Israel acquires another 17 F-35 fighter jets from US

Israel has completed the acquisition of 17 more F-35 fighters, bringing the total number to 50. 

An Israeli delegation visiting the US completed the procurement of another 17 F-35 “Adir” Joint Strike Fighters (JSF), bringing the total order to 50, the equivalent of two Israel Air Force (IAF) squadrons.

The Director General of the Ministry of Defense, Major General (Res.) Udi Adam signed the order. The contract stipulates that the aircraft will be supplied by December 2024.

“The completion of the purchase of 17 additional F-35s is a significant and strategic addition to the air force, and will help the IDF and Air Force cope with the many security challenges we face at the doorstep of the State of Israel, and act as a central element in protecting the security of Israeli citizens along the borders and even away from them,” stated Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman.

“The signing of the transaction is further evidence of the depth of the relationship and security relations between our great friend the United States and the State of Israel,” he emphasized.

The IAF received its first two F-35s in December 2016, and has since received three more. Israel is among a small number of US allies to receive the plane.

The F-35 is the Pentagon’s most expensive weapons program, estimated to cost nearly $400 billion. Each plane costs an average of $110 million.

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The IAF intends to make the jets operational within a year.

A senior Israeli air force official described the arrival of the F-35 as a game-changing development that will give Israel a “strong and effective tool” in dealing with challenges across the region.

By building up its F-35 squadrons, the IAF is ensuring its edge over enemies in the region for years to come.

By: World Israel News Staff