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What new F-35 jets mean for Israel’s air force

Senior Israeli air force officers tell Al-Monitor that the arrival of the F-35 jets is crucial for Israel to maintain its airspace superiority.
An F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter takes off on a training sortie at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida in this March 6, 2012 file photo.  Canada is poised to buy 65 Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 Joint Strike Fighter jets, sources familiar with the process told Reuters, marking a major renewal of Canada's fighter fleet and helping contain costs of the expensive defense program.   REUTERS/U.S. Air Force photo/Randy Gon/Handout  (UNITED STATES - Tags: MILITARY BUSINESS) 

On July 26, Israeli history was made in Dallas, Texas, when “Israeli” fighter aircraft model F-35, “Stealth,” took off on its maiden flight and successfully passed an examination of its overall system. The traditional rollout ceremony of the aircraft had been held June 22 with the participation of Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman. The arrival of the first planes to Israel is planned for December.

The Israeli air force will be the first air force outside the United States with an operational Stealth squadron. In the United States, the Navy has already made the F-35 serviceable and announced its Initial Operating Capability status. The US Air Force will reach this same milestone in the near future.

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