The Israel Air Force (IAF) recently announced the incorporation of a new one-ton bomb (meaning a weapon weighs around 1,000 kilograms or just over 2,200 pounds) into the arsenal used by the F-35. This particular model can be carried inside the aircraft’s internal weapons bay without compromising the stealth radar signature.
The new weapon is described as “independent and protected against jamming and electronic warfare systems” and was allegedly tested in trials by the Israeli Air Force, the results of which were shared with Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz.
Other weapons planned specifically for Israel’s F-35 fleet include the Rafael Spice precision-guided bomb, air-to-air missiles, and possibly a version of the 2,000-pound SPICE 2000 designed for domestic transport. This last weapon is presumably the new weapon mentioned by the Israeli Air Force in the article.
All of these developments are being implemented to make aircraft more agile and more survivable. The country has been hard at work trying to design the aircraft that will lead its next fight against Iran or simply protect the nation from the next attacks.
According to Israel’s AviationWeek, Israel Aerospace Industries and Cyclone, a subsidiary of Israel’s Elbit Systems, have been working on a design that is identical to the F-35 and a 600-gallon drop tank.
Meanwhile, the Israeli Air Force has been busy for the past month, conducting four large-scale exercises simulating attacks against Iran. The first exercises saw Israeli planes manipulate Iran’s radar and detection systems, such as those protecting the Islamic Republic’s nuclear facilities.
The second is an exercise in long-range combat flights – in this case to destinations in Europe. Other exercises saw the use of defensive measures against cyber weapons and electronic warfare systems.
Cooperation of combat aircraft of different generations
The tests also saw cooperation in the IAF pits between fifth-generation fighter jets such as the F-35 and fourth-generation aircraft such as the older Israeli F-15s and F-16s. During the exercises, the planes practiced exchanging intelligence, missions and more despite being fighters of different generations.
A defense official said his country was preparing for offensive attacks.
“Iran’s surface-to-air missile systems and crowded radars are not the only challenge,” he told The Jerusalem Post. “We need to be able to attack critical targets, and the attack needs to be able to cause massive damage. There are multiple targets in Iran at different ranges.”