F-35’s new stealth coating changes viewing angles and IR signature

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WASHINGTON — New photos of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and F-117 Nighthawk have appeared online, with an interesting mysterious coating that can “change” depending on the viewing angles, learned BulgarianMilitary.com, citing Defense Express. Earlier, another American aircraft, the F-22 Raptor, was lit with this coating, as we reported.

Photo credit: Defense Express

The fact that the fifth-generation American aircraft, as well as the platform used, among other things, for testing and testing missions [F-117], are marked with a new coating, probably indicates that US aircraft may soon receive new opportunities.

As you can see in the photo above, the F-117 mirrors are located on the front edges, upper fuselage, and tail – this is not the first time the aircraft changes the “casing”: in the early 1990s on the F-117 tested mirror- metal coating within the SENIOR SPUD program. This program was focused on finding a reduction in the infrared signature of the Nighthawk aircraft.

Photo credit: Defense Express

At the same time, the F-35 [pictured above] in this version “lit up” for the first time, and it is an F-35C from the ninth aviation test and evaluation squadron [VX-9] of one of the main test sites of the Navy.

Thus, we can conclude that the program “new coverage for US fighters” is under implementation. Moreover, both the US Air Force and the US Navy are involved in it, but it is unknown whether the services are conducting this development jointly or separately.

It is known that in the fifth generation of F-22 and F-35 fighters, the coating of radio-absorbing material plays an important role in the “stealth” properties of the aircraft. At the same time, the new “mirror coating” is unique and consists of a mosaic of small specially fitted tiles and large leaf-like parts.

According to stealth coating experts, the new “mirror” material is likely to reduce the aircraft’s infrared signature from the front and side hemispheres and eventually become a new, higher level of protection for fifth-generation fighters and a kind of response to infrared search and surveillance systems [IRST], advanced types of which are currently being distributed around the world and are installed on most enemy fighters, as well as on American aircraft, including the F-22.

Photo credit: Santos Caceres

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