Israel's F-35i 'Adir' Stealth Fighter Is a Beast (And Now A Second Squadron Is Ready)

Seth J. Frantzman

Israel unveiled its second F-35i squadron to coincide with the new year at its Nevatim Airbase where its F-35s are based.

This is a milestone for Israel which received its first F-35s in 2016 and declared its first squadron operation in December 2017.

Israel’s F-35i is a modified version with unique features.

Israel is expected to acquire at least 50 of the Lockheed Martin jets amid rising tension with Iran. It fulfills Israel’s desire to have a qualitative military edge over adversaries throughout the Middle East.

The F-35i has been kept under wraps and extreme security by Israel, however, the country has been slowly illustrating the plane's effectiveness.

In photos shown in May 2018 the F-35 was pictured flying over Beirut. At the same time, the plane was said to have carried out its first combat sorties from Israel.

Also, Israel recently hosted its Blue Flag exercise where its F-35s flew alongside Italian F-35s and US warplanes. Israel has said that its Air Force has carried out more than 1,000 airstrikes in Syria against Iranian targets over the last years and Israel has also hinted that it has struck Iranian-backed militias in Iraq.

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