Israel’s F-35A designated as ‘Adir’ officially began its mate process where four major components of the fifth generation fighter aircraft will be assembled in the Electronic Mate and Assembly Station to form the aircraft's structure.
Lockheed Martin and Israeli Ministry of Defense officials commemorated the beginning of the first F-35A "Adir" (meaning "mighty one" in Hebrew) manufactured for Israel at Fort Worth Jan. 7, the company said in a statement Monday.
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. "These fifth Generation aircraft will greatly enhance the IAF's ability to defend the State of Israel from the serious threats we face," said Aharon Marmarosh, director, Israel Ministry of Defense Mission in New York.
Israel has contracted for 33 F-35A Adir Conventional Take Off and Landing (CTOL) aircraft through the US government's Foreign Military Sales program.
Israel's contribution to the F-35 program includes Israel Aerospace Industries F-35A wing production; 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.
The F-35A Adir will be a significant addition to maintaining Israel's qualitative military edge in the Middle East, with the advanced capability to defeat emerging threats, such as advanced missiles and heavily-defended airspace through its combination of low-observability and sensor fusion. The F-35 Lightning II, a fifth generation fighter, combines advanced low observable stealth technology with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment.