Israeli Air Force F-35I “Adir” Involved In A Bird Strike Incident Gets Grounded

Oct 18 2017 - 73 Comments
By Amit Agronov

An Israeli Air Force F-35 has been involved in a bird strike during a training sortie. And the incident has fueled some weird speculations…

An Israeli Air Force F-35I “Adir” (Mighty) was involved in a bird strike incident during a training sortie two weeks ago, the Israeli Defense Forces said on Oct. 16. The pilot managed to land the plane safely back at Nevatim Air Force Base in the Negev Desert and no casualties were reported.

This is the first incident to an F-35 in IAF service since the first two aircraft have been taken on charge by the 140 “Golden Eagle” squadron in December last year.

The IDF confirmed those details to Israeli media outlets: “During a training sortie two hits were found on the plane, following to a collision with a bird. After an evaluation and assessment of the damage conducted together with the manufacturer – Lockheed Martin, the plane was sent to a normal maintenance and repair. It will return to full service in the next few days.”

Seven “Adir” aircraft have been delivered to the Israeli Air Force since December 2016. In August, a deal was completed for the purchase of another 17 such aircraft: therefore 50 such aircraft will be operated by the IAF equipping two squadrons. The total amount of the deal to purchase the 50 aircraft is estimated at 6B USD.

Meanwhile, the Golden Eagle Squadron continues to perform a wide array of flight tests to verify the 5th generation aircraft capabilities. The Squadron is scheduled to become operational by the end of this year.

The news of the birdstrike incident was released on the very same day the Israeli targeted a Syrian SAM battery that had attacked IDF aircraft during a routine flight over Lebanon fueling speculations that the F-35 was not grounded by a birdstrike but because it was hit by the Syrian air defenses. In fact, the Syrian Defense Ministry said in its statement that government forces responded to the violation of the airspace and “directly hit one of the jets, forcing [Israeli aircraft] to retreat.” On the other side the Israeli denied any aircraft was hit by the Syrian air defenses (S-200 battery) and this sounds quite reasonable considered that the Israeli have often shown their ability to operate freely in the Syrian airspace and there would have been no reason to disclose a fake birdstrike at all to cover a Syrian hit.

Image credit: Author



  • Tamás Fehér

    What is a routine flight over Lebanon? Lebanon is a souvereign nation and zionist warplanes have no right or reason to intrude their airspace. Especially that those zionist planes were using lebanese airspace to launch air-to-ground missiles (likely the Popeye type) against syrian targets, in support of the ISIL-Daesh terror caliphate. The only reason zionist planes are not shut down by russian air defences in syria is that President Putin’s grandfather was the personal kosher cook of Blank “Lenin” Isaac, the founder of USSR and the mother of premier Medvedev is the daughter of a rabbi in Birobidjan. Thus, Bibi is the boss of Putin and Medvedev.

  • alexander the new yorker

    who cares about the plane or the pilot ?
    how is the bird doing ?

  • Mongee Phase

    Imagine if Boeing X-32 would’ve been selected with that big ass shark mouth. Eating birds as it cuts through the air. XD

  • Ukraine should get a few too! Russia keeps invading Ukrainian soil…

    • Black Eagle

      Ukraine does have a few S-300s (naturally, without being a part of the USSR in the past, they would have nothing now), but since the Russian Air Force isn’t violating the Ukrainian air space nor executing airstrikes in it, Ukrainians don’t have an opportunity to try to use them.

  • El Kabong

    What was the serial number of that F-16?

  • El Kabong

    Ask your Arab pals for a fragment of that supposed wreckage.


    • Jon National

      It crash landed back in Israel. How would the Syrians get the wreckage.

      I was an aircraft engineer in Vietnam. We had F4s crash land at base dozens of times never to for again. Pilots died crash landing as well. I’ve often wondered whether the VC were ever credited for those kills. RIP our brave pilots.

      • El Kabong


        SURE it did…

        Not one single person saw it?

        SURE you were…