Israel To Buy The F-35 If Their Conditions Met

by: Matthew Potter
December 1, 2009

Category: Business Line, Companies, Contract Awards, Countries, Department of Defense, development program, Events, FMS, Israel, Lockheed Martin, Military Aviation, production program, Services, U.S. Air Force | RSS 2.0

Israel would like to buy the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) to add modern, stealthy aircraft to its fleet of F-15 and F1-6 aircraft. As with the previous generation of United States aircraft they would also like the ability to integrate their own electronics and weapon systems on it. The Israelis have done this with all the weapons they have bought or captured over the years.

They rely on their own sophisticated defense industry to develop systems that they would like to put on the various platforms that they operate. The U.S. has resisted the Israeli requests in a bid to protect the technology and systems developed for the F-35. The Israelis have been negotiating this issue for several months and have won most of what they want but the desire to put their own electronic warfare system has things stymied. The U.S. will allow radar and weapons to be added but do not want to open the software at that level to Israel.

The contract could be for up to seventy-five aircraft total making Israel one of the largest purchasers and would certainly help the program facing budget issues and delays. The more that the U.S. is able to sell overseas the lower the average price of an aircraft will be. It behooves the U.S., Lockheed Martin and Israel to work out some sort of deal as the advanced capability of this aircraft will only help Israel in the future.

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