Three additional Lockheed Martin F-35s landed at Nevatim air base in Israel on 23 April, taking the number of fifth-generation fighters to arrive in the nation to five. An initial pair of the conventional take-off and landing type touched down at the same site on 12 December 2016.

The Israeli air force’s “Golden Eagle” squadron will use the new arrivals to intensify training operations, while the jets will also receive modifications unique to the service. According to the unit, its first two F-35I Adir aircraft have already amassed “dozens” of flight hours.

Israel’s cabinet approved a deal last November to acquire a latest batch of 17 F-35s, taking the nation’s current commitment to 50 units. Six of these are expected to arrive in Israel before year-end, when the air force also expects to declare initial operational capability with its Adir fleet. […]