Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant has formally requested the United States and Lockheed Martin sell them a third squadron of 25 F-35 aircraft. This would bring the total number of fighters that Israel possesses to 75.
The government has said that starting in 2027, Israel will get three planes every single year, according to a story in The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.
It is estimated that the arrangement will cost around 3 billion dollars. Both Lockheed Martin and the engine maker Pratt & Whitney have stated their intention to collaborate with Israeli military industry firms to produce components for the aircraft that have been ordered.
In addition, the Ministry of Defence made an official request to the United States in January for 25 F-15 EX Boeing aircraft to replace older variants. These fighters are to be manufactured by Boeing. Additionally, an agreement was reached in November 2022 for Israel to purchase four Boeing KC-46A aerial refuelling aircraft.
In the coming years, these brand-new aircraft will enhance the nation’s capability to oppose Tehran’s nuclear programme if necessary.
The stealth technology of the F-35, which gives it the ability to strike targets anywhere in the Middle East without fear of retaliation, and its capabilities in observation and intelligence greatly surpass those of Israel’s earlier F-16 and F-15 planes.
For instance, it can reportedly outwit Iran’s S-300 anti-aircraft missile defence system and maybe even the S-400 system. However, other Israeli aircraft would have a greater amount of difficulty in doing so.
With the 116 and 140 Squadrons, the Israeli Air Force has shown it can perform crucial tasks, and the company is excited to build on this good performance, said Joshua (Shiki) Shani, CEO of Lockheed Martin Israel. He added that with stealth, sensor fusion, and electronic warfare, the 5th Generation F-35 will help the Israeli Air Force stay ahead of current and new dangers.
In the middle of December 2022, an F-35 crashed in the United States. This caused the US and Israel to ground many of their F-35 fleets. There have been problems with the F-35’s cockpit software systems for a long time. As of March, a technical fix for the flaw that led to the 2022 crash had been cleared, and deliveries were back on track.