Three additional “Adir” (F-35I) stealth fighters landed in Nevatim AFB today (23/4/17) and joined the two other jets, which arrived in December 2016. “The integration of the additional three jets is another stage in building the IAF’s capability, as a shield of the State of Israel”, said Brig. Gen. Eyal Grinboim, Nevatim AFB Commander.
The “Adir” (F-35I) is an advanced fifth generation multirole stealth fighter. Its advanced capabilities make it a first rate strategic asset for the IAF, the IDF and all of Israel. “As a young squadron taking its first steps in the operation of the ‘Adir’, this is a significant change”, said Lt. Col. Yotam, Commander of the “Golden Eagle” Squadron.
A Significant Strategic Asset
The first two “Adir” (F-35I) jets landed in Israel in December of 2016, and in the four months that have passed, the “Golden Eagle” Squadron has clocked dozens of flight hours on the advanced fighters. In this four month period, the squadron focused on training flights and flights intended to test the jet’s capability. Maj. Yuval, “Adir” test pilot, explained that when the acquisition deal was signed the manufacturers said, as they did to all other buyers, that they recommend we test the aircraft. “As the aircraft is a final product, we do not test it in order to change it, but in order to examine and acquaint ourselves with its capabilities”.
The arrival of the three new jets brings the “Golden Eagle” Squadron a step closer to the goal it set: initial operational capability by the end of 2017, only a year after the first fighters landed in Israel. The arrival of the three “Adir” fighters to Nevatim has significantly expanded the squadron, but it is far from the end.
The IAF is expected to receive additional “Adir” (F-35I) fighters throughout 2017, and in total, the Israeli Government has agreed upon the procurement of about 50 F-35I aircraft.