Israel Acquired 14 Additional F-35 Jets from the US at $2.82 billion

5:18:00 AM
TEL AVIV, -- F-35A Lightning IIA delegation of Defense Ministry officials to the US headed by Aharon Marmarosh, has signed a contract this weekend finalizing Israel's purchase of 14 additional Joint Strike Fighter F-35 fighter jets, after the ministerial military procurement committee approved the deal in November 2014.

The deal was signed with the JSF Project team at the Pentagon, and it includes 14 jets, with an option to purchase another 17 of the aircraft in the future.

This deal is an addition to the previous one singed in September 2010 for the procurement of 19 F-35s. In total, the IMOD will purchase, at this point, 33 F-35s, nicknamed "Adir", at an average cost of 110 million dollars per jet.

The current new F-35 deal is estimated at $2.82 billion, and it includes, aside from the aircraft, the development and integration of Israeli combat systems and aeronautics in the aircraft. The package deal also includes logistical support, fight and ground crew training, replacement parts, and maintenance in Israel. The Defense Ministry said setting up maintenance facilities in Israel will inject tens of millions of shekels into the local defense industry.

As part of an effort to promote the Israeli industry, the Ministry of Defense has led an Industrial Cooperation Agreement with Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney, worth $688 million. In this context and as part of the Ministry's effort to integrate Israeli defense industries in the making of the F-35 and its systems, Elbit Systems won a contract to create helmet mounted displays for the F-35, and additional components, while Israel Aerospace Industries manufacture wings for the aircraft at its advanced production line in Israel. Other industries in Israel are involved in manufacturing subsystems for the aircraft and operating and training software.

Aharon Marmarosh, head of the Defense Ministry delegation to the US, said that the first two F-35 jets will land in Israel at the end of 2016, and the remainder will arrive by 2021. Throughout the decades, we have and will continue to insist that more Israeli industries will be incorporated into the project, and that maximum budget will return to the Israeli defense industry – for the development and manufacture of unique abilities and Israelis weapons".

The F-35 fighter jets, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) F-35 fighter jet, is a fifth generation stealth fighter. The aircraft is manufactured in three models: Model A for normal takeoff and landing, Model B for short takeoff and vertical landing, and model C for aircraft carriers. The aircraft the Ministry of Defense has purchased for the Israel Air Force is based on model A, but unique advanced capabilities and Israeli weapons will be integrated in it.

U.S. Air Force pilot navigates an F-35A Lightning II aircraft.

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