Lockheed Martin and Israel celebrate rollout of Israel’s first F-35 ‘Adir’
The Israeli and US Government leaders joined Lockheed Martin to celebrate the rollout of the first Israeli Air Force (IAF) F-35A Lightning II, marking a major production milestone for the future of Israel’s national defence.
“Israel is proud to be the first country in the area to receive and operate it,” said Avigdor Liberman, Israel’s Minister of Defense. “The F-35 is the best aircraft in the world and the choice of all our military leadership at its highest level. It is clear and obvious to us and to the entire region that the new F-35, the Adir, will create real deterrence and enhance our capabilities for a long time.”
Brigadier General Tal Kelman, IAF Chief of Staff, said, “As a pilot who has flown more than 30 years in a great variety of aircraft, I had the privilege of flying the F-35 simulator in Fort Worth and it was like holding the future in my hands. The unique combina- tion of split-edge technology, lethality and the amazing man-machine interface will lead the world to the fifth-generation.”
“We’re honoured to partner with Israel and help strengthen the deep and lasting partnership between our two nations,” said Marillyn Hewson, Lockheed Martin Chairman, President and CEO at the ceremony. “The F-35 will help Israel remain a beacon of strength and stability in the region and support a safe and secure homeland for generations to come.”
Israel’s programme of record is 33 F-35A conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) aircraft, acquired through the US Government’s foreign military sales (FMS) programme. Israel’s contribution to the F-35 programme includes Israel Aerospace Industries F-35A wing production; Elbit Systems Ltd. work on the Generation III helmet-mounted display system, which all F-35 pilots fleet-wide will wear; and Elbit Systems-Cyclone F-35 centre fuselage composite components production.