BREAKING NEWS Cal Fire on scene of a vegetation fire in the Lime Saddle Campground Full Story
BREAKING NEWS August Complex: 152 structures destroyed in Trinity County Full Story
SEVERE WX : Fire Weather Watch View Alerts

F-35 stealth fighter jets get first taste of combat

After more than two decades of development and testing, Lockheed Martin's F-35 fighter jet has made its combat debut....

Posted: May 23, 2018 2:31 AM
Updated: May 23, 2018 2:31 AM

After more than two decades of development and testing, Lockheed Martin's F-35 fighter jet has made its combat debut.

The Israel Defense Forces announced Tuesday on Twitter that its version of the aircraft -- dubbed the F-35 "Adir" -- is already flying in operational missions.

"The Adir planes are already operational and flying in operational missions. We are the first in the world to use the F-35 in operational activity," the IDF tweet said.

Israeli Air Force Commander Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin said the stealth fifth-generation aircraft was used to strike two different targets in the Middle East, The Jerusalem Post reported.

The F-35 fighter jet is touted as the future of military aviation; a lethal and versatile aircraft that combines stealth capabilities, supersonic speed, extreme agility and state-of-the-art sensor fusion technology, according to Lockheed Martin, the plane's primary contractor.

However, the aircraft, which is the most expensive weapons system in history, has also drawn sharp criticism in recent years after facing a long list of setbacks -- including problems with the software, engines and weapon systems.

And critics have continued to express skepticism about the F-35's combat capability despite reassurances by US military leaders who say the kinks are being worked out.

The US Air Force became the first military service to declare its version of the F-35 ready for combat in August 2016.

The Marine Corps accomplished a significant milestone last year by deploying its variant to Japan -- the aircraft's first permanent overseas deployment.

But Israel's announcement on Tuesday marks the first time that the F-35 has been used in an actual combat situation -- a significant moment given the program's checkered past.

Over the past five decades, Israel has sought to maintain its superiority in the skies over the Middle East -- perceiving many threats in its neighborhood, including the Syrian conflict and missile attacks from Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed militant group based in Lebanon.

In recent years, Russia has also introduced its S-300 and more advanced S-400 surface-to-air missiles systems in Syria -- a challenge to Israel's regional air superiority.

Israel acquired the F-35 in response. The fighter can fly virtually undetected but stealth technology does not guarantee a jet can fly unseen.

Nicknamed the "Mighty One" by the Israeli press, the F-35 is part of a $38 billion Memorandum of Understanding between Israel and the US covering a 10-year period beginning in 2019.

The Israeli Air Force has ordered 50 F-35s from the US -- each with a price tag of more than $100 million. It received its first aircraft in 2016 and declared its fleet operationally capable in December of 2017.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 790096

Reported Deaths: 15056
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2614466366
Riverside574191162
San Bernardino52649908
Orange522011128
San Diego44925760
Kern31509354
Fresno27769355
Sacramento21628383
Alameda20641374
Santa Clara20511297
San Joaquin19841415
Stanislaus16351337
Contra Costa15958201
Tulare15599256
Ventura12406143
Imperial11583314
San Francisco1080799
San Mateo9598143
Monterey955067
Santa Barbara8880110
Merced8750134
Kings743077
Sonoma7112114
Marin6591112
Solano617555
Madera439162
Placer348841
San Luis Obispo339327
Butte276435
Yolo275454
Santa Cruz22188
Sutter164210
Napa162613
San Benito131011
Yuba11187
El Dorado10734
Mendocino85118
Lassen7350
Shasta70914
Glenn5503
Nevada5116
Colusa5106
Tehama5094
Lake49210
Humboldt4856
Calaveras31114
Amador28616
Tuolumne2214
Inyo18714
Mono1652
Siskiyou1610
Del Norte1361
Mariposa752
Plumas490
Modoc240
Trinity150
Sierra60
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Chico
Overcast
77° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 78°
Oroville
Clear
80° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 80°
Paradise
Overcast
77° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 60°
Feels Like: 78°
Chester
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 65°
Red Bluff
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 58°
Feels Like: 78°
Willows
Overcast
77° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 78°
A small trough of low pressure moved over the Pacific Northwest on this first day of autumn, and it brought more gusty wind and an improvement to the air quality for most of us. The breezes will continue through the week, and other changes are coming soon.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events