January 16, 2008:
Although Israel won't
receive its first F-35 fighters until 2014, Israeli firms are already hard at
work designing external fuel tanks (to increase the range) for these aircraft.
Being developed are fuel tanks that can be attached to the hard points on the
wings (thus reducing the stealth capability), as well as conformal tanks (that
blend in with the shape of the aircraft). The latter preserve most of the
Announcing these development projects
so far in advance is apparently intended to send a message to Iran, the most
likely target for F-35s operating at longer ranges.