[Avionics Magazine 06-23-2016] Lockheed Martin marked a major production milestone this week with the rollout of the first Israeli Air Force F-35A Lightning II, known as the "Adir," which means "Mighty One" in Hebrew. The first Israeli F-35A Lightning II rolled out of the Lockheed Martin F-35 production facility in Fort Worth, Texas on Wednesday June 22.
Israel’s Minister of Defense Avigdor Liberman views the cockpit of the first Israeli Air Force (IAF) F-35A Lightning II, known as the “Adir,” meaning “Mighty One” in Hebrew, at the Lockheed Martin F-35 production facility in Fort Worth, Texas, June 22. Photo: Lockheed Martin.
Israel's program of record is 33 F-35A Conventional Take Off and Landing (CTOL) aircraft, acquired through the U.S. government's Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. Israel's contribution to the F-35 program includes F-35A wing production from Israel Aerospace Industries; Elbit Systems Ltd. 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.
Three distinct variants of the F-35 will replace the F-16 Fighting Falcon and A/OA-10 Thunderbolt II for the U.S. Air Force, the F/A-18 Hornet for the U.S. Navy, the F/A-18 and AV-8B Harrier for the U.S. Marine Corps, and a variety of fighters for at least 11 other countries. Following the U.S. Marine Corps' July 2015 combat-ready Initial Operational Capability (IOC) declaration, the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Navy intend to attain service IOC this year and in 2018, respectively. More than 170 delivered F-35s have flown more than 60,000 flight hours, fleet-wide.