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F-35's In europe sporting radar enhancers

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posted on May, 5 2017 @ 06:25 PM
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Ran across an article today about the F-35's currently in Europe and those deployed to Estonia are all sporting radar reflectors. It makes sense that you would want to make sure your aircraft could be seen (at least in peacetime) esp. when transiting crowded airspace Article. To be honest its the first time I even noticed them and looking back they seem to be in at least half of the F-35 pictures I could find. In the recent video of them transiting the March Loop you can clearly see them at the 6 second mark. They are called Luneberg reflectors.....

Could they also be trying to disguise the true radar cross section of the aircraft (esp when deployed to Estonia)?
Can the be jettisoned in flight?

The recent ATS thread from F-35A's in the Loop which includes the video


edit on 5/5/17 by FredT because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 5 2017 @ 06:54 PM
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a reply to: FredT

Hiding their true radar cross section is exactly why they use those. I just posted on another thread today about the F-22s doing the same. On the Raptors they either use the radar reflective material or external fuel tanks or both.

Its mentioned in this article from a thread earlier today.



It is all but certain that the F-22s were flying with external fuel tanks, radar reflectors, or both. These would have prevented the Russian pilots from getting a good sense of their low-observable characteristics. It is customary for the Quick Reaction Alert Raptors in Alaska to be outfitted with external tanks at all times. 

edit on 5-5-2017 by RickyD because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 5 2017 @ 07:01 PM
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a reply to: FredT

Best I can add.


Sensors? Are they visible?



posted on May, 5 2017 @ 07:04 PM
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a reply to: FredT

F-22's use a retractable one that extends from its belly for the same purposes. It looks like a thermos bottle on a fin.


edit on 5-5-2017 by Sammamishman because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 5 2017 @ 07:21 PM
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a reply to: Sammamishman

Hey sammamish

Do you think if some adversary was trying to get metrics on the f35s true RCS and returns a radar reflector would totally spoil their returns or odds of getting any true measure of just how stealthy the f35 is?



posted on May, 5 2017 @ 07:32 PM
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a reply to: BASSPLYR

Not Sam, but yes it definitely would.



posted on May, 5 2017 @ 07:33 PM
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a reply to: FredT

Most of the time they have retractable systems, like Sam posted. They simply pull them back up if they need to. They never show their true RCS in training, unless they're flying against other stealth aircraft, out where there's nothing to see them. The reflectors also help with ATC during transit.



posted on May, 5 2017 @ 07:34 PM
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a reply to: BASSPLYR

That's one of the reasons they use them.



posted on May, 5 2017 @ 07:35 PM
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a reply to: BASSPLYR

Yes, a Luneburg reflector would give anyone radar painting them a false return. It also is definataly used while they are transiting any area where they are under local air traffic control.



posted on May, 6 2017 @ 04:51 PM
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makes perfect sense to me that all combat aircraft that have any pretence at stealthy characteristics
would take steps to display a exaggerated or enlarged signature when not on an actual op

both to hide the true signal return (if any) from friends and potential foes alike
and if they are truly stealthily to make sure they can traverse occupied airspace safely
home or overseas.

as a side note im delighted to have the F35 detachment currently over here in the UK training in our airspace
the USAF or USMC can screw whatever they like to their airframes as long as we can get to see them beating up
the training ranges



posted on May, 7 2017 @ 02:52 AM
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I assume the "Radar enhancers" are the parts shown here?




posted on May, 7 2017 @ 05:46 PM
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a reply to: Bigburgh

better question is what are those "DOTS"



posted on May, 7 2017 @ 07:49 PM
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a reply to: penroc3

Sensor collection points. They use them for weapons release tests.



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