Israeli F-35I conducts world’s first operational F-35 strike – IAF Commander

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Israel Air Force (IAF) Commander Major General Amikam Norkin during the opening of International Air Force Commander Convention at Israel’s Air Force Auditorium said that Israel’s F-35I Adir fifth-generation combat aircraft conducted the first operational F-35 strike in the world.

“The ‘Adir’ (F-35I) aircraft are already operational and flying combat missions. In fact, we have performed the first operational F-35 strike in the world,” Major General Norkin said.

“We attacked twice in the Middle East using the F-35 – we are the first in the world to do so. The Israeli Air Force is a pioneer and a world leader in operating air power,” he added.

The International Air Force Commander Convention is being hosted by Israel and will be participated by over 20 countries. “This gathering is an exceptional event marking aerial, global and regional cooperation in order to strengthen regional stability. Your presence here has a strategic meaning for the people of the IAF and for myself, and for that I thank all of you”, said Major General Norkin.

Norkin also highlighted some of IAF’s activities in the past weeks.

“We checked what the Iranians were doing around us. Quds Force was based in the T-4 airbase, 250 kilometers from Israel. From this base, they attempted to attack us using a UAV which infiltrated Israel a number of months ago. After this event, we saw that they continued to store munitions in this base, including aerial defense capabilities which we attacked this month,” he said.

“Over the past weeks, we understood that Iran was transporting long-range missiles and rockets to Syria, among which are ‘Uragan’ missile launchers which we attacked, just north of Damascus,” he added. “The Iranians fired 32 rockets towards Israel. We intercepted four of them, while the rest fell outside of Israel’s territory. Afterwards, we attacked dozens of Iranian targets in Syria. Sadly, the Syrian aerial defense systems fired over 100 SAM (Surface-to-air missiles) at our aircraft using SA-5, SA-17 and SA-22 missile batteries. In response, we destroyed their SAM batteries. A short time later, we destroyed a 20-meter deep Hamas tunnel”.

Source: http://www.iaf.org.il/4473-50208-en/IAF.aspx