Photo Credit: IAF
Israeli, US and UK F-35 participate in the Tri-Lightning joint exercise. June 2019

Two more F-35 Adir stealth fighter jets, produced by Lockheed Martin, arrived on Sunday at the Nevatim air base in the Negev to join the rest of the aircraft comprising the “Defenders of the South” squadron in the Israel Air Force.

Israel is expected to have 20 of the F-35I Adir fighter jets by 2020; as of Sunday, the Israel Air Force had received 18 of the aircraft.

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Nevatim is home to two F-35 squadrons.

By 2024, the IAF will have received a total of 50 F-35I fighter jets, adding up to two full squadrons in the Golden Eagle Squadron, of the Defenders of the South.

There is a possibility the IAF will decide to order 25 more of the aircraft to replace its currently aging squadrons as well; there is also the possibility that Israel may decide instead to purchase upgraded F-15 fighter jets instead. The decision is expected to be made by the end of this year.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.