Twenty years after the first woman took to the skies as Israel’s first combat pilot, Israel’s Air Force will soon have its first female F-35 pilot, sources have told The Jerusalem Post.
She will reportedly fly in the 116th squadron, nicknamed “Lions of the South,” based out of Nevatim in southern Israel.
Israel was the first to use the F-35 in a combat arena in 2018, just months after it declared operational capability and, according to foreign reports, continues to use the jet for a range of missions.
By November the IAF will have 27 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.
Once she gets her wings, it is expected that she will fly combat missions along with her fellow IAF pilots.
While there are several female F-35 pilots in the United States Air Force, it is believed that she will be the second woman to fly the advanced 5th generation stealth fighter jet in combat.
In early June US Air Force Capt. Emily “Banzai” Thompson made history by becoming the first woman to ever fly the F-35A Lightning II in combat out of the Al Dhafra Air Force base in the United Arab Emirates.
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