Missile Defense Review noted in early 2019 that the F-35 can “track and destroy adversary cruise missiles” and pointed out the aircraft will have other missile defense capabilities.
Low altitude and precision-guided missiles are one of the threats Israel deals with, although scanning for such threats is not usually the job of warplanes like the F-35.
However, if the F-35 is used against cruise missiles by itself it might need to carry munitions externally that negate its stealth externally, one report indicates; an added reason that using it in combination with other aircraft or systems can maximize the capabilities of each.
Israel is taking note of the threat, especially amid the proliferation of Iran’s cruise missiles and Tehran’s frequent military drills with both cruise missiles, ballistic missiles and drones.
Its full capabilities, or whether using it as part of a missile defense system is worthwhile, is still being debated in the U.S. Israel’s F-35 is operating in the region and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned Iran that the planes can reach whatever targets they need to.