Israel gets exclusive rights to supercharge American F-35 fighter jets

Out of the select few allies who have signed F-35 deals with the U.S., only Israel has been granted permission to modify major parts of the plane.

By Aaron Sull, World Israel News

The already advanced stealth system of Israel’s Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets is set to be further upgraded when a special F-35 test aircraft sent from the United States lands in Israel on July 4.

Although all of Israel’s F-35 warplanes, referred to in Israel as “Adir,” have been retrofitted with some locally made advanced technology, the arrival of this test aircraft gives Israel the opportunity to install its latest technology designed for the jet’s most sensitive systems.

Eitan Ben Eliyahu, former commander of the IAF, told Breaking Defense how important these aircraft are to Israel’s Air Force (IAF).

“The stealth, of course, is the obvious one and it is crucial in an area where different forces deploy advanced anti-aircraft systems,” Ben Eliyahu said.

“The second capability is the one that allows this aircraft to receive and distribute all kinds of combat data from a long list of sensors,” he said. “This very important for an air force that is performing combat missions almost on a daily basis.”

Out of the select few allies who have signed F-35 deals with the U.S., only Israel has been granted permission to modify major parts of the craft, reports Yahoo News.

The fifth-generation Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets are the world’s most advanced stealth aircraft, with real-time processing, control, and situational awareness abilities. Its electronic warfare capabilities enable the warplane to locate and track enemy forces, jam radio frequencies, and disrupt attacks with unparalleled precision.

In November, another three F-35s are scheduled to arrive, bringing the IAF’s total to 27 out of the 50 purchased from the United States.