Israel to buy 14 F-35 stealth fighters from US
Israel plans for the stealth jet to replace its fleet of F-16 warplanes and maintain its aerial dominance in the region. AP PhotoIsrael is to purchase 14 F-35 stealth fighters from US aerospace giant Lockheed Martin at a cost of around $110 million each, the defence ministry said Feb. 22.
"The defence ministry will purchase an additional 14 F-35s for around $3 billion, each plane costing an average of $110 million," a ministry statement said.
The $2.82 billion deal, which includes other technological and training elements, was signed at the weekend after being approved by a ministerial committee in November.
It includes the purchase of 14 stealth fighters as well as the option to buy another 17. It is the continuation of an agreement signed in 2010 to purchase 19 F-35 planes.
The deal will see Israeli weapons and aviation systems integrated into the aircraft in a move which will inject tens of millions of shekels into the local economy, the ministry said.
The first batch of aircraft are expected to arrive in Israel by the end of 2016.
When the initial agreement was announced in 2010, the defence ministry said a key part of the deal was an agreement to allow Israeli industries to get involved in the assembly of the plane and the manufacture of spare parts.