Watch the Israeli F-35I AS-1 “Adir” on its maiden voyage.
Israel was the first country to select the F-35 through the United States government’s Foreign Military Sales process when a Letter of Agreement (LOA) was signed in October 2010. The F-35I maiden voyage took place on July 26, 2016. Lockheed Martin performed a “check flight” from its production facility in Fort Worth, TX.
Reports indicate the flight lasted about 20 minutes and the AS-1 performed all checks “well”.
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. Israel’s Minster of Defense Avigdor Liberman, Brig. Gen. Tal Kelman, IAF Chief of Staff, and U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro were in attendance for the event.
The IAF is looking to replace its aging F-15, F-16 fighters with the F-35. Israel currently has a program of record to procure 33 F-35I fighters. The first two Israeli F-35’s are expected to be delivered to Nevatim Air Base, Israel, in mid-December to begin pilot training operations there.
The Israeli Air Force gave the F-35 the Hebrew name Adir which means “Mighty One”.
Hat tip: Miguelm Mendoza
Top Photo: F-35I, Lockheed Martin, Video: YouTube Stealthb2777