In First, U.K. Confirms F-35 Exercise With Israel, and Sorties in Iraq, Syria

British, American, and Israeli pilots carried out an F-35 exercise, which comes at a time of unprecedented British-Israeli military cooperation

Anshel Pfeffer
Anshel Pfeffer
Send in e-mailSend in e-mail
Six F-35 fighter jets - two each from Israel, the U.S., and the U.K. - fly in an exercise on June 25, 2019.
Six F-35 fighter jets - two each from Israel, the U.S., and the U.K. - fly in an exercise on June 25, 2019.Credit: U.S. Air Force/Staff Sgt. Keifer Bowes
Anshel Pfeffer
Anshel Pfeffer

The British military acknowledged for the first time on Tuesday that its fighter jets carried out a joint excercise with their Israeli counterparts. The United Kingdom's Permanent Joint Headquarters posted on Twitter about the F-35 training exercise, which also included American aircraft.

The announcement comes at a time of heightened military cooperation between the United Kingdom and Israel. Israeli aircraft will, for the first time, participate in an exercise in the Combat Warrior exercise in Britain in September.

>> In era of Brexit and Tory power, Israel sees shift in relations with Britain

Also on Tuesday, Britain's defense secretary said the country's most advanced military aircraft, the Lightning F-35B, has flown its first missions over Syria and Iraq as part of the ongoing operations against the Islamic State group.

A statement released Tuesday quoted Defense Secretary Penny Mordaunt as saying that the jets' first operational mission from a British air base in Cyprus where they have been undergoing training since May 21 is "a significant step into the future for the U.K."

British military officials had said there were no plans for the aircraft to conduct combat missions during their stay at RAF Akrotiri.

But it was decided that they were ready to make their operational debut because of their "exceptional performance."

Officials said the aircraft didn't fire any weapons when flying alongside Typhoon jets.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Click the alert icon to follow topics:



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.

Subscribe today and save 40%

Already signed up? LOG IN


Soldiers using warfare devices made by the Israeli defense electronics company Elbit Systems.

Russia-Ukraine War Catapults Israeli Arms Industry to Global Stage

Flame and smoke rise during an Israeli air strike, amid Israel-Gaza fighting, in Gaza City August 6, 2022.

Israel Should End Gaza Operation Now, if It Can

Rio. Not all Jewish men wear black hats.

What Does a Jew Look Like? The Brits Don't Seem to Know

Karolina Bielowka.

'My Uncle Told Me, ‘Go on the Trip of Your Life, Go Dig in Israel.’ So I Did'

The replica ship, 'Ma’agan Mikhael II,' sailing from Haifa to Acre in northern Israel.

Replica of 2,400-year-old Ship Solves Ancient Mediterranean Mystery

File photo: Bus operated by Kavim company.

Ultra-Orthodox Extremists Assault Woman for Sitting at Front of Jerusalem Bus