The very first F-35 for Israel was unveiled on Wednesday 22 June during a roll out ceremony at Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth facility. The aircraft is the first of 33 so far ordered by Israel, with more certainly on the way. The Israeli version of the F-35 is designated F-35I and named ‘Adir’ – Hebrew for mighty one.
The F-35I will be a special breed of the Lockheed Martin F-35A, with Israeli-developed and installed mission equipment. Israel previously choose a similar path with the F-15I Ra’am (Thunder) and F-16I Sufa (Storm). Contrary to the spectacular desert camouflage paint job on those jets, the first F-35I wore a standard grey camouflage scheme upon roll out in Fort Worth
The first Adirs should arrive in country in December for customization by Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI). Next, the jets will be send to Nevatim airbase in the Negev desert.
The newly delivered Leonardo Finmeccanica M-346 Master jet trainer should prepare new Israeli Air Force (IAF) pilots for the F-35I. The last of 30 of those was delivered earlier in June.
© 2016 Airheadsfly.com editor Elmer van Hest
Featured image: Israel’s Minister of Defense Avigdor Liberman views the cockpit of the first Israeli Air Force (IAF) F-35A Lightning II (Image © Beth Steel, Lockheed Martin)