Skip to main content

F-35 offers Israel 'entire Middle East' from the cockpit

The acquisition of F-35 stealth jets guarantees Israel unprecedented aerial superiority.

A pair of Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth jets were due to reach Israel the last week in August, adding to the other five fighter jets in a new squadron being created at an Israel Defense Forces air base in the south. At the last minute, before the planes were to take off from Fort Worth, Texas, the IDF announced on Aug. 30 that the Americans were delaying the planes’ delivery due to “more tests.” This news set off a wave of rumors fueled by a number of reports in international media that the new F-35 is a fighter plane rife with glitches and problems. In addition, rumor has it that its real-life operation capabilities are disappointing compared to the manufacturer's promises.

The Israeli Air Force (IAF) has hurried to smooth any ruffled feathers. “Everything is fine, and there is no malfunctioning that is relevant to us,” a high-level IAF source told Al-Monitor, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “The manufacturer found a trivial mishap in the fuel pipe of model B planes, while our planes are model A. But the manufacturer wanted to be sure that the model A's don’t have the same problem, so he asked our approval to delay the arrival to next week. Of course, we agreed.”

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.