The Israeli Air Force took delivery on Sunday of two additional F-35 “Adir” stealth fighter jets, bringing the current fleet to 16, toward a projected 50 or more.
The F-35s, which first began arriving from manufacturer Lockheed Martin in December 2016, have already carried out bombing raids on enemy targets, making Israel the first country to acknowledge using the planes operationally.
“The capabilities of the Adir Squadron adds another tier to the operational and strategic abilities of the air force, which ensures the air force’s superiority in all its missions, namely the protection and safety of the State of Israel’s skies,” the IDF said in a statement.
Last month, the F-35s participated in the “Tri-Lightning” exercise, led by the United States, with the participation of the British Air Force. The exercise demonstrated the F35’s capabilities in dealing with and defending against changing threats, as well as its contribution to operational development and readiness for a wide variety of scenarios.