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The Israel Air Force declared its F-35I unit operational today, following the year-long initial operational capability qualification of 140 Squadron ('Golden Eagle') the first IAF unit operating the Fifth Generation fighter (dubbed 'Adir' by the IAF). By the summer of 2018, the squadron is expected to receive six more fighters.
The first two F-35s expected to land in Israel next week will be the first 5th Generation jet fighters the U.S. hands out to a foreign ally. The two ADIR Jets are only the beginning. Over the next eight years, Israel will receive 50 aircraft forming two full ADIR squadrons flying the F-35. The unique capabilities of the new fighter will provide the Israel Air Force a game-changing platform that has not been seen in the region since the introduction of the F-15 Eagle (by the IAF), 40 years ago.