The Israel Air Force will receive an additional F-35 Joint Strike Fighter external link in 2020 with a special suite of test instrumentation that will work to enhance the fighter’s capabilities during air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. According to Flight Global web site, an Israeli officer speaking under condition of anonymity but to be referred as Lt Col Shlomy said, “This unique aircraft, which was not part of any other F-35 contract, will enable us to begin the work of upgrading the capabilities of this aircraft, so that it answers our special operational requirements”.The unique test aircraft is being manufactured according to specifications that took two years to prepare, he adds. It will be used to enhance the aircraft's capabilities during air-to-air and air-to-ground missions. “All our platforms have been upgraded to enable stretching the flight envelope while using the unique weapon systems made by Israeli industry,” Shlomy says.
Planned updates to Israel's operational F-35I “Adir” fighters will be “directly connected” to this version's scheduled maintenance programme, “in order to not disrupt the aim of the shortest time on the ground between complex missions”.