Maariv, the second largest and trustful newspaper published in Israel, reported that some Israeli F-35I Adirs will participate for the very first time in an international military exercise outside Israel. The Adirs will be flown from Nevatim air base (Israel) to Italy.
The Heyl Ha'Avir (IAF, Israeli Air Force) said that the aim of the exercise is to enhance cooperation and relations between the Israeli Defence Force (IDF) and the Aeronautica Militare (AMI, Italian Air Force).
It is expected that other allies will take part in the exercise too. Together they will conduct flights in an unfamiliar field that examines the ability to deploy stealth aircraft and the required systems.
The IAF stated that despite the coronavirus crisis, they see great importance in continuing international military exercises, and at this stage there is no change in the programmes to implement many maneuvers this year outside Israel.
There has been no confirmation about the exercise from the Italian side yet. If the exercise will take place, Scramble assesses that it will take place at Amendola/Luigi Rovelli air base where the AMI with 32° Stormo / 13° Gruppo is operating the F-35As.
The tough security measures required for Lightning and Adir operations are already integrated in the infrastructure of that air base. It is very well possible that Decimomannu air base at the isle of Sardinia will be involved as well, as earlier the IAF participated in combined exercises with the AMI from that location.
Israel is currently operating with three Adir squadrons: 116sq "The Southern Lions Squadron", "The Mighty Squadron" and 140sq "The Golden Eagle Squadron". The trio is under command of the Adir Divison.
Photo by IDF