Two new F-35I aircraft have landed in Nevatim, Israel.

The two jets will join the ranks of the IAF’s Adir Division, which was declared operational in December 2017.

Regarding the difference between the F-35I and F-35A, a senior Israeli air force official stated, “the aircraft will be designated F-35I, as there will be unique Israeli features installed in them.”

The United States initially refused to allow the integration of Israel’s own electronic warfare systems into the aircraft’s built-in electronic suite. However, Israel planned the introduction of a plug-and-play feature added to the main computer to allow for the use of Israeli electronics in an add-on fashion, and to fit its own external jamming pod.

Lockheed Martin say that the continuous integration of the ‘Adir’ aircraft is another aspect of the long-running military cooperation between Israel and the US.

Israel is currently building the infrastructure needed to accommodate F-35s, including hardened aircraft shelters, underground pens, and maintenance facilities. In addition, the IAF has ordered 30 M-346 trainer jets to train F-35 pilots. Construction of a manufacturing facility to produce wings under license for the F-35 was completed mid-2014. The site is to produce a total of 811 wing pairs. Initial orders for the F-35 were for 20 jets, with a total of 75 intended

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From the article:
The site is to produce a total of 811 wing pairs.

Israel like Turkey put much less into the F35 than the Uk did, yet both countries have appeared to have received substanial deals reguards the F35 than the UK did, Are our Political elites so damn weak that they couldnt have got more work regards the F35 to these shores


Well Israel is getting all their F-35s curtesy of the American taxpayer. And Turkey is no longer receiving the F-35.

Robert blay

The UK will build 20% of every single F35 that flys. We are the only tier 1 partner in the program, the program will bring in billions to the treasury, and support 25,000 UK jobs. ?


The UK is getting 15% of the program of a projected 3,000 aircraft. The UK plans to buy 35 F-35’s through 2022. Just how is the UK getting screwed?

Daniele Mandelli

The UK is not getting screwed.

But how many the UK is buying is not relevant either. I believe the UK share in the programme is due to the initial R&D money the UK put into the programme, which made the UK a Tier 1 partner, which Israel and Turkey are not.

That is all I believe Farouk was meaning.

I had read £2 Billion but unsure how correct that is?


I read the same figure, although it may have gone up a bit over time. To be honest, we got a good deal with that; considering the spiralling costs of the design and development of the aircraft, contributing what would have been ~10% of the D&D budget at the time, yet still remaining a tier1 partner when that same amount is now a far smaller percentage. I know there’s an argument that we shouldn’t be financially punished for mismanagement of the project, but considering how much we were involved, some of that blame could well have been down to the… Read more »


I remember one of the major concers was that every engine would need to be overhailed in Turkey. Hopefully this work can be transitioned back to the UK, at least for our own jets.

For someone with Tier 1 status, it would seem a resonable request.


We still get 15% of every complete fighter those sets of wings attach to and-
hopefully bringing earlier returns to the UK’s coffers; being reinvested into the Tempest Program.
I understand your argument as regards workforce, but I’d rather see Israel produce them, developing closer military ties during and after a transitional Brexit.

I don’t feel we could have had the same relationship with Turkey…


Only what you read mate
Lots more going on in the background


Worth noting that as the F35 roll out continues in the USA, UK, etc etc the price to manufacture decreases as they streamline and improve procesess. Thats always the way. Jump early pay more, wait a bit and possibly get a discount.


Let’s hope the Israelis go ahead with developing conformal fuel tanks and that if they do they will fit the F-35B. (If they go ahead then I assume that Israel would develop them primarily for their F-35As. Is the fuselage shape similar enough between the A and B for them to be likely to be interchangeable? It looks the same from photos.) Then again, even if F-35B compatible conformal fuel tanks do become available how much slack is there in terms of weight that an F-35B can get off the deck of a QEC? I suppose that if it was… Read more »


The F35B has a wider fuselage, especially behind the cockpit compared to the A and C versions. This is to allow for installation of the vertical lift fan required for Vertical take-offs or landing. The increased surface area and width of the fuselage slightly limits its top speed compared to the A and C versions. The F35B is designed to be able to take-off at max all up weight using the ship’s ramp. This means if the aircraft is in its dirty configuration using its wing hardpoints and internal bay it can carry a payload of 15,000lbs. (Needs the full… Read more »

Nigel Collins

An interesting article on the subject of CFT’s and drop tanks can be found here.


Cheers Nigel, I have spoken to some RAF friends who work on the F35 in the States and they have practised fitting external tanks to the internal wing hard-points. These were the ex-Tornado 2250 litre tanks, they weren’t filled and the aircraft did not take-off with them fitted. They didn’t mention the tanks weren’t cleared for flight, now it makes sense. According to the “Drive” the Israelis have developed a bigger 600lb tank than the one Lockheed Martin were developing. With this tank fitted it will help ferry range, but won’t be used in combat due to the massively increased… Read more »


Thanks Davey. Potentially a shame about the fuselage differences but depending on how (where) the conformal fuel tanks (CFTs) fit it may or may not be an issue I suppose. There were rumours at one point that Israel was also looking at adding some F-35B for its austere basing capability so, even if 2 variants of the CFT were necessary, perhaps the B variant might not be totally off the Israeli’s radar (no pun intended!). If the Israelis were to go ahead with an A-only version I would have thought, given the significant benefits that CFTs could bring to our… Read more »


As I mentioned above, Lockheed Martin and Israel are developing an official drop tank. The wing inner hard-point are already plumbed for fuel, they’re just not cleared for use. It will be very unlikely that drop tanks are used in any peer vs peer conflict. For somewhere like Afghan, yes they would be fine. The problem is not just the drop tank, but the hard-point which creates a lovely near 90 degree angle with the wing. This is brilliant for radar reflections, not so much for your stealth. The tank and hard-point could be coated with a radar absorbent paint… Read more »

andy reeves

it would appear that perhaps the israelis are getting preferential build status in f 35 production is a regular announcement when israel receives f 35’s but not our own. just how many including training aircraft has the uk received yet?