The first two Lockheed Martin F-35A Joint Strike Fighters destined for Israel will be delivered to Luke AFB, Arizona, in 2016, the company says.

The two Israeli jets will be used for training alongside US Air Force units which will stand up at the base next year. According to Lockheed, all international pilot training for the F-35A will eventually transition to Luke AFB. The base will receive its first Australian F-35A for training in 2014.

Israel will receive seven more F-35A aircraft in 2017 and another batch of 10 in 2018, which will be based in the Middle Eastern country for operational use. Israel has ordered a total of 19 F-35s thus far, but is considering the purchase of a further 20 aircraft—which would enable it to field two squadrons.

Israel hopes to be able to integrate additional indigenously-developed electronic warfare (EW) systems onto a second batch of jets should such a purchase proceed.

F-35 night - Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin

Source: Flight International