Israel Signs $3BN Deal With US For 25 F-35 Stealth Jets

Israel signed a $3 billion deal with Lockheed Martin for 25 F-35 jets, said Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, strengthening ties with the US amid regional tensions.

Israel Signs $3BN Deal With US For 25 F-35 Stealth Jets 1

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said on Tuesday that Israel had signed a new $3 billion contract with Lockheed Martin for 25 F-35 fighter fighters. “At a time when some of our adversaries aim to undermine our ties with our greatest ally, we only further strengthen our alliance,” Gallant said.

“This sends a powerful message to our enemies across the region,” he said. The Israeli Air Force will now have a third squadron of these cutting-edge stealth fighters in its inventory.

Israel Signs $3BN Deal With US For 25 F-35 Stealth Jets 2

“The delivery of the aircraft to the IDF (army) will commence in 2028 at a rate of three to five aircraft per year,” the defense ministry specified in a statement.

This will eventually result in the deal being fulfilled, increasing Israel’s fleet to 75 F-35s. Israel continues to be the only Middle Eastern nation in possession of them. The defense ministry first announced the deal last summer when it stated it was seeking discussions with the US over the transfer.

Despite present tensions among the allies over the proposed Gaza ceasefire arrangement, the recently inked contract demonstrates Washington’s long-term commitment to Israel’s defense and retaining comprehensive military-technical superiority over foes and rivals in the area.

As previously mentioned, Israel was the first country outside of the US to get the F-35, also referred to as the Joint Strike Fighter in the US and “Adir” in Hebrew. In 2018, Israel launched its first combat sortie using the F-35, bombing Syria.

“The F-35 squadron has become an operational squadron,” Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin said at the time. “We are flying the F-35 all over the Middle East – we might be the first to attack with F-35 in the Middle East,” he said.

Israel now frequently attacks Syria with these cutting-edge fighters, firing from above Lebanese airspace. It has had unrestricted access to strike what the local media frequently refers to as “Iranian assets” in Syria.

Israel has launched more than 40 attacks against Syria so far in 2024, most of them have been in and around Damascus, the nation’s capital.

Over the majority of the previous ten years, Israel has also quietly backed the US-Gulf regime change effort in Syria, which aims to remove President Bashar al-Assad from office.

Recently, GreatGameIndia reported that a court has ordered the Netherlands to halt F-35 parts for Israel due to concerns that the transfer may aid in human rights breaches.

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