F-35I Adirs to Is­rael

Vayu Aerospace and Defence - - Aviation Defence & In India -

Two more F-35I Adirs for the Is­raeli Air Force ar­rived at Ne­va­tim Air Base in mid-Septem­ber, the first two F-35Is hav­ing been re­ceived on 12 De­cem­ber 2016 with an­other three Adirs re­ceived in April. With a view to achiev­ing ini­tial op­er­a­tional ca­pa­bil­ity (IOC) by end of the year, 140 ‘Golden Ea­gle’ Squadron has un­der­taken both aerial re­fu­el­ing and mu­ni­tion drops. The unit plans to have nine F-35s by De­cem­ber 2017. Is­rael com­mit­ted to a first batch of 19 F-35s in 2010, fol­lowed by an­other 14 F-35s in 2015 and 17 ear­lier this year. Be­yond the 50 F-351s cur­rently con­tracted, the US ad­min­is­tra­tion has ap­proved Is­rael’s pur­chase of up to 75 F-35s. Op­tions could in­clude un­manned air­craft or “other sources of pre­ci­sion fire.”

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