Israel is upgrading its F-35 fighter jets with top secret technological and weapons systems to prepare for a strike in Iran.
The Israeli modifications include advanced munitions and sensors that remain highly classified, Walla News reported. The IDF’s F-35s can also be loaded with extra bombs inside the aircraft to enable attacks on more targets, the report said.
The Israeli upgrades turned the cutting-edge stealth fighter into a “strike and intelligence collection monster,” defense officials familiar with its secret capabilities say. The report also confirmed that Israel is dramatically extending the jet’s operational range via new fuel tanks.
In parallel, Israel is asking the US to approve additional access to the aircraft’s core avionics, according to military news website Breaking Defense. This would enable Israeli engineers to install even more unique systems in its F-35s, the report said.
The planned Israeli additions include new electronic warfare and communication systems, a senior Air Force officer told the website.
Notably, the IDF also acquired an F-35 test jet, the only one currently outside the US. This gives Israel the strategic ability to upgrade the plane independently, another high-ranking officer told Walla.
The IDF’s F-35 pilots already use made-in-Israel helmets packed with technology, including a “look and kill'” capability to guide missiles with head movements. Each helmet costs hundreds of thousands of dollars and is custom-made to ensure a perfect fit, the Israel Defense website reported.