The first F-35I ("Adir", Hebrew for Mighty) squadron will be officially opened in a week, setting the ground for the arrival of the first stealth multirole fighters scheduled for December 2016. Another F-35I squadron is planned to be opened in the future and the IAF is already examining the possibility of opening a third squadron.
The time is short and requires the IAF aircrew members and technicians to learn everything there is about the jet and its operation, each in his own field of occupation. "Receiving these jets is a pioneering move which also includes great uncertainty", said Lt. Col. Yotam, Commander of the first F-35I squadron. "The challenges we would most certainly come across and deal with by ourselves would turn into knowledge that would later be conveyed to other countries. We would gain a great deal of experience".
The "Adir" is like no other fighter jet operated in the force as it holds state of the art technologies, from its unique structure to its advanced information systems. The F-35, known in the US as "Lightning II", is the only international fifth generation multirole fighter in the world. "As soon as the squadron opens we will focus on studying the fighter with the help of the Americans and build new programs to fit the Israeli Air Force", said Major Ehud, "Adir" project officer in the squadron's founding team. "We will also simultaneously begin training our men, both in Israel and abroad. We all need to study the F-35 from scratch".
Due to integration of Israeli technologies, the "Adir" would be different from other F-35s in the world. Many Israeli companies take part in the manufacturing the new "Adir" systems: IAI (Israel Aerospace Industries) Elbit Systems, Tadiran, SimiGon, ALD, Cabiran, PDI\BL, IBM-Telelogix and Siemens Technomatics.