As Israel made ready to receive delivery of its first two F-35s in two weeks, senior military officials spoke on Tuesday about the advantages that the aircraft will give to the IAF.
“The F-35 will allow the Air Force to carry out missions that its current aircraft are unable to do today,” said one senior official. “In the quantity and quality, depth into enemy territory, in threat-filled areas, in the amount of missions, with less manpower in comparison to today. This is groundbreaking because it improves the efficiency of our current forces and allows us to carry out more missions simultaneously. In today’s era of multiple fronts, it is a significant addition.”
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman termed it “the most advanced in the world and the best for safeguarding Israel’s aerial superiority.” It is a stealth fighter jet, able to evade enemy radar, including the Russian-made S-300 missile defense system deployed in Syria and near Iran’s Fordow nuclear facility. With close air-support capabilities and a massive array of sensors, F-35 pilots have an unparalleled access to information while in the air.
On Sunday, the security cabinet decided unanimously to purchase an additional 17 F-35s, bringing the total number of the jets to be integrated into the Israeli Air Force to 50, over the next few years.