Arrival of the first F-35A “Adir” in Israel delayed by heavy fog at departure airfield

Heavy fog forced the F-35 to the ground, delaying the arrival of the first “Adir” jets in Israel. Not a good start, on the very same day Trump slammed the program’s cost for being “out of control.”

The arrival of the first two F-35I “Adir” stealth jets in Israel was delayed because of heavy fog at Cameri airbase, the final stopover of the Lightning II aircraft on their way to Nevatim airbase, on Dec. 12.

The aircraft were initially scheduled to arrive in Israel at around 2.00PM LT but the aircraft could not depart from the Italian airbase experiencing bad weather conditions with a horizontal visibility between 250 and 700 m, with clouds at 200 feet, well below the IFR minimums for the ferry flight.

Although some immediately blamed the F-35 for the delay, it must be said that the same wx (weather) would have grounded any other modern warplane on delivery or not involved in an actual combat mission.

An unlucky start for the “Adir” that caused the ceremony, to be attended by U.S. Defense Secretary Ashotn Carter, to be delayed by about 5.5 hours.

As if the delay was not enough, on the very same day, U.S. president-elect Donald Trump said on Twitter that the F-35 cost is out of control, and that he would save billions on that once he takes office on Jan. 20, 2017.

As a consequence of the tweet, Lockheed Martin’s stock fell by as much as 3% and was down 2.55% as of 8:45 a.m. ET according to Business Insider.

The “attack” on the F-35 comes just one week after Trump tweeted on the costs for the replacement Air Force One.

H/T Avi Scharf for providing updates on the Adir delivery



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. “The F-35 program and cost is out of control. Billions of dollars can and will be saved on military (and other) purchases after January 20th.”

    Good! Time to make sure Lockheed Martin redoubles their efforts to make sure the plane is sold at a fair and reasonable price. What’s that? The “A” price should be $80 – $85M (adjusted for low inflation after 2012) as per their promises. At FRP.

    General Bogdan should not have been put in the position of having to dictate what the government would pay for Lot-9. LM put him in a very difficult position. That episode made them look ungrateful (given current prices and the American people’s and Partner Nation’s tolerance for delays).

    LM has created the most sophisticated, capable fighter built anywhere in the world. One able to totally decimate the MiG, Sukhoi or Chengdu competition. Now it’s time for them to make sure they keep their cost-cutting promises.

    As for the Adir’s arrival in israel? Let all Israelis break out in dance!

    Hava nagila, hava nagila
    Hava nagila ve-nis’mecha

    Hava nagila, hava nagila
    Hava nagila ve-nis’mecha

    Hava neranena, hava neranena
    Hava neranena venis’mecha

    Uru, uru achim
    Uru achim belev same’ach

    : )

  2. One more observation concerning President-elect Trump’s Twitter comment. Given the fact that the F-35 is an air combat “force multiplier”, let us not forget that having one F-35 is like possessing the same combat power afforded by multiple 4th gen aircraft. In other words, 1 F-35 equals 5 or 6 F-16s. Or 1 F-35 can destroy 12 Su-35s. LM should quantify the plane’s force-multiplication factor and communicate it to the public. There must be some way to determine it, or perhaps they already have. I can’t see any reason why that information should be kept classified.

  3. Oops! I said; “Or 1 F-35 can destroy 12 Su-35s.” Make that, oh 6 Sukhois (in full stealth air-air only combat mode 4 Aim-120s carried internally and at least 2 I’d say with the plane’s cannon). Assuming all the missiles hit (PK of .5 but I’ll bet in reality they’d work better). After the plane is outfitted with Raytheon’s new SACM? Well then given the greater missile loadout and improved Pk, quite a few more. Anyway – you understand what I’m getting at. At least those of you with half a brai … um, an average degree of intelligence.

  4. Well if LM hadn’t been so adamant about ‘maximizing development time and profit’ they might be having a better day right now.
    Lets hope Trump drains the F-35 with the swamp.

  5. 1. This is nothing special
    2. Donald Trump is a pure KNOW NOTHING id**t when it comes to this aircraft let alone the military.

    That said about point 2 I seriously hope the man he pointed to for SecDef (Former USMC General) James Mattis will be able to talk some sense into him and that he would be willing to listen.

    • So you think that paying more than we have to is some kind of good thing? Listen, I get it, you don’t like Trump, then fine, but at least find something to complain about that he actually gets wrong. I don’t expect bias individuals to admit when he gets it right, as in this case, but at least keep your complaints for when he is wrong. Is that really too much to ask?

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