By Gareth Corfield
August 1, 2016
US restrictions on the F-35 fighter jet’s targeting system will make it “almost impossible” for training to be carried out in the UK, the Ministry of Defence fears – but its press office insists the constraints are normal.
The F-35’s electro-optical targeting system (EOTS) includes a target designator laser and a laser rangefinder.
According to the Defence Ranges Safety Committee, the F-35 has only been cleared to use the designator laser “in the US under very tight controls”.
These include a ban on any optic devices being within 33km of the aircraft when the designator is switched on, and no observers being allowed within 9km of an F-35 operating its designator laser.
“If these restrictions stand, then training in the UK will be almost impossible,” an MoD civil servant wrote. The MoD’s F-35 project team are said to be “in discussion” with the US to have the restrictions “reviewed”.[FULL ARTICLE]