Reportedly, the fifth-generation F-35 fighter aircraft manufactured in the United States continues to face a series of mechanical problems, although it has developed over several decades with a budget of more than $1 billion.
German radar maker Hensoldt has claimed that he managed to track two American F-35 stealth fighters from a pony farm for almost 100 miles (about 150 kilometers) during an air show, reports the C4ISRNet website.
The fifth-generation fighter jets were tracked by the Hensoldt TwInvis passive radar system, which is equipped with sophisticated sensors and processors, after the Berlin Air Show in late 2018.
The TwInvgis system is able to bypass the concealment functions offered by the stealth technology of the F-35 by observing electromagnetic emissions in the atmosphere, including signals from radio and television stations, as well as cell phone towers.
Regarding the two F-35 planes, they were detected after being sent to Germany from the Luke Air Force Base in Arizona for the Berlin event.
According to reports, the F-35s never took off during the air show, so a passive radar located in a corner of the airfield could not be tested on fighter planes.
However, Hensoldt closely monitored the F-35s, and after radar manufacturers obtained information that fighter jets were preparing to leave Germany for the United States, they immediately activated the TwInvis system located on a ponies farm. nearby.
Since a spokesman for the F-35 Joint Program Office declined to comment on the matter, Lockheed spokesman Michael Friedman wrote in a statement to Defense News that “when the F-35 is not flying operational missions that require stealth For example, on air shows, ferry flights or training: they ensure that air traffic controllers and others can track their flight to manage airspace security.
“The Air Force can better address questions related to its participation in the F-35 at the Berlin Air Show,” he added.
The reported tracking incident occurs when the F-35 continues to face certain problems, despite the fact that development began several decades ago and the budget for the plane exceeded $1 billion.
According to the documents obtained by Defense News, some F-35 pilots experience pressure peaks in the cabin that cause ear pain and sinusitis, while the jets receive structural damage at speeds greater than Mach 1.2 and have problems operating in areas in cold weather.