For the first time, an Israeli Air Force (IAF) F-35 “Adir” (“Mighty One”) fighter jet shot down a cruise missile mid-flight.
A cruise missile, launched from Yemen, presumably by the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels, was detected by the IAF heading towards Israeli airspace. While the precise date of the incident remains undisclosed by the IAF, multiple missile launches from Yemen were reported on October 31, 2023.
After detecting the incoming threat, the IAF scrambled fighter jets to intercept the missile. Cockpit footage of the interception was released, showing what likely is a Hoveyzeh (or Soumar) cruise missile being shot down in flight by an air-to-air missile, likely an AIM-9X Sidewinder.
Later that same day, the IAF reported that the “Arrow” Aerial Defense System came into play when it intercepted a surface-to-surface missile in the area of the Red Sea.
Back in May 2018, the IAF made headlines when it disclosed having used its F-35 for targeted attacks in Syria and Lebanon, making Israel the first nation to employ this aircraft in a combat operation.