Israel to Purchase 14 More F-35 Planes From U.S.

The deal, valued at $110m per plane, is considered to be continuation of purchase agreement signed in 2010, when it was decided that 19 F-35 planes would be transferred to Israel Defense Forces.

Gili Cohen
Gili Cohen
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This undated photo provided by Northrop Grumman Corp., shows a pre-production model of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
This undated photo provided by Northrop Grumman Corp., shows a pre-production model of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.Credit: AP
Gili Cohen
Gili Cohen

The Defense Ministry announced Sunday that it had signed a deal with the United States to purchase 14 more F-35 planes for the Israel Air Force at $110 million dollars each.

The deal was signed over the weekend during a meeting between a Defense Ministry delegation and the F-35 project administration in the American department of defense.

This is considered the continuation of a purchase agreement signed in 2010, when it was decided that 19 F-35 planes would be transferred to the Israel Defense Forces.

The Israel Air Force will receive a total of 33 F-35 planes. One of the acquisitions will serve as an experimental aircraft.

The first two planes are scheduled to land in Israel in about a year and a half, by the end of 2016. The rest of the aircraft are expected to arrive by 2021.

The defense establishment and the air force are interested in purchasing additional aircrafts to eventually form two stealth fighter squadrons, each comprising 25 planes.

The ministerial committee for defense equipment last November approved the acquisition deal for the 14 planes. The defense ministry believes that rest of the acquisition will be purchased in the coming years, subject to the ministerial committee's approval.

The defense ministry announced in its statement Monday that the total deal stands at $2.82 billion dollar and includes the acquisition of simulators, training and maintenance. The deal requires Israeli weapons to be integrated into the aircraft, in addition to the F-35 wings developed by the Aerospace Industry and the pilot helmets developed by Elbit.

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