Israel becomes first country to use USA made F-35 planes

Joanna Estrada
May 22, 2018

The chief of the Israeli air force on Tuesday announced that his is the first country that has used the US-made F-35 fighter jet in combat.

'In our response attack, more than 100 ground to air missiles were fired at our planes'.

Israel says it has carried out scores of strikes in Syria against suspected Iranian emplacements or arms transfers to Hezbollah guerrillas in neighbouring Lebanon.

Last year, Defence Secretary James Mattis had to defend the programme after then President-elect Donald Trump tweeted criticising its huge price, said to be close to $100m (£74m) per plane.

Major General Amikam Norkin told a conference of visiting air force chiefs that the F-35 had been used in two separate strikes on different fronts in recent weeks, The Times of Israel said. He did not specify the targets.

Israel was the first regime outside the United States to obtain the fighter jet. In December 2016, it received the first two planes out of an order of 50.

The CEO of Lockheed Martin, which manufactures the F-35 fighter jet, is expected to speak about the importance of stealth technology in air superiority, the IAF officer said. The jets are believed to be the conventional takeoff and landing F-35A.

If Israel was forced to give back the territory it would leave itself vulnerable to an increase in terror attacks from Iranian controlled forces and other malevolent actors who would use the Golan region to stage strikes, DeSantis said.

"Israel said that only 20 rockets were fired, some of which were downed, but the truth is that 55 rockets some of which were of heavy caliber were fired at a number of military posts, creating huge explosions that forced all residents in the Golan and some in northern Israel to scramble to bomb shelters in panic", said the group's leader, Hassan Nasrallah, according to Naharnet. It has also sent thousands of volunteer fighters in support of the Syrian government.

"We are flying the F-35 all over the Middle East. We are the first in the world to carry out operational attacks with the F-35", Norkin said. Its military is often quiet about its operations and there were reports that the stealth fighter had been used operationally as early as January a year ago.

Just a week after the opening of the United States embassy in Israel in Jerusalem, a USA congressman is calling for Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights to also be recognized.

An influential military blog in 2015 reported that the F-35 lacked manoeuvrability and was unable to beat an F-16 in a dogfight.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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