By the end of 2017, Israel is expected to become the second country after the United States to declare Initial Operational Capability for its F-35s. Israel already has taken possession of five of F35 fighters, and following an agreement late last month to buy an additional seventeen planes, will ultimately purchase fifty planes. All fifty F-35s are scheduled to be delivered by the end of 2024.
Israel is known to have a nuclear arsenal with as many as 100 warheads. The Jewish State is also believed to possess a nuclear triad, consisting of ground-based Jericho missiles, Dolphin-class submarines equipped with sea-launched cruise missiles and some combination of nuclear-capable aircraft (currently modified F15 and F16s).
It will require software and electronics modifications to enable Israel’s F35A’s to deploy the Israeli nuclear weapons.
The F35A will use stealth capabilities to evade Iran’s increasingly capable, Russian-built air defense systems.