Israeli Air Force F - 35 stealth accidently reveals the secret Nuclear Military Site of the Country
ISLAMABAD - Israeli Air Force F - 35 stealth accidently reveals the secret Nuclear Military Site of the Country.
An Israeli F-35 stealth aircraft revealed to the world both its own location and that of Israel’s primary nuclear facility on Monday when it turned on a publicly viewable transponder signal.
Deep in the Negev desert of southern Israel lies the Shimon Peres Nuclear Research Center, also called the Dimona reactor, the center of Israel’s nuclear research and weapons programs link. While its location isn’t exactly top secret, it’s impossible for civilians to get close to it; the Israel Defense Forces have even been known to shoot down their own planes link when they don’t have permission to fly over Dimona.
However, while one Israeli Air Force F-35I “Adir” stealth fighter flying over Dimona on Monday wasn’t at risk of being shot down, it did drop its ghostly act for about 20 minutes when it turned on a publicly viewable transponder signal, causing it to appear on civilian radars.
According to Israel’s Ynet News link, the Adir was using a “squawk” signal used to communicate certain vital messages on a Mode-S/ADS-B civilian frequency. On Monday, this F-35 was broadcasting Squawk 7600, meaning “transmission error”; other commonly used Squawk codes are 7700, meaning “emergency,” and 7500, meaning “hijacking.”
The Adir, using callsign F35LTNG2 and transponder hex code 738AD2, appeared for about 25 minutes on local radars as well as tracking sites like FlightRadar24 and ADS-B Exchange.
A spokesperson for the IDF told the Jerusalem Post link the incident happened "during a routine training flight in a training area in the South,” noting that “a malfunction was discovered in the aircraft's transponder” requiring it to broadcast publicly.
“In order to communicate with the other aircraft that [were] participating in the training, the pilot activated the aircraft's detection system so that the other aircraft would be able to recognize it without communicating with the pilot," the spokesperson said.
As Ynet noted, seeing an IAF plane on any civilian radar, let alone a stealthy F-35 Adir, is “an exceptional event, as Israeli Air Force fighters never operate unencrypted means of transmission.”
Ironically, the IDF spokesperson said the opposite, promising it was “was not an exceptional event” and that "the tracking system is operated at the discretion of the pilot, Sputnik has reported.