• Sun. Sep 25th, 2022

The Israeli Air Force (IAF) has inaugurated its second squadron of F-35 fighter jets, which are fifth generation stealth aircraft. The squadron has been named “The Lions in the South”, a revival of the historic 116th Squadron.

-The Air Force bears a great deal of responsibility during the day. From that moment on, the 116th Squadron has returned and becomes part of our strategic arm, part of our qualitative advantage over our enemies, says Amikam Norkin, IAF Chief.

The squadron is stationed at Nevatim Air Base in the Negev Desert.

The 116th Squadron was founded in 1956 and flew in its time with the P-51 Mustang and a selection of aircraft that have participated in all of Israel’s wars. From 2003 until 2015, the squadron flew the F-16, writes Times of Israel.

The Israeli Air Force got its first two F-35s in December 2016. About a year later, the planes were ready for use. A few months later, Israel became the first country in the world to use the F-35 in an operation in Syria.

By 2024, Israel will have 50 F-35s in place. The IAF is also considering buying 25 new aircraft of this type so that they will have a total of 75 aircraft. In addition to the F-35, the Israeli Air Force also uses the F-15 and F-16, but several of them are being phased out.

When Iran again threatened to annihilate Israel last year, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu replied that the F-35 has the capacity to reach targets in Iran.

-Lately, Iran has repeated the threat of annihilating Israel. Therefore, it is good to remind them that these planes can reach anywhere in the Middle East, including Iran and Syria, Netanyahu said when he visited one of the air bases.

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