Israel says signs $3 bn deal with US for 25 F-35 fighter jets

AFP , Tuesday 4 Jun 2024

Israel said Tuesday it signed a $3 billion deal to buy a third squadron of 25 advanced F-35 stealth fighter jets manufactured by Lockheed Martin, with the delivery to commence in 2028.

F-35 fighter jet
File Photo: F-35 fighter jets, manufactured by Lockheed Martin, cost around US$80 million each. AFP


"At a time when some of our adversaries aim to undermine our ties with our greatest ally, we only further strengthen our alliance," Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said in a statement announcing the deal.

"This sends a powerful message to our enemies across the region."

The defence ministry said the deal would bring to 75 the number of F-35s in Israel's fleet.

"The delivery of the aircrafts to the IDF (army) will commence in 2028 at a rate of three to five aircrafts per year," the ministry said in a statement.

Israel is the only Middle East nation with F-35s, the world's most advanced fighter which is stealth capable and can be used to gather intelligence, strike deep into enemy territory and engage in air duels.

In May 2018, Israel's military said it had become the first country to use F-35s in combat.

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