Lockheed Martin has officially unveiled Israel’s first F-35

Here’s the F-35A “Adir” (“Mighty One”): the first Lightning II for the Israeli Air Force.

With a ceremony broadcast live on Youtube, the first Israeli F-35 was rolled out on Jun. 22 at Lockheed Martin production plant at Ft. Worth, Texas.

The 5th Generation aircraft, designated AS-1, is expected to be delivered to the Israeli Air Force (IAF) later this year.

According to the Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, who spoke during the arrival of the F-35 stealth fighter, “the most advanced in the world and the best for safeguarding Israel’s aerial superiority,” will enhance the Israeli deterrence against its enemies for many years to come.

Israel has contracted for 33 F-35A Conventional Take Off and Landing (CTOL) aircraft through the U.S. government’s Foreign Military Sales program with an option for 17 more Joint Strike Fighters.

The aircraft will have components contributed by Israeli companies, including Israel Aerospace Industries that will produce the F-35’s outer wings, Elbit Systems-Cyclone, that will provide center fuselage composite components as well as Elbit Systems Ltd. that will provide Gen. III helmet-mounted display systems to be worn by all Lightning II pilots.

It’s still not clear how many “domestic” modifications, including EW (Electronic Warfare) pods, weaponry, C4 systems etc. the aircraft, sometimes dubbed F-35I (for Israel) will embed.

F-35 IAF 2



About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. Israel will modify the F-35 to suit their operations in the middle east. stealth will not be the main issue but sensor fusion and platform networking. 14 are ordered for 110 million dollar per aircraft, 1,54 billion dollar total. 17 optional. the purchase is funded by us-american aid money.
    Original plan was to buy 100 F-35A to replace older F-16I. But price hike and program delays forced Israel to reconsider other fighters (like F-15SE) over F-35.
    Based in Negev desert, at Nevatim airbase, the F-35I “Adir” will be part of infrastructure projects in the region … most israeli avionics will come from Elbit Systems, also AA- and AG-weapons, that will fit into the weapon bays.
    there are some hints of a F-35 two-seater being developed with israeli help (IAI) … and should the F-35 fail to deliver there are other options still on the table.

  2. The F-35s flew in full stealth mode and were carrying full loads of eight GBU-53/B Small Diameter Bomb two-hundred-pound bombs, and two air-to-air missiles, all completely concealed in their internal weapons carriage.

    The four F-35s went supersonic as they were vectored toward the battle, flying in a right wing formation, Tobias in the lead aircraft. The stealth fighters had a radar signature, or radar
    cross section, no larger than a golf ball.

    Almost as soon as they reached an altitude of 5,000 meters, the pilots began receiving battlefield information inside their computerized helmet displays. Each aircraft had a supercomputer on board, capable of more than a trillion calculations per second, and the four F-35s exchanged all data instantaneously with each others’ airplanes.

    “Radar emissions,” Tobias told his group. “Begin jamming sequence.”

    The Greyhounds’ radar knew the planes were coming toward them, but could barely see them. As soon as the twelve Greyhounds turned on their radar, the air defense systems were identified by the sensors aboard the F-35s.

    They were over Jericho in a matter of minutes, ordered to fly over the battle zone and to send data back to the command center at Tel Nof Air Base. Within seconds, the planes’ sensors
    identified every single enemy vehicle on the battlefield. Tobias had the tactical choice to target the enemy’s lead tanks or take out the Greyhounds and make it easier for successive flights. He chose to take out the tanks, which were perilously close to the outskirts of Jericho.

    “Target the tanks,” Tobias said. “Arm bombs.”

    From Sanctum Sanctorum

  3. such sales of US military equipment to the state of israel, Palestine are illegal under both US and international law,

  4. How dare I criticize US arms sales to the state of Israel, Palestine on these fair pages ! Shame on me for stating the FACT that such sales are ILLEGAL under both US and international law !

    • Well since it hasn’t been flown in combat yet the best we can do are judge it by how it performs in exercises like Red Flag and what they did recently at Mt. Home AFB:

      10 Questions on the F-35A Lightning II

      “0 – losses in dog fights against F-15E Red Air”


      The above quote was from the second of the two linked photos. That’s zero losses against F-15E. How much you wanna bet a biased media doesn’t pick that up like they did the non-dog fight “fight” against that F-16D when all they were doing was fine tuning the control input limits! The inaccurate media pundits and clueless bloggers (not to mention dummy public commenters) really kinda make me sick. They are so dopey when it comes to this fighter that they honestly make me want to puke!

      • Note that they did not put the F-35 up against the F-16 or F-18, let alone the F-22. All of them can beat the pants off of the POS F-35. You forget to mention that the F-16 was fully loaded on the external hardpoints, AND had two conformal fuel tanks. F-35 was designed as a light strike bomber, not an A-A fighter.

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