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A four-ship of F-35A Lightning IIs returns to Eglin AFB, Fla., after a sortie Feb. 1, 2013. Air Force photo by Capt. Edward Schmitt.

Although the F-35 has the capability to jam enemy radars, the commander of Air Combat Command does not want the fifth generation fighter doing broad electronic jamming during a strike into contested air space. With its low radar signature, the stealthy F-35 could use “small and focused” jamming as needed to clear its way through enemy air defenses, said ACC boss Gen. Mike Hostage during a July 29 AFA-sponsored, Air Force breakfast in Arlington, Va. The F-35’s active electronically scanned array radar can focus narrow beams of energy at a specific area. But Hostage added, “I’m happy there still are fourth generation platforms out there that would bring high-powered jamming” that would “raise the noise level so I don’t have to. I just don’t want that too close to me,” Hostage said. With the synergistic effect of the active jamming by allies, the F-35 “will disappear in the noise,” he said.