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An F-35 jet
Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit
IAF declares F-35 squadron operational
Israel Air Force declares 1st squadron of F-35 'Adir' jets operational, ready to carry out combat missions; IDF says squadron shows strength of US-Israel strategic partnership.
Nine F-35 ("Adir") fighter jets completed their pre-operational preparation period for the Israel Air Force Wednesday, with the entire squadron being declared ready to missions, completing a prolonged process that began in December 2016.

 

 

Newly formed crews that received special training prepared the F-35s for service. The crews received nine of the latest jets in the past year, with the IDF boasting the first air force outside of the American Air Force to use the jets in actual operations.


The new F-35 squadron has been declared operational (Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
The new F-35 squadron has been declared operational (Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
 

The IDF Spokesperson's Unit noted the above fact was further proof of the special years-long strategic partnership between Israel and the United States.

 

Footage of the F-35s in action

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Ten more jets will be joining the squadron in the next six months, followed by the gradual arrival of another batch that will form a second squadron.

 

With the F-35 stealth jets now operational, the air force will be able to conduct operational sorties, including attacks on enemy territory, without risking discovery by enemy radar systems.

 

 (Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
(Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)

 

The jets are, in fact, expected to commence operational activities in the near future, partly by flying joint missions with the force's older fighter jets such as the F-15 and F-16.

 

 (Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)
(Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit)

 

In a letter sent by Israel Air Force Commander Maj.-Gen. Amikam Norkin to his subordinates he said, "Declaring the squadron's operational readiness comes at a time when the air force is carrying out widespread operations on several fronts, in an ever-changing, in flux Middle East.

 

"The operational challenge grows more complex by the day, and is met with a quality, professional response from the air force. The F-35s' operational ability adds a significant facet to the force's contemporary capabilities," Norkin wrote.

 

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