Israeli and U.S. government leaders joined Lockheed Martin to celebrate the rollout of the first Israeli Air Force F-35A Lightning II, marking a major production milestone for the future of Israel’s national defense.

“The F-35 is the best aircraft in the world and the choice of all our military leadership at its highest level. It is clear and obvious to us and to the entire region that the new F-35, the Adir, will create real deterrence and enhance our capabilities for a long time," said Avigdor Liberman, Israel’s Minister of Defense.

Israel’s F-35, called Adir – which means “Mighty One” in Hebrew – will be a significant addition to maintaining Israel’s qualitative military edge in the Middle East region, with its advanced capability to defeat emerging threats. The F-35 combines advanced low observable stealth technology with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment support.

Israel’s program of record is 33 F-35A Conventional Take Off and Landing, or CTOL, aircraft, acquired through the U.S. government’s Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. Israel’s contribution to the F-35 program includes Israel Aerospace Industries F-35A wing production; Elbit Systems. work on the Generation III helmet-mounted display system, which all F-35 pilots fleet-wide will wear; and Elbit Systems-Cyclone F-35 center fuselage composite components production.