The Israeli Air Force (IAF) has retired its early model Lockheed Martin F-16 Fighting Falcon combat aircraft following the completion of deliveries of the Alenia M-346 Master advanced jet trainer and the arrival of the first of its Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters (JSFs).

The last of the IAF’s approximately 90 F-16A/B ‘Netz’ fighters were officially withdrawn from service during a ceremony at Ouvda Air Force Base (AFB) in southern Israel on 26 December.

The event, which marked the end of 36 years of continuous operations for the type, came some months after the arrival of the last M-346 ‘Lavi’ at Hatzerim AFB in July, and just days after the arrival of the first F-35A ‘Adir’ fighters at Nevatim AFB on 13 December. […]