US prohibits Israel pilots from flying F-35 jets

F-35 stealth fighter jet touch down at Nevatim Air Base near Beersheba. [Israeli Army/Anadolu Agency]

Israeli media reported on Friday that the US Department of Defense and intelligence authorities are preventing Israeli pilots from flying F-35 fighter jets, fearing information technology leaks.

Israeli newspaper The Jerusalem Post said that this came as a result of the US increasing focus on information security and safeguarding its interests.

The Israeli Air Force, the newspaper reported, accepted this US decision and stopped assigning pilots to F-35 Adir aircraft.

The Adir fighter jet is a single-seater, multi-mission stealth plane that can be used for intelligence gathering and attack missions.

It is also the only fighter jet with a compartment for storing untraceable weaponry.

Each F-35 Adir fighter jet costs between $85 million and $100 million.

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