The Lockheed Martin [LMT] F-35 saw its combat debut with the Israeli Air Force (IAF) last year, and company CEO Marilyn Hewson put in a plug on July 1 for what she said the F-35, known as the Adir–“Mighty One”–in Israel, will provide for the IAF in the future.
“We must embrace new technologies and capabilities that turn the unpredictable into the predictable; that provide leaders and policy makers with decisive strategic tools, and that strengthen the integrated capabilities of the nation’s entire armed forces,” Hewson told the 2019 Hizliya Conference in Israel. “When it comes to fulfilling these mission parameters, no platform is better positioned or more capable than the F-35 Adir, the ‘Mighty One.'”
Israeli officials have not specified the location of the F-35’s first operational uses, but they have said that the aircraft debut occurred on “two fronts.”
The IAF has been an F-35 program participant for the last decade.
Hewson said that the F-35’s stealth and survivability suite means that it “can go where no fourth generation fighter aircraft can go.”
She called the aircraft “an unrivaled force multiplier” that “has proven its worth as an elevated sensor for coordinating advanced air and missile defense systems.” The aircraft is also to provide integrated sensor data to Israeli soldiers on the ground.
“With C4I technology integrated into the Adir fighters, the F-35 is particularly critical to countering Hezbollah’s vast rocket threat through rapid identification and prioritization of targets for the IAF,” Hewson said, adding that the aircraft can carry 18,000 pounds of internal and external ordnance, including “5,000-pound class weapons and beyond.”
“Nothing equals the F-35 Adir in providing information and options in the modern Israeli battle space,” she said.