In the meantime, despite the coronavirus, Israeli Air Force (IAF) and US Air Force (USAF) F-35s trained together on Mar. 29, 2020 in the Enduring Lightening training exercise.
The Pentagon has placed an order worth $4.7 billion with Lockheed Martin for 78 F-35 fighters on Mar.31, 2020.
In the meantime, as the photo in this post shows, despite the coronavirus Israeli Air Force (IAF) and US Air Force (USAF) F-35s trained together on Mar. 29, 2020 in the Enduring Lightning training exercise.
According to an IAF statement, the drill saw pilots training on “a wide variety of operational theaters while strengthening the cooperation between the forces,” as well as facing various aerial and ground threats.
The exercise featured F-35I Adir aircraft from IAF’s 140 Golden Eagle Squadron training alongside F-35As the USAF’s 34th fighter squadron, as well as IAF’s 122 squadron which operates the Nahshon Gulfstream G-500 aircraft.
Maj. M, leader of the exercise on behalf of the 140 Squadron, was quoted by the IAF’s website as saying that “this will be the second time we’ll fly alongside an American F-35. We aspire to stay as connected as possible to countries involved in its development project, and training with the Americans presents an excellent opportunity to do so since they have a lot of knowledge and expertise on the matter. The exercise we conducted was intimate. The forces flew in two formations of four, and communicated directly as opposed to through an indirect channel.”
Despite the cancellation of all international joint exercises because of the continued spread of the deadly coronavirus across the globe, the drill had received special permission as it was due to take part in the air with no person-to-person contact.