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April 4, 2016 2:17 pm

Lockheed Martin: First F-35 Jets Will Arrive in Israel in December

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The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fighter jet. Photo: Andy Wolfe via Wikimedia Commons.

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fighter jet. Photo: Andy Wolfe via Wikimedia Commons. – Development of the advanced F-35 fighter jet is moving along as expected and Israel “has our commitment” that the first F-35s it ordered will arrive this December, Lockheed Martin Vice President Gen. (ret.) Gary North said Sunday at a Tel Aviv national security conference organized by the Fisher Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies and Israel Defense.

North was responding to reports that development of the F-35 was hitting snags.

“The plane is still in the experimental state in the US,” North said. “More than 170 planes are distributed among 10 bases. Lockheed Martin has accompanied the Israeli Air Force since the foundation of the state. The F-35 will be integrated into the air force’s operational parameters, which will redefine the battlefield. Your neighborhood is not easy, and it will get tougher as the years go by. In light of that, strength leads to calm. When you’re strong, you send a clear message to your enemies.”

Israel Air Force Chief of Staff Brig. Gen. Tal Kalman also addressed the reports, saying, “I’m reading things that have little to do with reality. I hear remarks about delays and problems with creating operational capability. The plane is already operational with the Marines and next year it will be operational in the US Air Force.”

(Exclusive from Israel Hayom.)

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  • Juan Lauricella

    The arguments against the F-35 are really fascinating. The opponents of the fighter seem to be emotionally invested in its not succeeding. They throw a grab bag of rumors and speculations at the wall, not really caring if they are true.
    The plane is declared good by all the people who count, the experts and folks who know the secrets about its capabilities.
    There is a huge campaign against this plane, but I want folks to know that it is not based on the quality of the product, or its effectiveness, or its cost.
    There is a lot of just anti any large weapon motivations, some anti american pro-russian/chinese etc. type disinformation, and just some armchair “I know better than they do” tinfoil hat brigade.
    Facts are clear about this plane being a success and a good value. If you really care to judge it fairly, you can figure that out for yourself with a little research.
    Just realize there is so much lies and propaganda you have to wade through.
    And that part of that propaganda campaign goes on in the comment sections of newspapers.
    Funny world.

  • Mike P

    Who cares?!?

    In my humble opinion, the F-35 is garbage.

    Less range, less payload and less power than the F-15.

    And only modest stealth.

    And Israel didn’t buy the F-35 version that can land in the desert, stupidly, so Israel hardly increased its operational capabilities at all with this HUGE waste of money.

    Also, the US can disable the F-35 any time, unlike the F-15, so Israel becomes even more dependent upon the US (even if Israel figured out away around that, it doesn’t matter–it’s still a colossally stupid purchase).

    And no foreign country even wanted the F-35 until Israel agree to step up.

    Israel caves in to pressure to its own massive detriment every time.

    I don’t think there has been an Israeli with balls since Menahem Begin.


  • Bertram Cohen

    There has been a lot of reporting on the F35. It seems that the plane is not meeting its design goals and will not provide the air superiority it was intend to achieve. It is wildly expensive at $150 millis each. The plane’s operational computer will be linked to a control computer in Washington. This means that Obama or anyone else could send a signal to disable the plane and cancel any mission.
    Israel preferred to buy another squadron of F-15’s but Obama refused. Meanwhile other allies are having second thoughts about the F-35. Israel seems to be buying this plane under political pressure and to influence other countries to buy based on Israel’s lead.
    Thus whole deal is bad for Israel.