Sunday, December 11, 2011
Just Askin' That's All. Is the F-35 Still Stealthy?
Now here's the problem.
Even the Pentagon admits that the Iranians now have one of those fancy RQ-170 drones. The Americans think it crashed inside Iran. The Iranians claim they managed to electronically hijack the drone and bring it down for a safe landing.
Whether the Iranians have an intact RQ-170 drone or merely the wreckage may not matter much. Either way they now have the keys to the materials, design and electronic stealth secrets the Americans devised. With that information in Iranian (not to mention Chinese and Russian) hands, some of it may be able to be copied by our potential adversaries. Worse yet, the more technologically advanced countries may well be able to explore this technology to discern vulnerabilities, weaknesses and then devise defensive and offensive systems to overcome the stealth advantage the US and her allies are paying oh so very dearly for in the F-35.
The question then becomes what impact does Iran's RQ-170 have on the lifetime usefulness and value of the F-35? Is the F-35 now a lame duck?