The Israelis Preparing for the F-35s: A Sense of Urgency


2013-06-20 We wrote earlier about the apparent lack of U.S. urgency in re-norming airpower with regard to the introduction and con-ops innovations associated with fifth generation aircraft.

Now, however. the USMC, the USAF and the USN have laid down IOCs for the aircraft, which clearly reflect a sense of urgency.

Col. Stephen Jost, Commander of the 33rd Operations Group, Air Force Education and Training command, Eglin Air Force base, in an interview on June 17, 2013 at Eglin highlighted how the importance of the Air Force Chief of Staff’s IOC of the F-35A reflects their sense of urgency.

There is a sense of urgency. 

I trust General Hostage.  He owns the IOC. 

When he declares IOC in 2016, those planes are ready to go to war.  

4 F-35As as part of a tanking exercise at the 33rd Fighter Wing in May 2013. Courtesy Photo: 33rd Fighter Wing.

Now, the Israelis are joining into this sense of urgency with their very existence on the line.

In a recent article in Israel Hayom (Thursday, June 20, 2013), the preparation of the Israelis for their first F-35s was highlighted. And the modifications that the Israelis will make, can be available if Israel chooses to other F-35 coalition partners.

The state-of-the-art fighter aircraft, the first of which are scheduled to be delivered to Israel at the end of 2016, are also expected to be fitted with an Israeli “twist.”

O’Bryan said Lockheed Martin was examining the feasibility of adding detachable fuselages to the plane, manufactured by the Israeli company Cyclone, a subsidiary of Elbit Systems, mainly because the fuselages would not be detrimental to the plane’s stealth capabilities. In practical terms, this means that the plane would have a longer flight range while still remaining invisible to enemy radar.

The first of 20 versatile, single-engine F-35s, ordered by Israel in October 2010 at a cost of $2.75 billion, are scheduled to arrive in 2016 at the earliest, but the Air Force is already setting up a new infrastructure to absorb the stealth jets.

The Israeli business daily Globes recently reported that new bomb-proof underground pens for the fifth-generation jets are being built to accommodate the F-35s, along with special testing installations that minimize the noise of the jets’ Pratt & Whitney F-125 engines.