The highly anticipated F-35 jets are due to arrive today, making their last preparations in Italy before their final departure to Israel this morning. However, the planes departure has been delayed due to the heavy fog in the region. In light of this delay, the welcoming ceremony is also expected to be delayed.
The Nevitim Air Base in southern Israel will welcome later today (Monday) the two F-35I stealth aircraft that left the US last week for Israel. In Italy, the last preparations are being made before their final take-off on their journey half way across the world. However, the departure of the aircraft has been delayed due to the heavy fog in the region.
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said this morning, “Today we will receive the new F-35 ‘Mighty One’ jets at the Nevitim Air Force Base that will join our ranks and add an important element in securing our air force superiority in the region.” The minister added, “If the air force is strong, then the IDF is strong and when the IDF is strong, the State of Israel and the nation are strong.”
F-35I jets due to arrive today in Israel Photo Credit: Amos Dor/Channel 2 News
“The IDF and Israel’s far reach is becoming longer, more secretive and more effective,” said Minister of Construction Yoav Galant. “In the past, the IAF operated in far places and it is ready for such operations in order to defend and protect Israel’s citizens against strategically far threats as well as nearby tactical threats.”
The new “Mighty One” F-35 jets bring to Israel the most advanced stealth technology. Major Elijah “Animal” Supper, one of the American pilots bringing the F-35 to Israel, spoke on Thursday about the aircraft’s arrival. “It’s a historic moment for you, the world and specifically for the region receiving this jet,” he said.
Final preparations conducted in Italy this morning ahead flight to Israel Photo Credit: Amos Dor/Channel 2 News
As previously reported by JOL, 50 jets in total are set to arrive in Israel by 2021, a revolutionary advancement in Israel’s forces. The first jets to arrive are the American models without the Israeli system technologies installed, which will only be integrated in four years. For the next two years, Israel will get to enjoy being the air force superpower of the region, after which, Turkey will also receive F-35 jets from the US.
— JerusalemOnline (@JOL_NEWS) December 8, 2016