September 15 2019, two new «Adir» (F-35I) aircraft landed in Nevatim Air Force Base (AFB). The two fighter jets will join the ranks of the IAF’s «Adir» Division, which was declared operational in December 2017.
The continuous integration of the «Adir» aircraft is another aspect of the long-running military cooperation between Israel and the U.S., which continues to show optimal results. The Israeli Air Force (IAF) is the first force in the world besides the United States to operate the «Adir» (F-35I).
The «Adir» Squadron’s capabilities provide another component to the air force’s existing operational and strategic capabilities, which ensure its supremacy in all missions, the first of which being protecting Israel.
The «Adir» is currently operated by the 140th («Golden Eagle») Squadron. In several months, the 116th («Defenders of the South») Squadron is due to be established as the second «Adir» squadron. The establishment of the squadron’s first building was celebrated last April in a ceremony, which also saw the reveal of its new emblem. «The squadron – as part of the ‘Adir’ Division – signifies the IAF’s momentum», said Brigadier General Eyal Grinboim, then commander of Nevatim AFB.
«The establishment of the 116th Squadron marks the beginning of the ‘Adir’ Division», said Lieutenant Colonel N’, commander of the squadron’s establishment crew. «A major part of the establishment process touches upon the complexity of this transformation. We take a well-developed squadron and maintain its power while creating another one to function alongside it».
|Length||51.4 feet/15.7 m|
|Height||14.4 feet/4.38 m|
|Wingspan||35 feet/10.7 m|
|Wing area||460 feet2/42.7 m2|
|Horizontal tail span||22.5 feet/6.86 m|
|Weight empty||29,300 lbs/13,290 kg|
|Internal fuel capacity||18,250 lbs/8,278 kg|
|Weapons payload||18,000 lbs/8,160 kg|
|Maximum weight||70,000 lbs class/31,751 kg|
|Standard internal weapons load||Two AIM-120C air-to-air missiles|
|Two 2,000-pound/907 kg GBU-31 JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munition) guided bombs|
|Propulsion (uninstalled thrust ratings)||F135-PW-100|
|Maximum Power (with afterburner)||43,000 lbs/191,3 kN/19,507 kgf|
|Military Power (without afterburner)||28,000 lbs/128,1 kN/13,063 kgf|
|Engine Length||220 in/5.59 m|
|Engine Inlet Diameter||46 in/1.17 m|
|Engine Maximum Diameter||51 in/1.30 m|
|Overall Pressure Ratio||28|
|Speed (full internal weapons load)||Mach 1.6 (~1,043 knots/1,200 mph/1,931 km/h)|
|Combat radius (internal fuel)||>590 NM/679 miles/1,093 km|
|Range (internal fuel)||>1,200 NM/1,367 miles/2,200 km|