REPORT: US F-35s could help intercept North Korean ICBMs

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Written by DML
With “Rocket Man” building dangerous weapons in North Korea, one of the biggest questions I receive each day is: “Can the U.S. defend itself against a nuke shot from North Korea?”

According to Defense One, a 2014 test provided evidence that the United States’ F-35 fighter jet could knock out a North Korean-launched ballistic missile.

The high-tech F-35 sensor could help other missile-defense equipment track and destroy an intercontinental ballistic missile launched by North Korea.

FROM DEFENSE ONE:
Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., raised more than a few eyebrows (and drew a few rolled eyes) when he suggested in November that the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter could intercept North Korean missiles headed for the United States. Hunter cited analysis from Los Alamos National Labs and other sources, according to Inside Defense.

Turns out the F-35 may be an ICBM buster after all, or at least be helpful toward that end. On Tuesday, Northrop Grumman called a small group of journalists to its offices in Linthicum, Maryland, to show the results of a 2014 experiment conducted with the Missile Defense Agency, or MDA.

The U.S. has no foolproof way to down a North Korean ICBM. Physics says the best opportunity comes during “boost phase,” as the rocket is leaving the launch pad. But DPRK anti-aircraft defenses make it difficult for the U.S. to get a weapon close enough to do any good. That’s why the Pentagon is looking at elaborate, futuristic concepts like arming drones with missile-killing lasers.

But the F-35 is studded with sensors like no other aircraft, including the Distributed Aperture System, or DAS, a half-dozen 17-pound electro-optical and infrared sensors. These feed a helmet-mounted display that allows the pilot to effectively “see through the plane” and spot incoming aircraft and missiles.

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