Israel signed up for the F-35 stealth program more than 13 years ago. The first 2 F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter planes will land in Israel on Monday afternoon. The F-35 will be called Adir in Israel, meaning mighty.
At the time of this writing, the planes are being flown on the last leg of their journey to Israel from Italy by USAF pilots. They will arrive in the Nevatim Air Force Base and be introduced in a formal welcoming ceremony with Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
In preparation for receiving the planes two hangars that serviced the F-15 Netz planes were adapted to house the F-35. Four flight simulators are also being completed to enable high quality training with less risk to the pilot, less wear and tear on the plane and a savings of thousands of liters of jet fuel annually.
The biggest surprise is the F-35 Adir costs only $98 million as opposed to the F-15 Netz a plane from the previous generation which costs $110 million. The cabinet decided this month that the country needs to have a total of 50 F-35s, up from the 37 originally ordered.
Avigdor Lieberman stated: “Today we’ll receive the F-35 Adir at the Nevatim Air Force Base. The plane will join our ranks and will be another component that will contribute to our air superiority… We also thank Secretary of Defense Carter. It is symbolic and fitting that Carter’s tenure as Defense Secretary is ending along with the delivery of these planes to Israel. Carter, like the entire American nation, is a great friend of Israel.”