Did Syria Just Strike An Israeli F-35 Jet

Tyler Durden's picture

With the assistance of South Front

It looks that the Israeli “demonstration of power” during the recent visit of Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu may have turned into a total failure. On October 16, Shoigu arrived in Israel for meetings with Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The two were reportedly set to discuss the situation in the region, including Syria, the fight against terrorism, as well as military and technical cooperation.

On the same day, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) claimed that its warplanes targeted an anti-aircraft battery of the Syrian Air Defense Forces that had launched a missile at Israeli aircraft flying over Lebanon.

“The army targeted the battery with four bombs and, according to the IDF, the battery was damaged to the extent it was no longer operational. The army said the battery targeted was the same that fired at Israeli jets last March, prompting Israel make use of its Arrow anti-missile system for the first time,” the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported.

The Syrian military confirmed the Israeli strikes and said that they caused “material damage.” But it’s interesting to note that, according to the Syrian Defense Ministry statement, Israeli warplanes violated Syria’s airspace on the border with Lebanon in Baalbek area. The incident took place at 8:51 am local time.

Did the Israeli Air Force intentionally provoke the reaction from the Syrian military in order to justify the strike on the Syrian air defense battery? It wouldn't be the first time.

Furthermore, some pro-Israeli experts and media activists clearly linked the incident with the visit of the Russian defense minister to Tel Aviv saying that it was a nice demonstration of power to the Russian-Iranian-Syrian alliance.

However, something went wrong. According to the available information, the Syrian Defense Forces used its S-200 missile against the Israeli warplane. This Soviet-made missile is the most advanced long range anti-aircraft system operated by the Syrian military. But even in this case, it’s old-fashioned in terms of modern warfare and advances in stealth technology.

Despite this, the Syrian Defense Ministry said in its statement that government forces responded to the violation of the airspace and “directly hit one of the jets, forcing [Israeli aircraft] to retreat” - in contradiction to the Israeli claim that “no hit” was confirmed.

A mere few hours after the missile incident with Syria, Israeli media reported that the Israeli Air Force’s F-35 stealth multirole fighter went unserviceable as a result of an alleged bird collision during a training flight. According to the Times of Israel:

Two storks hit an F-35 fighter jet during a training flight on Tuesday, requiring the plane to undergo maintenance work, the army said.


The birds hit the F-35, called the “Adir” in Hebrew, just before it was due to return to the Nevatim air base in the central Negev desert.

However, Israeli sources were not able to show a photo of the F-35 warplane after the “bird collision”. Furthermore, it is not clear if the F-35 can become operational again "in the next few days" - as the Israeli Army's statement claims - because its stealth coating was likely damaged. 

Thus, according to the Israeli version, the warplane reportedly became no longer operational after the bird collision, despite the fact that the F-35 earlier passed the bird strike certification with outstanding results (official info here). The F-35 is the world’s most expensive warplane with its price of development now at about $406.5 billion.

Israel is actively buying the world’s supposedly most advanced fighter, paying about $100 million for each plane.

So what really hit the F-35?

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NEOSERF's picture

Syrian Stork missile?

Mr.Sono's picture

That is going to cost them. No wonder they are pissed.

Arnold's picture

Bird strike survivability?
Dammit missed that one.

Sofa King Confused's picture

Israel is actively buying the world’s supposedly most advanced fighter, paying about $100 million for each plane.


With money given to them by the US of A

BigJim's picture

Maybe Syria should get rid of their missile batteries and buy avian ones.

ParkAveFlasher's picture

Did they find the storks' passports in the wreckage?

NoDebt's picture

IES.  Improvised Explosive Stork


gladih8r's picture

Passing a bird-strike tests doesn't mean "zero damage" to the aircraft.  It only means that you can still safely get back home.  Any superficial damage would still need to be repaired before the next mission.

The odd thing is that if the S-200, being such an old missle system, can track the F-35 with it's radar, what the fuck's the point of the very expensive "stealth" technology built into the F-35?  I mean, Russian missle systems are already several generations ahead of that S-200 platform.

SimplePrinciple's picture

Could be retrofitted radar?  I expect the newest systems would not allow a return home.

giovanni_f's picture

It is reported that apart from a Stork, a black swan was also spotted at the scene

BigJim's picture

Assuming, of course, that Syria did manage to hit one.

eforce's picture

Apparently only the US gets the stealth version of the F-35, the foreign variants are downgrades, the Syrian S-200VE requires a target radar cross section over 0.3m².

Also the S-200 upgraded is still very potent, even Russia still uses it.

Joe Trader's picture

Hate to burst your bubble.


"Adversaries have to build a kill chain," said Flatley, a former F-35 pilot. Just because a radar can find an object — and Russian VHF radars can spot F-35s — doesn't mean it can fix, track, target, and consummate that kill chain with a missile hit, he said.

So while an infrared search and tracking system could spot an F-35 and give enemy pilots an idea of where it is, it couldn't track it or target it with a missile. This means that the systems Russia and China have spent millions developing provide only a tiny glimpse of the F-35 — systems that may be sunk costs in the grand scheme of things.

Meanwhile, as the enemy systems scour the skies for any trace of the F-35, the F-35 sees all of those radar emissions and can pinpoint the air defenses and enemy planes.


HowdyDoody's picture

I guess this is bullish for stawks?


French Bloke's picture

"— doesn't mean it can fix, track, target, and consummate that kill chain with a missile hit"

Just might be that Flatley was sold some propaganda to make him feel safe in his cockpit... Just sayin'

Shemp 4 Victory's picture

Businessinsider will tell the TRUTH!

Conscious Reviver's picture

Re. The Stork Story. The British Army used to do something similar in Northern Ireland durring  The Troubles. When SAS were killed in shoot outs, the Brits would never admit so publicy but they still needed to explain their dead personel with a cover story. So what they'd announce is thay So-and-so and So-and-so just died in a tragic car crash on the Autobahn while in Germany for training.

In other news, Iran says they are getting involved in Israeli violations of Syrian air space.


BigJim's picture

Funny how the crowd here just can't bear the idea that the US - having outspent the rest of the world on "defence" for decades - might just possibly have an edge in some domains.

Sure, the US is shit at "winning" wars - I don't actually think the leadership cares whether it wins or not as long as it gives the MIC an excuse to keep bleeding the country's tax donkeys dry - but, in aviation, that's exactly where I would expect the US to be ahead. The Chinese still can't even build high-performance jet engines, and have to import them.

So, when I hear an F-35 pilot saying F-35's are hard to down, I'm inclined to believe it.

General Titus's picture

Israel has been providing US tax slaves debt bondage provided Airforce "TopCover" to the fake terrorists from ISIS & Al-CIA-dUH, and more

eforce's picture

@Joe Trader

You're referring to the US version, the export version (Israel's in this case) are downgrades based upon an interview were a US air force guy refused to state whether domestic and international versions had the same stealth capabilities.

NiggaPleeze's picture


You're forgetting who runs this country.  The US gets the normal ones, Israel the upgraded ones and everyone else the downgraded ones.  As our reward, we get to pay for it all.

Donnie Duvanie's picture

Right. And I suppose the storks were carrying babies.

land_of_the_few's picture

Bring out the chicken-gun of doom and its feathery sabot rounds! Tonight, Mr Chicken, you have a special mission. Make peace with your Gods.

Chicken gun at a Rolls Royce Trent 500


Stop trying to be intellectual, lady, your are lobbing poultry into a giant blender!

Bird Strikes Jet Engine (GE testing)


WakeUpPeeeeeople's picture

The odds of striking two large birds simultaneously are fairly remote. And those storks are pretty damn big birds. The biggest threat from these things are: taking out an engine or coming into the cockpit

JohninMK's picture

Shows real skill by the IAF pilot in lining up the ducks, sorry storks, in a row before hitting them.

researchfix's picture

They were Storks200.

And I love this sequel to Xi´s visit with the Donald. Xi won´t meet the Donald again ever, and Shoigu won´t meet Israel again.

Learning curve? Flat.

SilverDOG's picture

In the desert, there are massive flocks of native Sand Storks.

Truly, believe me, honestly, really, trust me.

Their migration route is along the border where the incident took place... really.

CoolClo's picture

Stealth, like many things presented to the public, is just a another BS expense.

Ignatius's picture

"Son, do you remember the story your mom and I told you about storks and where babies come from?  Well, that really wasn't the truth because it was a way to talk to you about something difficult before you were mature enough and ready enough to know the truth.  Now, this story out of Israel about their F-35 hitting two storks is kinda the same thing..."

SoilMyselfRotten's picture

 Syrians tick off retreating kikes


Stork indeed

DavidFL's picture

Stealth simply means it is low observable - not invisible. Just another fleecing program of the taxpayer

researchfix's picture

The UK carriers really have invisible ones though.

Alok's picture

anyway, from now will be much more difficult to sell this expensive plane to vassals clients...

limpinalien69's picture

If the joos say it was a stork misshap, then it must be true. 

The joos are gods chosen and what they say is the t...tr...tru... sorry I can't bullshit.

'I swear on my kids' Weinstein joos lie with every single word they utter.


SoDamnMad's picture

If they were kosher storks the aircraft would be OK but they were unpure birds so....

DRTexas's picture

Assuming the S-200 has thermal tracking ability, stealth technology is only good until the pilot puts the aircraft into afterburner.  If the missiles were already launched and in the vicinity, or on similar coordinates of the aircraft, the timing of the afterburner(extreme burst of heat) could be an unlucky coincidence for the pilot. 

J S Bach's picture

"Did Syria Just Strike An Israeli F-35 Jet?"

I sure as shit hope so.

Mr. Universe's picture

First thing I thought when I read the headlines too.

JohninMK's picture

Also, if it were an F-35 its exhaust runs particularly hot under all conditions.

East Indian's picture

Russians have been saying that their old generation ground radars are clearly seeing the "invisible" stealth planes; apparently it is invisible only to the commonly used western radar frequencies. 

JohninMK's picture

The planes are not invisible just low return in some radar systems like the old ones and new long range ones, on both sides, which give general location data for tracking. They present a problem to all short range systems which are trying to get accurate date for targetting.

Stuck on Zero's picture

The F-35s were certified to hit storks without damage. They even come with "stork certificates."

Mr Twitch's picture

Yes, I am wishing this story to be true 

Captain Chlamydia's picture

Did they find the storks' passports in the wreckage



Mr. Universe's picture

No, but there were reports of dancing Storks on the nearby roof tops.

ParkAveFlasher's picture

What was the nationality of the storks, and where were they flight-trained?

Balkan's picture

Already. These storks were personally trained by Putin. Proof:


Shemp 4 Victory's picture

New NATO code name for S-200: Stork-2.