The Israeli Ministry of Defense has announced that it has signed a new contract worth $3 billion for the procurement of 25 F-35 Lightning II fighter jets, aiming to enhance the country’s air defense capabilities. This significant agreement is just one of many steps Israel has taken to further strengthen its military power.
Under the signed contract, the financing will be provided through the military aid fund granted by the United States to Israel. With this new order, the number of F-35 aircraft in the Israeli Air Force’s inventory will increase to 75, and the fleet size will be expanded to 3. Israel had previously become the first country to select the F-35 fighter jet by signing a Letter of Agreement in October 2010. The first F-35I Adir fighter jet was delivered to the Israeli Air Force on June 22, 2016.
Israel’s F-35I Fighter Jets
The Israeli Air Force had declared the operational readiness of its F-35 fighter jet fleet in December 2017, following an intensive integration and training process. Israel has given the special name “Adir,” meaning “Mighty” in Hebrew, to these advanced fighter aircraft.
With the new order, Israel is planning to integrate its own guided bombs and air-to-air missiles onto the F-35 fighter jets. Moreover, it is known that Israel has been granted permission to integrate its own electronic warfare systems and missiles onto the F-35I fighter jets.
In addition to the existing F-35I Adir fleet, Israel will have a total of 75 F-35 fighter jets with this new order. Israel is the only country capable of performing maintenance and critical component work on the F-35s within its own borders. It is expected that the total of 50 F-35 aircraft ordered by Israel will be fully delivered by 2024.
The New F-35s Will Strengthen Israel’s Air Power
According to the recent statement by the Israeli Ministry of Defense, Israel’s robust and modern F-35 fleet will contribute to its security and stability in the region. The country will further solidify its air superiority and strengthen its defense capabilities through the advanced technology of the F-35 fighter jets. It is expected that Israel will continue to make investments of this nature to effectively counter regional threats.
As one of the largest air powers in the Middle East, Israel reinforces its strength with the F-35I fighter jets equipped with its own electronic systems and supported by its own weapons. By leveraging the stealth capabilities and strategic superiority of the F-35s, Israel aims to establish dominance over its regional rivals in tactical strike missions.