Report: After Insulation Fix, IAF’s First Two Stealth Fighter Jets Set to Arrive in Israel As Planned Next Month
The Israeli Air Force’s first two F-35 stealth fighter jets will arrive in the Jewish state in December as originally planned, after having an insulation fault fixed, Defense News reported on Wednesday.
The pair of yet-to-be-delivered Israeli planes were among a group of 15 operational F-35As produced by Lockheed Martin that required modifications due to the glitch, the report said.
Speaking about the Israel-destined planes, Greg Ulmer — Lockheed’s vice president for F-35 production — told Defense News, “Those aircraft have actually flown out, post-mod. Right now, having flown those airplanes out, they are on track to support the December in-country delivery for Israel.”
As reported by The Algemeiner, the first of Israeli F-35s — which in Hebrew will be called the Adir (meaning “mighty”) — was unveiled during a roll-out ceremony in Fort Worth, Texas in June.
At the time, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said the F-35 was “the most advanced [fighter jet] in the world, and is the best selection by defense chiefs for safeguarding Israel’s aerial superiority.”
Israel has ordered 33 F-35s for delivery though 2021, with an option to add 17 more.
In April, Lockheed Martin Vice President Gen. (ret.) Gary North told a Tel Aviv conference that the F-35 would “redefine the battlefield.”
“Your neighborhood is not easy, and it will get tougher as the years go by,” he said. “In light of that, strength leads to calm. When you’re strong, you send a clear message to your enemies.”