F-35s caught by Hezbollah TV over Lebanon in rare operational flight

Spread the love

A photographer for Hezbollah-owned TV station Al Manar tweeted photos of the advanced fifth-generation aircraft flying over Lebanon.

ISRAELI F-35 takes off from an airbase in southern Israel (photo credit: AMIT AGRONOV/ISRAEL AIR FORCE)

ISRAELI F-35 takes off from an airbase in southern Israel

(photo credit: AMIT AGRONOV/ISRAEL AIR FORCE)

Israeli F-35s are never seen in combat, but on Monday they seemed to have been captured by a Lebanese photographer patrolling the skies over Lebanon.

Ali Shaib, a photographer for Hezbollah-owned TV station Al Manar, tweeted photos of the advanced fifth-generation aircraft flying over Lebanon. While the planes could not immediately be identified as belonging to the Israeli Air Force, Israel does routinely fly over Lebanon as part of its ongoing efforts to collect intelligence on Hezbollah activities.

Shaib mistakenly identified the planes as F-15 fighter jets but an examination of the photos clearly showed that they were F-35s, the most advanced fighter jet in IAF use. He wrote that he had counted six fighter jets.

READ ALSO:  Israeli researchers say spirulina algae could reduce COVID mortality rate

Built by Lockheed Martin, the jets have an extremely low radar signature, making them stealth like and allowing them to operate undetected deep inside enemy territory, as well as evade advanced missile defense systems like the S-300 and S-400, which have been deployed in countries such as Syria.

The IAF currently has about 30 active F-35i Adir aircraft out of a total of 50 planes set to land in the coming years, to make two full squadrons by 2024.

The IAF announced in August that as part of changes to make the force more efficient and better able to contend with regional threats, a third F-35i Adir squadron will open next year.

In 2018, IAF commander Maj.-Gen. Amikam Norkin revealed that F-35s were being used in operations to attack enemy targets. Norkin also displayed a photograph of an Israeli F-35 flying over Beirut.

“We are flying the F-35 all over the Middle East. It has become part of our operational capabilities. We are the first to attack using the F-35 in the Middle East and have already attacked twice on different fronts,” he said at the time.

READ ALSO:  1 soldier killed, another missing in avalanche in southeastern Turkey's Hakkari

 236 

RECOMMENDED READ:
Oppressive Turkish gov’t pushes bizarre ‘human rights’ plan – analysis

Turkey, the world’s largest jailor of journalists, has launched a new “human rights” plan. The plan, the far-right authoritarian leader Read more

Iran and Turkey appear to be on collision course in Iraq – analysis

While the region’s eyes are on recent tensions with Iran in the Gulf of Oman and Syria, a simmering dispute Read more

Iran responds to attack on Israeli ship: We monitor Israel’s behavior

Iranian government spokesman Ali Rabiee gave long and rambling responses to a series of questions on Tuesday. Among other topics, Read more

Middle East needs to learn lessons from the Holocaust – opinion

We are undergoing a historic change across the Middle East in the wake of the Abraham Accords, moving into an Read more

Leave a Reply