Did a Russian anti-aircraft missile hit one of Israel’s new F-35 stealth fighters back in late 2017?

Pro-Russian outlets claimed that an Israeli F-35I was hit and damaged by a Russian-made S-200 surface-to-air missile during an Israeli air strike in Syria in late 2017; however, Israel said one of its F-35s was damaged—after colliding with a bird.

The story begins on October 16, when Israel announced that its aircraft had struck a Syrian SAM battery near Damascus that had fired two hours earlier on Israeli reconnaissance planes flying over Lebanon. The attack damaged the missile battery, and no Israeli aircraft were hit, according to Israel. Coincidentally or not, the incident happened the same day that Russia’s defense minister, Sergei Shoigu, arrived in Israel for talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

However, Southfront.org, a website that covers the Russian military and its intervention in the Syrian Civil War, suggested a different story. “According to the available information, the Syrian Defense Forces used an S-200 missile against the Israeli warplane,” Southfront claimed.

Southfront could not resist pointing out that a much-vaunted F-35 stealth fighter had been hit by a missile that dates back to the 1960s. “This Soviet-made missile is the most advanced long-range anti-aircraft system operated by the Syrian military. Even in this case, it’s old-fashioned in terms of modern warfare.”

Hours after the Israeli military announced the strike on the Syrian missile battery, Israeli media reported that an Israeli F-35 had been damaged by a bird strike two weeks before.

The plane reportedly landed safely, but the Israeli Air Force did admit that it wasn’t sure whether the plane will fly again. Israel has taken delivery of only seven F-35Is so far, with a total of fifty on order.

ALSO READ  Several Syrian soldiers killed in jihadist ambush near Idlib axis

“The incident allegedly took place ‘two weeks ago’ but was publicly reported only on October 16,” Southfront noted. “However, Israeli sources were not able to show a photo of the F-35 warplane after the ‘bird collision.’”

Southfront didn’t explain why the Israeli Air Force would feel a need to release a photo of a damaged stealth aircraft. As U.S. defense website The Drive points out, the F-35 is just entering Israeli service now, and wouldn’t likely be flying missions over Syria just yet unless there was some kind of emergency (and Israel has plenty of F-15s and F-16s to handle those right now). Nor is it optimized for the kind of photographic reconnaissance missions that Israel flies over Lebanon.

As The Drive summed up rather neatly, “Although we cannot rule the possibility out entirely, as Freud would say—sometimes a bird strike is just a bird strike.”

In any event, what’s most interesting about this story isn’t whether an F-35 was hit by a Russian missile. Like the existence of UFOs, the story may or not be true, but we need more than circumstantial evidence to give it any credence.

No, the interesting part is that the F-35 has become such a symbol of U.S. technological prowess—or incompetence—that any rumor that an F-35 has been damaged or shot down in combat will draw attention. Russia and its boosters will pounce on any suggestion that an F-35 has been hit, and no doubt the pro- F-35 crowd will counter those suggestions accordingly.

Already there are reports—again, just reports—that Israeli F-35s have flown combat missions. Given that the U.S. and Israeli air forces are among the most active in the world, sooner or later the F-35 will really, truly see combat. But the rumors are out there now.

ALSO READ  Russian Air Force swarms northwestern Syria amid ongoing Syrian Army offensive

 

This article was first posted in the National Interest; it was written by their contributing editor Michael Peck

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Tartus66
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Tartus66

The article “critically” fails to acknowledge let aline connect the Israeli complaint that 3 missiles were fired at a F-35 and a F-16 over Lebanon forcing both planes to take urgent evasive action and rapidly exit Lebanons airspace. The point being that the planes had to be spotted and targeted for such an attack to take place. Given further credence to the hit on the F-35 even if the jet evaded the hit by 50 meters it would still be hit by dozens of buckshot sized bullet like schrapnel fired out by the exploding head. Meaning conclusively that the upgraded… Read more »

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

Israeli didn’t spoke about a launch at a F-35 or a F-16 but about a launch onto a F-15. When you speak S-200, accuracy is more about 300m (which is enough to inflict damages)

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

The warhead is 217 kg high-explosive fragmentation (16,000× 2 g fragmentation pellets and 21,000 × 3.5 g pellets) triggered by radar proximity fuse or command signal

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

The Russian ones that will be replaced by S-500 have a 25 kilotons nuke and range 400km, the goal being to intercept ballistic missiles at very high altitude…

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

or waves of bombers (in the 50’s/60’s doctrine which later changed for low altitude penetration with B-1)

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

or to get wings of bombers at high altitude (outdated strategy for decades now)

Pink
Guest
Pink

Milosevic destroyed a better plane.

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

He even better destroyed himself and lamely died of a heart attack in the Hague’s jail toilets.

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Rhodium 10

because Serbian people wanted a pro western govern …and they have one..and have lost Kosovo and Montenegro…

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

I’m dubious about F-117 having been better, in fact, when being capable to lose a wing this way : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2lH7YBqZo0
I don’t call it a good aircraft 😉

Kika
Guest
Kika

The 1999 F-117A shootdown was an event that took place on 27 March 1999, during the NATO in Serbia

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

And a 2nd was damaged beyond economical repair, but made it to an airbase and could land… Nevertheless, it was 20 years ago.

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

There wasn’t only NATO, Russia was in the coalition.

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willyvandamme

A recent report by A Defense department watchdog on the F35 says it is nearly worthless in combat. But for commercial reasons no doubt Israel and its slave state the US will keep quiet.

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

It much much more complicated than this, and many discussing F-35 don’t know a shït about aviation. F-35’s program is named JSF : Joint STRIKE Fighter.
It’s a strike aircraft made to complete F-22…

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

which is dedicated to air superiority alone. Now the platform is not fully operational and won’t be so until 2023-2025. Note also that Su-57, J-20 or J-31 are also troublesome and unfinshed.

Daeshbags-Sux
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Daeshbags-Sux

F-35 won’t have its FOC (full operational capability) before 2023-2025. It has air2air limited capabilities but needs to be protected by F-22, Rafale, Typhoon (or…

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

It won’t be fully operational for the next 4-6 years.

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

And won’t be fully effective for the next 4-6 years

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

Now, as ALL 5th gen fighters built according to Pyotr Ufimsiev Theory of Physical diffraction, incl F-22, J-20, J-31 or… Su-57…

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

it ends beyond schedule, with overcosts, high cost of use and many issues. As a strike aircraft, it has much more potential than the Harrier, EA-6, EA-18, A-6 it replaces.

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

Now, you still can consider doing air superiority with F-35, as you can consider it with Su-34, but, dixit Gen. Michael Hostage, you need 8x F-35 to do the job of two F-22.

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

Since congress banned the F-22 export, Lockheed had to find some solutions to not lose the F-16 replacement market so started to add air-superiority features. It plagued the program,

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

rose costs and made it beyond schedule, nevertheless, you don’t do air superiority with only 4x AMRAAMs in the bays, and if you install’em outside, you lose stealth.

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

As usual, Lockheed advertised it for what it isn’t, totally avoiding to enter any competitions where aircraft were to be compared in live tests,

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

perfectly knowing Rafale and even Typhoon would dominate it at the air superiority job, simply because cows don’t make ham.

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

A Pentagon SPOX even declared that F-35 needed to be protected by F-22, Typhoon or Rafale.

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

F-35 won’t be fully operational b4 2023-2025.

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

Another point being F-35 won’t be fully finished before 2023-2025, even if they started production, technically, it’s still a pre-serie aircraft, just like Su-57 which also has its issues.

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

To be frank, at the present day, I’d neither buy fighter jets from the Russians, nor from the Yankees. The best platform around are from France and India. After having been 50% in Su-57

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

India dropped it for Rafale. Now, IDK if they will apply these but the French proposed mods for HAL Tejas are ALREADY available, so, if Tejas is ordered with these mods, wow!

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

Tejas becomes the 5th generation Mirage-2000 🙂 While, at the present day, Rafale is the only 5th gen aircraft being proven trouble-free and really effective.

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

It just becomes the only 5th gen light combat aircraft

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

while Rafale has proven itself the only efficient and moreover affordable, both on price and cost of use, 5th gen fighter.

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

The philosophy of this stealth is different from what USA, China and Russia have applied but in the end, it works better, e.g. S-400’s 91N6E…

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

radar can lock on F-22/35 or J-20/31 and Su-57 from 150km. The no fly zone falls to 12-13km for Rafale, and barely 10km if S-300 radar is used.

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

In other terms, you can take out a S-300/400 battery with standard LGBs or JDAMs.

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

It’s not active stealth by DRFM : DRFM don’t deal with radar frequency hoping 😉 Moreover, SPECTRA has other tools in the trick bag, e.g.

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

you end with hundreds of Rafales everywhere on your radar screen although there is only one around…

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

It also has the smallest IR+visual signature on market. If the mods are applied to Tejas, it’s even under Rafale’s about this

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

Note: Tejas was an unfinished Dassault side-project to Rafale sold to India. The goal was to have a replacement to Mirage-2000 would…

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

French govt rejected Rafale on costs rounds as it was done with the wonderful Mirage-4000.

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willyvandamme

Why then, if its not operational are they selling it to their ‘friends’ in Europe and elswhere with deliveries taking place?

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

If you believe USA are Israel’s slaves, you’re totally deluded. USA were even very reluctant at supporting ’em before 1966-1967. It’s De Gaulle who did a terrible mistake at dropping support

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

to switch to a pro-Arab policy which in the end was far from being satisfying.
BTW, don’t you remember Yankees initially supported Nasser in the Suez crisis?

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willyvandamme

They hated Paris and London controlling this key waterway.

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willyvandamme

In 1967 Israel attacked the USS liberty and the US did nothing. Later Allen Greenspan, former head of the US central bank, said in his memoires the 2003 invasion of Iraq as being done by the US for reason of oil en because Israel wanted it. He later under pressure withdrew the latest assertion. Then look at voting patterns at the UN. And ever heard of AIPAC? Sure De Gaulle but that’s for the whole of Western Europe as well. They obey Israeli orders. The Financial Times once wrote about US-Israeli relations as being the tail wagging the dog. And… Read more »

JKBE
Guest
JKBE

Do you seriously believe that? If so, are you retarded?

USBAGSSUX
Guest
USBAGSSUX

Dont you people have real jobs and journalism to do ? Already half an year passed and still writing the same f*****g article.
Cant believe how incompetent human beings are sometimes!!

Pink
Guest
Pink

Turkish peasant with a rifle would destroy F35

Kika
Guest
Kika

Turkish peasant girl too

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

Meamwhile, Erdogan is whining since the Yankee said 🖕🏾 when it came to deliver the F-35 he ordered… This is a Yankee error : they can totally ground all F-35 but Israeli ones at will…

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

Only Israeli ones have no backdoor. Yanks could have delivered ‘monkey models’ then grounded them all after having taken the money 🙂

JKBE
Guest
JKBE

No and you would be an idiot to think so.

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

Did a S-200 damaged a F-35? Only Israelis know it really. Is it feasible? If S-200 has the habitual 5N62 radar in H-band (6-8GHz) : very unlikely, since it’s the range where its stealth works the best. If some…

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

extra-systemic low frequency radars are networked, e.g. P-14 (A-band), Big Back or Kabina 66 (E-band) for early warning, then P-35/37 used in E-band or…

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

… P-15M2 (C-band) for targetting and “Side Net” or “Odd Pair” E-band for height finding, you may have results, but at the same time, the maximum detection range is much tiny…

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

and there were serious neglecting from those you target, as it happened in Yugo… Why? Because they “see” your early warning radars from 4x their max range and…

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

know what the enemy has in store, moreover, how to jam the old Soviet radars is well known, now, many factors may be in line : defective jamming system…

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

lucky shot, lack of attention of the pilot, sudden change of gear or strategy that hasn’t been noticed on the opponent side, etc etc etc.

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

many factors are implied, aerial warfare is smth EXTREMELY complicated.

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

including luck, too much hubris, neglecting any factor can just lead you to your death and events happen very very fast.

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

Now, can a S-200 shoot down a F-35? Well, hit an eagle at 15,000ft while flying supersonic, you’re likely to go down too! Can you rely on S-200 or even S-125 (think Serbia)

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

to take out F-35? Well Syria has S-200 since 1986 and it took ’em 32 years to shoot down an Israeli F-16… In 1982, they had 72 SAM batteries in the Beka’a valley…

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

When IDF launched a SEAD, SyAAF sent 103 fighter jets for protection. Result? All batteries destroyed, 87 SyAAF jets shot down. IDF losses : a small recon drone.

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

Now, as a rocket, yeah, S-200D Dubna is absolutely excellent, even by today’s standards and especially if switched to solid fuel and if you consider having…

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

the mounted into cannisters on mobile TELs, I’d absolutely give a go to use S-200D in our forces… But only if…

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

fit with the Aster-30 seeker added to the MICA-IR one. In fact, I don’t get why we don’t simply consider copying S-200D, maybe adding…

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

thrust vectoring and smaller fins : these are patent-free. Now, relying on others systems going with? Nope! No way!

Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

And I’d prefer to work with Cassidian/Thales) and ONERA for detection, moreover, nothing beats the Nostradamus for early warning.