Picture the following scene: the Mullahs in Tehran have finally decided to annihilate the Jewish State, and one night in the not too distant future they launch an ICBM from Iran to Tel Aviv. As the IDF advanced radar systems detect the launch, a wing of F-35 fighter planes takes to the air, locates the enormous, fast-moving missile over the horizon and shoots it down. A similar launch in the opposite direction may or may not follow.
The above story is fast becoming less Sci Fi fantasy and more technological reality, at least according to an April 11 testimony given at the Senate appropriations subcommittee on defense by Lt. Gen. Samuel A. Greaves, Director of the Missile Defense Agency, Breaking Defense reported.
F-35 Joint Strike Fighters could detect, track, and, possibly, even shoot down ballistic missiles by 2025 Greaves told the committee, adding, “I’d say six to seven years to essentially work out the Concept of Operations [and] develop the capabilities — [whether] it’s sensor-based or a new fast missile that’s hung on the bottom of an F-35 for the BMDS (Ballistic Missile Defense) mission – integrate those capabilities, test them, and deliver them into a theater of operations.”
Representative Duncan Hunter (R-Ca), a member of the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance (MDAA), is on the record as stating that “if you extrapolate into the future what you could potentially do with the F-35 and how you would operationally use it, because of the 360 degree nature of the distributed aperture system, you don’t always have to be pointed at the potential launch locations. So it’s fairly easy at that point to detect launch, start to track a missile, and you pass that off to other shooters.”
On the same occasion, Congressman Hunter said: “Very simply, what we’re trying to do is shoot [AIM-120 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAMs)] off F-35s in the first 300 seconds that it takes a missile to go up in the air.” He added, “I’m working with guys at Los Alamos and Livermore. What I’ve come up to is a brick wall called the Missile Defense Agency and other organization within the U.S. government.”
It appears that the MDA has finally paid attention and that, as suggested by the boss, Lt. Gen. Greaves, rogue operators such as North Korea and Iran will no longer be able to threaten countries that run F-35 fleets.
That’s a reason for celebration.