Military Review

F-35I flying laboratory for the Israeli Air Force

32

On November 11, the Israel Air Force Flight Test Center received its first F-35I Adir fighter in a flying laboratory configuration. This machine differs from the technology for combat units of the Air Force and is designed for various experiments and tests. The receipt of such an aircraft is expected to facilitate the further development of the Air Force.


Special modification


The first F-35I Adir ("Mighty") were transferred to the Israeli Air Force in 2017 and began full service by the end of the year. A few months earlier, in May, it became known about the appearance of a separate order for a special version of the F-35I. In 2020, Lockheed Martin had to deliver only one aircraft of this kind to the customer, intended for use in various experiments.

The prototype aircraft received the serial number AS-15 (15th aircraft in the series for Israel) and onboard "924". It was built in early 2020 and was soon tested at an American airfield. The aircraft received numerous marks for testing and monitoring processes.

On November 11, a prototype aircraft arrived at Tel Nof airbase and was accepted by the Flight Test Center. For the first time in the past 14 years, the Center has received a fundamentally new machine for conducting test events. Now the new "Adir" is to become a platform for practicing various solutions, testing weapons, etc. It is noted that for the first time in stories the F-35 flying laboratory program will be tested outside the United States.


Compatibility issues


In the F-35I program, the Israeli Air Force faced characteristic difficulties. The American side seriously limits the possibilities of customers to modify and improve aircraft. When integrating equipment or weapons, the customer should contact Lockheed Martin to implement the necessary design changes or update the software.

Israel independently creates various instruments for aircraft and aviation armament. Novelties of this kind were planned to be gradually introduced on the Adirs, but the command considered it inexpedient to constantly seek help from American partners.

The way out was found. The Air Force and Lockheed Martin have agreed to transfer some technology and build an experimental aircraft. Now the Israeli side has the opportunity to carry out experiments with updating the aircraft and changing its combat capabilities. However, Israel did not receive all the documentation for the aircraft. It is impossible to make drastic changes in the design of units or software, and for this you will still have to contact the developer company.

Test platform


According to known data, the AS-15 aircraft is a serial F-35I with a full complement of equipment and compatibility with standard weapons. At the same time, the design and composition of the onboard equipment has been changed in accordance with the new role. Thus, the experimental "Adir" can participate in tests, and, if necessary, join combat fighters in battle.


The main difference from other aircraft is the installation of a control complex. With its help, all the necessary data is collected during the flight and transmitted to the ground in real time for further analysis. The recording equipment is of an open architecture and its configuration is subject to change depending on the nature of the ongoing testing. Installation of additional sensors and devices is provided.

In the near future, American specialists will arrive at the Tel-Nof airbase, who will have to teach their Israeli colleagues to work with the instruments of the experimental F-35I. The capabilities of this aircraft are broader than those of combat vehicles, and therefore the standard training course for technical personnel is insufficient.

Earlier it was stated that the flying laboratory would be used to develop electronic systems and weapons. Recent statements from officials only mention integration weapons... Perhaps this is due to the revision and reduction of plans.

Wishes and opportunities


The Israeli Air Force plans to operate the F-35I fighters for the next 30-40 years. In this regard, it is required to ensure the possibility of regular modernization of equipment in order to maintain high performance and wide capabilities. During the development phase of the Adir project, the customer and contractor agreed to integrate Israeli radio electronic systems, but this does not cover future upgrades.


Several years ago, it was reported that the F-35I can keep standard instruments, incl. combat information management system, etc. At the same time, the Israeli side wanted to get the opportunity to replace individual devices, incl. products of our own production. A similar approach was proposed to be implemented in a complex of weapons.

At the moment, the main task in the context of the F-35I is the integration of locally produced weapons. Compatibility at the electronics level is generally ensured through the use of common data transfer standards, but development is needed at the level of devices and mechanisms. F-35s of all modifications have internal weapons bays that place special demands on bombs and missiles. In the near future, the Flight Test Center will conduct tests with the release of weapons and determine whether they are able to properly leave the cargo bay without risking themselves and the aircraft.

What types of weapons will complement the standard F-35 ammunition has not yet been officially specified. The Israeli Air Force is armed with various bombs and missiles; new samples are being developed. All of them can enter the F-35I "Adir" armament range and give it certain advantages.

Reserve for the future


According to open data, the Israeli Air Force plans to purchase up to 75 F-35I fighters. Two thirds of this amount of equipment has already been contracted, and serial production has been going on for several years. Half of the orders have already been completed, and 26 aircraft have been handed over to the Air Force. They are consolidated into two squadrons, serving and even participating in real combat operations.


Experimental F-35I with the number "924" will continue to serve at the Flight Test Center and will remain in a single copy. Over the next decades, it will provide various upgrades. The Israeli Air Force has big plans for new equipment and, very likely, the prototype machine will not have to stand idle.

There are speculations according to which the United States may build a number of flying laboratories for its own needs. Such aircraft, equipped with control equipment, could contribute to the further development of the F-35 for the United States and other countries. However, the existence of real plans of this kind has not yet been reported, and the Israeli plane remains the only one of its kind.

Both the F-35I project in general and the construction of the AS-15 aircraft in particular are of great interest. The Israeli partners, unlike other countries, have been given great freedom of choice throughout the cooperation. At first this led to the appearance of the modification "I" with a number of characteristic features, and now the United States has built a prototype that they themselves do not have. For obvious reasons, this approach has received high marks from the Israeli Air Force.
Author:
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Israeli Air Force
32 comments
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  1. Krasnodar
    Krasnodar 13 November 2020 18: 49
    +4
    Trump's parting gift
    1. Hypertension
      Hypertension 13 November 2020 18: 50
      +1
      What about the F-22? And those and those will be?
      1. OgnennyiKotik
        OgnennyiKotik 13 November 2020 18: 52
        +3
        Quote: Hyperion
        What about the F-22?

        Until Congress allows it, not a single F-22 can be sold. This is the law.
        1. Hypertension
          Hypertension 13 November 2020 18: 54
          +1
          So there is progress?
          1. OgnennyiKotik
            OgnennyiKotik 13 November 2020 18: 58
            +2
            Until the proposal is submitted to Congress, any talk is meaningless.
            1. shahor
              shahor 13 November 2020 23: 16
              +1
              Quote: OgnennyiKotik
              Until the proposal is submitted to Congress, any talk is meaningless.

              Israel has officially stated that it has not approached and does not plan to contact the United States on the procurement of the F-22.
  2. sabakina
    sabakina 13 November 2020 18: 52
    -3
    Honestly, I didn't understand anything. Riveted 400+ pieces and again experimental ...
    1. Krasnodar
      Krasnodar 13 November 2020 18: 56
      +8
      Quote: sabakina
      Honestly, I didn't understand anything. Riveted 400+ pieces and again experimental ...

      The Israelis want to integrate their own weapons there, possibly their own avionics. The machine is complex, therefore a test piece with appropriate instruments is needed
      1. sabakina
        sabakina 13 November 2020 19: 10
        0
        Krasnodar, so they already fly with their avionics and weapons. What else do you want? Software code?
        1. OgnennyiKotik
          OgnennyiKotik 13 November 2020 19: 17
          +1
          Progress does not stand still. New equipment must be tested. This requires a flight prototype, not a combat fighter.
          1. sabakina
            sabakina 13 November 2020 20: 11
            -7
            Quote: OgnennyiKotik
            Progress does not stand still. New equipment must be tested. This requires a flight prototype, not a combat fighter.

            Well, yes, to understand how the F-35 flies, you need to build a kite. To understand how the weapons on the F-35 Adir work, you need to build a flying laboratory. To go to the moon, you need to understand HOW IT WORKS AT ALL!
        2. Krasnodar
          Krasnodar 13 November 2020 20: 18
          +2
          Quote: sabakina
          Krasnodar, so they already fly with their avionics and weapons. What else do you want? Software code?

          Codes like they gave
          Want to integrate new weapons and new avionics
          1. shahor
            shahor 13 November 2020 23: 23
            +3
            Quote: Krasnodar
            Want to integrate new weapons and new avionics

            I also read about the new electronic warfare system. In general, the Israelis are less conservative in matters of modernization and are not afraid to introduce new things instead of seemingly reliable and proven products. This summer, despite the covid, a group of Lockheed engineers descended from heaven to Israel - to familiarize themselves on the spot with what they did to their offspring in the Promised Land.
      2. Vitaly gusin
        Vitaly gusin 13 November 2020 22: 29
        +4
        Quote: Krasnodar
        The Israelis want to integrate their own-made weapons there, possibly their own avionics.

        We know very little about the changes that the Israeli Air Force wants to make in order to tailor the aircraft to their needs.
        These are changes to supplement the fuel tanks with an external suspension option, which are reset upon entering the detection area. Tanks that "hug" the F-35I so as not to compromise stealth and aerodynamics.
        It is known that the Israeli F-35I will have the main C4 program, created in Israel, which runs "on top" of the Lockheed operating system. Compatibility with the data links used by the Israeli air and ground forces is very important from Israel's perspective, as it monitors the position of surface-to-surface missile launchers and surface-to-air missile systems.
        Israeli firms Elbit and Israel Aerospace Industries have developed plug-and-play avionics for the F-35I to be built into the F-35i's software, and obviously into the airframe. The add-ons will be installed in special openings in the lower fuselage and the leading edge of the wings. Internal weapons bays will be converted to Israeli weapons.
        Today, this is all available information.
        The fact that the IDF is re-equipping the received weapons is nothing new and this is not because they are bad, but because they do not want to depend on someone's political games at a critical moment.
        During the Yom Kippur War, when Syria and Egypt received weapons by air and sea from the USSR, and the United States played its game and decided that it was more profitable to go against the Arab countries that participated in this war and lose their support by helping Israel or not ...
        And Congress did not resolve the issue of supplying insufficient weapons.
        And only Golda Meer's statement on the use of nuclear weapons forced Nixon to personally make the right decision.
        From that time on, Israel began to develop its defense industry.
        All weapons that are purchased are equipped with Israeli technologies and a repair base.
        This also applies to the Air Force and the Navy.
        1. Krasnodar
          Krasnodar 13 November 2020 22: 44
          +2
          Everything is correct, but I would like to add - Israel began to rivet its own aircraft after the French embargo on the supply of weapons, announced 3 days before the start of the Six Day War. hi
          1. Vitaly gusin
            Vitaly gusin 13 November 2020 22: 53
            +2
            [/ Center]
            Quote: Krasnodar
            Israel began to rivet its own aircraft after the French embargo on the supply of arms,

            Yes, but the Yom Kippur War was a turning point in the understanding that the fate of a state cannot depend on someone's political games. If not YOURSELF, then no one.
    2. Andylw
      Andylw 13 November 2020 20: 24
      +4
      Riveted 400+ pcs

      actually
      more than 585 units have already been delivered to customers as of November 1
  3. Avior
    Avior 13 November 2020 19: 57
    0
    I wonder if Israel is sold
    S-400, will this affect the supply of aircraft from the United States? smile
    Maybe give them free?
    1. Krasnodar
      Krasnodar 13 November 2020 20: 13
      +6
      Will not be reflected in any way - they will work out the fight against the S-400
      1. Avior
        Avior 13 November 2020 20: 31
        +1
        This approach did not work with Turkey.
        Of course, I do not believe that Israel will buy the S-400, but in the case of the Turks, this led to a conflict.
        1. Krasnodar
          Krasnodar 13 November 2020 20: 43
          +4
          Because Erdogan is an unpredictable obscurantist. The Russian Federation will most likely not sell the S-400 to Israel
          1. Avior
            Avior 13 November 2020 20: 57
            0
            And Israel won't buy. That's why I offered it for free.
            smile
            As for the unpredictability of Erdogan - Turkey is a NATO member, and there, as you know, decisions are made by consensus, which excludes deep disagreements between its members, otherwise the organization will be completely paralyzed, which is not observed, so it seems that Erdogan's unpredictability has its boundaries ...
            1. Krasnodar
              Krasnodar 13 November 2020 22: 05
              +3
              I am not saying that he is a clinical case.
              He's just a tyrant and populist
            2. Vitaly gusin
              Vitaly gusin 13 November 2020 23: 10
              +2
              Quote: Avior
              And Israel won't buy. That's why I offered it for free.

              Well, it's free, you can see what's inside, but no more.
              The one that is on alert, Strela 3, was tested for defeat, range and height in Alaska. there are no such distances in Israel.
              It is possible that the S-500 will come close to such parameters.
              1. ZEMCH
                ZEMCH 14 November 2020 01: 03
                -1
                Quote: Vitaly Gusin
                The one that is on alert, Strela 3, was tested for defeat, range and height in Alaska. there are no such distances in Israel.
                It is possible that the S-500 will come close to such parameters.

                C-500 and Strela 3 complexes for various tasks and purposes.
                As for the distances, all tests took place in Israel, with the exception of the tests for the United States, because it is a joint development of IAI and Boing.
                On December 10, 2015, the Israeli Defense Ministry announced the successful completion of tests of the Hetz-3 missile defense system. The test target was shot down over the Mediterranean Sea.
                On February 19, 2018, at 02:30 Israel time, at the Palmachim military training ground in Israel, a test of the Hetz-10 missile, scheduled for January (the missile launch was canceled on January 3 due to a problem with data transmission), took place. According to the Israeli Defense Ministry, the tests were successful: the missile left on a given trajectory and hit the "conditional target".
                In the period from July 18 to 28, 2019, Israel, together with the United States, successfully conducted three secret tests of the Hetz-3. Tests took place at the Pacific Spaceport Complexruen launch site on Kodiak Island (Alaska)
                1. Vitaly gusin
                  Vitaly gusin 14 November 2020 08: 10
                  +3
                  Quote: ZEMCH
                  C-500 and Strela 3 complexes for various tasks and purposes.

                  The S-500 will use both missiles from the S-400 arsenal - and for transatmospheric interception its task will be to combat ballistic missiles in near space.
                  The system is under development and testing.
                  Arrow 3 or Hetz 3 is a hypersonic anti-ballistic missile outside the atmosphere capable of intercepting ballistic missiles, especially those carrying weapons of mass destruction, at altitudes of more than 100 km with a range of up to 2400 km.
                  The Arrow 3 battery intercepts volleys of more than five ballistic missiles within 30 seconds. Arrow 3 can be launched into space before it becomes known where the target rocket is flying. When the target and its course have been determined, the Arrow interceptor is redirected using a thrust vector nozzle to intercept body-to-body. (you saw in the video)
                  When we see (if shown, not only the launch) the video of the S-500 test, then we will be able to compare their capabilities.
                  The difference in the systems is that Arrow 3 HAS ALREADY STANDED ON BATTLE DESK.
          2. shahor
            shahor 13 November 2020 23: 33
            0
            Quote: Krasnodar
            The Russian Federation will most likely not sell the S-400 to Israel

            Do you remember how during his penultimate visit to Israel, Putin promised the Order of Merit 1st Class to someone who would help conclude a contract for the supply of Russian weapons to Israel? I think if I promised a cash bonus of 10 salaries for the maintenance of the head of Rostec, it would have worked better ...
  4. deniso
    deniso 13 November 2020 20: 32
    -1
    35I - injector type? laughing
    1. andreykolesov123
      andreykolesov123 13 November 2020 20: 39
      +2
      Quote: denis obuckov
      35I - injector type? laughing

      Israeli
  5. deniso
    deniso 13 November 2020 20: 37
    -9
    Are they kosher?
    1. Krasnodar
      Krasnodar 13 November 2020 20: 45
      +5
      Quote: denis obuckov
      Are they kosher?

      Like zhingyalov hats, about
  6. mvg
    mvg 14 November 2020 01: 02
    +1
    This is not the author. This is a copywriter, in the most low-quality sense. You read some garbage from words.