Tuesday, April 16, 2013

F-35: Israel's "pack of leopards"

If you can beat your way through all the negativity the author of this article tries to lay on the F-35, you'll see that Israel is a country that "gets it" when it comes to the JSF and it's capabilities:
The Jerusalem Post reports that the technological revolution is based on creating a "digital network in the skies" that integrates strike jets, electronic warfare aircraft, in-flight refueling tankers and helicopters into a multitude of real-time data sources that include ground forces, the navy and the intelligence services.

It's called network-centric warfare, and the program's run by the air force's Information Communication Technology branch.

This will give combat pilots an unprecedented view of the battlespace and allow their controllers to direct a variety of combat platforms to the most important strategic and tactical targets.

"We can communicate directly with other platforms," a senior air force officer told the Post. "This acts as a force multiplier...

"It's like a pack of leopards on a hunt. They work together in a network, not as individuals."

The source noted that this move toward wiring the air force into a single digital network was a primary reason for selecting the F-35. The Israeli version is known as the F-35I.

"The F-35I was chosen not because it was the fastest, or because it can carry the most munitions, but because of its network capabilities," the senior officer explained. "All of the information is available to it. It knows what threatens it, its situation at any given moment, and the status of fellow aircraft. It's a network entity."
Those capabilities make it more than an evolution in fighter aircraft.  The F-35 is a revolutionary aircraft.

The quote above, as acknowledged by the author of the article, comes from the Jerusalem Post.  The negativity it is wrapped in is all the authors.  How clueless is this person?  This should help you make that determination:
The aircraft, for now the world's only fifth-generation fighter, is intended to ensure Israel's military supremacy in the Middle East, underwritten by the United States, through the first quarter of the century.
Really?  I'm sure that will come as a complete surprise to F-22 pilots as well as the Chinese and Russians.  He or she goes on to compound their problem by quoting well known anti-JSF windbag Winslow Wheeler.

The point for this post, however, is to give you an idea of why the Israeli's are so high on the F-35.  Unlike most of the critics, they "get it" and they don't talk in 4th generation terms about "dogfights" and other capabilities of that era which will be less and less important in the 5th generation.  They understand what the F-35's capabilities mean.   They see the vast potential this will bring to the skies over Israel and how it will give them the ability to get inside the enemy's decision cycle, see them first and shoot them first.

The network, the sensor fusion, the low observability all will combine to give them one of the most capable fighters in the world as well as one of the most deadly air forces in the world.

A pack of hunting leopards.



  1. Sorry Barry,you know i am all in for the F-35,but the notion that it is the only networked fighter out there is not real.New build 4th gen platform have(or could have)similar sensor and link capabilities...
    I like the F-35 because of it combo of stealth,sensors and electronics.I also love the idea that the B version is not limited to traditional runways...but most modern fighters can hunt like a «pack of leopards»
    P.S-Leopards are lonely animals and do not hunt in pack...

  2. The F-35 is currently the only one that automatically shares data over a directional & LPI network.

  3. You have to be careful what you call "networked", Nuno. Sharing data is one thing. But sensor fusion coupled with networking give the F-35 an entirely unique advanced capability.

    As for the leopards, meh, it's the Israeli's analogy, lol.

  4. Nothing new really what does a Kent missile do 2,500km, on a good depending on atmospheric the Australian can planes taking off in central China. So yeah over the horizon strike first, but stealth is important. EW is not stealth it is a counter measure, you still use 4th gen add new missile technology is that is the case. Next year the play station is releasing the 3rd headset, people who have been gaming for year feel sick, take a lot of time to get use to it, kids of today when they are of service age it will be second nature, look at cost of a custom made 4 gen helmet or the JSF one. Compare that to a 6th gen 3D headset. In the future you will be sitting in Virginia or the Negev flying 6th Gen.