After nearly a year of testing and training, the IAF has announced that its fleet of F-35 jets is now combat-ready. This makes Israel the second country in the world, after the US, to have operational F-35s.

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The Israeli Air Force (IAF) announced on Wednesday that its fleet of F-35 stealth fighter jets is now field-ready.

This statement comes after nearly a year during which the new aircraft has been tested at the IAF base in the Negev. This makes the IAF the second air force in the world, after the US, to operate the F-35.

The IAF says the fleet’s combat readiness strengthens the IDF’s capabilities. IAF commander Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin said the announcement comes “at a time when the IAF is operating in a number of fronts in a rapidly-changing Middle East.”