first published on May 24, 2018 by Will
Israeli Air Force F-35 “Adir” Joint Strike Fighter jets just carried out two separate strikes against enemy targets, which makes Israel the first nation to use the fifth generation aircraft in combat.
Israel Air Force Commander Major General Amikam Norkin said, “We are flying the F-35 all over the Middle East. It has become part of our operational capabilities. We are the first to attack using the F-35 in the Middle East and have already attacked twice on different fronts.”
The exact specifics of the two JSF strikes weren’t released, but based on Israel’s recent OPTEMPO, it’s likely that the aircraft participated in the May 11 sorties, in which Israel struck at nearly all Iranian infrastructure within Syria. The May 11 operation is said to have been Syria’s most massive air campaign in almost four decades.
Additionally, the Israeli Air Force carried out airstrikes in early February as well, which may have included the use of F-35 aircraft. Besides, physically striking enemy targets, the F-35 is armed with an advanced infrared targeting system that can transfer accurate target data to other friendly units in the battle space, to include other strike aircraft.
Israel has one squadron of F-35 jets at Nevatim Air Base, which was activated in December 2017, and they have put in an order for more of their Israel specific variants, the F-35I, which they have dubbed the Adir. While the Adir is truly an F-35, Israel has them built with their own command and control computer systems installed which allows them to operate seamlessly with their older fourth generation aircraft.