History in IAF as It Gets its First Female F-35 Pilot
Capt. S made history when she became the first female pilot to join an Israeli Air Force (IAF) Adir F-35I squadron and was appointed Deputy Commander of the 116th “Lions of the South” Squadron on Thursday.
Capt S. graduated from the IAF’s prestigious Flight Course in December of 2016 and is 26 years old.
She flew F-16s in the 107th Squadron and later transferred to the 116th Squadron – the IAF’s second Adir squadron, which became operational in August.
For the last six months, the squadron’s personnel were trained in the various scenarios that they were required to face as part of their preparation for the operational fitness inspection that took place last week.
Capt. S is currently the only woman in Israel to fly the F-35I jet.
The first Adir (mighty) F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) squadron was declared operational by the IAF in December 2017. The Israeli F-35 was the first outside of the US to be declared operational, preceded only by the US Marine Corps and the US Air Force.
The fifth-generation fighter jet, manufactured by Lockheed Martin, is considered one of the world’s most advanced fighter aircraft. Israel has acquired a total of 50 F-35s which are to be supplied by December 2024.