Israeli Air Force’s F-35 Test Aircraft Adds Combat Capabilities with more Changes and Upgrades

By ARIE EGOZI

Defence Industry

Tel Aviv: Based on the results from the test flights performed almost daily by the Israeli Air Force (IAF) F-35 test aircraft, more changes and upgrades have been performed on the force’s fleet of this stealth fighter aircraft.

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Some of the changes made in the IAF’s F-35 helped this aircraft to shoot down the two Iranian UAV’s last year.

According to Israeli sources, other changes have made the stealth fighter aircraft more capable to cope with new developing threats “not only armed UAV” and helped in shooting down the two Iranian UAV’s.

The changes made by the IAF in its F-35 are highly classified but the sources said that some will probably be used in this aircraft operated by the US Air Force.

“The Americans are updated about the changes and some of them really create great interest,” the sources added.

The IAF’s F-35 test aircraft is flying daily with Israeli developed systems. Some of the Israeli defence industries are focused on the development of more systems that will make the F-35 more capable for the missions the IAF has to perform “in short and long” ranges.

The US enables the IAF a deeper access to the core avionics of the F-35, needed to install the Israeli made systems.

Israel has ordered 50 Lockheed Martin F-35 and till date 33 have been delivered.

Since the F-35 has become operational in the IAF, the stealth aircraft has performed a long list of combat operations that according to sources proved this aircraft’s unique capabilities.

“It can be said without any doubt that this aircraft gives the IAF very “important advantages” in the fast changing combat scenarios created by enemies in “different ranges and with different weapon systems,” according to the sources. Israeli expects that after the new nuclear deal is signed with Iran, some new threats will emerge.

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