The first F-35 stealth fighter plane is expected to arrive in Israel in 2015
The F-35 fighter planes will be based at the IAF's Nevatim Airbase in the Negev, the IAF commander has determined.
The deal to acquire the F-35 was signed in the last year and the planes are expected to arrive in Israel in the next few years.
The Nevatim Airbase welcomed the decision to make it the future home of the F-35. The decision to place the F-35 at Nevatim was based on infrastructure and training considerations, as well as the IDF's vision to move many of its bases to the Negev.
Operational and environmental considerations also played a role in the decision.
"At Nevatim, we are proud that we have been chosen to receive the F-35 fighter plane, which will turn Nevatim into a strategic base constituting a powerful element in the battle array," said Brig. Gen. Ronen Samchi, the commander of Nevatim.
The Nevatim Airbase was established in 1982 and participates in all of the IAF's operational activities. In April 2008, the base was expanded and it now has the longest runway in the Middle East.
The F-35 is a stealth fighter aircraft produced by the American Lockheed Martin company. It is considered to be the most advanced fighter aircraft currently being developed. It is a multi-mission aircraft, intended both for attack and interception. Its development began in 2003 as a joint initiative of the United States and the United Kingdom.
The first F-35 is expected to arrive in Israel in 2015, but Israeli pilots will be able to start training on it in the U.S. a year before that.