“The F-35 (or in Hebrew, the “Adir”) is not just another plane,” says a senior IDF official. “This is something we hadn’t known until today and won’t be seeing in the near future. If, until now, we were in the third or fourth generation of planes, this one is not only a fifth generation plane – it is a leap of many generations forward. There is no plane with such capabilities in the world, and Israel will be the first country in the world to have such an advanced plane in operational use.”
Lieutenant Colonel Yotam, the Squadron leader of the F-35 planes who was involved in upgrading the F-16 “Sufah” planes, says that the plane’s avionic capabilities, as well as the amount and quality of it’s sensors, place it in a class of its own:
“We are absorbing a plane which is at the top of its class technologically. From a technology perspective, this is not something that can happen in one day. We are now doing a critical appraisal of the plane, uncovering everything about it, even small things, that we can and will correct. We, as the professional body involved in this, are very happy with this process.
“I cannot speak about specific capabilities of the plan, but I can say that it will provide a clear picture of the battlefield in real time in every arena in which it is deployed and, by virtue of its stealth capabilities, we will be able to both gather intelligence and attack. This aircraft will be extremely effective in the battlefield.”
Just this week the cabinet decided to purchase 17 more similar planes; in all, at the end of the process, the State of Israel will own 50 such planes.