Saturday, October 14, 2017

Israeli Parliament Orders Review of Future F-35 Purchases

The Israeli legislature upheld plans Monday to procure 50 F-35 Adir fighter aircraft, Israel’s official nomenclature for the jet, denoting awesomeness in modern Hebrew, but said an analysis of alternatives was needed before committing to buying 25 or 50 more F-35s, which the Israeli Air Force has requested, Defense News reports.

The IAF has considered fielding 75 to 100 F-35s total. Israel was the first country to select the F-35 through the US government’s Foreign Military Sales program, and is the only partner the Pentagon authorizes to modify the jet to IAF specifications with Israeli technicians (as opposed to Lockheed Martin’s maintenance crews).

The Israeli Defense Force should examine unmanned aerial vehicles and “other sources of precision fire” to replace the F-35 Adir, the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee’s report says.

Israel completed the acquisition process for 19 F-35s for a price of $125 million each, finished a second deal to pay Lockheed Martin $112 million per unit for 14 jets, and most recently signed a third agreement for 17 more F-35s on August 27. All the aircraft are slated to be delivered by 2024, at which point IAF will have two F-35 squadrons.
Israeli Parliament Orders Review of Future F-35 Purchases Rating: 4.5 Posted by: U.S Defense News