Israel Receives New Pair of F-35s

The Israeli Air Force has taken delivery of another batch of F-35 fighter jets.

In a statement, the Israeli military confirmed the delivery of two more F-35s to Israel on November 25, 2018. The aircraft departed the U.S. last week and landed at Nevatim Air Force Base, according to The Times of Israel.

The new deliveries bring the total number of jets delivered to Israel to 14. The Israeli Air Force has been receiving F-35s since December 2016, when the first two arrived. The Air Force declared the F-35I ‘Adir’ operational in December 2017, and earlier in 2018 confirmed the advanced aircraft had been used in combat operations. The Israeli military noted at the time that these combat operations were the first for the jet in the world.

At present, the Air Force has contracted the U.S. for 50 Lockheed Martin F-35 jets, all of which should be delivered over the next six years. The government has considered an additional buy of F-35s, but, according to media, appears inclined to fill a new fighter requirement with F-15s, produced by Boeing, to complement the F-35s. Ynet news reported on November 19, 2018, that the government has made a final decision on purchasing the F-15s, though it is not believed a contract has been signed to date.

The F-15 buy could be bundled with other Boeing systems as well, including helicopters and tanker aircraft.

About Derek Bisaccio

Military markets analyst, covering Eurasia, Middle East, and Africa.

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