Israel to Purchase 25 Additional F-35 Aircraft from the United States

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Israel has announced its plans to purchase 25 more F-35 aircraft from the United States, as revealed by the Israeli Defense Ministry on Sunday. This acquisition will boost Israel’s fleet of these advanced stealth fighter jets by 50%.

Israel to Purchase 25 Additional F-35 Aircraft from the United States

The F-35, renowned as the world’s most advanced fighter jet, is exclusive to Israel in the Middle East. This $3 billion deal, set to be finalized in the coming months, will expand Israel’s existing fleet of 50 F-35 jets to a total of 75, according to the ministry’s statement.

Financed through American military aid to Israel, the purchase agreement includes commitments from Lockheed Martin, the aircraft’s manufacturer, and Pratt & Whitney, the engine manufacturer, to involve Israeli companies in the production process.

The statement highlighted, “The new agreement will ensure the continuation of cooperation between American companies and Israeli defense industries in the production of aircraft parts.”

This move to enhance Israel’s military capabilities comes amidst escalating tensions between Israel and Iran. Israel, viewing Iran as its greatest adversary, has previously employed F-35 jets to intercept Iranian drones and has issued threats of conducting long-range strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities.

Accusing Iran of pursuing nuclear weapons, a charge Iran denies, Israel has been linked to numerous attacks on Iranian nuclear experts and facilities within Iran over the years.

To counter Iranian influence in neighboring Syria, Israel carried out an airstrike on the Syrian city of Homs on Sunday, adding to a series of strikes on government-controlled areas of Syria in recent years.

In a separate statement on Sunday, the Israeli Ministry of Defense announced the approval of a $3 billion deal for a third squadron of F-35 stealth fighter jets. This additional purchase of 25 aircraft from Lockheed Martin will raise the total number of F-35s in Israel’s air force to 75, with the financing covered by the defense aid package from the United States.

Israel was the first country outside the United States to obtain the F-35. In May 2018, its air force chief declared Israel as the first nation to use the F-35 in combat.

The F-35, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter, is referred to in Israel by its Hebrew name “Adir” (Mighty). Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney have committed to involving Israeli defense companies in the production of aircraft components, as per the Israeli ministry’s statement.

Despite the United Arab Emirates’ efforts to acquire F-35 jets from the US, their ties to China have prevented any deal from materializing. The F-35 is renowned for its intelligence-gathering capabilities, its ability to strike deep into enemy territory, and its effectiveness in aerial combat.

Israel’s recent actions, including the procurement of additional F-35s, underscore its commitment to maintaining a strong defense posture in the face of regional challenges.

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