TEL AVIV, Israel - Israel has taken delivery of two more brand new F-35 "Adir" jet fighters.
The two new jets take the Israel Air Force fleet of F-35s to sixteen.
The Israel Defense Forces welcomed the new arrivals on their Facebook page:
"Two new F-35 fighter jets JUST joined our Air Force!"
"This shows the strong and growing military partnership between Israel and the United States," the post said.
"Here's what you need to know about these bad boys:
- In Hebrew it's called 'Adir' or 'The Mighty One'
- It can cross Israel from north to south in just 13 minutes
- These planes can take out threats without ever being seen
- And will help us keep our skies safe for decades to come"
The new planes landed on Sunday at Nevatim Airbase in southern Israel.
Israel is the second country to own the new state-of-the-art fighter planes. The third country to take delivery of the planes was South Korea.
"The ongoing procurement of the Adir is another expression of the long-term military cooperation between Israel and the U.S., which continues to produce exceptional results in the process of strengthening and streamlining the F-35," a statement from the Israel Defense Forces said.
"The capabilities of the Adir Squadron add another tier to the operational and strategic capabilities 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 total order for Israel of the F-35 planes is fifty, so an additional thirty-four are still to be delivered between now and 2024.
"With stealth technology, advanced sensors, supersonic speed, weapons capacity and superior range, the F-35 is the most lethal, survivable and connected aircraft in the world," its maker Lockheed Martin says. "More than a fighter jet, the F-35's ability to collect, analyze and share data, is a powerful force multiplier that enhances all airborne, surface and ground-based assets in the battlespace."
Israel became the first country to select the F-35 through the United States government's Foreign Military Sales process when an agreement was signed in October 2010. On June 22, 2016, the Israeli Air Force received the first F-35A Adir for Israel at a ceremony at the Fort Worth, Texas, F-35 factory.
The Israeli Air Force declared its F-35 fleet operationally capable in December 2017, the first international coun try to do so, marking the completion of an intensive integration and training effort conducted at Nevatim Airbase where the additional two new planes arrived on Sunday.