F-35 Lightning “Stealth mode” or “Beast mode”: Which one is more dangerous?

Beast mode” is the ability for the F-35 to load up munitions on its external weapons pylons by sacrificing its stealth ability, while the Stealth Mode applies when the aircraft is flown with all its weapons stored in the internal weapon bays.

The Lockheed Martin-built Joint Strike Fighter was developed to be a “multi-role” stealth fighter, which in essence means that it was specifically engineered with an ability to launch massive air attacks on air-to-air and air-to-ground targets. The aircraft employs an internal weapons bay intended to enable attacks against an adversary while preserving a stealth configuration, yet can be utilized in a full-force attack  by employing the external pylons as well – which has become known as its “beast mode” or “bomb truck.”

Actually, there are two ways to fly the American military’s proud fighter plane, the F-35 Lightning, developed by the Lockheed Martin company – either flown in “Stealth Mode” or Beast Mode.

This “Beat mode” refers to when the F-35 aircraft flies with a maximum payload consisting of multiple types of guided shells and smart bombs dissipating up to 10,000 kilograms in weight using external weapon bays, while compromising the aircraft’s stealth element and exposing its presence to enemy radar screens.

F-35 Beast mode
F-35 Beast mode

The F-35 aircraft only flies in “Beast mode” if it has succeeded in controlling air dominance in the target area after destroying all forms of threats such as radar stations and enemy air defense systems.

When flown in Stealth Mode, all weaponry carried by the F-35 aircraft such as guided bullets and bombs are placed in the internal weapons bays (compartments in the fuselage) to reduce the aircraft’s radar cross section (RCS).

Placing all weapons carried in internal weapon bays also aims to prevent the aircraft from being detected by enemy radar and to maintain Low Observability (LO) when the air defense system is operating at maximum conditions to determine its position.

Because all guided bullets and bombs are stored in the internal weapons bays while the aircraft is in stealth Mod, the amount of weaponry that the F-35 aircraft can carry while in the respective mod is also reduced, which is only around 2,500 kilograms.

Among the armaments carried by the F-35 while in Halimunan Mod are four AIM-120 AMRAAM guided shells for air-to-air operations or two AMRAAMs and two GBU-31 JDAMs with Mk-84 bombs for air-to-ground.

F-35 stealth mode
F-35 stealth mode

All weaponry is stored in internal weapon bays to ensure the aircraft is in a state of obscurity in the eyes of enemy radars with very small RCS.

In stealth mode, the F-35 can carry 5,700 lbs internally, while in “beast mode” it can carry a full 22,000 lbs, of both air-to-air and air-to-ground munitions. Clearly, beast mode can do a lot more damage.

Meanwhile, if flown in Beast Mode, the F-35 is capable of carrying various types of weapons systems so that it reaches its maximum limit without having to think about whether or not it is in the eyes of enemy radar. (no need to worry about the enemy radar has most likely been annihilated)

The weapons carried by F-35 planes in the BEAST Mode state are also not supposed to be placed in the internal weapon bays. It can be placed on the outside of the aircraft underthe wings of the aircraft.

When in Beast mode state, an F-35 aircraft can carry up to 10,000 kilograms of weapons including 14 AMRAAM guided shells and two AIM-9X for air-to-air operations. While for air-to-air and air-to-ground operations the F-35 aircraft may carry two AMRAAM Beyond Visual Range guided shells, six GBU-31 JDAM bombs, and two AIM-9X guided shells.

With a payload of 10 tons of guided shells and laser-guided bombs, the F-35 in Beast Mode can “flatten” a small town.

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