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The F-35 has hit yet another snag. During a recent exercise at Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho, US Air Force F-35A pilots set out to practice evading surface-to-air missiles, but they could not, because the SAM radars on the ground could not even find the ultra-stealthy planes.

"If they never saw us, they couldn't target us," said Lt. Col. George Watkins, commander of the 34th Fighter Squadron at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, told the Air Force Times.

To participate in the exercise as planned, the F-35As had to turn on their transponders, essentially announcing their presence so the SAM sites could see and engage them. "We basically told them where we were at and said, 'Hey, try to shoot at us,'" said Watkins.

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