Two brand new F-35 “Adir” jet fighters touched down at Nevatim Airbase in southern Israel on Sunday, raising the number of advanced stealth aircraft in Israel’s arsenal to 16.
Israel was the second country after the United States to receive the state-of-the-art fighter jet.
“The ongoing procurement of the Adir [the Israeli designation for the F-35] is another expression of the long-term military cooperation between Israel and the U.S., which continues to produce exceptional results in the process of strengthening and streamlining [the F-35],” the IDF said in a statement.
“The capabilities of the Adir Squadron add another tier to the operational and strategic capabilities of the air force, which ensures the air force’s superiority in all its missions, namely the protection and safety of the State of Israel’s skies.”
Israel will acquire another 34 F-35s from the United States according to the terms of the purchase agreement between the countries. The planes will be delivered by 2024, in sets of twos and threes.
Last month, Israel together with the United States and the United Kingdom took part in the multi-day “Tri-Lightning” international combat simulation exercise over the Mediterranean Sea, featuring the F-35.
Last week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to threats from Tehran by warning that Israel’s F-35s can reach “anywhere in the Middle East.”
Also last month, the IAF held a massive, multi-day war drill simulating simultaneous warfare on its northern and southwestern fronts.