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Thursday, April 20, 2017

Israel to Receive Three More F-35Is

This weekend, Israel will reportedly receive three more F-35I jets from its order for 33, bringing the total delivered to Israel to five.

The Times of Israel reported on April 20, 2017 that the Israeli Defense Forces expect to receive the second batch of F-35I jets on April 23. These will join two delivered in December at Nevatim Air Force Base.

The new jets will take part in a fly-over on Independence Day, which is on May 2.

Israel has ordered 33 F-35I stealth aircraft from the United States and in November last year committed to purchasing a further 17, which will bring its total order from 33 to 50. Since placing an order for the advanced stealth jets, Israel's industrial buy-back program has resulted in over $1 billion in contracts for Israeli firms.

The first F-35I was rolled out in June 2016, and delivered several months later, in December.

Earlier this year, the Israeli Air Force inaugurated a maintenance training center at Nevatim, which will assist in training technicians on the F-35s.

Rumors have swirled that Israel used its F-35s in combat operations over Syria, but these are highly unlikely given that Israel still needs to integrate its own systems onto the new jets in order to make them perform to Israeli operational requirements.

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