The Israeli air force’s lead example of the “Adir” – designated AS-1 – entered the mate process, where its four main structural assemblies are brought together.

“AS-1 is expected to roll out of the factory in June, and be delivered to the Israeli air force later this year,” says Lockheed.

Israel has so far signed contracts for 33 of the conventional take-off and landing aircraft, via the US government’s Foreign Military Sales programme.

“The F-35A Adir will be a significant addition to maintaining Israel’s qualitative military edge in the Middle East, with the advanced capability to defeat emerging threats, such as advanced missiles and heavily defended airspace through its combination of low-observability and sensor fusion,” says Lockheed. […]