22. Congress banned its export and production ended in 2011. Israel will…
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