In first, Israeli F-35 shoots down cruise missile fired by Iran-backed Houthis

by WorldTribune Staff / 247 Real News November 5, 2023

Israel’s fleet of F-35I stealth fighters is playing key role in the current Gaza conflict. Now, for the first time, an F-35I has been used to intercept and bring down a cruise missile.

In a post to X, the Israeli Air Force said:

“In recent days, a cruise missile launched from the southeast toward the airspace of the State of Israel was detected by the control and detection systems of the Air Force. The systems followed the trajectory of the cruise missile and launched fighter jets from the Adir formation, which successfully intercepted it.”

Adir is the Israeli Air Force name for the F-35I, roughly translated as “Mighty” or “Mighty one.”

An Israeli Air Force (IAF) Lockheed Martin F-35I Adir combat aircraft shot down a cruise missile fired from Yemen by the Iranian-backed Houthis, according to a report by Janes.

The IAF announced the incident on Nov. 2, releasing F-35I electro-optical targeting system (EOTS) footage of the engagement.

The moment of launch of what is almost certainly an AIM-9X Sidewinder infrared-guided missile can be seen, with what appears to be a shower of sparks and debris coming close into the frame as the missile leaves the wing. That weapon then makes a hard left turn before impacting the target.

Military analysts said the incident looks to be a good example of the AIM-9X’s high off-boresight engagement capabilities.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) stated that the F-35I’s cruise missile kill was followed later the same day by the destruction of a surface-to-surface missile over the Red Sea by the Arrow anti-ballistic missile system (known as Hetz in IDF terminology).

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