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Israel Air Force receives three more F-35A Lightning II fighter Jets.

| 2023

The Israeli Air Force (IAF) received three new Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II (“Adir”) aircraft on July 20, Dan Arkin reports in Israel Defense. The aircraft arrived from the US and landed at the Nevatim Air Force base.

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Israel Air Force receives three more F 35A Lighnting II fighter Jets The new F-35A fighters arrived from the US and landed on July 20 at the Nevatim Air Force base (Picture source: Twitter account of the IAF)

The F-35 Lightning II program in the Israel Air Force (IAF) has made significant strides in advancing the country's air superiority capabilities. Recently, the IAF welcomed three new F-35 aircraft, which joined the prestigious 140 "Golden Eagle" Squadron stationed at the Nevatim Air Base. With this addition, the total number of Israeli Lightning II fighter jets reached 39. Notably, the first jets were declared operational in 2017, showcasing the IAF's commitment to modernizing its fleet. The Air Force's ambitious plan is to expand its fleet to 75 F-35 aircraft, with the intention of forming three specialized squadrons.

Conventionally, the aircraft's armament is installed internally to preserve its stealth capabilities. However, Dan Arkin reports, a test flight conducted by the IAF showcased the successful integration of heavy external armament, specifically the JDAM 84 bomb, under the wings of the aircraft. This demonstration highlighted the exceptional engineering cooperation between the IAF and Lockheed Martin.

Globally, the F-35 program has made a significant impact, with a total of 945 aircraft currently in operation across the world. Cumulatively, these aircraft have amassed an astounding 691,000 flight hours, further attesting to the reliability and performance of the Lightning II. The F-35s are presently deployed in 39 bases and carriers, spanning nine different countries, and have become a formidable force in modern air warfare.

The advantages of the F-35 Lightning II for the Israel Air Force are manifold. Its advanced sensor suite and data fusion capabilities enable superior situational awareness and decision-making, crucial elements in gaining a tactical edge in the battlefield. The multi-role capabilities of the F-35 allow the IAF to conduct various mission types with a single platform, streamlining logistics and maintenance efforts. Additionally, the aircraft's interoperability with other advanced systems within the IAF facilitates seamless joint operations and enhances information sharing, further enhancing the Air Force's combat effectiveness. The operational successes of the F-35 in the IAF have been noteworthy, with instances where the aircraft demonstrated its prowess in both air-to-ground and air-to-air missions. Planned upgrades and enhancements will further improve the aircraft's capabilities.

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