Israel develops drop tanks for its F35i Adir

If the F35A offers great stealth and very advanced detection and communication systems, it now appears limited in several areas, such as air defense due to its low speed, or for long-distance strikes, due to its radius. of operational action of 1100 km. It is precisely this last point that poses a problem today for the Israeli air forces, which are confronted with the need for long-range strikes, called 3rd circle in Israeli jargon, in the face of adversaries like Iran. However, the F35i, the Israeli version of the F35A called Adir, does not have the extension necessary to carry out these missions, and for the time being, it cannot carry additional tanks like the Israeli F15 and F16 which are also participating in this mission. As for tanker planes, they are few in the Israeli Air Force (IAF), with 9 specially modified Boeing 707s, and 2 KC-130Hs, and are considered by the General Staff as vulnerable for this type of mission.

It is not surprising, in fact, that the Tel-Nof Base Flight Test Center has set out to find a response to this need, by developing jettisonable outer tanks for Lockheed-Martin's plane in its Israeli version Adir. Concretely, the IAF has been developing for two years now jettisonable tanks of 2200 liters (600 gallons) which would extend the fuel carried by the F35i by 40%, without "too much" degrading its stealth, according to the announcements made. This would effectively allow the F35i to reach Iranian territory and drop their tanks before entering the combat zone to regain a stealth configuration, and thus be able to process the objectives to secure the sky. for the benefit of the F16 and F15 of the IAF ensuring the strikes themselves.

The Israeli F15 and F16 continue to represent the offensive spearhead of the IAF, especially for long-range missions

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