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Israel already has a second prepared and dangerous F-35 squadron

WARSAW, (BM) – As reported by the Israeli Air Force, after six months of intensive preparations, another fighter squadron armed with the new F-35I Adir multi-role machines has reached combat readiness, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing Defence24.

Read more: US sends special F-35 fighters to Israel to combat Russian S-400 missile systems

It is the 116th Squadron “Lions of the South”, which is stationed at the Nevatim air base in the Negev desert and previously operated the old F-16A / B multi-role fighters.

So far, the F-35I machines have only been used operationally by the 140th “Golden eagle” squadron, which is also stationed at the Nevatim base. As a result, all currently used Adiras are in one location, which has certainly facilitated training and certification.

Getting ready by the “Lions of the South” required only six months of intensive training and exercises in a variety of challenging scenarios to prepare for the final combat readiness test. As part of the final test, the pilots had to deal with high-intensity operational activities lasting three days, including simulated air combat.

At the same time, on August 4 this year another four F-35I Adirs have been transferred to Nevatim Air Base and will most likely be delivered to the IAF Manat Air Test Center at Tel Nof Air Base. Last week, Israeli F-35s of the 140th Squadron took part in joint exercises with their counterparts from the USAF 421st Expeditionary Fighter Squadron over southern Israel.

In May this year the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) made the final decision to liquidate the 117th Air Force Squadron, armed with the F-16C “Barak” multirole fighter. This step is part of the long-term technical modernization program of the Momentum to increase internal efficiency and reduce the number of older weapons systems currently in use, as well as to acquire and implement new ones.

Read more: Israeli F-35s might be equipped with nuclear bombs

The released infrastructure, personnel and resources are to be used in the currently implemented program of introducing the new F-35I “Adir” multirole 5th generation fighter to the line service.

So far, Israel has ordered a total of 50 F-35I “Adir”, more than 1/3 of which has already been delivered and is already in line service with the Israeli Air Force 140 Squadron.

Ultimately, Israel wants to acquire 4 to 5 tactical aviation squadrons equipped with 75 machines of the 5th generation. Probably some of the next potential 25 machines may be the variant of the F-35B, i.e. shortened take-off and vertical landing.

The Israeli F-35s are radically different from those of the US military

The National Interest magazine published an article in which it noted that the main problem of the American F-35 fighters is their maintenance.

Countries such as Japan and the United Kingdom must contact Lockheed Martin to obtain the necessary equipment or parts.

At the same time, experts said that Israel was able to agree on such conditions when all aircraft undergo maintenance at the Nevatim base

Analysts believe that Jerusalem has the most “capable” version of the fighter – the F-35I. According to the Israeli military, this combat vehicle is significantly superior to the 4th generation aircraft.

Experts singled out the C4 command and control system as features of the fighter, which allows real-time updating of data on the combat situation, as well as interaction with F-16 squadrons or ground forces.

Read more: The F-35’s data is the ‘apple of discord’ between US Government and Lockheed

Read more: Top 5 best fifth generation fighter jets in the World

The main advantage of the F-35 over the Su-27 in Israel is considered the AN / ASQ-239EW protection system, which is able to inform the pilot about the danger long before the moment when the pilot of the Russian fighter “learns about its existence”.

It is reported that the Israeli version of this defense system is different from the American one, given the threats typical of the Middle East region.

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