|Aharon Marmarosh, director, Israel Ministry of Defense Mission in New York, leaves a commemorative message on F-35A aircraft AS-1, Israel's first F-35 "Adir" aircraft, at the Lockheed Martin F-35 production facility in Fort Worth, Texas. Lockheed Martin Photo by Beth Steel|
[Avionics Today 01-12-2016] Lockheed Martin and Israeli Ministry of Defense officials commemorated the beginning of the first F-35A Adir manufactured for Israel.
The aircraft, designated as F-35A aircraft AS-1, officially began its mate process, where the four major components of the fifth generation fighter aircraft are joined together in the Electronic Mate and Assembly Station to form the aircraft's structure. AS-1 will continue its assembly here and is expected to roll out of the factory in June and be delivered to the Israeli Air Force (IAF) later this year.
Israel has contracted for 33 F-35A Adir Conventional Take Off and Landing (CTOL) aircraft through the U.S. government's Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. Israel's contribution to the F-35 program includes Israel Aerospace Industries F-35A wing production; Elbit Systems work on the Generation III helmet-mounted display system, which all F-35 pilots fleet-wide will wear; and Elbit Systems-Cyclone F-35 center fuselage composite components production.