The much-touted ‘stealth’ features of the Lockheed Martin F-35 making it nearly invisible to radar, could be negated by a pronounced ability to be detected by infra red devices.
The heat signature released by the aircraft engines and other power consumption devices such as the radar could negate gains main by its stealthy characteristics aimed at remaining invisible to radar.
Fighter aircraft add-on devices such as the infra-red scan and track (IRST) sensor which several European and Russian aircraft are equipped with for certain missions, can easily detect the F-35 in beyond-visual range engagements, a defence website said.
A video released by FLIR Systems which specializes in the manufacture of infra-red sensors shows the heat signature of the plane in clear detail. The sensor used is theFLIR Star SAFIRE 380-HDc and tracking the heat signature has been done from a rather close range.
Nevertheless, it could be a potential chink in the armor for the US Air Force and other countries which have put billions of dollars in buying the F-35 whose main USP is its stealth capability.