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Weeks ago, Iranian officials claimed that Iran had been actively detecting American F-35s operating over the Persian Gulf. But the question is: Did Iran really crack the code to peer through the stealth of America’s most advanced 5th-generation fighter? Well, sort of.
There is a very big difference between DETECTING and TARGETING a stealth fighter.
Stealth fighters are designed to evade types of radar arrays that can guide a weapon into a target. However, some airframe designs, like their standing vertical tail surfaces or their big jet inlets, often produce a resonance that is detectable via low-frequency early warning radars.
Still, these low frequency arrays can’t guide a weapon into a target.
Stealth bombers are an exception to this rule. Bomber designs omit the tail surfaces and jet inlets seen in fighters, resulting in these aircraft being very difficult to detect via low and high frequency arrays.
You wouldn’t even know the bombers are there unless they let go of their payload!
Bottomline is: Yes, you’d know the fighters are there, but you just can’t target them to shoot them down.