Israeli - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • zionist forever
    • 15.08.10 | 21:38 (IDT)

    If we decided to think long term when making decisions on whats the most logical choice for a next generation fighter we would not have gone with F35. Instead we should have opted to invest in developing a stealthy fighter UAV. Israel is a world leader in UAV development and the US have already decided that F22 & F35 will be the last generation of manned US fighters. If Israel developed a UAV as its next generation fighter then we would be flying unmanned fighter jets before the US was. There are many advantages to an Israeli developed UAV over a manned fighter. Pilots are not put at risk .. if we wanted to go to a place like Iran if we lost the plane the pilot would not be in the hands of the Revolutionry Gaurd to be tortured and executed. With a manned fighter you must compromise on performance because you have to consider the strains on the pilots body and the aircraft has to be designed so it can carry a pilot so half the space is dedicated just for the pilot to sit there and that also adds to the cost. An Israeli unmanned plane could carry whatever weapons and electronics we wanted to instal, it would probably be cheaper to operate and buy, again as your not giving space over to the pilot that extra room can be given over to extra weapons, fuel electronics etc so nothing is wasted. Also the best bit about it is one day we can export the thing so we would not only be creating jobs for Israelis building something tailor made for the IAF but we could one day export it helping it pay for itself. If we could find a partner like India the development cost could be spread. Thats what we should have done for Israels next generation fighter we can't afford the F35 and allowing ourselves to be bullied into buying that thing because the rest of the world is either canceling plans to buy or cutting down on the number planned. The UAV should have been the long term investment to replace the F16 and in the short term we should have opted for a small fleet of the F15SE which although not a fully stealth jet it is stealthy, as its just an evolution of the existing F15 and the US is not buying any for itself we could probably have them sooner, its cheaper, Israeli pilots already operate F15 so training isn't such a big problem, we would probably be able to customize it to our specific requirements instal all the Israeli electronics and weapons we want. As the F35 is supposed to be replacing F16 and we have no plans to replace the F15 air superiority fighters just yet as there is nothing revolutionry on the market except F22 which we can't have so by some F15SE which could also replace some of the older soon to be retired F15s and develop a UAV to eventually replace the F16. It would be the best use of finances. The winner would be Israel not the US arms industry at the expense of Israels and it would be a step further toward ending independence on the US. There would be some government investment needed to start the project yes but if we learn lessons from Lavi how that project got out of hand, if we can find a partner even better also unlike in the 80s israels economy is quite strong so we are financially in a much better position to develop our own plane now and as UAVS are the future and there is only about 3-4 countries in the world that are major developers of a whole range of UAVS ( Israel being one of them ) then we are also perfectly positioned. Germany was going to develop a UAV and they have been operating a small number of Israeli ones tailor made for Germany until they started work on their own but now the pressure is cancel the plans for a domestic one and buy more Israeli so we already have a long client list foe unmanned Israeli technology.

    from the article: Israel to purchase 20 Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets
    First published 15:40 15.08.10 | Last updated 17:55 15.08.10
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