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F-35 Joint Strike Fighter

Israels F-35, called Adir which means Mighty One, "Majestic" or "Noble" in Hebrew will be a significant addition to maintaining Israels qualitative military edge in the Middle East region, with its advanced capability to defeat emerging threats, including advanced missiles and heavily-defended airspace. The F-35 combines advanced low observable stealth technology with fighter speed and agility, fully fused sensor information, network-enabled operations and advanced sustainment support.

The first pair of "Adir" F-35I multirole stealth fighters was positioned in the first "Adir" Squadron, the "Golden Eagle" Squadron from Nevatim AFB. It was decided that the F-35 maintenance program will operate in a global format, meaning that global repair hubs will be established across the world to which malfunctioning aircraft and parts in need of repair will be sent. Nevertheless, the IAF decided that the "Adir" F-35I will not leave Israel for the purpose of maintenance.

On 26 September 2008, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Israel of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Aircraft as well as associated equipment and services. The total value, if all options are exercised, could be as high as $15.2 billion. This notice of a potential sale was required by law; it did not mean that the sale had been concluded.

The Government of Israel requested a possible sale of an initial 25 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Conventional Take-Off and Landing (CTOL) aircraft with an option to purchase at a later date an additional 50 F-35 CTOL or Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing (STOVL) aircraft. By October 2014 Israel was poised to order an additional 25 F-35 stealth fighter jets for delivery beginning in 2019. Israel already purchased 19 of the planes from Lockheed Martin for $2.75 billion, with the first jets scheduled for delivery as early as 2016.

All aircraft will be configured with either the Pratt and Whitney F-135 engines or General Electric-Rolls Royce F-136 engines. Other aircraft equipment includes: Electronic Warfare Systems; Command, Control, Communication, Computers and Intelligence/ Communication, Navigational and Identification (C4I/CNI); Autonomic Logistics Global Support System (ALGS); Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS); Flight Mission Trainer; Weapons Employment Capability, and other Subsystems, Features, and Capabilities; F-35 unique infrared flares; unique systems or sovereign requirements; reprogramming center, Hardware/Software In-the-Loop Laboratory Capability; External Fuel Tanks; and F-35 Performance Based Logistics.

Also includes: software development/ integration, flight test instrumentation, aircraft ferry and tanker support, support equipment, tools and test equipment, spares and repair parts, personnel training and training equipment, publications and technical documents, U.S. Government and contractor engineering and logistics personnel services, and other related elements of logistics and program support. The estimated cost is $15.2 billion.

Israel's strategic position makes it vital to the United States' interests throughout the Middle East. US policy has been to promote Middle East peace, support Israeli commitment to peace with other regional Arab countries, enhance regional stability, and promote Israeli readiness and self-sufficiency. It is vital to the U.S. national interest to assist Israel to develop and maintain a strong and ready self-defense capability. This proposed sale is consistent with those objectives.

Israel needs these aircraft to augment its present operational inventory and to enhance its air-to-air and air-to-ground self-defense capability. Israel will have no difficulty absorbing these aircraft into its armed forces. The proposed sale will not affect the basic military balance in the region.

Implementation of this proposed sale will require multiple trips to Israel involving U.S. Government and contractor representatives for technical reviews/support, program management, and training over a period of 15 years. U.S. contractor representatives will be required in Israel to conduct Contractor Engineering Technical Services (CETS) and Autonomic Logistics and Global Support (ALGS) for after-aircraft delivery.

The prime contractors will be: Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, Fort Worth, Texas; Pratt & Whitney Military Engines, East Hartford, Connecticut; General Electric/Fighter Engine Team, Cincinnati, Ohio. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale. There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

US Vice President Joe Biden announced 24 April 2015 that the US government will provide F-35 fighter jets to Israel in 2016 to sustain the country's strategic advantage over its rivals in the Middle East. Biden said during a speech celebrating Israeli independence: Next year we will deliver to Israel the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter making Israel the only country in the Middle East with a fifth-generation aircraft, Biden said on Thursday. No US president has done more to support Israel than US President Barack Obama, Biden said, evidenced by the fact the Obama administration had provided Israel with $20 billion in military assistance.

In remarks at the Pentagon 28 October 2015, Defense Secretary Ash Carter noted the Joint Strike Fighter is the visible manifestation of U.S. support for Israel. The Israeli air force will start receiving the aircraft next year and will be the only force in the region to be armed with a fifth-generation fighter.

On 22 June 2016 Israeli and US government leaders joined Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT) to celebrate the rollout of the first Israeli Air Force F-35A Lightning II, marking a major production milestone for the future of Israels national defense. Israel is proud to be the first country in the area to receive and operate it, said Avigdor Liberman, Israels Minister of Defense. The F-35 is the best aircraft in the world and the choice of all our military leadership at its highest level. It is clear and obvious to us and to the entire region that the new F-35, the Adir, will create real deterrence and enhance our capabilities for a long time.

Eight-hundred sets of wings for the F-35 Lightning II stealth plane Lockheed Martin is building will be produced from none other than IAI in Israel and Israel's contribution to the F-35 project is estimated to be worth $4 billion.

The Israeli Air Force (IAF) plans to buy 75 US-manufactured fifth-generation F-35 fighter jets to increase its capabilities in the Middle East, IAF Chief of Staff Brig. Gen. Tal Kalman said 22 June 2016. Kalman along with Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman participated in a rollout celebration of F-35 designed for the IAF. "We want to reach 75 jets The Israeli F-35 is the first fifth-generation fighter to arrive in the Middle East, and it will allow us to open a significant gap in our abilities when facing all of the elements in the area," Kalman said, as quoted by the IAF. Previous agreements between the United States and Israel included the purchase of 33 F-35s, however Israel's Chief of the General Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot approved recommendation to increase the number of F-35s to 50.

On 27 November 2016 the Israeli government approved a procurement of 17 additional US-manufactured fifth-generation F-35 fighter jets in order to bring the total number of such aircraft in Israeli Air Force (IAF) service to 50. "The Ministerial Committee on National Security Affairs headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has unanimously decided to acquire 17 F-35 fighter jets. Thus, the total number of such machines, which will be delivered to the Israeli Air Force, will amount to 50," the press service said. Israel expected to receive the first two F-35 fighter jets in December 2016, becoming the first aircraft of such type in the Middle East.

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Page last modified: 29-12-2016 13:59:30 ZULU