Israel to Acquire More F-35 Stealth Jets, $ 3 Billion Deal Further Deepens Israel-US Partnership

By Arie Egozi

Defence Industry

Tel Aviv: The Israel Ministry of Defence and the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) will acquire a third squadron of “Adir” F-35 aircrafts. The previous order was for 50 F-35, of which 36 have been delivered.

Minister of Defence Yoav Gallant has approved the recommendation made by the IDF Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, the Director General of the Israel Ministry of Defence, Maj. Gen. (Res.) Eyal Zamir, and Commander of the Israeli Air Force, Maj. Gen. Tomer Bar, to procure a third F-35 squadron for the Israel Defence Forces (IDF).

The Ministry of Defence will purchase a total of 25 F-35 aircrafts from the American government, which will be manufactured by Lockheed Martin. This acquisition will expand the world’s most advanced stealth aircraft fleet operated by the Israeli Air Force to 75 aircrafts. Israel was the first country outside the United States to acquire the F-35 and the first to use the aircraft in combat.

Following the Minister of Defence’s approval, the IMOD Mission to the USA will issue an official letter of request (LOR) to the F-35 Lightning II Joint Program Office (JPO). This step will facilitate the approval and signing of the transaction in the coming months.

The value of the deal is approximately $3 billion, financed by American aid funds. As part of the original agreement between the governments, the aircraft’s manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, and the engine manufacturer, Pratt & Whitney, have committed to involving Israeli defence industries in the production of aircraft components sold.

This new agreement will ensure the continuation of cooperation between American companies and Israeli defence industries in the production of aircraft parts.