American defense manufacturer Lockheed Martin on Wednesday unveiled the first of the F-35 stealth fighter jets that Israel will receive by the end of this year.
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Israeli Air Force Chief of Staff Brigadier General Tal Kelman, and other Israeli and U.S, military and government officials attended a ceremony held in Fort Worth, Texas, to showcase Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Lightning II fighter jet—which will be known in Israel as Adir, meaning “mighty” in Hebrew.
“The State of Israel is proud to be the first in our region to receive and operate the plane,” Lieberman said at the ceremony, the Jerusalem Post reported.
Lieberman said the F-35 is “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 of the jets and is negotiating to add 17 more. The entire fleet is expected to arrive in Israel by 2021.