The F-35 Could Intercept a N. Korean Missile Launch - but it Could Bring an All-Out Fight. At that point, why not shoot it down with an air-to-air missile from an F-35? The US Air Force has for decades had air-to-air missiles that lock on to hot, flying targets, and an ICBM in its first stage is essentially that. But the F-35 program, usually not one to shy away from boasting about its achievements, has been hushed about the prospect of using it to defeat one of the gravest threats to the US. "I can tell you that the F-35 is a multi-mission fighter," Cmdr. Patrick Evans of the Office of the Secretary of Defense told Business Insider when asked about the program. "It would be inappropriate to speculate on future capabilities or missions of the weapon system." The present crisis with North Korea may demand some expediency from the Pentagon regarding the F-35. The F-35, with its all-aspect stealth, is ideal for breaking into North Korea's protected airspace. It can already use the air-to-air missile in question, and its sensor fusion would make it the best plane for the job. The drawback, though, is that the F-35 would need to get close to the target missile as it's leaving the launchpad, which could mean firing interceptor missiles over enemy territory — something North Korea could see as an act of war.