Carrying AIM-120 Missiles, Two US F-35A Fighter Jets Land in North Macedonia, What's Up?

Carrying AIM-120 Missiles, Two US F-35A Fighter Jets Land in North Macedonia, What's Up?
Carrying AIM-120 Missiles, Two US F-35A Fighter Jets Land in North Macedonia

International Military - Two fifth-generation F-35A fighters from the Vermont Air National Guard land at Petrovec Military Airport, Skopje, North Macedonia. On June 17, the two aircraft carried AIM-120 air-to-air missiles. Allegedly, this has something to do with Russia.

According to Military Watch Magazine, located in southeastern Europe, North Macedonia became the 30th NATO member state in March 2020. It is also ideally located for operations against Russian forces in Ukraine, which has become a center of tension between Moscow and Washington.

North Macedonian Defense Minister lavjanka Petrovska commented on the deployment of the F-35. He revealed that this is a concrete manifestation of the partnership between the two countries.

Operation of the F-35 from an airport in the Republic of North Macedonia is the clearest example of the strategic partnership and mutual trust between the US and the Republic of North Macedonia. This demonstrates our commitment and readiness to meet unexpected operational requirements in this complex international environment," he said.

The F-35 is one of only two fifth-generation fighters produced and deployed to a squadron-level force anywhere in the world. The F-35 is primarily designed for the strike role, and is limited to carrying only four air-to-air missiles internally.

However, it is considered suitable for air defense suppression missions, which is a highly valued ability. This is due to Russia's focus on land-based defense systems that offset its quantity and sophistication for the relatively small size of Russia's fighter fleet.

The F-35 is primarily assigned to the Vermont Air National Guard's 134th Fighter Squadron rather than the US Air Force. Guard Lieutenant Colonel John Macrae stated regarding the deployment, "Due to North Macedonia's membership as a NATO ally, we are able to share the security stemming from air policing missions and the rapid deployment of the advanced capabilities of the F-35 platform as demonstrated today.

North Macedonia provides the NATO air force training and resources through the Petrovec military airport and Krivolak training area that we need to maintain our readiness. And the NATO air force, in turn, has the opportunity to train with your air wing and army, to ensure the current and future security of North Macedonia, the Balkans region and Europe as a whole," he said.

Quoted from the Eurasian Times, the two jets armed with the AIM-120 appear ready to carry out air policing responsibilities. NATO air policing consists of contingents of fully capable fighter jets stationed in several locations. It is also ready to respond to any potential enemy air activity or other air emergencies at short notice.

Both F-35As have a pair of AIM-120s mounted on interior doors, one each. The yellow ring around the front of the body, indicating the presence of a high-explosive warhead, clearly identifies the missile as a live bullet.

The F-35 can carry four AIM-120 AAMRAM in its internal carriage, a new generation all-weather weapon manufactured by Raytheon. The AIM-120 AMRAAM was the first to be fired from an F-35A fighter five years ago in February 2017.

Meanwhile, the AIM-120 is an out-of-visual-range, all-weather air-to-air missile with an active radar and an inertial reference unit. Active radar directs missiles to intercept targets, allowing the pilot to simultaneously aim and launch multiple missiles at multiple targets.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post