Dec 7, 2015

Israeli air force details F-35 transition plan

The Israeli air force plans to close one of its Lockheed Martin F-16C/D squadrons in 2017, in parallel with the service's new-generation F-35 "Adir" achieving initial operational capability.
Halting operations with the F-16C/D unit will be part of a major adjustment programme aimed at tailoring the air force's inventory to future challenges, while taking into account the limitations of the nation's defence budget.
Earlier this year, a contract was signed for the purchase of another 14 F-35 (Adir) fighters for the Israeli air force. The service and defence ministry had wanted to 31, but strong opposition in the Israeli cabinet limited the number in a $2.82 billion deal. The order includes options for the 17 additional aircraft.
According to the Israeli defence ministry – which signed a first, 19-aircraft order in 2010 – the first two F-35s will land in the nation at the end of 2016.
Israel is operating 77 F-16C fighters and 48 D-model trainers.

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