The first two planes will reach Israel in about six months, with another 17 arriving by the end of 2017. At that point, the IDF's F-35 squadron will begin operations.
The jet is so innovative that a senior Air Force officer was quoted as saying that it could even serve as a first-rate intelligence plane due to its information processing systems and sensors. It can decrypt any enemy radar signal long before it is recognized, allowing it to operate far from Israeli territory without fear of discovery.
A senior official in the Air Force noted that all classified communications systems used in the jets will be produced in Israel. The United States has even given a special exception allowing the IDF to use its own electronic warfare systems.
Israel will take possession of the first jet at 6:00 p.m. (Israel time) today. Arutz Sheva will provide live coverage of the event.