Two Israeli Air Force (IAF) 'Adir' F-35 fighter jets escorted two American B-52 bombers above Israeli airspace on their way back from the Persian Gulf, the IDF Spokesperson's Unit said on Thursday.
The flyover was carried out as part of 'increasing cooperation' between the Israeli and US militaries, the spokesperson's unit added.
This marked the first time US jets were accompanied by Israel's fleet of F-35s, with such escorts usually carried out using 'Sufa' F-16s.
American bombers increasingly active in Middle East
The IAF had accompanied its American counterparts coming from and to the Gulf in several instances in recent times. In September, Israeli jets escorted an American bomber task force mission, which included fighter escorts from the Air Forces of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia in their respective airspaces.
In footage of the Israeli escort shared by the IDF, Israeli ground control officials can be heard welcoming the American pilots to Israel, adding that they wish them a "safe flight." The footage can be watched below.
Israel's Adir F-35 jets were grounded in July by both the US and Israeli air forces following issues discovered with its ejection seats. IAF training flights were also temporarily halted.