This weekend, the advanced phase in the production of the F-35I (“Adir”) began by the reveal of the first Israeli JSF fuselage in a formal ceremony. Simultaneously, the “Adir” squadron establishment team took off for the simulator in the U.S, an important milestone in the acquisition process

Talya Yariv | Translation: Ohad Zeltzer Zubida

The leaders of the MoD Mission to the United States and “Lockheed Martin” noted this weekend, in a formal ceremony in Texas, U.S, the beginning of the advanced phase of the production of Israel’s first F-35I, in preparation for the completion of its manufacturing and its launch this June. In the ceremony which was held in the “Lockheed Martin” factory in Fort Worth Texas, the Israeli jet’s fuselage was revealed for the first time. In the height of the ceremony, the Director of the Israeli MoD Mission to the U.S Aharon Marmarosh, signed the fuselage of the first jet in the name of Israel and wrote in Hebrew: “Onward and Upward. Good Luck with your mission”. The signing ceremony allows the beginning of the advanced stage of production, which includes the assembling of the electronic systems and the powerful engine in the “Adir”.

The First Israeli F-35I Has Been Revealed

The Director of the Israeli Ministry of Defense Mission to the U.S Aharon Marmarosh Signing the First Israeli F-35I | Photo by: “Lockheed Martin” 

This passing weekend, the “Adir” squadron establishment team left for a set of training exercises and acquaintance with the F-35 in the “Lockheed Martin Pilot and Maintenance Training Systems” simulator, positioned in the U.S Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.

The trip is a significant milestone on the jet’s way to Israel, which is planned to land in the Nevatim Airbase about a year from now. The unique simulator combines a number of computerized training and learning techniques which simulate the array of roles the training pilot must fill during flight as realistically as possible.

“This is a different generation of aircraft and ability, it will do better than any other aircraft we have in our fleet at the moment”, said Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel, the IAF Commander, in an interview for the IAF Magazine after he himself visited the aircraft’s advanced simulator in the U.S.

The First Israeli F-35I Has Been Revealed

The IAF Commander in the F-35 Simulator during his trip to the U.S | Photo by: “Lockheed Martin”

Initial Acquaintance with the Jet
Throughout their stay, the team members will learn about the jet’s abilities through flight in the simulator and will continue to receive information from the Americans, which are already flying it now. According to the information that they will acquire throughout their visit, the squadron establishment team will continue developing and establishing the squadron over the year.
“Flying in the simulator consists of a very initial acquaintance with its abilities”, explains Major Ehud, the “Adir” project officer. “We are interested in learning about the aircraft that we are going to receive at the end of the year and it will greatly help develop the areas we will deal with in the upcoming year – how we will fly, how we will instruct, how we will train and what the squadron will look like. If we won’t arrive at the landing of the plane with preliminary information, we won’t be able to develop and sustain all of the necessities in these aspects”.

Starting in mid-2016, the “Adir” Squadron’s aircrews will begin their training for flight on the F-35 which includes further trips to the PMTS simulator in the U.S and ground training exercises in Israel.

The First Israeli F-35I Has Been Revealed

Photo by: “Lockheed Martin”

811 Sets of Wings will be manufacture in Israel
Today, throughout the world there are only three factories, in Israel, Italy and the U.S, which manufacture F-35 wings for all of the jets manufactured by “Lockheed Martin”. As a part of the F-35 program, “Lockheed Martin” maintains many cooperative efforts with Israeli companies which manufacture different parts for the stealth fighters, with the prominent being IAI, which in one of its factories has a production line for wings worth about 2.5 Billion USD and is obligated to 811 pairs of wings for “Lockheed Martin”.

All of the factories work by the same procedures and the same quality standards, which require the Israeli “Lahav” factory to work carefully and professionally. All of the wings coming from different places in the world must be completely identical and work according to the specific program received from the U.S.