Another Potential Lightning Rod

The F-35 stealth fighter could be vulnerable to emerging types of Russian radar technology. So reports Australia’s The Age newspaper in a May 1 report that cites Carlo Kopp, an analyst with Air Power Australia, a defense think tank. Kopps claims that the risk was demonstrated when Serbian air defenses shot down an F-117A stealth aircraft during Operation Allied Force in 1999, but has not been heeded, according to the newspaper. He contends that the F-35 will be much less inconspicuous to new Russian digital radars that operate in very high frequency bands with wavelengths of several meters than they are to the radars in wide use today that have wavelengths around 10 millimeters to 100 millimeters. “The US has enjoyed an unchallenged technological monopoly on stealth capabilities for almost three decades, and the notion that potential opponents would sit by idly is not realistic,” Kopp said. In contrast, the Australian Defence Force told the newspaper that the state of stealth technology has advanced significantly since the F-117A was developed. Australia is looking to purchase 100 F-35s.