The “Adir” Has Landed
(Source: Israeli Air Force; issued Dec. 12, 2016)
The President of Israel, Reuven Rivlin, and Israeli AF commander, Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel, glue the Star of David roundel’ on the Adir after its arrival at Nevatim air base. The transatlantic crossing was flown with Israeli registration and USAF markings. (IAF photo)
Today, December 12, 2016, the first pair of “Adir” (F-35I) stealth fighters landed in their new home, Nevatim AFB. The landing ceremony, which was slightly delayed due to heavy fog in Italy and American safety protocols, was attended by the PM of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu, the President of Israel Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin, the Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, the Chief of the General Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, IAF Commander Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel, heads of the involved military industries, the United States Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, U.S Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro, the President of “Lockheed Martin” Marillyn Hewson and delegates from around the world.

“Today, the fifth-generation revolution begins. The ‘Adir’ is about to become a powerful accelerator for the entire IAF”, said Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel, IAF Commander. “We plan on leveraging our systemic abilities to new heights in attack and defense. Our aerial force will be much deadlier, combined and more relevant than ever”.

“The ‘Adir’ (F-35I) stealth fighters and pilots will be able to operate in every arena, near and far” said the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu. “Our goal is to obtain supremacy in every theatre: in the air, in the sea, on the ground and in the cyber arena. We build our force and sharpen our abilities in defense, attack, deterrence and decision. The ‘Adir’ jets will strengthen these abilities”.

U.S Secretary of Defense, Ashton Carter, added: “As of today, Israel is our only friend in the region flying the F-35. F-35s will help the U.S. and Israel Air Force operate more jointly and more effectively. Together, we will dominate the skies”.

Combining Man and Machine

The pair of “Adir” (F-35I) jets that landed today are the first of 50 aircraft whose acquisition has been agreed upon so far. They will bring the IAF into the fifth generation of fighter aircraft and consist of a significant quantum jump in capability. The jets hold advanced capabilities new to the IAF such as sensor fusion, stealth and situation awareness.

In addition, their arrival will bring new concepts into the IAF in various fields such as logistics, training and instruction. An example for such a conceptual change is the heightened significance of simulators in “Adir” pilot training. The IAF aspires to perform 50% of “Adir” flight hours in simulators.

“Today, a fascinating meeting between man and machine begins, between our excellent pilots and maintenance personnel and the forefront of flight technology”, stated Maj. Gen. Eshel. “The jet will become exceedingly ‘White and Blue’ in its operation and systems. Each ‘Adir’ will be an awesome attack machine, an information and control center that will operate successfully in the face of dangerous threats in ways completely different than those we are familiar with”.

“No jet, sophisticated and advanced as it may be, can decide the battles of the future alone. You are the wind under its wings, you are the people who will decide the battles”, said President of Israel, Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin. PM Netanyahu added: “Israel is taking off to new heights, and when our pilots in the ‘Adir’ jets will fly high, we will watch them with pride”.

From the First Flight to Operational Activity

Six years after the acquisition deal was signed and a year and a half since the “Golden Eagle” Squadron (that will receive and operate the “Adir”) was established, the jets have arrived in Israel. Until now, the squadron personnel: pilots, ground crews, intelligence and operations personnel studied the advanced stealth fighter in order to achieve their goal – the “Adir”, operational by December 2017.

“The IAF Commander gave us a goal – to take off for our first flight tomorrow and we definitely intended to reach it”, shared Lt. Col. Yotam, the first “Adir” Squadron Commander. “We must quickly transition from the exciting atmosphere to operational work in order to stay on schedule”.

During the coming year, the squadron is expected to hold various test and training flights, in order to better grasp how to make the aircraft’s activity more efficient and adapt it to the IAF’s needs and the current arena. Simultaneously, the IAF will continue training additional aircrews for the F-35 and developing the abilities of all “Adir” personnel, on the ground and in the air.

“We will first make sure that we are providing the proper safety conditions for the jet’s activity, train ourselves and develop combat doctrines”, shared Lt. Col. Yotam. “We will begin operational activity only after deeply examining the aircraft and making sure that we are ready”.


Carter Helps Top Israeli Officials Celebrate Arrival of F-35s
(Source: U.S. Department of Defence; issued Dec 12, 2016)
WASHINGTON --- At Israel’s Nevatim Air Base this evening, Defense Secretary Ash Carter helped Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and hundreds of observers celebrate the arrival of two F-35A Lightning II jet fighters the United States sent to one of its most important Middle East allies.

The fighters are the first of 50 aircraft that will help build the future of the Israeli air force, Carter said, as part of a memorandum of understanding signed this year in which the United States pledged an unprecedented $38 billion in security assistance over the next 10 years.

“This evening we’re celebrating the remarkable progress of the U.S.-Israel defense relationship, and also of an [Israeli] air force that began by flying leftover World War II planes and is now flying the most advanced aircraft in history,” the secretary said.

First in the Region

As of today, Carter added, “Israel is our first and only friend in the region that’s flying F-35s. And it’s my honor to be here marking the delivery of these planes … to America’s closest friend and ally in the region.”

Netanyahu thanked Carter for celebrating the “important milestone” with Israeli leaders.

“It's a sign of your personal friendship, your personal commitment to the U.S.-Israel alliance and … I wish to thank as well, on behalf of all the people of Israel, President [Barack] Obama, the American Congress and the American people,” Netanyahu said.

“Israel is your best and your most reliable ally in the Middle East -- in my opinion beyond the Middle East -- we will always remain so,” he added.

The Israelis call the F-35s “Adir,” which in Hebrew means “the mighty one.” Carter called this an “apt name for aircraft that represent the full force of military might.”

Dominating the Skies

From its stealth technology to its fighter capabilities, Carter said, the F-35 is designed to enable pilots to evade detection and fly at supersonic speeds while conducting air defense, ground-attack missions and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

The stealth fighter also features advanced sensors and data collection-capabilities that allow it to share data with other aircraft, the secretary added, noting that the information-sharing features make it an ideal aircraft for joint and coalition operations.

“Together,” Carter said to applause from the audience, “we will dominate the skies.”

He added that Israeli and U.S. companies were important to the creation of the state-of-the-art aircraft.

“From wing production to the helmet-mounted display to fuselage components, Israel’s innovative technologies have helped define this aircraft and its capabilities,” Carter said.

Beneficial Partnership

The F-35 is an important symbol of America’s commitment to Israel’s qualitative military edge, the secretary added, but “it’s only the most recent example of how our security cooperation continues to soar to new heights.”

The two nations have expanded cooperation into new domains in the last few years, including space and cyberspace, to prepare for 21st-Century threats,” Carter said. “And we’ll continue to provide Israel with the most advanced capabilities.”

“As we gather here today,” Carter said, “the U.S.-Israel defense relationship is stronger than it’s ever been, and America’s pledge to defend Israel’s security remains unwavering. Indeed, with the current turmoil in the region we’re more committed to Israel’s security today than ever before.”

Carter is on an around-the-world trip to thank deployed U.S. troops for their service over the holidays, meet with regional partners, and advance U.S. priorities, including the rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region and the lasting defeat of ISIL. The trip has included visits to Japan, India, Afghanistan, Bahrain and Israel.


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