Washington wants to sell "less stealth" F35s to the United Arab Emirates

Emirati leaders expected a positive response to their request for the acquisition of F35 fighters with the United States, following the agreement reached to normalize relations between Abu Dabi and Jerusalem. According to Reuters, Washington would in fact consider selling the American device to the United Arab Emirates, but in a version with degraded stealth performance, so as to allow Israeli radars to detect Emirati devices, and thus comply with the American legal framework which obliges States -United to preserving Israel's technological advantage in its arms export negotiations to the Middle East.

If this offer may seem, at first glance, satisfactory for both parties, it is far from being so from a technical point of view. Indeed, an airplane is not stealthy vis-à-vis a type of radar, but vis-à-vis a frequency band. In fact, if the F35s sold in the United Arab Emirates do indeed offer degraded stealth performance against Israeli radars, they will also offer the same degraded performance vis-à-vis radars of the same type used by all regional operators, which 'They are Saudi, Qatari, Iraqi or Iranian. In fact, the “less stealth” F35 proposed by Washington would also be more vulnerable to enemy radars, whereas there lies its main advantage today.

Prince Mohammad Bin Zayed and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during negotiations on the agreement to normalize relations between the UAE and Israel.

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